Tips for your trip to Palermo


Forget all those “mafia movies” showing Palermo as a dirty city of crime, because the capital of Sicily is the ancient seat of an empire. It is rich in history, art, architecture and natural beauty. A place to see, absolutely. Like many other big cities, Palermo also has its “negative sides” but a tourist will never realize that. It welcomes the world in a cradle of sun and joy. 

When to go to Palermo

Every season of the year is perfect to visit Palermo. Only in early autumn months you might find heavy rains and storms, but not regularly, anyway. Palermo is beautiful in the spring, when the Sicilian sun is already bright and warm but temperatures never rise above 20°C. You can even enjoy the beach and some swimming in your spring visit to Palermo!

How to get to Palermo

Palermo is the gateway to western Sicily and its airport Punta Raisi dedicated to hero judges Falcone and Borsellino is the most important structure of the city. The Sicilian capital, in fact, is quite isolated and it takes a long time to get there by train or by bus. It has a central railway station and two bus terminals anyway. You can get there by car, via motorways A19 Catania-Palermo or A20 from Messina. A nice idea for a trip to Palermo is also by ship, arriving at its big and modern port.

Punta Raisi airport is 35 km west of the city. You need to take the short A29 motorway to Mazara del Vallo to arrive. Through the same road, buses, taxis and private transfer connect the airport to the city centre. There is also a local train, Trinacria Express, connecting the railway station of the airport to Palermo Central Station.

How to move

You can move through Palermo and its territory by bus, thanks to AMAT lines. Four tram lines also help the people to move fast in the city. Bike lovers should try the 14 km bycicle path surrounding the city centre. In Palermo you will find a very efficient taxi-sharing service.

What to see

You will be impressed by Palermo’s “double face”. You will walk along elegant, large streets and then turn the corner and find yourselves in a very old, dark, poor area. But you can still find interesting monuments even there. Visit the Cathedral and its wonderful square, or the palaces of the politics that used to be home to emperor FredericK II.

Do not miss: Martorana church, the church of St Giovanni degli Eremiti, St Cataldo, St Giuseppe dei Teatini, St Domenico, Lo Spasimo, the Cappella Palatina. Also visit the Favorita Park, the beach of Mondello, the wonderful Norman church of Monreale and of course the city markets (Vucciria, Ballarò, Kalsa). A nice place to see is Piazza della Vergogna (the square of shame) and its incredible and funny story concerning the naked statues all around.