Pompeii Archaeological Sites | What To See Inside Pompeii?

What’s Pompeii?

An ancient city, buried under volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, Pompeii, is a gateway into the incredible beauty and history of Roman life and architecture. Once a market and trading town, the whole city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting millions of tourists each year.

Walk through the streets of Pompeii, learn about its heartbreaking history, and marvel at the beautiful buildings, artworks, human plaster casts, and everyday objects that provide a glimpse into the life of ancient Romans.

Pompeii Sites

Pompeii Archaeological Sites - Region 1

Region 1

This region includes several important sites and highlights like the House of the Citharist, House of the Lovers, Garden of the Fugitives, House of the Menander, House of the Europa Ship, House of the Lararium of Achilles, and House and Thermopolium of Vetutius Placidus. Gawk at the bronze statue of Apollo playing the lyre, a stucco decoration depicting scenes from the Trojan War, inscriptions and graffiti and wall art. You’ll even see casts of some of the victims of the volcanic eruption.

Pompeii Archaeological Sites - Region 2

Region 2

Visit the famous Amphitheater, the House of Octavio Quartio (a miniature of the grand aristocratic country villas), the House of Venus in the Shell, the Large Palaestra, and the Necropolis of Nocera Gate. The Necropolis has several burial monuments and tombs while the amphitheater will take you back to when the stadium were filled with townsfolk cheering on gladiators fighting in the arena, including a brawl that led to the closure of the arena for a decade. 

Pompeii Archaeological Sites - Region 3

Region 3

Regio III has limited but incredible sites that are worth a visit. Check out the Schola Armaturarum, which served as the headquarters of a significant military-style association where people would gather to plan activities and games to be held at the Amphitheater. Visit Nola Gate and the Walls with inscriptions in Oscan on its façade. The gate has hangings in overlapped tuff blocks and a barrel vault made of concrete. This region also includes the Necropolis of Nola Gate, the House of Trebio Valente, and the House of the Moralist but these sections are currently closed to the public.

Pompeii Archaeological Sites - Region 4

Region 4

This region is still not open to the public.

Pompeii Archaeological Sites - Region 5

Region 5

A few important sites visitors can check out here are the Thermopolium, the House of Orion, the House with the Garden, the House of the Leda and the Swan, and the House of Marco Lucretius Frontone. The Thermopolium is a restaurant featuring an L-shaped counter adorned with paintings and depictions of animals that it sold. Admire the electoral inscriptions and pictorial decorations at the House of Marco Lucretius Frontone. Visit the House of Orion for its elegant floor mosaic and rare depiction of Orion, the mythical hero.

Pompeii Archaeological Sites - Region 6

Region 6

Head to the House of the Tragic Poet known for the mosaic that reads ‘Cave Canem’, which translates to ‘Beware of the Dog’. Don’t miss the mythological paintings depicting episodes from the Iliad. Named after the hall of mysteries, Villa dei Misteri dates back to 2nd century BC and is known for its ancient paintings depicting Dionysus, female figures, fauns, maenads, and more performing different rituals. The Villa of Diomede was one of the first buildings to be excavated and is named after Marcus Arrius Diomedes, whose tomb is located at the entrance of the villa. Other sites that you can explore include the House of the Golden Cupids, the House of the Faun, and the Thermopolium.

Pompeii Archaeological Sites - Region 7

Region 7

This region is home to some of the most important and famous buildings in Pompeii including the Forum (which houses all the important buildings for administration, business, justice, trade and worship), the Stabian Baths, the Lupanar, Suburban Baths, the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Temple of Jupiter, the Forum Granary, the House of Sirico, and more. The Stabian Baths date back to the 2nd century BC and are probably the oldest in Rome. Lupanar is a brothel that housed prostitutes, who were originally Greek and Oriental slaves. 

Pompeii Archaeological Sites - Region 8

Region 8

This region includes important sites of Pompeii like the Triangular Forum, the Doric Temple, the Temple of Isis, and the Antiquarium. The Triangular Forum stands on a ridge overlooking River Sarno and is a must-visit site in Pompeii. The Doric Temple is one of the most sacred places in the city. Inscriptions point to an attribution to Goddess Athena and even Hercules. The Antiquarium is home to artifacts and findings that depict daily life in Pompeii. It also houses human plaster casts of the victims of the volcanic eruption.

