The Circumvesuviana Railway (www.vesuviana.it; (tel) 800-053939) runs between Naples and Sorrento every half-hour from Piazza Garibaldi. For Herculaneum, get off at Ercolano/Scavi (scavi means “archaeological excavation”). Herculaneum is about 20 minutes from Naples and 50 minutes from Sorrento; the entrance is about 10 blocks from the station. Pompeii is about 40 minutes from Naples and 30 minutes from Sorrento; exit the train at Pompeii/Scavi and the entrance is about 45m (150 ft.) from the station at the Villa dei Mister.
To reach either Pompeii or Herculaneum by car from Naples, follow the autostrada toward Salerno. If you’re coming from Sorrento, head east on SS. 145, where you can connect with A3 (marked napoli). Then take the signposted turnoffs for Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Logistics -- Hours for both excavation sites are the same: April to October, they are open daily 8:30am to 7:30pm and November to March daily 8:30am to 5pm (last admission 90 min. before close); Admission to each site is 11€, but a cumulative ticket (20€ will grant you access to both. You can purchase it at the Circumvesuviana Railway Station, Piazza Garibaldi, in Naples.
The ticket offices at both provide a free map and booklet that will guide you through the site. Inside the entrance at Pompeii, you’ll find a bookstore, where you can purchase additional guidebooks to the ruins (available in English, complete with detailed photos). Pompeii also has a cafeteria inside the archaeological zone, which is handy for sandwiches and beverages.
If you’re visiting the sites on a sunny day, wear sunscreen and bring along a bottle of water. At both sites you can leave bags in checkrooms near the entrances for free.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.