Make sure to buy your skip-the-line tickets online before your visit!
Best time to visit
The best way to avoid queues is to arrive at Pompeii during opening hours though it may be hard to do if you’re staying in another city and have to take a 2-3 hour train to arrive. However, arriving at this time is fairly worth it: big tour groups come about an hour later so you’ll be able to feel as if you were in Pompeii alone.
If getting to Pompeii at the opening time is not an option you should plan to arrive at about 13:00, at this time waiting lines start to disappear. Take into consideration that it will be quite hard to walk a lot in the summer while it’s hot: there’s not much shade on site. Be sure you have a bottle of water, hat and sunscreen with you!
Peak hours for entrance are between 10 and 11 a.m.: that’s when most one-day trip groups arrive and start exploring the site. It’s quite crowded inside during these hours and up until 1p.m. on Pompeii’s territory. If you’re coming at this time - don’t start your visit from the main entrance - Porta Marina. This is where most tourist buses arrive. Enter via the Piazza Anfiteatro’s entrance, that part of Pompeii is much less crowded and by the time you’re done exploring peak hours will end and you’ll get to the western streets when there aren’t as many visitors left.
On the contrary, if you arrive in the morning, before the tour groups, start with the most popular zones and sites of Pompeii: the Forum, Lupanare (the city’s brothel), Teatro Grande, etc. These are the most overcrowded zones during peak hours.
The low season in Pompeii is from November to March, that’s when you probably won’t have any problems with crowds at all. Other than high season (from April to October) the busiest months are May and August.
Friday and Saturday are the most popular days to visit, visiting in the middle of the week will guarantee less crowds.
Visiting Pompeii will take about 3-4 hours for those who want just to check out the most important sites, and 5 hours and more for those passionate about history, art or architecture. There are many tourists who combine the Pompeii visit with Herculaneum ruins but it’s hard to do in one day. Try to arrange Herculaneum for another day if possible or be ready to leave Pompeii at lunchtime (the last entrance to Herculaneum during the low season is at 3:30 p.m.).
Avoid tourist traps
If you arrive by car - park your car attentively, ask for the price before parking. You should be able to see some kind of official guy in uniform - and while leaving Pompeii you’ll get a fee of 20 €. Some locals will offer free parking if you have lunch at their restaurant - well, the prices there are usually high and the quality is bad. So take a look at different parkings to find out the best price without any commitment.
If you decide to take a group tour on site - check the reviews before going: very often a supposedly 2-hour excursion finishes one hour and 15 minutes later. Sometimes you’ll have to wait for an hour until the guide finds enough people to start (and you’ve already paid!) Our suggestion is the audio guide and/or the guide-book, that will give you more freedom to discover different parts of the ancient city.
Single for Pompeii (valid for 1 day)
Full price: € 11,00
Reduced price: € 5,50 (*)
5 sites (Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis, Stabiae, Boscoreale) – valid for 3 consecutive days
Full price: € 20,00
Reduced price: € 10,00 (*)
Free ticket: European Union citizens under 18
For the entrance to Porta Marina and Piazza Esedra:
Circumvesuviana Naples-Sorrento (Pompei Villa dei Misteri Stop)
For the entrance to Piazza Anfiteatro:
Circumvesuviana Naples-Poggiomarino (Pompei Santuario Stop)
FS (Italian railways) Naples - Salerno (Pompei Stop)
SITA from Naples and from Salerno
CSTP no. 4 from Salerno
CSTP no. 50 from Salerno (fast journey via motorway)
A3 Naples-Salerno Motorway (Pompei Ovest Exit)