Guide to Pompeii

Pompeii is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Italy.


The archaeological site of Pompeii is famous for its catastrophic ending. A once thriving ancient city devastated by the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The entire city was buried under a thick layer of dirt and ash, preserving the buildings, artefacts, and human remains within. Pompeii brings traveller from all over the world, offering a chance to step into this historic world.

Where is Pompeii?

Located near the coast of Italy, Pompeii is found in the modern-day region of Campania. Around about 250 kilometres from Rome, and only 23 kilometres from Naples, the city is easily assessable from popular base points. Taking only a couple hours by car to reach, making the majority of visitors only day trippers. As it is still next door to the looming Mount Vesuvius, many combine their trip to Pompeii in one full day with the famous volcano.

Visiting Pompeii

  • Opening Times

    The times change depending on the season, with November to March open daily from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm with the last entrance at 3:00pm. This changes to 8:30am to 7:30pm from April to October, with the last entrance at 6:00pm. Pompeii is also open every single day excluding 25th December, the 1st January, as well as the 1st May.

  • Peak Times

    On most days, the majority of the visitors are coming from the large cities of Rome or Naples, making the 2 to 3-hour journey from early hours of the morning. Therefore, the lines and crowds don’t start appearing until later in the morning at around 10 to 11:00am. As it usually only takes visitors a couple of more hours to see all that Pompeii has to offer, the majority of these crowds start trickling out the entrance by 1:00pm. If you’d rather avoid the larger crowds going either bright early in the morning, or later in the afternoon.

Top Attractions in Pompeii

  • Amphitheatre

    This magnificent amphitheatre is well worth the visit, an unforgettable sight that once was a massive structure able to hold a whopping 20, 000 people. Home to past games such as animal fighting, executions, and the renowned gladiators.

  • Frescos


    For a tantalising discovering, peek inside the ancient brothels and homes of Pompeii to see their unusual decoration. The Romans were known for being very open with their sexuality and enjoyed expressing this in their art. Painting Frescos in their private homes and public shops of intimate acts between two or more figures. For private homes, they used these frescos to open rooms up and transform their duller rooms. Most of the time, they depicted their Roman Gods and Goddesses in mythological acts of passion. For brothels, these artworks were said to more of a menu for what services were on offer.

Where to eat in Pompeii?

Food in Pompeii

You can easily spend an entire day at the archaeological site of Pompeii. Discovering the secrets of the ancient city, stepping into crumbling buildings and marvelling at antique artefacts But during this jam-packed adventure, where should you stop to refuel? Pompeii is not like your everyday city which will have a café on every corner, so choosing the right place to eat is a bit tougher. Therefore, to make your trip easier, we have listed the best places to eat in and around Pompeii.

  • Restaurants

    There are a number of restaurants lining the entrance to the site. The first and most commonly used is the Pompeii Scavi Café. Since there is no re-entry into the ruins once you’ve left, people may find themselves hungry during their day visit. This is the only restaurant within the walls of Pompeii, allowing people to refuel and continue their ancient discovery. Despite the convenience of the café, it is quite expensive for what you get. If you want a delicious dinner after a long day at Pompeii, step outside and take the short walk to the local Hostaria Plinio. Owned by friendly locals, this restaurant is both affordable and delicious! another great local spot is the President restaurant. With a flair for historical and cultural dishes, the meals change year-round depending on the fresh produce available.

  • Food Carts

    There are a number of street food to choose from, littering the streets that stand by the park’s entrance. A great one to choose from is the Sofì, which offers a cheap and tasty Neapolitan street food. This includes the rustic Panino Napolitano, which is a delicious doughy roll stuffed with cheese and salami. If you are just looking for a quick bite as you wander the streets, this cart is for you.

  • Picnic

    Picnic in Pompeii grounds! Seeing as all the actual restaurants in Pompeii are outside the grounds, an easier way to rest during your tour is with a picnic. There are a number of picnic areas inside the park, allowing you to pack some lunch prior to getting there, or to purchase food from the cafeteria near the forum area. Here you can enjoy the view while tucking into your lunch, with the spectacular ruins are surrounding the area.

Where to stay in Pompeii?

You can be spending hours or days wandering the ruins. If you’re looking for a base to explore these spectacular ruins, you no further. As we have listed to top base points for your Pompeii adventure.

  • Naples


    Around about a 35-minute drive away, Naples is the furthest base point from Pompeii. Despite this, Naples is worth the extra time in the car. With a little something for everyone, the city offers up delicious food, rich history, architecture, and stunning natural sights. Head back to Naples after a full day of Pompeii discoveries and try the local pizzas. Naples was the birthplace of the wood-fired pizza, with the same recipe passed down generations. For an extra slice of ancient history, the city’s National Archaeological Museum is home to an array of ancient artefacts for the area. Including some of Pompeii body casts.

  • Sorrento


    Sorrento is the most popular base point for travellers, as it offers you only a short drive from a rich history of Pompeii, as well as offering great attraction within the city itself. This small town has a grand reputation for being an oasis from the hustle and bustle of other Italian cities. After getting your fill of Pompeii, make sure to set a couple days aside to discover your base town as well. Whether you’re looking for a spot with an element of adventure, peace and quiet, or a haven of natural beauty and charm, Sorrento is for you. Jam-packed with breathtaking views overlooking the Bay of Naples, unique historic landmarks at Old Sorrento, and an array of antique shops. Regardless of whether you stopped here for Pompeii, you will fall in love with this town.

  • Herculaneum


    This is by far the closest town from Pompeii you can stay at. Herculaneum was once the smaller, wealthy village that was Pompeii’s neighbour. It also got hit by Vesuvius’s destruction, but due to being further from range, the village had much more time to react. Ensuing majority of the inhabitants to escape the volcano’s wrath. This town is still rich in preserved beauties, with buckets of crumbling buildings and artefacts to discover. Stay at one of the hotels scattered around the ruin’s outskirts for an easy venture on your day tours.

  • Modern Pompeii

    What better place to stay when visiting Pompeii but Pompeii. The ancient city itself no-go zone for any accommodation, restaurants, or modern buildings at all. But Modern Pompeii, which lies on the outskirts of the ruins, is a perfect place to stay. This small, charming town is home to a beautiful central square flanked by a cathedral and no shortage of restaurants. If you are the kind of traveller who enjoys walking and eating all day long, this is the perfect place for you.

Related article: Top Things to do in Pompeii.

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