Herculaneum Tickets

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Opening hours

The site is open from 8.30am until 7.30pm from April until October and from 8.30am until 5pm from November until March.

The last entry is permitted 90 minutes before the scheduled closing time.

Herculaneum id closed on the 1st of January, the 1st of May and the 25th of December.

How to get there

Train- the Circumvesuviana train operates from Naples through to Sorrento, taking 17 minutes from Naples and 43 minutes from Sorrento. Get off at the Ercolano-Scavi Station.

Bus- SITA operate from Naples and Salerno to Ercolano (Herculaneum), BUSITALIA Campania number 4  operates from Salerno while express bus number 50 is a faster service also from Salerno.

Car- take the A3 Motorway from Naples or Salerno and get off the motorway at the Ercolano exit. There is parking allowed in the surrounding streets although finding a space can be tricky.

FAQ

How much is an entry ticket?
The entry ticket to Herculaneum costs €11 and is only valid on the day you buy it (when bought at the ticket office). There are reductions for children. If you plan to visit both Herculaneum and Pompeii then buy the combination ticket for €20. This ticket is valid for three days and gives you entry into three other sites in the area.
Should I buy my tickets online or at the ticket office?
The price is the same and there are generally no queues to get into the site so there really is no need to buy your tickets in advance.
Are there many shaded areas to avoid the sun?
During the heat of the day, particularly during the summer it can be very hot. There are limited areas to avoid the sun but it is best that you wear a hat with a brim and bring sun block with you. You are also advised to bring plenty of bottled water.
Is the site easy to navigate in a wheelchair?
The historic site of Herculaneum is extremely difficult to get around in a wheelchair. The paths are the made of the original stone, with rough and uneven surfaces. The buildings each have steps up to be negotiated before you can enter. From the top level you can view across the entire area and the wooden boat is inside a building that is accessible by wheelchair as is the onsite museum.
Should I use a tour guide or explore for myself?
There are official tour guides just inside the gate and charge about €100 per tour, so if there are about ten of you it is a reasonably cheap option. Another inexpensive way is to tour at your own pace using an audio guide, these are available at the entrance and a returnable deposit is required. If you are not too interested in learning all about the history of the site then possibly the best option is to walk around and discover things for yourself.

Must Know

Herculaneum v Pompeii
While Pompeii receives most of the attention a visit to Herculaneum can be just as enthralling. While Pompeii was a working city, this ancient Roman settlement was home to lots of wealthy families with opulent homes and set close between the shoreline and the towering volcano.
Fate led to Herculaneum not being discovered earlier
When Vesuvius erupted Herculaneum was buried under a mass of volcanic ash, mud and rocks several metres deep. The muddy combination hardened to become a rocky mass which was more difficult to excavate than its neighbour, Pompeii. The first excavations began in 1709 when a theatre was discovered when a well was being dug. By 1927 when the first serious excavations began Pompeii was already major news and tourism took hold there instead. Only six bodies had been found before 1982, leading to speculation that the people of Herculaneum had time to escape. Then, in 1982 hundreds of bodies were discovered in the area close to the shoreline and lots of people had in fact died while waiting to get onto boats and escape.
The size of Herculaneum
The site is around one third the size of Pompeii and housed about 5,000 people compared to the 20,000 at Pompeii. The houses here are more elaborate, well decorated and many remain intact. Lots of the surviving buildings still have their second storey in addition to the mosaics that decorated the floors.
Highlights of your visit
The House of the Mosaic Atrium contains a checkerboard mosaic across its atrium floor with mythological scenes shown as frescoes in other rooms that overlook the garden. The House of Latticework is an example of cheaper living quarters and may have been used as a barracks. The building next door is known as the House of the Wooden Partition. It contains wall frescoes as well as a huge wooden door that was preserved when it became instantly carbonized by the hot gasses during the eruption (it is now protected by glass). On the ground floor there were shops and one contains a preserved wooden clothes press.

Places Nearby

Isle of Capri
A highlight of a visit to the Sorrentine Peninsula must be a day trip across the Bay of Naples to Capri. Once on the island take a bus from the marina to the islands highest point of Mount Solaro (via a chairlift) for a 360 degree view of the island and beyond. Explore the communities of Capri and Anacapri before taking a boat trip around the island and into the grotto’s the island is famous for.
Amalfi Coast
You can either take a bus tour along this scenic route or drive it yourself, be warned there are some narrow scary bends to negotiate with tour buses coming in the opposite direction. The communities of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are all worth exploring with small communities tightly clinging to the side of the mountain. The area is stunning with some dramatic landscapes.
Old Sorrento
The Old Town of Sorrento is a wonderful collection of narrow streets and alleyways, full of colourful shops and trattorias. It is a wonderful place in which to get lost and taste the true essence of Sorrento. In this older part of the city you will find the Basilica of Sant’ Antonio and the church complex of San Francesco. It contains a church, cloister as well as a convent. If you like to sit and watch the world go by head to the Piazza Tasso. The area is full of shops and cafes. Grab a chair and watch the hub of activity that plays out here every day.