The lost city of Pompeii is one of the well-known and the most re-discovered of the lost cities. Pompeii was an Ancient Roman city that met its demise when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The site was mostly untouched until its rediscovery in the 18th century. It is now a Unesco World Heritage site and is one of the most visited attractions in Italy. If you only have one day to explore this Archaeological Park, here is our Pompeii itinerary.

pompeii mount vesuvius one day itinerary
The Lost City of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius

What to know before you visit

The ancient city is huge! Allow yourself 4-5 hours and you will be able to see most of the main sites mentioned in this Pompeii itinerary.

How to get there

Pompeii is located on the Western coast of Italy between Naples and Sorrento. The best way and cheapest way of getting there is by train.

If coming from Rome there’s fast trains that get you to Naples within 2 hours and cost between 20-30 euros (depending on which train company you use). Once in Naples take the local Circumvesuviana train which takes about 30 minutes. To find this local train you need to go downstairs and walk all the way to the end of the plaza. The train is less than 3 euros each way.

From Sorrento, take the Circumvesuviana train in the opposite direction which should take 45 minutes. You can buy your train ticket from the newsagent’s shop located downstairs in the train station.

Pompeii train getting there
The train is the easier and cheapest way to travel to Pompeii

Entrance costs

15 adult

9 reduced for EU citizens aged between 18-24

Free for under 18s

Every first Sunday of the month is free

The official ticket offices are located within the Pompeii Archaeological Park gates. All other ticket offices such as the ones located by the train station are unofficial. Many of them charge you €20 for the same ticket so avoid using these.


Opening Hours

During the summer months the site is open between 9:00am and 7:30pm (last entrance at 6:00pm). Between the winter months the attraction closes earlier at 5:00pm (last entrance at 3:30pm).


Suitcases and large backpacks and bags over 30cm x 30cm x 15cm are not permitted. However there are free cloakrooms to store your luggage should you need to. There is limited space so bear that in mind and leave your luggage in your accommodation if you can.

Food and Drink

There is a small café and restaurant located within the archaeological park. We decided to bring a picnic though as there’s plenty of picnic areas around the park to eat at.


If you travel by train you’ll enter the park by the Porta Marina entrance.

Wear sensible shoes. The streets are very bumpy so flat shoes are a must. Bring a water bottle and sunscreen. The Archaeological Park is located somewhat inland so it does get hot. Make sure you stay hydrated and have plenty of sunscreen with you.

Pompeii Itinerary for One Day

Pompeii – The Lost City

Starting your visit off in the visitor centre you can see some of the plaster casts on display. These were daunting to view; the impressions of the dead left by this disaster. There’s also an exhibition video and 3D model showing how the buildings would have looked like in ancient times. It’s worth stopping by here first so you can get to grips on how to best plan out your day.

The Archaeological Park is laid out according to regions numbered I-IX so it’s easy to find your way around. Below are some of our must see sites on any visit to Pompeii.

Pompeii itinerary must sees

The Brothel

This is the most visited house on the site. It is the largest of the brothels found within Pompeii and has 10 rooms. The erotic art on the walls is something worth viewing.

The brothel pompeii erotic artwork
Erotic artwork

The Amphitheatre

The Amphitheatre at Pompeii is the oldest surviving Roman Amphitheatre (much older than the Roman Colosseum). Built around 70 BC it is the first one known to be built out of stone. Two modern day concerts have been held here; Pink Floyd in 1971 and the guitarist David Gilmour in 2016. You can read more about these concerts in the exhibition housed inside the Amphitheatre.

The Amphitheatre itinerary one day guide
The oldest surviving Roman Amphitheatre

Villa of the Mysteries

The most preserved murals are found within this villa. Located on the outskirts of the city this villa wasn’t excavated until the early 20th century. These frescos are the best known Ancient Roman paintings.

Villa of the Mysteries fresco pompeii itinerary one day
Ancient Roman frescos

The Forum

The Forum was the heart of any Ancient Roman city where most of the commercial and religious activities took place. The square (or oblong in this case) was surrounded by markets, temples and Municipal buildings. These Municipal Buildings were likely used for meetings, polling stations and other administrative duties.

The forum pompeii ancient lost city itinerary one day guide
The Forum of Pompeii

For more information on the site, visit the official website here.

We hope you enjoyed this Pompeii itinerary. Have you visited Pompeii? Any of your must see sites we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below.

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