Best way to visit Pompeii, Villa Oplontis, and Herculaneum in Campania, Italy

Pompeii pinterest.jpg

Planning a visit to Pompeii, Villa Oplontis, and Herculaneum? Excellent choices! It’s one thing to read about Mt. Vesuvius and the destruction it rained upon Pompeii and surrounding area, and another to visit it in person. Many people flock to see these historical sites, and the lines can get quite long so we created this guide to help make your visit easier. Plus, they are some of the best places to visit in Campania, Italy.

Italy is one of the most popular countries to visit in the world, and it’s no wonder with all the movies it is featured in! They include, but are definitely no limited to: Under the Tuscan Sun (Positano and Tuscany), The Italian Job (Northwestern Italy), The Godfather (Northeast Sicily), the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, and of course the first stop in Eat, Pray, Love.

We always recommend picking up these 2 books before you go: Lonely Planet Naples, Pompeii & the Amalfi Coast and Italy - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture because they go into a depth of information on the places and culture that we simply cannot fit into an article - plus, having both is pretty much your best way to never require a tour guide while you’re exploring the area!

pompeii baths wall holders.jpg

1. Pompeii is the most well-known and popular site in the area, and it's well deserved. The historical city site is HUGE and there is a lot to see. If you only have one day in the area, this is going to have the most bang for your buck. However, the queue to purchase a ticket can get long so continue reading to learn how to skip the line!

pompeii restoration.jpg
pompeii countertops.jpg

2. Visit Villa Oplontis first and get the combo ticket for Pompeii. When we arrived around 10am there was no one else in line. If you get the combo ticket at Villa Oplontis, you can skip the queue at Pompeii and go directly to the turnstiles! While you could technically visit Villa Oplontis and Pompeii on the same day, we recommend doing Pompeii on its own day as it is a lot of walking. Villa Oplontis is a beautiful site and has many gorgeous frescoes. There weren't many people visiting when were were there so photos were easy to take!

oplontis fresco.jpg
oplontis fresco peacock.jpg
oplontis fountain fresco.jpg

3. Herculaneum also can be visited on its own, but it's also doable on the same day as Villa Oplontis. Additionally, for those who want to see a whole town that was preserved from the ash of Mt. Vesuvius's eruption but want to avoid the large tour groups–Herculaneum is a great option.

herculaneum womens bath mosaic floor.jpg
herculaneum sea view.jpg

4. Wear a hat or bring an umbrella for shade. Yes, the towns and cities were well-preserved but the roofs were not. You'll most likely be outside in the sun all day with limited areas of shade. Bring a large bottle of water, and comfortable walking shoes as well.

herculaneum overview.jpg
oplontis entry.jpg
herculaneum entrance.jpg

5. Pompeii's entrance was easy to find. There were souvenir stands and restaurants all along the area. The other two were a little more challenging, so here are some directions:

  • Villa Oplontis is near Torre Annunziata Città station, and the entrance/ticket booth is at the Northwest corner of the property.

  • Herculaneum is near Portici-Ercolano station. The walk-in entrance is on the East side near the main road. First you will walk under an archway and then cross a bridge with the ancient city below you to the right. The ticket office is at the end of the path on the left (the south side of the property and right next to the parking lot). After going through the turnstiles, walk towards the gift shop. Before you get there, and while the site is on your right, you will find the entrance ramp on your left which will lead you through a tunnel down to the ground level and ancient boat docks. The boat docks are the starting point in the free guidebook given at entry.

Costs in May 2018:

  • Villa Oplontis/Pompeii combo ticket: 18€/person

  • Herculaneum ticket: 11€/person

  • Train ticket from Torre Annunziata Centrale to Portici-Ercolano: 2€/person one way

  • Gelato in Pompeii: 3.50€/cup (you can ask for two flavors in one cup)

herculaneum vesuvius background.jpg


Take a day trip with the “Full Day Pompeii Tour from Rome” which includes Mt. Vesuvius or enjoy the day trip from Naples with a little bit of wine with the “Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Tour from Naples with Lunch and Wine Tasting” tour.


Check out the “Naples Pizza Adventure” and experience many different pizza adventures along your Italian trip through Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples, Sorrento, and Capri or the Amalfi Coast with one of the best Adventure groups in the market, G-Adventures!


See it all by checking out the “Splendid Tour (5 days/4 nights)” tour and experience Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.


Best Luxury Hotel, Experience & Location: Luxury Villas & Romantic Apt’s (as low as $195 USD per night)

Best Value & Location for Path of Gods Hike: Mamaral Resort, Agerola (as low as $72 USD per night)

Best Value & Location: B&B: Oasi Madre della Pace - Sorrento (as low as $69 USD per night)

Cheapest Decent Hostel & Location: Ostello Beata Solitudo, Agerola (as low as $21 USD per night)

Thanks for reading! Please check out some of our other blog posts by searching our site for your favorite destinations (using our site search bar). It’s easy and fun :) If you’ve found this article to be helpful, or if you have any questions, please let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

We work hard to bring you quality posts like this one. Please help us out by signing up for our email list (to be updated occasionally on our newest posts), share this post with your friends, or simply follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or YouTube. If you’re having a hard time getting out of the door to travel (whether its due to lack of money, inability to find time, exhaustion from planning, or trying to travel as a parent) or if you want to travel as your career, check out our main page! Thanks again for your support!

Jenny & Bradley of EatWanderExplore