When I was growing up, I wanted to be an archeologist. I loved history, and the thought of uncovering temples and tombs in jungles excited me. I used to read books on Greek and Roman history and have discussions with my history teacher, even as young as 13. In short, I was a huge geek from the get-go.
Being such a huge history geek, visiting Pompeii, the city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, has always been high on my list of things to do. The falling ash came so quickly it preserved the city just as it was. It’s a city frozen in time.
After what seems like a lifetime of waiting, I finally got to see it.
Now, I’ve traveled the world for a while and have seen plenty of marvelous ruins over the years. But this is one of the best.
The buildings, the frescoes, the streets, the pots, the bodies (yes, you’ll see bodies here) — everything is so well preserved. And even though a lack of upkeep has taken its toll on the site, I still found it a fascinating place to spend the day. My only hope is that the Italian government will get its act together to keep this site from falling into further disrepair.
Located near Naples in Italy, Pompeii takes a full day to see. If you truly want to indulge your inner Indiana Jones and visit every building here, schedule an extra half day.
I saw a lot on my full day, but there was a lot that I missed. To help you make the most of your visit,here are some of the main highlights of Pompei!
Table of ContentsThe Top Attractions in PompeiiTips for Visiting PompeiiHow to Get to PompeiiVisiting Pompeii FAQ
The Top 12 Attractions in Pompeii
Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most visited houses in all of Pompeii (It was probably just as popular before the eruption — no pun intended — too!).
The Forum Baths
While the forum baths are the smallest of the various bath ruins in Pompeii, they are arguably the most elegant. There were separate areas for men and women, including separate entrances. The bath not only had hot baths but also cold and tepid baths as well.
The Villa of the Mysteries
The villa was excavated long after the rest of the city (excavation of the villa began in 1909). Since it’s a bit of walk, there weren’t that many people here either.
The Stabian Baths
The bath area also had a gym and workout area (for wrestling, as well) and a large, almost Olympic-sized, swimming pool.
House of the Small Fountain
The sloped roof was used to collect rainwater, which was also used in the fountain, a great example of innovation at the time.
House of the Faun
It’s one of the most complete surviving examples of a wealthy and luxurious private residence from the time — even better preserved than many sites in Rome itself!
Garden of the Fugitives
House of Venus in the Shell
The house was actually under renovation when Vesuvius erupted and was also damaged during the bombing in World War II (though it was restored in the 1950s).
It’s also a great place to escape the crowds as not so many tourists make it here.
House of Sallustio
Tips for Visiting Pompeii
Watch out for closings – Not all the attractions are open as they say they are. I found a number of places you were supposed to be able to get into closed. They even started closing one while I was looking around.Start in the back – To avoid the crowds, move from the farthest temples toward the front. The majority of people stick to the center of Pompeii, and you can visit the main area when the crowds have gone by late afternoon.Don’t do the audio guide – I bought the audio tour for 10 EUR and found it to be a waste of time. The free book they give you includes enough information. The audio guide doesn’t explain much more.Limited time? Do a guided tour – I listened to a number of guided tours while I was walking around and I was impressed with their knowledge. Plus, I like being able to ask questions that can further explain things. The guided tours simply take you to the highlights, unless you do a personal tour.Bring lots of water – During the summer, it gets scorchingly hot. Bring lots of water and some sunscreen to avoid being burnt.Take the train – This is the easiest way to visit. Just make sure you go to Pompei Scavi – Villa Dei Misteri station as the main Pompeii station will just take you to the modern city.Don’t bring a large backpack – Security likely won’t let you bring in a large rucksack, so only come with a smaller purse or day bag.Choose your tour carefully – If you’re going to do a tour, do an official tour from inside the gate. There are plenty of tours offered outside of the gate, but they are much larger and not as good (though they are cheaper).
How to Get to Pompeii
You’ll want to get off at the Pompei Scavi/Villa dei Misteri stop, which is just a 5-minute walk from the heritage site. The ride will be around 45 minutes.
If you’re coming by car, it’s about a 30-minute drive.
From April to November, the site is open from 9am-6pm on weekdays and 8:30am-6pm on weekends. From November-March, the site is open from 9am-3:30pm on weekdays and 8:30am-3:30pm on weekends.
How long do you need in Pompeii?
Do you have to pay to visit Pompeii?
Should I book a guided tour?
You can either book a guide on arrival (you’ll see a bunch hanging around the entrance) or go with a reputable company like Take Walks. They have a comprehensive and informative 3-hour tour of the site as well as a full-day tour that includes Pompeii and a drive along the Amalfi Coast.
Do you need to book tickets for Pompeii?
How many tourists visit Pompeii each year?
When should I visit Pompeii?
In the time I was there, I barely scratched the surface of Pompeii, and I filled a whole day! One day, I’d love to go back and visit all the buildings I missed. But then again, I’m a history geek and could spend days upon days among ruins. If you don’t live and breathe history like I do, one day would be enough to see the highlights.
Make sure you move away from the city center to see some of the lesser known and less crowded sites. Walking among the ruins is an eerie but beautiful feeling.(责任编辑：admin)