Pompeii Tours

14 Best Pompeii Tours – Compared 2024: Explore the Ancient Ruins of the Roman City of Pompeii

Planning a trip to Italy or are already lodged near lovely Napoli? Then this is the ideal opportunity for you to discover a heritage site that’s visited by 2.5 million visitors annually. Popular by the name Pompeii, the place was discovered in 1599, although a more serious archaeological excavation began in the 18th century. The whole locality is well-preserved despite the destruction it experienced in 79 AD. Here, you will see frescoes, artefacts and many more testimonies concerning ancient Rome’s daily life, architecture and culture. This is an actual window into the past of this civilization, which is why going on one of the many available Pompeii tours is an experience you shouldn’t miss.

The name of the city comes from the Oscan language word “pompe“, which in translation means 5, a number associated with the number of districts in the city. The whole concept of the site of 66 hectares is reminiscent of typical Roman city planning.

The first district is the Forum, the heart of the city and the place reserved for public gatherings, the epicentre of civil, religious and economic events. Forum Pompeii consists of public buildings, temples and a basilica. The most specific were the Temple of Jupiter and those dedicated to Apollo and Venus, for which you’ll learn more if you take a Pompeii guided tour.

The next district is the Amphitheater or Amfitheatro Romano, a place to have fun and enjoy gladiatorial contests and animal hunts. In addition to the amphitheatre in Pompeii, there was also a theatre used for various gatherings.

Next is the residential area, divided according to social and economic power.

The wealthier lived in well-appointed houses surrounded by courtyards, gardens and beautiful frescoes on the walls. The two most famous houses were The House of the Vettii and the largest and most beautiful House of the Faun, known for its distinctive mosaic.

The fourth district is called the commercial one because of the multitude of shops and markets. Interestingly, even here, the old Romans introduced the “fast food” concept. Maybe not in today’s form, but they had a so-called “thermopolia” where they served quick snacks that citizens could pick up cold or hot. Wondering if they served pizza? Maybe going on one of the Pompeii tours will give you an answer!

The most crucial place in this district is Macellum, a marketplace for buying food and exchanging goods.

The last district is dedicated to the hygiene and culture the ancient Romans had for baths. That is, it is a bath district that consists of 7 public bath complexes. The most famous were the Stabian Bath and Forum Baths.

You probably didn’t know that the citizens of Pompeii, even at that time, had an excellent water system with pipes, fountains and aqueducts, so the bathrooms, homes and all public facilities were supplied there.

Another facility you shouldn’t miss checking out during your Pompeii trip is the Villa of Mysteries; it is well-preserved and has vivid frescoes and testimonies of mysterious rituals that remain an enigma.

Interesting facts about Pompeii

Before we move on to the available Pompeii tours, I have prepared some more interesting facts that will make you want to visit Pompeii.

The walls of the buildings in Pompeii served to express many motifs. For example, during elections, politicians used the walls of public buildings to call citizens to vote for them. These sentences and frescoes still stand here as a testimony to the lively political scene in Pompeii.

Speaking of the drawings on the walls, here, the citizens had freedom of expression, as evidenced by the erotic art on some walls, featuring sexual scenes.

The Roman wine bars, which served different types of wines according to class and price, testify to the relaxation and liberality of these people.

The people here also spent their free time studying astrology, and this is confirmed by the observatory that was found.

Volcano eruption in 79 AD

A significant event for Pompeii was the volcanic eruption that took place and flattened the city, causing many residents to suffer. This event is considered one of the most famous volcanic events in the history of mankind.

On August 24, 79 AD, Mount Vesusius or the stratovolcano, began flooding the entire site with lava. Some scientists believe that all this was known a few days earlier with ash emissions and earthquakes, but the knowledge at that time probably did not help the citizens save themselves or prevent them. In addition to Pompeii, the nearby Herculaneum was also destroyed.

