Do You Have To Pay To Visit Pompeii


The city of Pompeii, buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD, stands out as a unique glimpse of historic life. Merely 2,000 years old, the once bustling Roman city is an incredibly well-preserved example of an ancient Roman city, its residents and lifestyles, and still manages to draw in around 3.5 million visitors every year.

However, do visitors of the city really have to pay when they want to explore the ruins of Pompeii? The truth is, there is not a straightforward answer to this question. Let’s take a look at the different aspects of Pompeii and the fees visitors may have to pay in order to visit an archaeological site of such extraordinary significance.

Pompeii Entrance Fees

At the moment, adult visitors have to pay €15 per ticket to gain entry to the city. It should be taken into account that some reduced tickets are available for students and children, at €7.50 per ticket. Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that discounts are available for those who hold a valid EU residency.

Many Pompeii visitors these days opt to buy combined tickets, which cost €20 a person. The combined tickets include the entrance fees for the four archaeological sites at Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Oplontis. Furthermore, +39 Napoli, a card aimed at promoting cultural tourism in the Campanian city, allows tourists access to all 8 of the monuments managed by the Archaeological Park.

Individuals who are registered as residents in the EU can enter all archaeological sites, nationwide and beyond, without having to pay anything. Moreover, there is no entrance fee on the first Sunday of every month. This is one way to keep sightseeing expenses in check, if that is the goal.

Free of Charge

Most of the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii are free to all visitors. Usually, the most popular, central areas are free to access, but if looking to explore some of the nooks and crannies, visitors may have to pay an additional fee. That also includes areas such as the Palestra Grande, Villa dei Misteri, or the Nike Temple.

Additionally, Pompeii is currently participating in the ‘Italia Experience’ project in partnership with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, through which different sites, including Pompeii, offer free entry. This initiative is open from the 22nd of March 2019 to the 7th of April 2019. The maximum fee visitors can expect to pay is €1.50.

Guest Pass

For anyone who has been planning to visit Pompeii more than once in a limited period of time, it is possible to apply for a Guest Pass. It is the perfect card if Pompeii is one of many stops along an itinerary that’s taking in the best that Italian cultural monuments have to offer. Holders of the Guest Pass enjoy unlimited access to the archaeological sites within the Prime Pass area, and that includes Pompeii.

Though the pass is available for €25, it can be used to visit various places in Campania, as well as in naples itself. Holders of the Guest Pass can also access state museums for free, or for a reduced fee. Applications for a Guest Pass are available at any major entrance of Pompeii.

Tour guides

On the other hand, if you do want to make the most of your trip to Pompeii, then it might be a good idea to hire a tour guide. The tour guides in Pompeii are particularly well-informed, and the €25 cost of a standard tour is a small price to pay for a deep appreciation of the city’s incredible history and archaeological importance.

Moreover, for visitors who are looking for an even more in-depth look at the site, private tours offer guests the opportunity to learn about Pompeii at a relaxed pace with a very experienced guide. These tours start at €60 for up to six participants.

Pompeii Residents

It is worth mentioning that local residents don’t have to pay to access the city’s archaeological sites. The Italian law allows those living in certain municipalities, such as the municipality of Naples, Castellammare di Stabia and Torre Annunziata, to access the area without having to pay. Nevertheless, if they do want to take part in any guided tours, they’ll have to pay the standard fee.

Italy has always been especially proud of its history, culture and monuments, and thanks to the gracious offer to local residents, most Italians can visit the archaeological sites in their own country, also allowing them to take friends and family, free of charge.

Private Events or Activities

Although setting up any kind of private event at the archaeological site may seem like an impossible dream, the truth is that the Park of Ruins of pre-Roman cities have all the necessary equipment and conditions to host private events or activities.

In order to use the Park’s spaces for any kind of private event, a submissions must be made to the Superintendent to the Cultural Heritage of Naples. This application costs €250 for each activity, and any additional expenses and technical fees must be added referring to the inside services, if required.

Costs and Expenses

Considering the costs and expenses that may occur when planning a visit to the ruins of Pompeii, it all depends on the travelers’ intentions and goals. In general, it is definitely possible to explore the city without too many costs if all that is needed is an entry ticket. The costs might be slightly higher if guided tours and rentals are needed, but even so, it is possible to plan a trip to Pompeii without breaking the bank.

For those who may feel overwhelmed by their first visit to the ruins of a pre-Roman city, there are plenty of other options for a detailed exploration, such as combined tickets, +39 Napoli cards, guided tours, or special offers from the Ministries.

Crowds and Queues

Finally, one of the main issues faced by Pompeii’s visitors is the overwhelming amount of tourists that the city attracts every single year. To avoid long queues when entering the city’s streets and monuments, a good idea would be to book tickets in advance and try to plan the visit in the early morning. That way, one should be able to beat the crowds and make the most of the visit.

If a tour guide is preferred, the best option may be to book a private tour and make reservations ahead, so that queues of any kind can be avoided. On the other hand, if a tour guide is not needed, and all that is wanted is to explore the ruins of this historical city with no more rush than necessary, then getting to Pompeii before opening times may be the solution.


In conclusion, the answer to the original question is not simple, but once all the fees and offers have been taken into account, it is possible to understand the plans one should make when organising a visit to a place as overwhelming as the archaeological site of Pompeii.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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