Pompeii or Herculaneum??

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Uncleromulus, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. Uncleromulus

    Uncleromulus Plain grey will be fine

    Jan 28, 2001
    On our stop in Naples???
  2. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

    Apr 18, 2009
    Herculaneum, it is better preserved and less busy. The site is also smaller so it easier to see more of it. I have been to both and preferred Herculaneum.
  3. Avatar

    DIS Sponsor Let Dreams Unlimited Travel plan your perfect Disney vacation!

  4. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

    Apr 13, 2007
    It's VERY easy to DIY to Pompeii via tram/train and then decide on the fly onthe way back whether you want to stop off in H. DH and I did both, with kids after P they wanted to go straight back to ship. I think P is better for kids/teens, who will study P in school. As PP said, H is better preserved and smaller and easier to get around--also more shade. Here is my DIY from prior post:
    DIY to Pompeii by train is very easy and super cheap. For easy DIY--1st, right off the boat, stop in a tourist souvenir shop at the port and look for the cardboard book that has the overlay of Pompeii as it used to look (they also have them for Coliseum). These books are also at the airport. Yuo can also get on Amazon.
    Pompeii Reconstructed: Book with DVD in English Hardcover – January 1, 2007
    by Lozzi Editori (Author)
    They also have similar one for the Coliseum.
    These books are so worth it to have when you are standing looking at some ruins and then see what it looked like back then--even if you don't have kids. I saw them at the FCO (Rome) airport, Pisa, etc., but I would order in advance to make sure I had them, plus great to get kids interested in what they will be seeing.

    Then walk to the end of the port (pedestrian friendly), cross the small street and buy a ticket from the tobacco stand to/from Pompeii and good for all trams (5 or 8 euros PP), then take tram #1 right there to the circumvensia train station--5 minutes away. Get on the next train to Sorrento (one every 30 minutes). Get off at Pompeii Scavi (means excavation) and walk to front gate--right around the corner and buy your tickets--kids under 18 are free. With that little book, there is no need for a tour--get a map and go to the sites that interest you (or even better, download Rick Steves tours for free). My tweens/teens loved looking at the book and then at the ruins. It is hot and they lasted for 2.5 hours.
    There is a café/gelato place inside Pompeii that you can cool down in, plus a few nice café style places right outside the gate where we got slushi drinks. Get back on the train (cross under the station--the train goes the opposite way back). The great thing is, you can decide on the fly if you want to get off at Herculaneum or head straight back for the ship. With DH and I alone, we did both. The next trip with the kids, we went to the ship--they had had enough---and it was a great day. remember to get off at the circumvensia station and get the #1 back--not the main trenitalia statin. We made that mistake--no worries, just hop on the train back 1 stop--15 minute detour to get the next terrain. It's pretty foul-proof to DIY. This is about the easiest port to DIY and with kids free At Pompeii, you can save a lot of $$. We felt 100% safe at the port, on the tram, circumvensia train and at Pompeii. have fun! It's a great place. Elaine
  5. Livesincelebration

    Livesincelebration Living the Dream

    Feb 2, 2008
  6. mrsp1030

    mrsp1030 DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 2006
    Pompeii! Even though we were there in the afternoon after a morning full of other things, our kids still loved it!
  7. DoraBA

    DoraBA Earning My Ears

    Apr 5, 2018
    Having been to both, let me say: it depends.

    Pompei is farther from Naples and much, much larger. The sheer magnitude of it makes it much more impressive but also more difficult to visit. You need at least 4-5 hours to explore the main points of interest. It is also more crowded and better organized for tourists. If you want to truly understand the tragedy, Pompei is the way to go. Be prepared for a LOT of walking and wandering on cobblestone. Be also prepared for a truly spectacular place.

    Herculenum is compact and intense. 2-3 hours are sufficient to explore it. It is much more urban in feel than the Beverly Hills that Pompei feels like. It was very interesting and not overly tasking, physically and emotionally. So its easier to take in and imagine life 2000 years ago. It is also a LOT less crowded.

    Both, by the way, are easily acessible by public transportation. Pompei offers audioguides with several tour optiond, i am not sure about Herculenum bht highly recommend getting either an audioguide or a book.

    So... it depends on the amount of time you have and the amount of energy and stamina.

    BTW we combined one such (short, 3 hs) Pompei visit with a climb up mount Vesuvius- a bus picks you up from the train station and gets you a few hundred meters from the summit. Then you climb by foot to the top. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Kids ard still talking about it.

    Either way, i am sure you will enjoy yourself - will gladly answer questions
    gilsan likes this.
  8. RedSox68

    RedSox68 Just working to pay for cruising

    Mar 16, 2009
    We had the same choice and our families' preference was to see Pompeii first. It was amazing and don't regret it. If we go back, we'll do the other.
  9. Claireywalsh

    Claireywalsh Mouseketeer

    Oct 29, 2014
    Herculaneum is supposed to be better preserved but Pompeii is just awe inspiring. Walking into it is just wow the scale is unbeliable. Definately one of the best things we’ve done in recent times. We weren’t cruising we were staying in sorrento but using the train is really easy. Took about 40 minutes and was only about 2-3 euros each return. The train stop is pretty much right at the entranceway. There are lots of little stalls and restaurants on the way in - definately buy some water - it gets really hot in there!!
  10. Agent 86

    Agent 86 DIS Veteran

    Jul 31, 2013
    Other - Ostia Antica in Rome.

