The Best Pompeii Tours from Naples

What is the best way to explore Pompeii? Read on and discover the characteristics of each option.

Matteo Gramegna

Matteo Gramegna

7 min read

The Best Pompeii Tours from Naples

City of Naples, Italy | ©Nick Night

Among the things to see and do in Naples, Pompeii is a must-see. Who has never heard of the city buried by the ashes of the volcano and the splendid Pompeian frescoes?

Just half an hour's drive from Naples, Pompeii offers a multitude of things to see. It is a real history lesson thanks to the preservation provided by the tragic event that made the city disappear.

1. Half-day excursion to Pompeii from Naples

Pompeii Forum| ©Pablo Cabezos
Pompeii Forum| ©Pablo Cabezos

The ideal plan is to dedicate at least a full day to the ruins, but there is not always enough time. For this reason there are different agencies that propose tours lasting about 4 hours.

A small, air-conditioned bus will pick you up from your hotel or a central location in Naples around 10:00. Some tours have their pick-up point at the city's port (Molo Beverello). This option is perfect for travelers arriving with a cruise ship.

As for the visit in the archaeological site, it usually lasts 2 hours and includes the following attractions:

  • Forum, the heart of every Roman city. This is where the main civil, religious and commercial functions took place. You can still see several bases that in the past were decorated with statues of emperors and other prominent figures. A temple dedicated to Jupiter was located here.
  • Thermal baths, a structure that probably dates back to the 2nd century BC, when the city was going through a florid period. In the central part is the gymnasium while in the eastern part are the typical environments of the Roman baths: frigidarium, tepidarium and calidarium.
  • Lupanare, where divine prostitution was practiced. In ancient Rome the goddess Lupa was worshipped and the priestesses financed the activities of the temple by giving themselves sexually. This environment has
  • Macellum, the ancient public market. In the center there was an elevated room destined to the cult of the imperial family.

The most interesting, in my opinion, are the explanations of the guide that will make you discover the daily life in the city. To plan your visit in detail I recommend you to read the post with tips for visiting Pompeii.

  • Duration: about 4 hours
  • Price: about 70 €

Book your excursion to Pompeii from Naples

2. Day trip to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast

On the Amalfi Coast| ©John Morton
On the Amalfi Coast| ©John Morton

After picking you up in Naples and a short drive along the road, the bus will drop you off at the entrance of the archaeological park. From this point you will have two hours to visit the ruins of the city.

The route runs between the main landmarks of the site: the Forum, the baths, the temple dedicated to Jupiter and other "minor" attractions.

Being located in the south of Naples, it is easy to continue down to reach the Amalfi Coast. After a scenic drive along the coast you will reach its capital: Amalfi. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco and it is not difficult to understand why. The mountains end at the sea and colorful houses climb its slopes.

The most evocative part is undoubtedly the Rione Vagliendola, its most picturesque neighborhood. Here you will find the so-called turrite, the ancient residences of the aristocracy, the Piazza dello Spirito Santo and the Convent of San Pietro della Canonica. If you feel like breathing in the sea breeze, I recommend walking down the 400 steps leading to Duoglio beach.

Sometimes excursions take you to Sorrento instead of Amalfi. In both cases you will have plenty of time to explore the urban centers. Normally, these tours include lunch. For more information I recommend you to read the post about the best excursions to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.

  • Duration: about 8 hours
  • Price: around 120 €.

Book your excursion to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast

3. Tour to Pompeii and Herculaneum with ascent of Vesuvius

Herculaneum| ©Quinok
Herculaneum| ©Quinok

The best choice for those who love the ancient world. This tour combines the two cities destroyed by the volcano and a climb to the most iconic peak of the city. A van will usually pick you up at your hotel or a nearby location between 7:30 and 9:30.

Although at first glance it may seem excessive to visit two places buried by the volcano, the differences are considerable. Herculaneum is much smaller and most of the residences retain the second floor. It is easier to get an idea of the urban layout. It is also frequented by fewer tourists, a factor that facilitates visits.

