Visiting Herculaneum? Here's all you need to craft a hassle-free itinerary

Herculaneum TicketsPlan Your Visit

Herculaneum | Visitor information at a glance

Herculaneum Plan Your Visit
  • What are Herculaneum opening hours?
    8:30am to 7:30pm throughout the week.
  • Where is Herculaneum located?
    Herculaneum is located at Corso Resina, 187, 80056 Ercolano NA, Italy. Get directions.
  • How many number visitors does Herculaneum see per year?
    Approximately 300,000 visitors.

Herculaneum opening hours

Herculaneum's timings vary seasonally.

From 16 March to 14 October, Herculaneum is open from 8:30am to 7:30pm everyday.
Between 15 October to 15 March, the ruins are open everyday from 8:30am to 5pm.
Last entry: 90 before the closing time.
Closed: The park is closed on 1 January and 25 December.

What's the best time to visit Herculaneum?

Herculaneum Plan Your Visit

The best time to visit Herculaneum is considered to be during the lean season, between November and March. For the ideal experience, you can visit this site either during early morning or late afternoon for good weather. In the winter months, consider going in the afternoon for best lighting.

If you choose to visit during the peak season i.e. between June and September, do keep sunscreen & hats handy as temperatures can get very hot. Be prepared to meet more tourists than usual, as schools are out and generally people are on vacation mode.

Where is Herculaneum located?

How to get to Herculaneum?

Herculaneum Tickets

From Naples

  • Travel time: 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on mode of transport
  • Distance: 11.6 km
  • Transport options: Train/bus

By train: Circumvesuviana train from the Naples Piazza Garibaldi station
Nearest stop to Herculaneum: Ercolano Scavi

Bus routes: 254, 195
Nearest stop to Herculaneum: San Ciro

Herculaneum Tickets

From Pompeii

  • Travel time: Approximately 45 minutes
  • Distance: 18.8 km
  • Transport options: Train

By train: L44088 from Pompeii Santuario station
Nearest stop to Herculaneum: Ercolano Scavi

Herculaneum Plan Your Visit

From Sorrento

  • Travel time: 70 minutes to 1 hour and 44 minutes, depending on mode of transport
  • Distance: 40.3 km
  • Transport options: Train/bus

By train: Take the L111018 from the Sorrento station train
Nearest stop: Ercolano Scavi

By bus: Sorrento - Afragola 1012 towards Afragola
Nearest stop: Ercolano

Getting to Herculaneum by car

Herculaneum Plan Your Visit

Take the A3 Napoli-Salerno highway to reach Herculaneum. Once you arrive, there are a number of parking spots you can choose from:

  • The site has an underground parking lot where you the hourly charges are between 2 and 5 euros.
  • You can also park in the municipal parking lot on Viale dei Papiri Ercolanesi.
  • There are also unguarded free parking spots near the ruins.

Select your Herculaneum tickets

Herculaneum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour with Archaeologist
Free cancellation
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Mobile ticket
2 hr.
Guided tour
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Herculaneum Skip-the-Line Tickets
Mobile ticket
Flexible duration
Audio guide
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Combo (Save 5%): Pompeii + Herculaneum Tickets
Mobile ticket
Flexible duration
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Herculaneum Skip-the-Line Tickets with Audio Guide
Mobile ticket
Flexible duration
Audio guide
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Know before you go to Herculaneum

Rules and tips
Herculaneum Plan Your Visit
  • Entrances with ramps: There are two wheelchair ramps at the entrance that leads to an accessible bridge that welcomes you into the site.  
  • Accessible toilets: Herculaneum is well-equipped with accessible and disable-friendly bathrooms around the site including at the entrance, visitor center and ticket office.     
  • Wheelchair-friendly areas: The route along III Cardo street allows wheelchair access. Most the streets and sidewalks are step-free making most areas wheelchair-friendly and easy to access. You’ll spot plenty of metal bridges installed for wheelchair users and strollers.
Herculaneum Plan Your Visit
  • Locker room: Right beside the ticket counter, there’s a luggage storage room where the visitors can leave their bags and other personal belongings free of cost. 
  • Audio Guide: Visitors can access maps and audio tours to navigate through the site. However, for a richer experience, it is recommended to go with a certified guide who is also a trained archaeologist.  
  • Parking: There’s parking available at an underground parking garage located near the entrance of the site. The approximate cost of parking is 2-5 euros per hour.   
  • Refreshments: There is a snack counter from where you can grab a quick bite.