Although this was one of the biggest disasters at that time, the place was restored after some time, inviting archaeologists to do more research. Otherwise, the mountain and volcano were activated a few more times, but not on that scale. The last volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius was in 1944.

How to get to Pompeii?

Now that I’ve given you a brief introduction, here are a few things to know before planning your Pompei excursion;

  • The nearest city is Napoli, and the nearest airport is Napoli International Airport (NAP). From the airport to the city centre itself, you can take a taxi or come by train.
  • From Napoli to Pompeii, take the Circumvesuviana train heading towards Sorrento. The ride will last about 30 minutes and costs 3-4 euros. You should get off at the Scavi-Villa dei Misteri station.
  • If you prefer to stay by sea, you can visit Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast and come by train.
  • If you decide to stay in Napoli, make sure to book your accommodation way ahead, as it’s hard to find free lodging here.

Tours available to get to know Pompeii

And finally, you have come to the most important part. If you ask me, it is best to get to know this ancient city through a Pompeii guided tour; whether group or private, it is up to you. There are options to buy audio-only tours, as well. When considering which tour to choose, consider the crowds, the time you have available, and your budget.

The basic unescorted tours cost around 20 euros, and the guided private Pompeii excursions with skip-the-line cost around 110 euros.

Read more about each tour below:

Pompeii Tours

Frequently asked questions

What you need to prepare for the tours:

Who are these tours not intended for?

These tours are not suitable for people with disabilities and those who move with assistive means of transport.

Where does the tour start?

All Pompeii tours have a marked meeting point to be highlighted when purchasing the ticket.

One helpful piece of information for everyone is that the first Sunday of the month is free, so if that suits you, you can book just a guide for an agreed price.

1. Pompeii: Entry Ticket and Guided Tour with an Archaeologist

As an added value in this Pompeii guided tour, you will be taught by an experienced archaeologist as your guide. During the tour, you will stop at some of the most important historical places, such as Casa del Fauno, the Temple of Jupiter and the House of Menander. The entire tour lasts 2 hours and includes an entrance ticket with skip-the-line priority. Groups are usually up to a maximum of 20 people, and the tour is available in several languages: German, Italian, French, English, Portuguese and Spanish.

If there is a crowd, the guide will give you a headset so you can hear him better. According to the previous reviews, you will be accompanied by passionate guides who have answers to all your questions. If you want to hear the whole story, you may not have time to take a picture, so I recommend you mention that at the beginning.

The price is 57 euros, but there are often discounts, so check it out!

I recommend this tour for group trips, such as during business trips or Pompeii trips with friends.

Book Entry Ticket and Guided Tour here

Entry Ticket and Guided Tour with an Archaeologist

2. Pompeii: Small-Group Tour with an Archeologist

A similar option to the first one, but in a much more relaxed atmosphere, because you can book for a group of 2 to 6 people, with the possibility of a private tour. In this way, the guide can be more dedicated to you, making it easier to agree on how you will coordinate the tour.

Like the previous one, it lasts 2 hours, and the price includes an entrance ticket and a skip-the-line ticket. The focus is on the Great Theater and Forum and all other places of interest. This tour is excellent for couples, smaller groups and families with children.

Pompeii tours vary and price, and this one costs 57 euros per person. Children must be accompanied, and the ticket for them is 14 euros for children from 4 to 11 years old.

Book Small-Group Tour here

Small-Group Tour with an Archeologist

3. Exclusive Pompeii and Villa Mysteries with an Archaeologist

If you are a fan of mystery and art, this tour is for you. It lasts 3 hours and brings you through the rich past of this place. Your starting point is Porta Marina Inferiore, and then you move through the cobbled street to the homes where you can see the domestic style and the artefacts and frescoes that many archaeologists and historians are discussing.

What is extraordinary is that you also get a plus ticket, i.e. entrance to the famous Villa of the Mysteries, where your dedicated guide will explain the theories about the creation and interpretation of the colourful frescoes.

