While Pompeii is best seen on a day trip from Naples, it is actually close enough to the Italian capital and you can indeed go on a Pompeii day trip from Rome. It will take you about two hours to get there by train – which is what I recommend. The site is massive and unless you want to explore other nearby places such as the Vesuvius or another incredible site such as Herculaneum, you can easily spend an entire day in Pompeii.
If you are planning a Pompeii day trip from Rome, you should go prepared knowing not only how to get there, but also how to get tickets for the site, what guided tours are available, and any other practical information that will help you make the most of the site.
Don’t worry – in this post I will tell you everything you should know for a smooth day!
What To See During Your Pompeii Day Trip From Rome
Probably the most famous archeological site in the world, the ruins of Pompeii provide testimony into what the life of an opulent Roman city used to be – at least until it was completely buried in ashes following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pompeii remained buried and forgotten for centuries after the eruption, until it was rediscovered in 1592. Subsequent discoveries were made in the 1600s, 1800s and in more recent times.
As I have said before, Pompeii is a massive site and it will be pretty much impossible to see it all. Some parts of the ruins – usually the villas (domus) are open at different times too. The ones below are some sites you really should not miss!
Built around 80 BC, the amphitheater takes up a huge area of Pompeii. Back in the day it was able to accommodate 12,000 people who came to watch all sorts of shows, including gladiator fights and chariot racing.
House of the Faun
This beautiful palace was built in the 2nd century BC and is packed with well preserved artworks that provide insights into the life of wealthy inhabitants of the city.
House of the Vettii
One of the many residences that you get to see in Pompeii, this one in particular belonged to two middle-class brothers. While they were not members of the aristocracy, the house is still incredible, with beautiful frescoes and marble fixtures. You can even see cooking utensils!
The Stabian Baths
Romans enjoyed bathing – it was a way to relax after a day of work, socializing and also doing business. Pompeii had its very own baths which featured a swimming pool, separate bathing areas for men and women, stoves used to heat the water and more. There even were changing rooms and a gym where gladiators would train.
Like any other Roman city, Pompeii had its own forum, a large market where food was sold but where there were also temples, shrines and other important administrative buildings.
One place you really should not miss during your Pompeii day trip from Rome is the Antiquarium, a museum that houses a collection of artifacts from the city and through which you can learn about more about the history and way of life in the city. Some artifacts are from more recent times, whereas many date back to before the Roman period. The Antiquarium is also where the famous plaster casts of human remains – caught in their final moments as they tried to flee the city during the eruption – are located.
Make sure to also read my post A Complete Guide To Visiting Pompeii.
Practical Information To Plan A Pompeii Day Trip from Rome
How to get to Pompeii from Rome
There are various ways of getting to Pompeii from Rome, but the best is definitely the train. You will have to catch a train from Roma Termini Station to Napoli Centrale Station, where you’ll need to get off and look for the Circumvesuviana train which departs from Napoli Garibaldi station (don’t worry, it’s in the same building!). Make sure to get off at Pompei Scavi station as that’s the nearest to the main gate of the site. The overall journey takes about 2 hours, so it’s very convenient!
Make sure to read my post How Many Train Stations Are There In Rome?
Guided Pompeii day trip from Rome
A guided day trip to Pompeii from Rome may be an excellent idea for a completely hassle free day. There are various options for tours, with some that include hotel pick up and travel by shuttle bus, and others that are actually by train – but each of them will include a licensed guide.
A Pompeii day trip from Rome will usually include a stop in other places too – some go to Sorrento, others to Mount Vesuvius and there are some that even go to the Amalfi Coast. The price of a guided tour starts at €110, depending on what is included.
For a guided tour of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast departing from Rome, click here.
For a guided tour of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius from Rome, click here.
Make sure to also read my post How To Get From Rome To Pompeii.
Pompeii opening hours
The ruins of Pompeii are open every day from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, with the last entrance at 5:30 pm, between the 1st April and 31st October. For the rest of the year (1st November to 31st March) the site is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the last admission at 3:30 pm.
Note that this is a massive archaeological site, so you’ll definitely need a few hours to explore it. Don’t arrive late in the day as you’ll be sure to miss out on a lot of the ancient city.
Tickets cost €16 for adults. They cost €2for children under 18, and EU citizens between 18-25. If you book online, note that there’s a €1.50 booking fee on top of the ticket price. You can get your tickets on the official site here. Tickets are also available directly on the site, but I don’t recommend showing up there without having secured a ticket beforehand, especially if you are coming all the way from Rome!
On the first Sunday of every month admission to Pompeii is free. According to the official website, if visitor numbers on these free days exceed 15,000 before midday, entry will be restricted for safety!
Another option to get tickets to Pompeii is via third party booking sites such as Tiqets or GetYourGuide. They are slightly more expensive but fully refundable, and should anything happen you will have a reliable customer service in a language of choice. For more information, click here or here.
Do you need a guide to visit Pompeii?
Well, I would say yes. This is a huge ancient city, and it’s a major plus to have a guide take you around and tell you all about the history of the place.
It’s actually possible to get a guide directly on the site, specifically at the Porta Marina and Piazza Esedra entrances. You can request a guide at these locations between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.
For the best guided tour of Pompeii, click here.
For more guided tours of Pompeii, click here.
Other useful information
These can be found at various locations around the archaeological site. Specifically these are at Antiquarium, Casina dell’Aquila, Piazza Anfiteatro, Piazza Esedra, Porta Marina and Quadriportico.
Being an ancient city, you wouldn’t necessarily think that Pompeii would be easily accessible, but there is disabled access available at Pompeii. Those entering from the Piazza Anfiteatro entrance can follow the specially created “Pompeii for all” route. This allows access to much of the site, and the route can be followed back to Piazza Anfiteatro, or to Piazza Esedra (using the lift at the Antiquarium).
What to wear (and bring with you)
There is a luggage storage on site, by each gate, in case you need to place a large backpack which is not allowed inside. Other than that, these are some useful things to bring:
Your dog – If you are traveling with your pet, you will be glad to know that dogs are admitted inside the site!
Dress for the weather – Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a sun hat are a must, particularly in the summer when you’ll be out and exposed in the sun for long periods. Loose, comfortable clothing (preferably cotton or linen) is a good idea. If it’s cold or rainy, don’t forget a poncho or umbrella, and pack layers if the weather seems changeable.
Wear comfortable shoes – You definitely don’t want to be walking around all day in uncomfortable or impractical shoes. Invest in a pair of sturdy sandals if you’re visiting in summer (not heavy hiking boots – that’ll be sweaty), or go for comfort in a sneaker. Keep in mind that pretty much the entire site is made of cobbled or stone alleys!
Bring snacks – Pompeii is huge and you’ll be wandering around for a long time. Although there are places to eat, these are outside the site, so it’s a good idea to bring snacks with you. Trust me, you don’t want your trip ruined just because you get hungry and start panicking about where you can eat.
Remember to bring drinking water – There are places to fill up your refillable water bottle at Pompeii, and in the summer months you’ll definitely need to stay hydrated. Remember to drink plenty of water!
Download the official app – Yes, there is an official app for the ancient ruins of Pompeii. It’s called MyPompeii. You’ll be able to scan the QR code on your ticket and start a virtual tour once inside the site. One of the best things about this is being able to see (on a map and in real time) how many people are visiting the site so you can avoid the crowds. Very handy!