A stop in Pompeii to take in the spectacular Roman ruins is a must when visiting Naples, and we recommend dedicating at least half a day to exploring the archaeological site if you have three days in Naples.
How Long Does it Take to Visit Pompeii?
You'll need to plan on at least half a day to visit Pompeii from Naples:
One hour to reach the archaeological site from downtown Naples.
At least two hours inside the ruins, though we recommend spending at least four hours to take in the top sights. Keep in mind that the ruined city is quite vast and an entire day wouldn't be enough to visit it all.
One hour to return to downtown Naples from Pompeii.
Remember that visiting Pompeii is a tiring endeavor, with hours of walking and often hot sun and little shade. Be sure to schedule a relaxing afternoon after your visit to regroup!
The Ruins of Pompeii: Practical Information
April through October: 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (last entrance 6 p.m.)
November through March: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entrance 3:30 p.m.)
Closed: 1 January, 1 May, 25 December
Reduced EUR 9
Free entrance for EU citizens up to 18.
Reduced entrance for EU citizens from 18 to 24.
Baggage deposit: there is a free baggage deposit next to the entrance. Visitors cannot bring bags into the ruins of Pompeii or Herculaneum that measure more than 30x30x15 cm.
Getting to Pompeii from Naples
The fastest and easiest way to reach Pompeii from Naples is the Circumvesuviana train the runs between the Napoli Piazza Garibaldi train station and the Pompei Villa dei Misteri stop in about 30 minutes. Don't expect top-tier service, as the trains are often old, run late, and don't have air conditioning. That said, for the time being, this is the fastest option and skips the hassle of traffic.
Train tickets between Naples and Pompeii cost around EUR 3.
Schedule for the Circumvesuviana Naples - Pompeii line
Another stress-free option is to join a Pompeii tour that offers a guide inside the ruins and transfers between Naples and the archaeological park with hotel pickup. We especially recommend visiting Pompeii with a guide to be able to fully appreciate these spectacular Roman ruins.
The nearest entrance to the Circumvesuviana station is Pompei Villa dei Misteri, set just opposite the Pompeii park entrance. That said, we suggest entering from Piazza Esedra (about 100 meters further on) to take in the ancient villas and shops before making your way to the Forum and ending at the Villa dei Misteri before exiting at the Villa dei Misteri gate.
Here you can take a look at itineraries for visiting Pompeii in 2, 4, or 7 hours
Can I Visit Pompeii and Herculaneum in One Day?
In theory, you can visit both Pompeii and Herculaneum in a single day by dedicating the morning to Pompeii and the afternoon to Herculaneum, but we don't recommend packing your day so full, unless you are a true ancient history buff. There is a wealth of ruins to admire in Pompeii, and you risk not enjoying your Herculaneum visit after a tiring morning at the larger Roman city. Instead, consider combining a Pompeii visit with a stop on Mt. Vesuvius to take in the volcanic crater and views. You can reach the Mt. Vesuvius National Park by bus from Pompeii.
Dining Near Pompeii
There is an Autogrill-branded snack bar and a number of picnic areas inside the ruins of Pompeii, so you can pack a picnic lunch or grab a quick sandwich if you plan on spending an entire day exploring the archaeological park.
In you plan on spending just the morning, you can stop for lunch just outside the Pompeii park at one of these restaurants:
Hortus: a tourist spot located just outside the Pompei Villa dei Misteri entrance, but the food is good and the atmosphere friendly.
La Caupona: a restaurant inspired by ancient Rome both in the décor and menu. It may seem a little over the top upon first glance, but the menu has been created with care and research and is based on works left by Marcus Gavius Apicius, the most famous ancient chef. If you're not inspired by the ancient dishes, there are also traditional recipes from southern Italy. That said, we really enjoyed sampling selections from the ancient menu!