Internal Courtyard in Pompeii Archaeological Park

Naples Cruise Port to Pompeii: Essential DIY Excursion Guide

Disembarking at the Naples Cruise Port opens the door to one of the world’s most incredible historical sites โ€“ Pompeii. This ancient Roman city, frozen in time after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, offers a haunting and unforgettable glimpse into the past.

With its well-preserved ruins, Pompeii is an absolute must-visit for history buffs and anyone who wants to experience a truly unique destination. In this guide, we’ll cover the best ways to get from the Naples Cruise Port to Pompeii so you can make the most of your DIY shore excursion.

Not into ancient history? Then check out my DIY Guide for a day-trip to Sorrento, the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. Or how about a day-trip to Capri instead? Here’s my Naples Cruise Port to Capri Essential DIY Day Trip Guide.

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Naples Cruise Port: Is a DIY Excursion Easy? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Straightforward)

Naples Cruise Port with views of Mount Vesuvius
Photo by Kelly

Planning a DIY shore excursion from Naples to Pompeii? Rest assured, it’s incredibly straightforward. Here’s why I rate it ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž:

  • Simple Transport: Catch the metro directly across from the cruise port and connect to the Circumvesuviana train. You’ll be steps away from the Pompeii entrance in no time!
  • DIY-Friendly Resources: Explore at your own pace with the help of official maps, the Pompeii app, and even free audio tours. I’ve got the links ready for you below!
  • Birthplace of Pizza: Let’s be honest, Naples might not be the most glamorous Italian city, but hey, it gave the world pizza! ๐Ÿ• Who needs stunning architecture when you have pizza this good? And I’ve got the best Napoli pizza places for you!

Naples Cruise Port Essentials: All You Need to Know

Naples Cruise Port Address: 80133 Naples, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

  • Currency: Euros
  • Language: Italian
  • Official websites: Regional train website EAV is most helpful for train schedules & ticket information. Pompeii Archaeological Park’s official website have good maps to download
  • Recommended Transport App: I would recommend using Citymapper to navigate around the city. Google Maps also worked fine!
  • eSIM for roaming in Italy: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when youโ€™re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout
  • My Naples Map: ๐Ÿ‘‡ Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version. Jump straight to my Pompeii Map below.

Getting from Naples Cruise Port to Pompeii by Train

1. Reaching Naples Train Station

  • Metro: A few minutes walk away is Piazza Municipio. Take metro (Line 1) from the “Municipio” station to “Garibaldi” station (3 stops).
    • Tickets: โ‚ฌ1.50 single ticket; purchase from machine
    • (NEW) Pay via contactless card: To pay by contactless card (Visa/Mastercard/Amex or Apple/Android Pay), you must tap in and tap out using the same card. Not tapping out will mean you’ll be charged the maximum fare. I would recommend using a credit card whenever possible. If you use a debit card, the system seems to take a pre-authorisation of โ‚ฌ15 and refund unused amount a few days later.
    • Follow signs from metro platform to train station concourse.
  • Walk: It’s about a 30 minute walk (1.5 miles, 2.4 km), so this is definitely a fall-back option. If the metro is not operating for any reason, there are multiple buses running from around the cruise port to the station. Use Citymapper to navigate to the closest bus stop.

2. Catching the Circumvesuviana Train

  • Circumvesuviana Train”: You’re now at Napoli Garibaldi station heading to “Pompei Scavi โ€“ Villa dei Misteri” station. The Circumvesuviana train runs from Naples to Sorrento, so if in doubt, look for a train going to Sorrento on the departure boards!
  • Train Frequency: Usually 2-3 trains an hour. Download the timetable here (PDF)
  • Journey Time: Approximately 35 minutes
  • Tickets: Tickets are โ‚ฌ3.30 one-way (NA3 fare zone).
    • Pay by contactless card: Remember to tap in and tap out (at Pompeii station) to be charged the correct fare.
    • Ticket from machine: Purchase a ticket to “Pompei Scavi โ€“ Villa dei Misteri” station. Don’t forget to validate your ticket!

Important Notes:

  • Pay by Contactless card is not yet operating on buses in Naples, except the airport bus but it IS working on the L1 metro line as well as the Circumvesuviana train route between Naples, Pompeii and Sorrento
  • There’s also a “Campania Express” tourist train which runs from Garibaldi station to Sorrento via Pompeii, with guaranteed seating. However, due to infrequent train times (only a few daily), I’m not recommending it. But if you’re interested, click here to find out more.

3. Arriving in Pompeii

The “Pompei Scavi โ€“ Villa dei Misteri” station is located right at the entrance to the Pompeii archaeological site. There are multiple train stations in Pompeii, so if in doubt, use my Pompeii map below to orientate yourself. But it’s impossible to miss the entrance!

My Pompeii Map: ๐Ÿ‘‡ Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger map.