The tour price is 109 euros, including entry ticket, skip the line and plus ticket. This tour accommodates 12 people and cannot be booked for children. I recommend it for your Pompeii trip with friends.

Book Semi-Private Tour here

Exclusive Pompeii and Villa Mysteries with an Archaeologist

4. Pompeii: Small-Group Tour of Pompeii and Herculaneum

If you have a little more time, then you can visit more than just Pompeii. Why not jump to Herculaneum, as well? The tour lasts 5 hours, with a short break for lunch and some souvenir shopping.

First, you start with a tour of Pompeii and all the sites that were included in the first 2 Pompeii tours I mentioned. Then, you have a short 20-minute ride with the Circumvesuviana train, which will help you reach Ercalado, where the walking tour for Herculaneum begins. Although this place has also experienced destruction from the volcanic eruption in 79 AD, it is still better preserved.

Here, you can find fully preserved frescoes, mosaics and testimonies of the opulent lifestyle of the citizens on the second floor of the houses. If there was a poorer class in Pompeii, only the rich lived there. Both localities have been UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1997.

Back to the tour: It is available in English, can accommodate 15-20 visitors, and costs 105 euros, with the current 100 euros per person discount.

I recommend it to art lovers and those wanting to learn more.

Book Small-Group Tour here

Pompeii Small-Group Tour of Pompeii and Herculaneum

5. Pompeii & Herculaneum Private Guided Tour

This tour is similar to the previous one, but in a more intimate atmosphere, with the possibility that your guide will be more dedicated to you. It starts from the meeting point at the Suisse restaurant, where you explore the critical buildings in Pompeii, followed by a short break for lunch (not included in the price), a 20 min train ride (included in the price) to the second point Herculaneum. Here, you will be amazed by the preservation of frescoes, bodies of victims, jewellery, marble and mosaics. This place is also known for its wooden works, a luxury only for the rich.

The tour lasts 5 hours, with a small break for lunch, and can accommodate a maximum of 15 people. The price is 90 euros.

Book Pompeii and Herculaneum Guided Tour here

Pompeii & Herculaneum Private Guided Tour

6. Pompeii: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket with App Audio Guide

Want to explore the heritage site at your own pace without waiting for the crowds? Well, this Pompeii tour is perfect for you. Buy a skip-the-line ticket that includes an audio guide. If you want to visit more places, take a break whenever you want or take pictures. Simply buy a ticket online for only 31 euros and receive complete instructions on WhatsApp the day before the visit. The card is non-refundable and valid for one day- only for the date you booked it.

As soon as you arrive at Pompeii, redeem your ticket at the official ticket office and download the audio tour beforehand because the location does not have WIFI, and the network may be poor. Bring your own headphones, as the offer does not provide them.

This is an excellent option for those travellers who can organise everything themselves and want to be in control of things. You can even gift the card to a friend as a voucher.

Book Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket here

Pompeii Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket with App Audio Guide

7. Pompeii: Virtual Museum Entry Ticket

Do you want to go back 2000 years ago and be a spectator of the real life of Pompeii, experience the daily rhythms, stroll through the streets, and immortalise the reconstructions of the Forum, the Amphitheater, or the baths? All this is provided in the 30-minute 3D projection in the Virtual Museum of Pompeii. You can buy the tour for only 12 euros, and there are options for “reserve now, pay later” and 24 hours earlier cancellation.

To enter, you just need to show your passport for identification and verification of the online map. You may not enter with large luggage, bring a dog, eat and take pictures. What I want to single out as a highlight is the end of the projection, where the Vuklan eruption is quite realistically captured.

Book Pompeii: Virtual Museum ticket here
Pompeii Virtual Museum Entry Ticket
Image from GetYouGuide

8. Pompeii & Herculaneum Shore Pompeii Excursion with Archaeologist

You came to Napoli to enjoy it to the fullest and want to dedicate a day to history. Well, book this tour that lasts 7 hours and offers direct transportation to the region’s two most important historical sites: Pompeii and Herculaneum. A minivan with a maximum of 8 people will come to pick you up at Naples Central Station.

