Pompeii Tourist Traps
The ruins of Pompeii are a chance for modern-day visitors to peek into a preserved moment of the ancient world. To experience its authenticity, though, you’ll need to avoid the more heavily commercialized aspects of a trip to Pompeii. Here are travelers’ best tips for avoiding Pompeii’s tourist traps.
Stick to Licensed Guides
Wherever you go in Pompeii, there will be people telling you they are a guide and can give you a tour. For the most accurate information and best experience, however, you’ll want to hire a licensed guide. Officially licensed tour guides can be found close to the gates or inside. Unlicensed guides wait for visitors further back. Note that unlicensed guides may give you information that likely isn’t accurate, and they may overcharge you as well.
Maps May Not Be Free
Before grabbing a bunch of maps in the tourist office, make sure to ask if they are free or not. The maps will be in an easily accessible display, so you might assume everything is free. That may not be the case.
Tourist Trap Cabs
Some cab drivers at the Port of Naples will try to quote you a large price (something like 80 or 100 euro) to take you to Pompeii and back. They say they will get you there quicker than a train and that it will actually cost you less. That is not true. If you go early, the cab driver may be able to get you there earlier, but you won’t save money.
Pay to Pose
While you make your way through the ruins, you will find people who are dressed as Romans, gladiators, and in other period-appropriate gear. Many of the costumes are excellent, and you may want to take a picture with them. If you do, expect to pay up. If you don’t pay they will make your life terrible for the rest of the time in the ruins. So either pay up or skip the photos.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about tourist traps in Pompeii.