Is Pompeii Worth Seeing? (The Truth)

Explore Pompeii through a journey through history, art, and archaeology.
Written By: Andrea Spallanzani
Reviewed by: Rick Orford
How & Why We Created This Article

This article has been written, reviewed, and fact-checked by Rick and I. We live in Italy and travel throughout the country to help you make the best choices for your trip. We wrote this piece to ensure you have the best trip possible on your next trip to Italy. Portions of this article have been written using assistive AI tools to help with tasks like research, spell-checking, grammar, and translation.

Last Updated March 21, 2024

In this article, you'll learn how:

  • Pompeii is a must-visit for history enthusiasts, offering a well-preserved glimpse into ancient Roman life.
  • Consider hiring a guide for a more enriching experience when exploring Pompeii's extensive ruins.
  • Plan your visit strategically, wear comfortable shoes, and buy tickets in advance to make the most of your trip to Pompeii.

Are you visiting Naples, Italy, and wondering if Pompeii is worth seeing? Due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD, approximately 4 to 6 meters of ash and pumice buried Pompeii, the Roman city. The city was frozen in time and has given archaeologists a glimpse into what life was like in Roman society. 

Pompeii was a thriving city with an approximate size of 170 acres and a total of 30,000 to 40,000 residents before its destruction. It was a busy commercial center with shops selling goods like olive oil and fish. The site was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Pompeii is now one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations, with approximately 2.5 million visitors annually. The site is typically open for regular business hours aside from Mondays. Ticket prices for entry are between 8 and 14 euros depending on the season.

LocationNear Naples, Campania, Italy
Historical SignificanceRoman city buried by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD
Best Time to VisitSpring or Fall for fewer crowds, Winter for archaeology enthusiasts, Summer for warmer weather and more activities
Entry Fee8 to 14 euros (varies by season)
Opening HoursTypically open during regular business hours except Mondays
Popular AttractionsTemple of Apollo, Amphitheater, Public Baths, Plaster casts of bodies
Guided ToursHighly recommended for in-depth understanding and safety
TransportationCar, train, or bus; 25-minute train ride from Naples
Tips for VisitorsWear comfortable shoes, plan to spend at least half a day, download Pompeii app, bring water and snacks, buy tickets in advance, consider visiting during the week or outside peak tourist season
Additional Nearby SitesHerculaneum and Mount Vesuvius
Notable Museums NearbyNational Archaeological Museum in Naples

Is Pompeii worth seeing? 

No one can deny that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD was a catastrophic event that buried the nearby city of Pompeii under ash and rock. Take note, Mount Vesuvius not only erupted once but over 50 times after the 79 AD catastrophe. But, some 2,000 years later, is Pompeii worth visiting?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in history, Pompeii is worth seeing. The city provides an incredibly detailed look into what life was like in Roman times. In addition to the ruins of houses, shops, and public buildings, the ash preserved the remains of everyday objects and even human bodies. The site is also home to some of the best-preserved examples of Roman wall paintings and mosaics.

However, there are some downsides to visiting Pompeii though. The site can be very crowded, especially during peak season, and it can be challenging to navigate. If you want a more traditional sightseeing experience with lots of shopping and nightlife, Pompeii may not be for you.

If you want to invest a fair amount of time in your trip, Pompeii is worth seeing. There are some remarkable sights in Pompeii, and having the ability to be there in person to educate yourself about it is worth it. You may also opt for available tours from Naples to Pompeii.

Benefits and drawbacks of Pompeii

Why Pompeii is worth seeing

When most people think of Pompeii, they think of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD that covered the town in ash and killed thousands. However, Pompeii is worth seeing for much more than its tragic history. Here are some reasons why:

1. Pompeii is one of the best-preserved Roman towns in the world. Because it was covered in ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted, many buildings and artifacts have been preserved until today.

2. Pompeii is a great place to learn about Roman history. The town was founded by the Romans in the 7th century BC and flourished for over 400 years before its destruction.

3. Pompeii provides a unique glimpse into everyday life in Roman times. You can see everything from grand public buildings to private homes and even examples of everyday objects like pottery and tools.

4. Visiting Pompeii can be combined with other nearby attractions, such as Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius.

5. If you love history and can’t get enough of Italy, consider Pompeii. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. The city was destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, but today’s preserved sites are unique. You’ll also get to see the sight of the majestic 4,200-foot volcano, Mt. Vesuvius.


Pompeii is a popular tourist destination for a good reason—it’s full of historically significant ruins. However, you should be aware of some challenging things about visiting Pompeii before you go.

1. For starters, the site is incredibly crowded and challenging. If you’re looking for peace, Pompeii is not worth seeing.

2. In the summer, the temperatures inside the ruins are also sweltering and humid, which can be pretty uncomfortable if you’re not used to it.

3. Another downside to Pompeii is that there’s not a lot of shade, so to take a break, it’s not simple to find a place to sit down.

5. One thing to note is that the streets are 2000 years old and very uneven. Also, people with mobility issues must be very careful when visiting Pompeii.

What to see in Pompeii

Pompeii is a small town in southern Italy that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The ruins of Pompeii have been excavated and are now a popular tourist attraction.

One of the most famous attractions in Pompeii is the plaster casts of the bodies of the people who died in the eruption.