Pompeii Archaeological Sites - Region 9

Region 9

Check out the House of Marcus Lucretius in via Stabian and the Central Baths on your visit to this region of Pompeii. The former is a dwelling formed following the union of two separate houses. Pay attention to the beautiful paintings depicting mythological scenes and walk along the garden featuring an elegant fountain made of marble. The Central Baths are the largest of the bathing areas and were under construction when Mount Vesuvius erupted. There are a few more sites in the region but they are closed to the public.

Can I Visit The Pompeii Sites?

You can view the different sites inside Pompeii by purchasing tickets to the attraction. For a hassle-free experience, book your tickets online and in advance. This way, you will neither have to worry about tickets getting sold out nor wait in long queues to enter the attraction because your tickets include a skip-the-line feature that allows you to walk past huge crowds and access the site on priority.

Entry is free for visitors on the first Sunday of every month. The archaeological site remains closed on Mondays. 

Book Your Pompeii Tickets

Visitor Tips

  • Wear sunscreen and comfortable footwear because you will have to walk a lot under the sun.
  • Large bags are not allowed inside Pompeii. There is a baggage counter available on-site to store small bags or any other personal belongings that you might be carrying.
  • Carry some snacks and a bottle of water. There is a café called Pompeii Scavi Café near the Forum inside Pompeii if you want to refuel but aren’t carrying your own food. Drinking water is also available.
  • There are toilets and restrooms available at different locations on-site.
  • Pompeii is wheelchair accessible. Several pathways have been created for those with reduced mobility to facilitate ease of movement.
  • If you aren’t taking a guided tour, get yourself an audio guide available in multiple languages including English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian.
  • To avoid large crowds, visit Pompeii during early hours before the attraction opens, or in the late hours just before closing time.
  • Make sure you set aside at least one day to explore the ruins. If you want to explore the archaeological site properly or extensively, you will need two days.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pompeii Sites

Q. What are the different Pompeii sites?

A. Some of the different Pompeii sites include the Forum, Amphitheater of Pompeii, the temples of Isis and Apollo, Lupanar, The House of the Tragic Poet, and Villa of the Mysteries.

Q. What is inside Pompeii?

A. Pompeii includes several important buildings and monuments, frescoes, sculptures, paintings, graffiti, artifacts, jewelry, human plaster casts, and everyday objects that offer insight into daily Roman life and society.

Q. How were the sites at Pompeii found?

A. Pompeii ruins were first found when Italian architect Domenico Fontana dug a water tunnel through the city in 1549. Later, excavations carried out in the 18th century revealed a treasure trove of buildings and artifacts that remained buried under volcanic ash for centuries.

Q. Can I take a guided tour to view the Pompeii sites?

A. Yes. You can take a guided tour to view the Pompeii sites. This will help you explore the various sites of Pompeii and get an in-depth understanding of the ruins.

Q. How big is Pompeii?

A. Pompeii covers an area of 64-67 hectares.

Q. What are some must-see Pompeii sites?

A. Some of the must-see Pompeii sites include the Forum, the Amphitheatre, the Stabian Baths, the House of Vettii, the Temple of Isis, and the Temple of Apollo, among others.

Q. What are some unique things I can see inside Pompeii?

A. There are a few unique things that you can see inside Pompeii – bodies of the deceased that were turned into casts to preserve them and understand what Pompeiians were like during their final moments, a lot of graffiti from before the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and food remnants that offer a glimpse into what Pompeii’s residents ate in the ancient days.

Q. Can I go inside Pompeii?

A. Yes. You can go inside Pompeii, provided you have purchased Pompeii tickets for the day of your visit.

Q. Do I need a ticket to visit the Pompeii sites?

A. Yes. Visitors need to book tickets to visit the Pompeii sites.

Q. Can I take pictures of the Pompeii sites?

A. Yes. You can take pictures of the Pompeii sites.

Q. Is it free to go inside Pompeii?

A. No. You will be required to purchase tickets to go inside Pompeii except on the first Sunday of every month, which is when visitors are given free access to the site.

Q. Is going inside Pompeii worth it?

A. Yes. Going inside Pompeii is worth it because it offers a glimpse into the rich history, architecture, and lifestyle of ancient Rome.