Many trips to Italy include a stay in Rome due to its popularity and seemingly endless things to see and do. Another one of the best things to do on an Italian vacation is to see the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii. But Pompeii and Rome are not exactly close to one another. Nonetheless, it’s possible to take a one-day trip from Rome to Pompeii. Here’s how to do it. 

The first question you likely want to know is whether it’s even worth taking so much time out of your Roman vacation to see the ancient city of Pompeii, and we’ll give you our opinion on that. Then we’ll go over some of the most common ways to travel from Rome to Pompeii as well as each one’s pros and cons.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Rome and have considered making the day trip to Pompeii, this guide is for you. You’ll learn everything you need to know about going from Rome to Pompeii.

Is it Worth Going to Pompeii from Rome?

the ancient city of Pompeii Italy

Pompeii is one of the most amazing places to visit in all of Italy, rich with history and full of amazing sights to see. Destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago in 79 AD by the devastating eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii offers visitors a glimpse into history. Frozen in time, you can find the ruins of the ancient city still standing to this day. Or at least what wasn’t destroyed by the volcanic destruction. 

Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius

Pillars of the ancient structures. Stone walls and pathways. Remnants and remains and statues and sculptures that once stood tall. Take a guided tour through the city and delve deep into its history, or explore the ancient city alone. Grab some lunch at the restaurant smack dab in the middle of the ruins. No matter how you plan to do so, visiting Pompeii is a must-do during any Italian vacation near the ancient city.

So the short answer to this question is yes, it’s definitely worth taking a day to leave Rome and take a quick trip down to Pompeii. It’s an experience like no other and is one that you will never forget. All that’s left to decide is how you want to get there and spend your trip.

Here are some of the various transportation options for a Pompeii day trip compared:

OptionTravel TimeCost (approx.)ProsCons
Direct Train2-3 hours€15-30Frequent service, no transfersRequires transit to/from stations
Guided Tour8-10 hours€90-150Hassle-free, guided experienceMore expensive, less flexible
Rental Car2.5-3.5 hours€50-100 + fuelFlexibility, can stop en routeDriving stress, parking fees
Private Transfer2.5-3 hours€200-400Door-to-door convenienceMost expensive option

Rome to Pompeii in a Day Bus Tours

A red bus on the road
Massimo Todaro /

Depending on where you’re staying in Rome, chances are high that you’re close to one of the many bus depots where you can explore various cities and areas of Italy. One such bus tour will take you directly from Rome to Pompeii and back, making it the perfect way to see the ancient city. When it comes to ease of travel and diving deep into the history of Pompeii, a bus tour is the best way to make it happen.

Leave Rome in the morning in an air-conditioned or heated bus, and spend a few hours (~3 hours) riding to Pompeii in comfort. Along the way, the tour guide on the bus will share facts about the city, point out other landmarks, and make sure you learn about the fascinating history of Pompeii to get you ready for your exploration once you arrive.

Inside of Bus in Rome

As mentioned above, you might want to explore Pompeii with a guided tour to get the best experience possible. The tour guide from your bus can do just that, giving you a guided tour through the ancient city and answering any questions you may have. After the tour, you’ll be loaded back up into the bus and make the drive heading north and go back to Rome by nightfall. It’s undoubtedly one of the best ways to make a day trip from Rome to Pompeii, but how much does it cost?

How much do Rome to Pompeii Bus Tours Cost?

Rome to Pompeii tours via bus is the most common way to make the trip due to how much you get to see and learn on the way while traveling comfortably. Bus tours from Rome to Pompeii and back are available daily. These tours will leave Rome early in the day and take visitors from all over the world to see the ancient ruins of Pompeii. These tours can vary in price but expect to pay upwards of $90 per person or more. As you’ll soon see, this is by far the most expensive way to venture from Rome to Pompeii.

See Related: Best Colosseum Tours in Rome

Rome to Pompeii by Train

Train waiting for passengers at a train station

If you don’t want to spend nearly three hours riding on a bus to visit Pompeii, then the next best and fastest option is to travel from Rome to Pompeii by train. Situated in the far southern reaches of the province of Naples, getting from Rome to Pompeii by train is not just a straight shot where one ticket will get you the whole way there. But it’s easy enough to make the trip.

First, you’ll need to travel from Rome to Naples. This is a busy route with multiple trains departing from Rome headed to Naples per hour. Remember that you’ll want to take one of the high-speed options from Rome to Naples for this portion of the trip. These cut the travel time roughly in half, and it’ll barely take over an hour to make it to Naples. This is the best way to ensure you have enough time in your day to explore Pompeii in all its glory and still make it back to Rome at a decent hour.

Once you arrive at the Naples Centrale Station from Rome, you can buy another ticket from Naples to Pompeii. These trains will be a different company than the high-speed options that got you to Naples, which is why it’s not as easy as just buying one ticket. The train ride from Naples to Pompeii is about 40 minutes more in total travel time, but they depart from Naples roughly twice per hour. 

After your second train ride, you’ll arrive in Pompeii and be able to start exploring. Getting back to Rome is the same thing but in reverse. But how much does it cost for all these train rides?

How much is a Train Ticket from Rome to Pompeii?

Now that you know everything involved in getting from Rome to Pompeii via train, let’s look at your round trip’s total price. The high-speed train ride from Rome to Naples costs about $10 each. Then to get from Naples to Pompeii, you’ll be looking at another $4 or so each way. So for your total round trip from Rome to Pompeii and back, you’ll be spending about $28 on train tickets.

Rome to Pompeii by Car

Vintage yellow card

The last option to get from Rome to Pompeii in a day is to make the trip in a car. This could be either a rental car or using a rideshare service. But for the sake of this article, we’ll assume a rental car is being used, and you’re driving yourself. A rideshare service going from Rome to Pompeii and back would be significantly more expensive than any other option on this list!

The trip from Rome to Pompeii will largely follow the same road that the aforementioned bus tours would be using. But you won’t need to stop at any other tourist locations and bus stops along the way, so it will be closer to the two and half-hour mark. 

Along the way, you’ll still catch views of Mount Vesuvius, ominously looming overhead in the distance as well as seeing the breathtaking landscapes of the Italian countryside. So deciding between the bus tours and driving yourself in a car comes down more to how much you’re willing to spend and, most importantly, if you’d prefer to drive your car alone or ride in a tour bus for three hours each way. 

How much does it Cost to Rent a Car to go from Rome to Pompeii?

The cost of driving yourself to Pompeii from Rome via rental car is just the cost of renting the car and the gas it’ll take to get there. Renting a car in Italy is surprisingly cheap. For example, if you’ve ever rented a car in the USA, you’ll be expecting to pay much more. 

You can rent a car in Italy for as little as $6 per day. Then, roughly 300 miles worth of driving for a round trip, so however much gas you will use, you’ll probably be spending about $30 or so for your day trip to Pompeii from Rome round trip.

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