Additionally, Herculaneum also has a book shop and an information desk.

Herculaneum Plan Your Visit
  • Bags or backpacks larger than 30x30x15 cm cannot be brought into Herculaneum.
  • It's easier to combine trips to Herculaneum and Vesuvius in one day rather than Herculaneum and Pompeii. Visiting Herculaneum and Pompeii on two separate days gives you a better chance to appreciate the two sites without being overwhelmed.
  • Tourists are strictly forbidden from touching artifacts like frescoes and mosaics, wooden structures, etc. as these have been carefully restored and are fragile.
  • Enhance your visit with a guided tour. As Herculaneum is filled with rich history, visiting each ruin with an expert guide (who is also an archeologist) is sure to help you appreciate the deeper significance of what you see.
  • Dogs are allowed inside the archeological park, provided they are leashed and muzzled.

Frequently asked questions about visiting Herculaneum

What are the opening and closing times of Herculaneum?

Herculaneum is open year-round for the public except on January 1 and December 25. From 16 March to 14 October, timings are from 8:30am to 7:30pm. From 15 October to 15 March, you can visit between 8:30am and 5pm. The last entry to the site is 90 before closing time.

How long do I need to set aside for my Herculaneum visit?

Typically, tourists find that they need at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the ruins. If you're looking at a guided tour, you can expect to take between 2-2.5 hours to see all the major sites of the attraction. If you're traveling solo, you can choose to spend longer, linger at objects/artifacts/houses you find fascinating without being time-bound. If you're traveling with children, then you can zip past the major sites (like the Baths, the Samnite House, House of Neptune) and complete your visit in under 2 hours.

How can I optimize my visit to Herculaneum for a more personal and less crowded experience?

Early mornings and late afternoons are considered to be the best time to visit the site, especially during the lean season (November to March). During this period, crowds are fewer and the sun isn't as relentless. An experience with your tour guide is also likely to be more personal and rewarding, due to a lower footfall of tourists.

Where is Herculaneum located?

Herculaneum is located in the commune of Ercolano, Campania in Italy. The best way to arrive is by taking a train from Naples, Pompeii or Sorrento. You can disembark at the Ercolano Scavi station, from where the ruins are about 6 minutes away by walk.

How much research should I do in advance of my visit if I’m not booking a guided tour?

While nothing quite tops a guided tour, you can still visit the site on your own and learn a great deal about ancient Roman life. You can listen to podcasts by History Hack, watch YouTube videos and read the works of Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, who heads the Herculaneum Conservation Project. If you're looking for a more comprehensive experience without an actual guide, book an audio guided tour like the Herculaneum Skip-the-Line Tickets with Audio Guide.

What are some sites / structures I should definitely see on my visit to Herculaneum?

While Herculaneum is incredibly well-preserved (more so than Pompeii) with many striking features to see, consider adding these landmarks to the top of your list: Visit the House of Neptune and Amphitrite to see the famous fresco of the god and his wife. To see a beautifully preserved wooden door that still slides on its hinges, nearly 2000 years after being buried under volcanic material, visit the House of the Wooden Partition. Go down to the boathouses to see the skeletons of people who were trying to make a last-minute escape from Vesuvius' wrath.

If I only need half a day to see all of Herculaneum, what do I do with the remainder of my time since I’m anyway in the area?

You can take a trip to Mount Vesuvius, which is a 30-minute bus journey away from the ruins. From across the Ercolano Scavi station, you can board the Vesuvio Express which will take you to the volcano. Climb the mountain and see its iconic crater up close. If you're feeling adventurous and would like to see Pompeii too, book this experience From Pompeii/Naples: Pompeii, Herculaneum & Vesuvius Day Trip

Are there facilities, activities, etc. that will make kids enjoy the visit?

Older children would appreciate a visit to the MAV (Virtual Archaeological Museum), located a short distance away from the entrance to Herculaneum. This museum has a virtual and interactive exhibition that recreates Herculaneum's structures and layout before 79 AD. There are about 70 multimedia displays with reconstructions, installation, and holograms that bring to life Herculaneum, Pompeii, Stabia, Baia and Capri ruins in an informative and engaging way. Note that tickets to the MAV will have to be purchased separately.