    Between Pompeii and Herculaneum, I guess it would depend upon your interests (e.g. if you particularly wanted to see frescoes, then Herculaneum may be best) and how long you want to spend off the boat (e.g. if you only wanted a half-day excursion, then Herculaneum may be best). You may also want to combine a visit to one of the sites with a visit to the museum where most of the artefacts are actually stored, so that could impact your decision as well.

    In terms of name recognition and scale, obviously Pompeii is the winner. And it's easier to immerse yourself in Pompeii than in Herculaneum where you're always aware that you're surrounded by "modern" buildings. The scale of the ruins in Pompeii are also FAR greater, including the theatres, Gladiator training arena and if you're willing to walk far enough their own colosseum.
    suedon70, gilsan and RedSox68 like this.
  11. PsylockeSmythe

    PsylockeSmythe Earning My Ears

    Mar 29, 2017
    My vote would be for Pompeii. I wasn't sure that my wife would like Pompeii and she loved it; which was a pleasant surprise. As others have said Pompeii is a pretty big place and if you visit it in the afternoon it does get real hot. We lucked out and there was a nice strong breeze blowing so that when you were walking the streets it helped to keep you cool.

  12. anricat

    anricat DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2014
    We went to both (pictures and the entire day can be found in the trip report linked from my signature below) in the same day and if I could only pick one, it would be Herculaneum. This was already touched on above, but I'll echo other posters' comments: better preserved, smaller, less crowded. I really appreciated that you could really see what things looked like.

    Don't get me wrong, Pompeii was incredible for the sheer magnitude of the place, but I felt like everything sort of looked the same. Streets and streets of ruined buildings. Yes, very cool, and there are pockets of well-preserved mosaics and such, but not the way it is at Herculaneum. We practically had the place to ourselves early in the morning.
  13. wanderlust7

    wanderlust7 DIS Veteran

    Mar 10, 2015
    I was leaning towards Herculaneum at first (closer, less crowded), but my friend wanted to go to Pompeii. Her reasoning - the kids will learn about Pompeii in school and then it'll be cool to be able to say they've been. Maybe a silly reason, but it was enough to convince me. :laughing:
    tlprice likes this.
  14. tlprice

    tlprice DIS Veteran

    Oct 5, 2014
    That's exactly why I chose Pompeii. I'm glad we did. We used Rick Steves free Audio Europe. It was a lifesaver! Pompeii is so big, we weren't sure where to even really begin, but we don't really like to do tours. Rick Steves tells you where to go turn by turn and takes you to all the highlights and tells you about them. It was perfect!
    wanderlust7 likes this.
  15. Agent 86

    Agent 86 DIS Veteran

    Jul 31, 2013
    I second the Rick Steve Audio Tour for Pompeii.

    We had intended to do a tour with an English speaking guide (supposedly) available at Pompeii, but it proved too difficult. They wanted 150 pounds per person because there apparently wasn't enough people wanting to do the tour, which seemed pretty odd to me. It was very disorganised, but to be fair it was raining heavily which probably didn't help matters.
    tlprice likes this.
  16. remlap

    remlap DIS Veteran

    Aug 3, 2008
    I also vote for Pompeii and Rick Steves and follow his map. There are also lots of tour groups going around so at any of the major sites, you can generally pick up things just being in the same room or stop as they rush thru.

    I have read Herculaneum is better in many ways, but Pompeii is, well Pompeii. I am very glad we went. We debated stopped at Herc on way back but went for pizza at L'Antica Pizzareria da Michele instead. (and I'd recommend that too)

    All in all a VERY VERY Easy and great day to DIY. Only costs are train, Pompeii and Pizza. I think we spent under $25 each.
  17. pjacobi

    pjacobi DIS Veteran

    Jan 20, 2001
    Pompeii and Herculaneum both have the remains of ancient brothels, some include fresco depicting available services. You may want to bypass them with children.

    Some houses in Pompeii are decorated on the outside with fertility symbols. These symbols appear to be quite scandalous unless interpreted in the correct context. You may want to keep children away from the replicas available in the gift shop.

    Pompeii Scavi is located in a very poor neighborhood with abundant pickpockets. Be on very high alert!

  18. Ron from Michigan

    Ron from Michigan DIS Veteran

    Aug 23, 1999
    Pompeii. We did both Pompeii and Herculaneum 2 years ago and preferred Pompeii. Much more to see there. We booked a tour through Walks of Italy and were so glad we did. They were awesome. They met us at the train station so it was easy. We were staying in Sorrento at this time. We also booked a Walks of Italy tour of the Vatican. https://www.walksofitaly.com/pompeii-tours
  19. Miffy

    Miffy DIS Veteran

    Dec 13, 2002
    Another vote for Pompeii. I spent one of the most memorable days of my life there. Extraordinary.
  20. braysmommy

    braysmommy DIS Veteran

    Dec 10, 2010
    We did Pompeii and loved it! Hired a car for the day with first stop Mt. Vesuvius where we had to wait a couple minutes for gate to open, on to Pompeii, last stop to coast for lunch. Pompeii wasn't crowded (we were on 1st Med cruise so also not as hot). This port was my 8 year old's favorite stop and also his Birthday.
  21. FSU Girl

    FSU Girl DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2016
    I've gone to Pompeii twice, once as a teenager and once with my friend in our 20s. I loved it both times. The city is so fascinating, I plan to go there for a third time whenever I go back. I didn't even know about Herculaneum's existence until recently, but I think I'd still pick Pompeii over it.

Share This Page