Best way to visit Pompeii, Villa Oplontis, and Herculaneum

Planning a visit to Pompeii and the surrounding sites? Here are our tips!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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)
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Thanks for reading! Let us know in the comments if you're planning to visit Pompeii or any of the historical sites around the area!