Everything You Need to Know Before You Visit Pompeii - The Ancient City in Naples
Pompeii was an ancient city located near the city of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, this city was buried under 4 to 6 meters of pumice and volcanic ash. This allowed the buildings and monuments of the city to be preserved to a great extent and gave a peek into Roman life.
Visitors can see luxurious buildings, beautiful architecture, and lavish decorations of the wealthy town. Pompeii is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist spot in Italy, with over 2.5 million visitors every year. Here's everything you need to know before you visit Pompeii!
Pompeii Opening Hours
From 1 April to 31 October
9 AM to 7 PM
Last entrance at 5:30 PM
From 1 November to 31 March
9 AM to 3:30 PM
Last entrance at 5 PM
The attraction is closed on the December 25, January 1, and May 1.
Best Time to Visit
Weekday vs Weekend: The best time to visit Pompeii is earlier in the day, right when it opens. The site is the least crowded at this time. We also recommend visiting on a weekday instead of the weekend, which is usually more crowded.
Peak Season vs Low Season: The best time of the year to visit Pompeii is during the off-season, between November and March, with the exception of the last two weeks of December. The summer months between May and September are quite crowded and the area is quite hot as well.
Where is Pompeii?
How to Get to Pompeii?
You can take a train to Pompeii. Get off at Stazione Trenitalia Pompei, the main train station of Pompeii.
The easiest way to reach Pompeii is by car. Parking is available at the site.
Parking is available at the Pompeii ruins for a fee of 10 Euros per day.
Know Before You Go
- There is a bookshop located at the entrance to Antiquarium and Piazza Esedra.
- A free cloakroom is present at the site, which is available to visitors. However, note that bags and luggage exceeding 30cm x 30cm x 15 cm cannot be taken to the site, which means they must be kept in the cloakroom.
- Toilets are located at 7 locations around the site.
Pompeii is fully wheelchair accessible. There are several paths that have been created at the site to make it easy for wheelchair users to move.
There are 4 accessible toilets at Pompeii, Porta Marina Inferiore, Piazza Anfiteatro, Porta Marina Superiore, and the Villa Imperiale.
There are 3 baby changing stations at Pompeii - Via di Nola, the corner of Via della Fortuna and Via Stabiana, and Via dell-Abbondanza.
Visitors must collect the keys to these baby changing facilities at the entrance and return them at the end of the visit.
- Radios and other noisy devices cannot be played inside the park.
- The frescoes, furniture, and other objects must not be touched around the park.
- Big dogs are not allowed into the site. The dogs which are permitted to enter the site must be small and should be carried inside the buildings by their owners.
- Smoking is not allowed at the Pompeii site except in the designated areas.
- Guests are allowed to enter the Pompeii site only through the Piazza Esedra and Piazza Anfiteatro entrances.
- All guests must wear a face mask covering their mouth and nose at all times and maintain a minimum of 1.5 meters from each other when outdoors and 1 meter when indoors.
- One-way pathways have been marked throughout the site to facilitate an even flow of guests.
- All guests must undergo a temperature check on arrival at the attraction.
- Hand sanitizers are available at the entrances to the Pompeii site as well as outside the restrooms.
There are a few nearby restaurants for you to enjoy a delicious meal on your visit.
- Garum - Enjoy some delicious Italian cuisine and seafood at this restaurant (120m)
- Casa Gallo - This is a Michelin-star restaurant that offers gourmet Italian food (850m).
- Trammiere - Taste some authentic pizzas to fuel up for the day ahead at this restaurant (2.1km).
- Ristorante Il Principe - A Michelin-star restaurant that offers some of the best pasta in the area (270m).
There are 3 entrances to Pompeii - Piazza Anfiteatro, Piazza Esedra, and the Porta Marina.
- Porta Marina:This is the main entrance to the site. Visitors can access the information kiosk and collect souvenirs and audio guides from here.
- Piazza Esedra: This is the least crowded entrance to the site since it is the least serviceable of all entrances
- Piazza Anfiteatro: This is the best sightseeing entrance to Pompeii since you will directly go to the Forum, the amphitheater, and other popular spots.
Forum of Pompeii
The forum served as the center for all political and cultural activities of Pompeii. The courthouses are in a cross-shaped design, something that was adopted throughout churches in Europe. Although most of the buildings are currently in ruins, the splendor of the Forum can be felt in this section.
Temple of Apollo
Considered to be the oldest structure in the Pompeii ruins, the Temple of Apollo is a testimony to the incredible history of the city. The original statue of Apollo and the bust of Diana are no longer present at the site, but copies can be seen here.
House of Vettii
This is a villa that represents the architecture of this time. The villas were designed to offer entertainment and luxury to the merchants who stayed there. The villa is present on the western side of the ruins.
This is the famous amphitheater of the Pompeii ruins, which were constructed in 70 BCE. This is also the first amphitheater built by the Romans out of stone predating the Colosseum by almost 100 years. The amphitheater could seat the entire population of Pompeii and hosted all the sporting events in the city.
- Carry a bottle of water since the weather is quite sunny and you can refill it at the various water fountains in the ruins.
- Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes since you will spend the majority of your day on your feet.
- Set aside about 4 to 5 hours to fully explore the Pompeii ruins.
- Although there is a cafeteria inside the ruins, it is recommended you eat before entering the site.
- The first Sunday of the month allows free entry to Pompeii but note that the site will be very crowded on this day.
- Purchase tickets online in advance to save a great deal of energy and time. The queues outside the attraction can take up to 2 hours, which you can use to explore the area.
- Store your luggage at either Porta Marina or Piazza Anfiteatro for a nominal fee. Visitors are not allowed to carry luggage inside the attraction.
- Visitors will not be allowed to enter the attraction 2 hours before the closing time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Pompeii
A. Pompeii is located in Italy, within the Metropolitan City of Naples.
A. The best time to visit Pompeii is early in the mornings and during the off-season between September and March.
A. Yes, group visits to Pompeii are allowed.
A. Yes, you can bring your children to visit Pompeii.
A. Yes, Pompeii is completely accessible to people with reduced mobility.
A. Yes, you can buy refreshments at the Pompeii ruins.
A. For a full-fledged experience of Pompeii, you will need about 5 to 6 hours of time.
A. Yes, Pompeii is absolutely worth visiting and offers a wonderful peek into the architecture and culture of its ancestors.