It takes you directly to Pompeii, where you can skip the line without waiting in the crowds. Here, you have 2 hours of sightseeing in a group of a maximum of 20 people and 1 hour for lunch (which is not included in the price).

Then, with organised transport, you go to the second point where you have 2 hours to explore the place before you return. If you come in the summer months by the water, I recommend that you take sunscreen, a sun hat, and sunglasses.

The tour costs 149 euros per person or 69 euros for infants and 124 for children and teenagers. This one is also often sold out, so book early.

Book Pompeii & Herculaneum Tour here

Pompeii & Herculaneum Shore Pompeii Excursion with Archaeologist

9. Pompeii & Vesuvius: Tour from Naples

Apart from Pompeii, why not discover the majesty of Vesuvius? With this tour, you can spend almost the whole day (8 hours) learning new things. The tour starts at 8 am, and you can be picked up from most locations in Napoli. Your guide will be waiting for you in Pompeii and there, you have a 2 hour walk.

You can choose a live guide in English, Italian or Spanish or an audio tour in English, French, Italian or Spanish. After Pompeii, you have an organized paid lunch, then go on a 1.5-hour easy walk on Vesuvius.

You can choose whether you want to explore the ruins in a small, medium or large group, or perhaps you’re more interested in a private tour. The arrangement price is 90 euros per person, and for children under 3 it’s free.

Book Pompeii and Vesuvius Tour here

Pompeii & Vesuvius Tour from Naples

10. Day Tour of Pompeii and Vesuvius with Bus Transfer

This is a slightly better option for those who want to visit Pompeii and Vesuvius together and not get tired of walking. This tour includes bus transportation and departure from Pompeii. An Italian or English-speaking guide awaits you here. You have a 2-hour Pompeii guided tour and then 1.5 hours of free time. Then go to Vesuvius Crater. At 5 pm the bus takes you back to Pompeii.

The price is 96 euros per person

Book Pompeii and Vesuvius Tour with Bus Transfer here

Day Tour of Pompeii and Vesuvius with Bus Transfer

11. Pompeii: Happy Tour for Children

You were worried that your children would quickly tire of hearing historical stories, so you planned to leave Pompeii for another time. Well, now you don’t have to. You have a tour that lasts 2 or 3 hours and offers a private guide for your family with the possibility of exciting stories and taking breaks. You also get the skip-the-line ticket!

Pompeii Tours are available in English, Italian, French, Spanish and German and start at 9 am, 12 pm and 2 pm. What is mandatory is that children must be under parental supervision at all times. If you choose this one, don’t forget to bring your children’s ID as well. The price for the tour is 247 euros.

Book Pompeii: Happy Tour for Children here
Pompeii Happy Tour for Children
Image from GetYourGuide

12. Pompeii: Virtual Reality Walking Tour with Entry Ticket

Experience Pompeii in an entirely new way. Allow yourself this 360-degree experience for 306 euros. The private tour lasts 2.5 hours and shows you the most critical locations throughout the years. Pass through the Forum of the time, feel the brothel’s nightlife and live the emotion of virtual reality technology. You will be accompanied by a special guide-storyteller in English or Italian.

Book Virtual Reality here

Virtual Reality Walking Tour with Entry Ticket

13. Pompeii Private 4-Hour Shore Pompeii Excursion from Naples

This tour includes transportation from your hotel to Pompeii and back. You also get a skip-the-line guide in English, Italian and Spanish. The whole tour lasts 4 hours and costs 290 euros.

