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Herculaneum Naples

Visit the Roman excavations of 'Ercolano' from Naples Italy

Herculaneum

Tips, tours and tickets for visiting the archaeological sites of Herculaneum (Ercolano), a former fishing village that was hit by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

Info & Tickets Herculaneum

Location

Parco Archeologico di Ercolano, Corso Resina, 187 Ercolano (This is about 12 kilometers from the center of Naples Italy).

By car: There are several private car parks close to the entrance and you can also park in the municipal car park on Viale dei Papiri Ercolanesi.

Public transport: From Naples you can easily visit Herculaneum. From the 'Central Station - Piazza Garibaldi' the Circumvesuviana train departs to Sorrento (Line 1). After fifteen minutes you get off at the stop 'Ercolano Scavi', after which it is only a ten minute walk to the entrance of the park. The trains run 2 to 3 times an hour and a return ticket will cost you about 5 euros (you can buy your tickets at the station).

Herculaneum Tours from Naples: It is also possible to join guided Herculaneum tours where you will be picked up from your hotel in Naples. This guided tour can be booked from 62.10 €. Would you also like to visit Mount Vesuvius? Then this combo tour (without a guide) is interesting. You will get transport and tickets for both attractions.

Tickets

Herculaneum tickets

  • Tickets adults incl. reservation fee 17.00 € (book tickets online)
  • 18 - 24 years 5.50 €
  • Under 18 years 2.50 €

Guided tours

Hours
  • From 16/03 to 14/10: from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm (last entry 6 pm)
  • From 15/10 to 15/03: from 8.30 am to 5 pm (last entry 3.30 pm)
  • Closed: every Wednesday, January 1, December 25
Useful Pre-download for free this mini guide (pdf) on your phone, providing you with all the background information on the Ercolano archaeological excavations.

Herculaneum, the city next to the Vesuvius

The city of Pompeii is often mentioned in the same sentence with the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, but on the other side of the volcano was also another city, namely Herculaneum or in Italian Ercolano. Herculaneum was also affected by the volcanic eruption, albeit to a lesser extent. Pompeii was covered in a large layer of ash and mud during the volcanic eruption in 79. Herculaneum, however, was covered by a 20-meter-thick lava flow. This is why houses were much better preserved than in Pompeii. They are still fairly intact, especially the upper floors. In addition, many paintings have been preserved and you can even see some furniture. Some of the best Herculaneum's archaeological finds can now be found in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy.

Herculaneum Italy
Tickets Herculaneum

The Discovery of Herculaneum (Ercolano)

Herculaneum was discovered by accident in the year 1709 during the construction of a well. From that year on, the city was excavated by archaeologists, but especially from 1927, archaeologists actively started excavating. It is almost impossible to excavate everything of the Archaeological Park of Herculaneum and so parts of the city are still underground. 5 of the 20 hectares have now been excavated. If you visit Herculaneum nowadays you will end up in a kind of valley.

The big differences between Pompeii and Herculaneum

If you compare Pompeii to Herculaneum you will come across two completely different cities. In Herculaneum you can easily walk through houses, while that is impossible in Pompeii. In addition, Herculaneum is a lot smaller and you can see everything within half a day, while you could really spend a few days in Pompeii. In the smaller city 'Ercolano' you have more the feeling that you are walking through an authentic Roman city, while Pompeii was much more destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

Ercolano tickets
Herculaneum tickets

Visit Herculaneum

Another reason to visit Herculaneum is because the archaeological park of Herculaneum is only 15 minutes away from the train station of Naples. A visit to Herculaneum is also easier to combine with a visit to the Mount Vesuvius, since from the train station of Herculaneum ('Ercolona Scavi') the Vesuvius Express buses depart to the top of the Mount Vesuvius. It is a good idea to book a guided tour during your visit of Herculaneum. The guides will provide you with all kinds of useful facts and tips.

Video: Documentary about Herculaneum

 


Where is Ercolano (Herculaneum) in Italy?

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