When most people think of Pompeii, they imagine the ruins left behind after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. However, there is much else to see in Pompeii than in ruins. The city was once a thriving Roman town with many impressive buildings and artifacts.

One of Pompeii’s most popular attractions includes the Temple of Apollo, the Amphitheater, and the public baths. The Temple of Apollo is impressive, with its six Corinthian columns still standing tall. is one of the best preserved in Italy and could seat up to 20,000 spectators. And finally, the public baths are a must-see for anyone visiting Pompeii; they are some of the best-preserved baths from ancient Rome. In addition to the attractions, Pompeii has many other popular sites. The brothel is another very famous site in Pompeii, with graphic frescos on the walls that show the different services offered at the establishment. Other popular sites in Pompeii include the wealthy’s baths, forums, and houses. The Forum is a large area of public buildings and shops, where you can see the remains of the basilica, the Basilica Porcia (a small Roman temple), the Theater, and a granary.  It also features over 250 artifacts, spanning wall-sized frescoes, gold coins, jewelry, grave goods, marble works, and bronze statuary, and the houses of the wealthy are also very well preserved. And of course, one of Italy’s most spectacular volcanoes, Mt. Vesuvius.

Should you get a guide for Pompeii?

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii is a popular tourist destination for visitors to Italy. While the site can be toured on your own, hiring a guide can enhance your experience. Guides can be hired near the archaeological site to begin the guided tour through several specialized suppliers.

Hiring a guide is not mandatory, but getting a guide is highly recommended when visiting Pompeii. The tour guides know a good deal about the surrounding area and can give visitors an in-depth understanding of what they see. In addition, guides can offer suggestions for further exploration and help make sense of the many interpretive signs found throughout the ruins. Guides also provide an invaluable service in keeping visitors safe while touring the site; they’re knowledgeable of the terrain and where to avoid dangerous areas easily.

How to get to Pompeii?

Pompeii is located in Campania, Italy, and can be accessed by car, train, or bus. A car is a convenient way to go to Pompeii. Take the A3 motorway from Naples and exit at Pompei-Scavi. The bus from Naples stops right in front of the entrance to the archaeological site of Pompeii.

Probably the most popular way to go is by train. 

The train ride from Naples to Pompeii is approximately 25 minutes long. If traveling by train, take the Circumvesuviana line from Naples and get off at Pompeii Scavi-Archeological Site. It’s not a very long journey, but you’ll get the chance to learn something new about history. As soon as you leave Naples, you’ll see Mount Vesuvius in the distance. The sight of this famous volcano is a great way to get you excited about your trip. 

Best time to visit Pompeii

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii is a popular tourist destination for visitors to Italy. Many people want to know the best time of year to visit Pompeii. It depends on what you are looking for when you visit Pompeii.

If you are looking for fewer crowds and cooler temperatures, visiting in the spring or fall may be a better option. However, remember that some attractions may be closed during these times. Summer may be better if you want warmer weather and more activities. Regardless of when you visit, plan as tickets and reservations may be necessary for some attractions.

If you are into archeology and want to see the ruins as they were discovered, winter is the finest season to go to Pompeii. The weather on the site is cooler, and the area is less crowded, making exploring the ruins easier. The city is more lively during summer, and more cultural events occur. So if you plan to visit picturesque Tuscany in spring or fall, maybe you can visit the ancient city of Pompei simultaneously.

Tips for visiting Pompeii

When visiting Pompeii, there are a few things that you can do to make sure your experience is fantastic.

  1. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. The ruins of Pompeii are extensive and cover a lot of ground, so you’ll be walking. 
  2. Plan to spend at least half a day there. If you don’t have enough time, it’s worth returning another day because there’s so much to see. 
  3. Download the Pompeii app before you go. It has a map of the ruins that will help you navigate your way around and learn more about what you’re seeing.
  4. Bring water and snacks with you, especially if it’s hot outside. There aren’t many places to buy food or drinks inside the ruins, and the lines can be extended.
  5. When you go to Pompeii, make sure to go with a plan. There is so much to do in this city that it’s easy to miss some of the best attractions if you don’t have a particular path in mind.
  6. Another top tip for enjoying your visit is to take your time. Don’t try and cram too many sights into one day – you’ll only end up frustrated and exhausted. Instead, spread your visit over two or three days to soak up all the history on offer.
  7. If you’re looking to explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii without battling hordes of tourists, try visiting Pompeii during the week – it’s much quieter than on the weekends.
  8. Go early or late in the day – significantly fewer people at these times.
  9. Consider touring other attractions in the area (like Herculaneum) to spread out the crowds.
  10. Try visiting Pompeii outside the peak tourist season (June-August) if possible.

The most important tip is to buy the ticket in advance to avoid the long lines at the ticket office.

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the stunning and impressive setting in which Pompeii is situated.


In conclusion, Pompeii is worth a visit for anyone interested in history, art, or archaeology. The site has been meticulously explored and preserved, so visitors can understand what life was like in ancient Roman society. Some excellent museums nearby, such as the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, are also worth visiting if you have time. While visiting Pompeii is a memorable experience, it is essential to be aware of the potential downsides to make the most of your visit. By being prepared for the crowds, heat, and limited facilities, you can enjoy this fantastic archaeological site while avoiding any unpleasant surprises. So if you’re ever in southern Italy, stop by Pompeii – you won’t be disappointed!