Pompeii Entrance Tickets: Which One is Right for You?

Remains of pottery shop in Pompeii, Italy
Image by Markรฉta Klimeลกovรก from Pixabay

To avoid long queues at the ticket office, I would highly recommend pre-booking tickets online. Tickets are dated but not timed. There are also self service ticket offices at Piazza Esedra and at Piazza Anfiteatro – see my Pompeii map above. There’s two main options suitable for those on a day-trip to Pompeii:

  • Pompeii Express (โ‚ฌ19): This is the basic ticket and grants access to most of the excavated city. It’s perfect if you’re primarily interested in seeing the heart of Pompeii, including the Forum, the Amphitheatre, and various houses and shops.
  • Pompeii Plus (โ‚ฌ23): This ticket offers everything included in the Pompeii Express ticket, PLUS access to the suburban villas located outside the main city walls. These villas, including the Villa dei Misteri, Villa di Diomede, and Villa Regina at Boscoreale (with its Antiquarium museum), offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of wealthy Romans who resided just outside the city center. There is a free shuttle bus connecting the main Pompeii site to the respective villas, during opening hours – check the schedule at the main gate.

Opening Hours: 9am to 7pm daily from April to October, 9am to 5pm daily from November to March.

Reserved Entrance to Pompeii: If you’re worried about long queues at Pompeii, purchase the Pompeii Express ticket with access to the reserved entrance. You’ll find the reserved entrance at Piazza Esedra – turn right on exiting “Pompei Scavi โ€“ Villa dei Misteri” station. It costs โ‚ฌ23.40 for adults, โ‚ฌ3 for kids.

Key Resources for Your Pompeii Visit

Pompeii column ruins, Pompeii, Italy
Image by kingkurt from Pixabay

Make the most of your Pompeii adventure with these handy downloads:

  • Official Pompeii Map: Get your bearings and plan your route with the official map of the archaeological site. Link to Official Bilingual Map (PDF)
  • Official Pompeii App: Enhance your experience with detailed information and interactive features with MyPompeii app (search in your iOS or Android App Store)
  • Rick Steves’ Pompeii Audio Tour: Free to listen to or download to your phone – I loved this informative audio guide by Rick Steve (Go to Listen section). This is the accompanying map to this audio tour.

Download Tip: Download these onto your phone before your trip to save on data roaming!

Pompeii Must-See Sights

Statute within Pompeii Archaeological Park, Italy
Image by Hans-Jรผrgen Schmidt from Pixabay

With so much to explore in Pompeii, here’s just a few of the most iconic and fascinating spots – these are all marked on My Pompeii Map (or use Rick Steve’s Map above):

  • The Forum: The heart of Pompeii, this grand square was the center of political, social, and religious life. Marvel at the ruins of temples, administrative buildings, and the market.
  • The Amphitheatre: One of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world, it could hold up to 20,000 spectators. Imagine the roar of the crowds during gladiatorial contests.
  • House of the Faun: This luxurious villa is named for the bronze statue of a faun found within. Its expansive size and beautiful mosaics offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of Pompeii’s elite.
  • House of the Vettii: Known for its incredibly vivid frescoes and preserved garden, this house provides a fascinating view into the domestic life of wealthy Romans.
  • Garden of the Fugitives: This haunting area contains casts of the victims of the Vesuvius eruption, preserving their final moments in a poignant display.

Tip: If you have more time, explore the baths, bakeries and theatres dotted throughout Pompeii.

(MUST DO) ๐Ÿ•Refuel with Naples’ Legendary Pizza ๐Ÿ•

After an unforgettable journey through Pompeii, it’s time to return to Naples and indulge in Naples’ culinary claim to fame โ€“ authentic Neapolitan pizza! I’ve left the best till last! Here are some spots renowned for their traditional pies – they’re all marked in my ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ๐Ÿ“Naples map above:

  • L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele: Featured in “Eat, Pray, Love,” this historic pizzeria is a Naples institution. Expect a no-frills atmosphere and simple, delicious pizzas. This is walking distance from Naples Central Station.
  • Gino Sorbillo: A favorite among locals, Sorbillo serves up classic Neapolitan pizzas with fresh ingredients and a pillowy crust. It’s also on the Michelin Guide.
  • Pizzeria Brandi: The birthplace of Margherita pizza, named after Queen Margherita using just three toppings: white mozzarella, green basil and red tomato, representing the three colours of the Italian flag. This is walking distance from Naples cruise port.

Featured Image by Graham Hobster from Pixabay

With your Pompeii tickets booked, resources downloaded, and a sense of adventure in your heart, you’re ready to experience a day you’ll never forget. Step back in time, walk the ancient streets, and let the captivating ruins of Pompeii transport you to another era. If this guide has been helpful to you, I’d really appreciate you sharing it with your fellow cruisers! Have a most wonderful cruise stop in Naples and Pompeii!

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