Buy skip-the-line tickets for Pompeii, book guided tours, or use combination entrance fees with the Herculaneum to avoid the queues and save money on ticket prices when visiting the archaeological excavations parks and sites near Naples in Italy.
The Pompeii archeological site near Naples is one of the top sights to see in Italy. The excavations of Pompeii are a popular day-trip destination from Naples, Sorrento, and the Amalfi coast but may also be seen on long day trips from Rome or even Florence. Tickets are the cheapest when bought directly at Pompeii and although time-slot reservations are no longer possible, visitors with advance-purchased online tickets skip the queues. The Campania Arte Card is a fantastic savings deal valid at Pompeii, and several other major cultural sites, as well as on public transportation. Guided tours are also an easy way to ensure priority admission to the archaeological site of Pompeii.
Buy Pompeii Excavation Entrance Tickets in 2024
The entrance tickets and passes to visit the excavations of Pompeii changed and in 2024 the following basic ticket options are available:
- Pompeii Express (€18) — covers most of the excavations of Pompeii but NOT the Villa dei Misteri area. Many visitors may find this sufficient.
- Pompeii Plus (€22) — includes the Pompeii Express area as well as the Villa dei Misteri, Villa di Diomede, and Villa Regina in Boscoreale with the Antiquarium. A very full day of sightseeing.
- Grande Pompei (€26) — includes the Pompeii Plus sites as well as Oplontis (Villa di Poppea) and Stabia (Villa San Marco, Villa Arianna, and Libero D’Orsi Museum). It is valid for three days. A similar My Pompeii Card is €35 and valid for a year.
A free shuttle bus is available for ticketholders to connect between Pompei, Boscoreale, Oplontis, and Stabia.
Cheapest Pompeii Excavation Entrance Tickets and Tours
The cheapest admission tickets to visit the excavations of Pompeii are sold at the ticket windows at the archaeological site. The basic price is €18 for adults. Reduced tickets are not sold online, including the €2 entrance fee for EU nationals (or residents) 18 to 24 and free admission for children under 18. For these savings deals, it is still necessary to queue up (or arrive early morning / late afternoon) or buy at a premium from online resellers.
Time-slot reservation tickets are currently not sold — online advanced purchase tickets are valid for admission at any time on the specified calendar day.
Almost everybody visiting the ruins of Pompeii needs a paper ticket from the ticket window – most online vouchers and mobile tickets must be exchanged at the fast lane before proceeding to the ticket checkpoints. Such tickets usually specify which of the three admission gates must be used.
→ See Tips on Visiting the Pompeii Excavations for tips, ideas, and strategies to make a visit to the archaeological site cheaper and more enjoyable.
Save with the Campania Arte Card at Pompeii
Possibly the best discount ticket offer for individual travelers interested in Pompeii and other major cultural sights in the Naples region is the Campania Arte Card. It comes in several versions but for most, the three-day regional card is the more interesting: it includes free admission to the first two sites visited and then up to 50% discount on further sites plus free transportation on most buses, funiculars, and regional trains in Naples and the Campania region including Napoli to Pompei Scavi.
The Campania Arte ticket more than pays for itself with a visit to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the National Archaeological Museum in Naples with the additional benefit of never having to queue up to buy train tickets.
The Campania Arte card must still be presented at the museum ticket counter – fast lanes may be used, or simply go to the front of the queue (embarrassing but legitimately) if no specific fast lane is set up.
Note: it is highly advisable, and sometimes essential, that time-slot reservations are made at major museum or venue websites when using the Campania Arte Card. Either a special option is available, or select any free ticket to gain the time slot.
→ See Saving with the Campania Arte Card for more details on this highly recommended special deal, which is now also conveniently available as an app.
Save with Combination Entrance Tickets at Pompeii
It is possible to save on Pompeii admission by buying combination tickets with other sites but the number of options has been reduced recently. Pompeii and Herculaneum or Pompeii and Vesuvius combination tickets are popular and available online but these are not official discount tickets currently offered at either site. It still requires the bearer to exchange the voucher for a physical ticket via the fast lane at the two sites.
The Campania Arte card is probably a better savings deal for most.
Advance Purchase Skip-the-Line Tickets and Tours for Pompeii
Online advance purchase tickets are strongly recommended, as ticket queues move slowly while fast lanes are available for visitors with ticket reservations. Specific time slot reservations are not currently sold with advance tickets valid for the whole calendar day. Any advance purchase skip-the-line ticket for Pompeii comes with a surcharge. This is fair value at very busy times but not on quiet days, or when arriving early morning or later in the afternoon outside the high season. At busy times, even skip-the-line tickets will not guarantee immediate admissions if too many people are still inside the park — this is particularly a problem late morning, early afternoon on free Sundays.
Advance purchase skip-the-line admission tickets to Pompeii with an audio guide are also offered — note where to pick up the guide, it is often before the ticket barriers.
Book Guided Tours to Visit Pompeii
Guided tours to Pompeii make a lot of sense even to individual travelers who usually prefer to go it alone. A guide could sort out tickets in advance and give visitors a good overview of the site and which sights are the most interesting to see.
When booking tours, pay careful attention to whether the admission tickets are included or need to be purchased separately at Pompeii and other sites. Tours are good at mentioning what is included — assume anything not mentioned is excluded.
Guided tours usually spend two hours at Pompeii, if meeting in Pompei. Half-day tours from Naples including transportation could be as quick as three hours. After shorter tours, visitors are free to remain inside the site at the end of the tour to explore further. Even if transportation was included in the tour, returning to Naples or Sorrento by train is easy and cheap (less than €3).
For families and small groups, a private tour or family-orientated tour may be worth the extra expense – it allows a more personal program and no waiting for other group members more interested in taking selfies, going to the shops, etc.
If a private tour is too expensive, consider a small group tour — these are often hardly more expensive than a larger bus group tour.
Pompeii works best as a day trip from Naples or Sorrento but it is also possible to see Pompeii on a long day trip from Rome – for small groups, a private tour may be a better choice (and for groups of six often a cheaper option too) than a standard bus group tour. Rome to Pompeii and back to Rome may also be done in an express tour — high-speed trains are much faster than bus returns. From Rome, the better value may be to combine Pompeii with further sights in the region such as Herculaneum, Vesuvius, the Amalfi Coast, Limoncello tastings, or Naples.
Round-trip shuttle services are also available from Rome for travelers preferring to make their own arrangements at Pompeii without having to deal with trains.
For More on Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Naples:
- Save with the Campania Arte Card on Sightseeing Ticket and Transportation — in 2024 only available as a mobile phone app — buy the Campania Arte Card online.
- Pompeii Excavations Archaeological Site: Top Tips on Visiting Pompeii, Buying Tickets and Booking Tours & Cheap Transportation to Pompeii. Note: New Pompeii Ticket system in 2024!
- Herculaneum Archaeological Site (Ercolano): Tips on Buying Tickets and When to Visit & Cheap Transportation to Herculaneum
- Visit the National Museum of Archaeology in Naples – home to the Farnese sculptures and the best artworks, mosaics, and frescoes from the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
- Book Tours to Pompeii, Herculaneum, or both at Get Your Guide.
- Buy Italian train tickets in English at Trainline — however, not possible for the commuter train to Ercolano or Pompeii — easy to buy at the station or use the Campania Arte Card.