How long does it take to tour Pompeii?

Making a trip to the archaeological site of Pompeii? Find out how much time you’ll need to cover its narrow streets and unforgettable attractions. 

Travel back in time to the days of the Roman Empire at the famous Pompeii. Known as the most popular archaeological site in the entire world. The volcanic destruction of Mount Vesuvius caused a tragic but incredible natural phenomenon, sealing away the entire ancient city under a thick layer of ash. Nowadays you can wander the streets of Pompeii, peeking into ancient buildings and marvelling at the leftover artefacts that still remain. But how long does it usually take to see everything?

Your starting point in Pompeii

The time it takes to explore Pompeii will depend on your starting point. Located in the modern-day region of Campania, Pompeii is located south of Rome, by the Gulf of Naples. This is an excellent location if you’re staying in any of Italy’s nearby hot spots, including Rome, Florence or the Amalfi Coast. From Rome it takes 2 and a half hours, whilst Florence takes up to 5 by car! Amalfi is a little closer at just over an hour drive. If you’d rather have somewhere closer, Naples and Sorrento are also good spots, and by far the closest to the ancient city. Wherever you’re coming from just make sure you leave yourself enough time to explore the city, you’d hate to spend more time in the car and miss out walking Pompeii’s streets. With how long it takes to tour the site can also depend on a few factors. If you’ve booked onto a tour then that should say how long you spend at Pompeii. Our Private Pompeii Guided Tour for example, lasts for 2 hours, and includes all the main sights. If you’re showing yourself round however, this may take a little longer as you may be unaccustomed to the city’s streets and the site’s entrances and exits. We highly recommend getting a tour. That way you can enjoy a guided exploration of the site without worrying about where to find stuff, how to get around, and conjuring up your own facts and figures to make sense of the ruins around you. And on that note, here are a list of a few of the things to look out for!

What you’ll need to see in Pompeii?

  • Amphitheatre

    The oldest surviving Roman amphitheatre is a must-see on your tour of Pompeii. This magnificent arena seated a whopping 20,000 people and was the biggest event holding venue in Pompeii. Used as a place for entertainment, the amphitheatre was where people could watch gladiator contests, either fighting one another or wild animals. In more recent years the arena has had other uses, such as for the 4 day Pink Floyd concert in 2016.

  • The Villa of Mysteries

    The Roman villa of Mysteries is a fantastic sight to see in Pompeii. This well-preserved Roman villa has become a popular stop along the Pompeii tour for its breathtaking frescoes that cover the walls of ones of its rooms. The frescoes are beautifully preserved, with a vibrant red background emboldening the room. The series of frescoes are believed to tell a narrative of a religious rite or ceremony. Located on the outskirts of Pompeii you can visit this heavily decorated room and try your hand at deciphering the ancient narrative which remains on these walls, walking from one end of the room to the other.

  • Brothels

    For a tantalising venture, peek inside the ancient brothels. Pompeii was known as a flourishing city, filled with wealthy Romans who enjoyed the houses of pleasure. Visit the persevered buildings to see the fascinating past lives of the workers and their customers. The reputation of these brothels, as well as the erotic art painted on the walls, illustrates how these brothels were an exotic treat for the wealthy, but in reality, were quite trying institutions, especially for the sex workers who had to work in dire conditions. Find out more on your Pompeii visit!

  • Baths

    The baths of Pompeii were practical, cultural, and a social hub of activity in Ancient Roman. Bathing was once a communal activity, as it was very rare for any house to have their own private bath. These public baths were like public pools, with separate baths for women, men, and salves. Venture in to see the elaborate decorations in the bathhouses and see the large complexity of such baths which had advanced engineering for their time.

  • Herculaneum

    Herculaneum, the less known, little brother of Pompeii. Located about a half an hour drive from Pompeii, this small town is booming with well-preserved sights. Despite its size, Herculaneum was an incredibly wealthy village, leaving behind a rich amount of beauties to see. Like Pompeii, it has incredibly added the study of antiquity. For underneath the city lies a sewer, which was also well-preserved, and offered invaluable insights into the diet and lifestyle of the Romans due to the excavation of human faeces. Remember to question your guide to find out more!

In Conclusion

There isn’t a set length of time that determines how long you will need in Pompeii, as everyone’s trip is different. We suggest doing a bit of research before your journey, to see what interests you and what doesn’t. After that, you can work out how long you will need, whether it being a couple hours,3-4 hour or a whole day!