The highlight of Pompeii, on the other hand, is its extraordinary frescoes that have incredibly survived the fury of the eruption. It is better known and spread over a very large area. If you are passionate about ancient art and you are staying 5 days in Naples, maybe you should think about dedicating two days to it.

After the visit, the bus will escort you to the beginning of the nature trail 5 "Il Gran Cono". It runs along the lower edge of the crater and overlooks the Gulf of Naples. It is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and take stunning photos. You will always be accompanied by an expert guide who will explain some interesting anecdotes about the volcano.

  • Duration: about 9 hours
  • Price: about 90 €.

Tour to Pompeii and ascent to Vesuvius

It is very similar to the previous point, the only difference is that it focuses on Pompeii. After the visit to the city buried under the ashes, the bus will take you to the crater of the volcano. To go deeper into this topic, I advise you to read the post on how to visit Vesuvius and Pompeii.

  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Price: about 120 €.

Book your tour to Pompeii and Herculaneum

Why choose a guided tour instead of a self-guided one?

Touring Pompeii| ©Victor R. Ruiz
Touring Pompeii| ©Victor R. Ruiz

A guided tour is the perfect option if you are short on time and don't want to worry about the organization. The bus will pick you up from your hotel or a central location and take you to the archaeological site.

In the meantime, the guide will explain the essentials to understand the visit and will be at your disposal during the whole excursion. In addition, in most cases they include entrance fees to the monuments and lunch.

If you prefer to move at your own pace and at the time you prefer, I recommend reading the post detailing how to visit Pompeii on your own. The most comfortable and most used option is the Circumvesuviana train that you can take from the center of Naples (Garibaldi station, just below the central station). Just get off at the Pompei Scavi Villa Dei Misteri stop.

Is it possible to visit the archaeological site with children?

Children in Pompeii| ©Gerardo Diego Ontiveros
Children in Pompeii| ©Gerardo Diego Ontiveros

Of course you can! First of all, children under 18 years old are free. Secondly, inside the area you will have at your disposal the baby point where you can breastfeed and change diapers in total privacy. For more information on this topic, I recommend you read the post about visiting Pompeii with children.

Book your tour of subway Naples

Is it advisable to visit Pompeii in summer?

Summer in Pompeii| ©Enrique RG
Summer in Pompeii| ©Enrique RG

You can do it but it is not the most advisable option. There is not much vegetation and temperatures are almost always above 30º. It would be best to visit Pompeii in winter or spring but, if you have already booked your ticket, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Inside the archaeological area there is only one bar/restaurant located near the Temple of Jupiter. Bring at least a bottle of water and some snacks in case you get hungry.
  • Wear sunscreen! A sunburn could spoil your vacation.
  • If you can only go to Naples in summer, try to avoid July and August. In June temperatures are usually slightly cooler
  • A good reason to choose June is that the 21st is the summer solstice. On this day, the rays will light up the streets - in particular Via delle Terme, Via di Nola and Via dell'Abbondanza - illuminating the Roman architecture.

Are the excursions in Pompeii suitable for wheelchair users?

Afternoon in Pompeii| ©Alexandre Arias
Afternoon in Pompeii| ©Alexandre Arias

Yes, the vehicles used allow it. In addition, inside the excavations there is a path called Pompei per tutti. It is about 3 kilometers long and touches the most famous buildings.

Anyway, keep in mind that it is still an archaeological site: the streets are not in good condition as those of a city.

Where to eat near Pompeii

At La Bettola del Gusto| ©FRAG S
At La Bettola del Gusto| ©FRAG S

If you don't feel like having lunch at the bar/restaurant at the excavations, you can resort to a restaurant in the surrounding area. Pompeii is also a modern town and its nucleus has developed around the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Rosario. To avoid having to wait for your return to Naples, you can book a table at the following establishments:

In any case, I recommend you to take a look at the post that explains where to eat during your excursion in Pompeii.