Visiting Ercolano (Herculaneum) Italy

What to expect, tickets, and getting to Ercolano (Herculaneum)


Ercolano (Herculaneum)

Fewer visitors than Pompeii: Ercolano (Herculaneum) Scavi

 

On this page

Official website (in Italian)- Ercolano (Herculaneum)


Ercolano, known to many as Herculaneum, is just a few miles from Pompeii and 150 miles south of Rome, close to Naples.


In many respects Ercolano is a smaller version of Pompeii, both are buried Roman cities that have been remarkably preserved when excavated.


A lot of people prefer Ercolano to Pompeii as it is a much more compact site and has significantly less visitors. Both sites are managed by the same people and it is easy to visit both in one day using a combined ticket and the local train which connects both.

Visiting Ercolano (Herculaneum) - Logistics of a visit

Ercolano is in the middle of the town of Ercolano. If you do not come on a tour bus walk from the local Circumvesuviana railway station, Ercolano Scavi, (more details further down the page).

Despite what the local touts may tell you its a 10 minute walk straight down the main street of Ercaolano.


Ercolano opening times?

Ercolano is open every day except 25th December, 1st January and 1st May.

From 1st April to 31st October the site is open 9.00 - 7.30pm (with last entrance 6pm).

At other times the site is open 9.00 - 5:30 pm (with last entrance 3.30pm).


There are not the queues as at Pompeii mid-morning and there is no tourist tat village outside the gates.

 

Do I need a tour guide? / audio guides

Ercolano Bar

Ercolano Bar

Ercolano (Herculaneum) Audio Guide

Audio guide: Pompeii/ Herculaneum

There is very little in the way of information within Ercolano describing what you are viewing.

If you want to make sense of what you are viewing you really do need a tour guide, an audio guide or a very good guide book. No audio guide is provided with admission.


For most independent visitors who want information about what they are seeing (recommended) the audio tours seem to be the most popular guide. You hire them at a separate kiosk after going the the ticket gate.


Once you leave the visitor facilities section, if you are not with a guide make sure you obtain a map of the site.


Facilities within Ercolano and at entrance gates

Facilities within the complex are basic, one small restaurant and cafe, rest room facilities, a bookshop/gift shop and that's about it. The restaurant and cafe often doesn't even bother opening even when there are significant visitors.


This is not Disneyland, don't expect ice-cream stands and other commercial distractions scattered around the ruins.


The excavated town of Ercolano is well below the current level of the modern town. The entrance gates, ticket offices, gift shop, toilets, audio-guide kiosk and-restaurant are on the modern ground level and look down on the excavated city below.


The whole site is very exposed, only the ruins provide any shade, so it is imperative you bring lots of sunscreen, a hat and water..

 

Luggage and bags

Luggage or bags larger than 30x30x15cm are not allowed into Pompeii.

There is a cloakroom at the entrance gates where you can leave bags.

Ercolano (Herculaneum) ticketing

For the current ticket prices, click through on the official website link at the top of the page.


You can order Pompeii tickets and tours to suit your needs in advance. No queueing and waiting, no foreign exchange issues.


Pompeii Entrance Tickets

Pompeii & Ercolano (Herculaneum) guided tour from Naples


Day Tour From Naples To Pompeii & Herculaneum

Unico Artecard - 3 day tourist pass for Naples, Pompeii etc, including public transport

Aimed squarely at the visitor to Naples this pass combines public transport in Naples for 3 days, (including the Naples airport bus) plus entry to two attractions from a long list that includes the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum.


From the third attraction onwards you enjoy up to a 50% discount on standard tickets.


Unico Artcard Naples

Getting to Ercolano (Herculaneum)

Circumvesuviana train

Circumvesuviana train

If you are not visiting on a tour then the best way to visit is probably the Circumvesuviana trains. This is a network of several lines in the Naples region, with Naples as the hub. The line to Ercolano goes from Naples to Sorrento.


There are two train stations called Ercolano, you want Ercolano Scavi.


Trains go twice an hour between about 6am and 9.30pm Trains are crowded, be prepared to have to stand for much of the journey.

 

Journey times are about 20 minutes to Naples and 50 minutes to Sorrento.


From the station entrance walk down the station approach road to a small roundabout style junction, cross straight over and down the main street directly opposite. Soon you'll get some reassuring signs so you know you are walking in the right direction.

Circumvesuviana trains - full details

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