While Rome has its fair share of attractions stretching back to antiquity, there’s much more to see across the country – and one of the big-hitter ancient sites is Pompeii. If you’re in Rome and you feel like making your way to this amazingly well-preserved hub of historic intrigue, luckily for you it can be done on a day trip.
If you are looking for the best way of getting from Rome to Pompeii, you are in the right place. I will highlight every mode of transportation available, so you will know which one is the most suitable to your travel needs and your budget.
How To Get From Rome To Pompeii
Take the train from Rome to Pompeii
The easiest way to travel is to take the train from Rome to Pompeii. This is probably the most common (and most straightforward) way to travel between the two destinations. First of all, you have to get yourself to Roma Termini station and then catch a train to Napoli Centrale.
The train you want is a high-speed train, the Trenitalia Frecciarossa. The journey from Termini to Napoli Centrale takes around 70 minutes. Tickets vary in price depending on the class you opt for, but generally they start at around €20, if you book in advance for a specific train.
Reservation is required for the Trenitalia Frecciarossa, but there are usually spaces available just before departure. You can buy your train ticket on your day of travel, but this way things get quite expensive; in fact, you can expect to pay around €45 each way.
Trains leave every half an hour from Roma Termini, and there are around 16 trains per day. The first Frecciarossa Train leaves at 7:00 am, while the last train bound for Roma leaves Napoli Centrale at 10:35 pm.
Make sure to get the high-speed Trenitalia option, if you want to get there as quickly as possible. That’s because other options are much slower: the Intercity, takes around two hours (tickets start around €18); the Interregional train, which is the budget option (starting at about €10), takes much longer – around four hours to be exact.
Make sure to read my post How Many Train Stations Are There In Rome?
Once you’ve arrived in Napoli Centrale, you’ll have to transfer to make the onward journey to Pompeii itself. You’ll need to go downstairs to the Circumvesuviana local railway station, Napoli Porta Garibaldi, situated beneath the mainline station of Napoli Centrale (the route is well signposted).
Trains run from Napoli Porta Garibaldi to Pompei Scavi (bound for Sorrento) around every 30 minutes. The regular service takes 36 minutes, with the fare costing around €2.80 each way. The first train to Pompeii leaves Napoli Porta Garibaldi at 5:57 am, with the last train leaving Pompei Scavi (for Napoli Porta Garibaldi) at 9:09 pm.
Since it’s a local train, you don’t have to pre-book this ticket (there is no reserved seating). All you have to do is turn up at the station and buy a ticket from the ticket office; then you simply go through the turnstile and hop on the train. There’s no ticket booth at Pompeii Scavi station, so make sure you buy a round-trip ticket when buying your tickets at Napoli Porta Garibaldi.
Word of warning: make sure you get off at Pompei Scavi! Don’t confuse this with the new Pompeii station (it’s just called Pompei), which is on another line altogether. The train you want is bound for Sorrento.
Circumvesuviana trains are managed by the Ente Autonomo Volturno (EAV). You will find the exact timetable and the prices of tickets on the EAV website here. Look for the trains from Naples to Sorrento as they are the ones that stop at Pompei Scavi.
Once you’ve arrived at Pompei Scavi station, the main entrance to the ruins is just 100 meters from the station on your right.
Finally, once you are in Pompeii consider joining a guided tour: the site is massive and there is a lot to see, and having a guide will make your experience a whole lot better!
For the best guided tour of Pompeii, click here.
For more guided tours of Pompeii, click here.
How to travel back from Pompeii to Rome
The best way to travel back to Rome from Pompeii is to get the train back. In short, you basically make the above journey in reverse. So you head to Pompei Scavi station, hop on a train heading for Napoli Porta Garibaldi. Then you head upstairs to Napoli Centrale, to board the train you’ve pre-booked back to Roma Termini.
But if you don’t want to have a specific time to leave, you could always hop on one of the Intercity trains back. It takes a little longer, but it’s much cheaper and you won’t need to worry about (maybe) not having a seat due to purchasing a ticket on the day, or missing your train because you’ve booked it for a precise time.
Join a guided tour from Rome to Pompeii
If you don’t feel like making your way on a day trip from Roma to Pompeii independently, then you could opt for a guided tour instead. There are many, many different tours to choose from, many of which include stops other than Pompeii on their varying itineraries.
