When Mount Vesuvius erupted, every village, town, city within a 15-kilometer radius of the volcano got destroyed.
That’s why there are numerous ruins, such as Pompeii, Herculaneum (also known as Ercolano), Oplonti, Stabia, etc., in the region.
Because of their size and extent of preservation, Pompeii and Herculaneum get the maximum visitors.
But even between them, the disparity is enormous – more than 2.5 million tourists visit Pompeii ruins annually, while Herculaneum gets only 300,000 visitors.
In this article we share everything you must know if you plan to visit both Pompeii and Herculaneum on the same day.
Herculaneum or Pompeii?
Some tourists wonder if they must visit Pompeii or Herculaneum.
The city of Herculaneum is better preserved than Pompeii.
The houses, thermal baths, temples, and statues are not as damaged as in Pompeii.
The Romans living in Herculaneum were much more lavish because of which their houses and other attractions amongst the ruins are bigger and better.
Even the Frescos and artwork found in Herculaneum are better than those found in Pompeii.
However, Herculaneum is much smaller in size when compared to Pompeii – while the former housed approximately 5,000 people, Pompeii was known to have 20,000 people living.
As for the question “Herculaneum or Pompeii?” our answer is: “It depends.”
If you don’t mind taking a short public transport to move between Herculaneum and Pompeii, we suggest you explore both the ruins.
Since these two ruins are only 16 km (10 miles) apart, tourists with extra time, money, and energy prefer Herculaneum and Pompeii combo tours.
If you don’t have a lot of time or believe in exploring one site thoroughly, we recommend you spend all your time in Pompeii.
And save Herculaneum for your next visit (or the next day!).
Check out the 12 must-see highlights of Pompeii
Transport between Pompeii and Herculaneum
If you have decided to visit both the sites, you have two travel options – private transport and public.
If money isn’t an issue, getting a private car with a driver is the best option.
The second option is to take the Circumvesuviana train, which starts from Porta Nolana station in Naples.
The final destination of this train is Sorrento.
You can decide which ruins to see first and plan accordingly.
After boarding the train at Naples, get down at Pompei Scavi station first.
The train ride from Naples to Pompei Scavi station is just 30 minutes, and the entrance to Pompeii ruins is just 25 meters outside the station.
Once you have explored Pompeii, come back to the station and board the Circumvesuviana train towards Naples.
After 18 minutes of travel time, get down at Ercolano Scavi, and just outside the train station, you will spot the entrance to the Herculaneum ruins.
Once you have explored the Herculaneum ruins, come back to Ercolano Scavi station and board the Naples-bound Circumvesuviana train.
Your trip from Herculaneum to Naples will last less than 20 minutes.
To enter both the ruins, you will need tickets –
Pompeii and Herculaneum tour tickets
Many visitors don’t want to manage their travel, which is understandable because sometimes it can get confusing.
For such tourists, we recommend the below-given 8-hour tour of Pompeii and Herculaneum, starting from Naples.
The inclusions of the tour package are:
- Hotel pick-up
- Entry tickets to Pompeii
- Local guide to help explore Pompeii ruins
- Transportation from Pompeii to Herculaneum
- Entrance fee to Herculaneum
- Drop back to hotel
Tour price: All 3+ tourists pay 125 Euros / person
If you prefer your own private transport and private guide for exploring both the ruins on the same day, check out this amazing private tour.
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