Book 4-Hour Tour here

ompeii Private 4-Hour Shore Pompeii Excursion from Naples

14. Pompeii, Herculaneum & Mt. Vesuvius: All-Inclusive Tour

This tour includes 3 things in one plus transport from Naples and back. Also, you’re entitled to a skip-the-line ticket and guide in Italian, English, French or German. You also have a lunch break, and bottled water is included in the price. The price of the entire engagement is 811 euros or, with the current discount, 648 euros.

Book All-Inclusive Tour here

Pompeii, Herculaneum & Mt. Vesuvius All-Inclusive Tour

Prices and activities (comparison of  all tours)*

These tours are all well-worth it for visitors who want to make the most of their trips to the Pompeii. If you’re short on time and want to make a quick decision, this comparison of the trips will prove decisive.

Compare GuideSkip The Line Ticket Price per person Duration
Entry Ticket and Guided Tour with an ArchaeologistExpert GuideYes€ 51.48 ($55.19)2 hours
Small-Group Tour with an ArcheologistExpert GuideYes€ 56.53 ($60.60)2 hours
Exclusive Pompeii and Villa Mysteries with an ArchaeologistExpert GuideYes€ 99.19 ($106.34)3 hours
Small-Group Tour of Pompeii and HerculaneumExpert GuideYes€ 99.75 ($106.94)5.5 hours
Pompeii & Herculaneum Private Guided TourExpert GuideYes€ 90 ($96.49)5 hours
Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket with App Audio GuideAudio GuideYes€ 31 ($33.23)
Pompeii: Virtual Museum ticket
NoneYes€ 12 ($12.86)30 minutes - 4 hours
Pompeii & Herculaneum Shore Pompeii Excursion with ArchaeologistExpert GuideYes€ 149 ($159.74)7 hours
Pompeii & Vesuvius: Tour from NaplesExpert Guide, Audio Guide (Optional)No€ 100 ($107.21)8 hours
Day Tour of Pompeii and Vesuvius with Bus TransferExpert GuideYes€ 96 ($102.92)6 hours
Pompeii: Happy Tour for ChildrenExpert GuideYes€ 257 ($275.52)2 hours
Pompeii: Virtual Reality Walking Tour with Entry TicketAudio GuideYes€ 46 ($49.32)2 hours
Pompeii Private 4-Hour Shore Pompeii Excursion from NaplesExpert GuideYes€ 314 ($336.63)4 hours
Pompeii, Herculaneum & Mt. Vesuvius: All-Inclusive TourExpert GuideYes€ 811 ($869.45)8 hours

*Depending on the timing of your tour, this information may vary.


Here we share with you the most asked questions:

How long does it take to visit Pompeii on a guided tour?

The duration of a guided tour of Pompeii varies depending on the tour package you choose. Basic tours typically last around 2 hours, while more comprehensive tours, such as those including Herculaneum or Villa Mysteries, can extend to 5 hours or more.

What should I bring with me for a Pompeii tour?

It's recommended to wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking on uneven terrain, especially considering the cobblestone streets of Pompeii. Additionally, bringing water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a valid form of identification, especially for children, is advisable.

Are Pompeii tours accessible for people with disabilities or those requiring assistive means of transport?

Unfortunately, Pompeii tours may not be suitable for individuals with disabilities or those who rely on assistive means of transport. The ancient city's terrain, including uneven pathways and steps, may present challenges for accessibility.

How do I get to Pompeii from Naples?

The most common way to reach Pompeii from Naples is by taking the Circumvesuviana train heading towards Sorrento. The journey typically takes around 30 minutes, and visitors should alight at the Scavi-Villa dei Misteri station. Alternatively, tours offering direct transportation from Naples, including minivans or buses, are available for a more convenient option.

Summary: Best Pompeii Tours

Now you have enough information to book one of the featured Pompeii tours and visit this UNESCO World Heritage site. It has always been interesting to see how civilizations used to live, and it wasn’t just any sophisticated Roman civilization. Before you go, read some facts about the place and don’t forget to do some research.

For more such localities and hidden gems in Italy and Europe, visit my blog and read the rest of the articles.

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