Some tours include transportation via a shuttle bus with hotel pickup, others will actually be by train from Rome to Pompeii, but you will have someone with you to help you navigate the train stations. Tours start at €110, depending on the transportation option, group size etc.
Here are a few examples of guided tours.
Pompeii and Vesuvius day trip
This trip takes you to Pompeii in a private bus. It’s a small group tour complete with a guide who’ll show you around the ancient city (also with skip-the-line entry). Once your tour of Pompeii is complete, you’ll then be driven up the slopes of Mount Vesuvius itself and into Vesuvius National Park.
From there, you’ll embark on a short hike to an active crater – on a clear day you can see all the way to Capri and Sorrento. In the winter months, when Vesuvius is shut for visitors, the tour instead takes you along the coastline to Naples.
For a guided tour of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius from Rome, click here.
Pompeii and Amalfi Coast day trip
This full-day trip is managed by reputable company Walks of Italy. The tour starts at around 7 in the morning, when you’ll be picked up from your accommodation in Rome and driven by bus to Pompeii.
Here your expert guide will show you around the archaeological site, and tell you stories and point out interesting historic facts. It’s a skip-the-line ticket, so you won’t have to worry about waiting around.
Afterwards, you’ll be driven along the Amalfi Coast, stopping off at Positano to indulge in a few local delicacies and a spot of shopping. From here, you’ll be driven back to Rome.
For a guided tour of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast departing from Rome, click here.
You should also read my post A Day Trip From Rome To Amalfi Coast.
Sorrento and Pompeii day trip
This particular trip whisks you from Rome by high-speed train to the ancient ruins of Pompeii. From there, the guide will take you and the small group (limited to 15 people) around this incredible attraction; a skip-the-line ticket is included, and the tour takes around two hours.
After a break for refreshments, you and the tour group will be taken to Sorrento, which marks the gateway to the UNESCO-recognized Amalfi Coast. After soaking up the history of the alleyways of Sorrento – and grabbing a bite to eat – you’ll return to Rome for the evening.
You can book this guided day trip on Viator here.
Shared transfer to Pompeii from Rome
If you don’t want to deal with train timetables and changes or join a guided tour, you have an in-between option that is quite convenient – though not very cheap.
Grey Line I Love Rome runs a round-trip transfer between Rome and Pompeii that departs at 7:30 am every day and costs €79 – and it also includes your skip-the-line ticket to access the site.
You will travel in an air-conditioned bus and have a tour leader sharing plenty of details about the trip, and will keep you informed about the journey back to the capital.
You can book your shared transfer to Pompeii from Rome here.
Drive from Rome to Pompeii
Unless you are planning on spending the night in Naples or continuing on to Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast, I don’t really recommend driving from Rome to Pompeii. It will take you about two hours and 40 minutes, one way.
While the capital is relatively close to Pompeii (just 241 km, which is around 150 miles), traffic may be an issue, especially as you get closer to Naples. You will also have to factor in the costs not only of the car rental, but also of the tolls and of parking.
Driving is actually quite straightforward: you will have to follow the E45 – it’s an autostrada (a motorway). Make sure to carry some spare change to pay the tolls located along the way. If you have a car, you can also easily get to Mount Vesuvius, which is an easy hike!
Make sure to read my post Should You Rent A Car In Rome?
Take the bus from Rome to Pompeii
I don’t really recommend traveling by bus to Pompeii if you intend to visit on a day trip. The bus takes over three hours, depending on traffic.
Direct buses from Rome to Pompeii depart from Rome Tiburtina Bus Station. The service is run but Flixbus and Marozzi Viaggi e Turismo. Flixbus runs at 8:00 am and gets into Pompeii at 11:20 am; a ticket costs €30. There is also a 7:00 am bus run by Marozzi that takes you to Pompeii by 10:00 am, and a ticket costs €36.
Another option would be to take the bus from Rome to Naples and from there opt to take the train or another bus to Pompeii, but the trip would be even longer!
The bus back from Pompeii departs at 4:50 pm (Marozzi) or at 6:00 pm (Flixbus).
You can check the schedule and prices of the buses to Pompeii on the Omio app here.