Palermo trip planner

A guide to the chaotic and colorful capital city of Sicily

Why Palermo?

Sicily's capital is a tough place to love.

The dustiest gem of a city in Europe, it contains some of Sicily's greatest sights and museums, yet it still hasn’t rebuilt entire bombed-out neighborhoods that were destroyed during World War II.

Despite the efforts of a crusading anti-Mafia mayor, Cosa Nostra still strangles the city.

But daily existence is not relegated to the dank interiors of those crumbling baroque palazzi or the padlocked churches rotting behind their weedy facades. Palermitani live out their lives—selling, buying, arguing, playing, yelling, fighting, and loving—in broad daylight and with theatrical flair in the crowded streets and vibrant markets.

Amid the rubble and trash-filled alleys you’ll find gloriously stuccoed oratories, glittering 12th-century mosaics, puppet theaters, art museums, and busy fish markets bursting with life and color.

» A brief history of PalermoIt would be difficult to give the cityless than two or three days, but Palermo is far from the most welcoming of towns, making it tough to convince yourself stay longer

Still, it is worth it to truly get under Palermo's skin to see what makes this city so resoundingly not tick.

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How much time to spend in Palermo?

1.5–3 days » more

Tourist info

Palermo tourist office
Piazza Castelnuovo 34
tel. +39-091-605-8351

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Tours of Palermo
Lodging in Palermo
Best way to to get there

Palermo is on Sicily's northern coast, about two-thirds of the way toward the island's western tip. The best way to get to Palermo is by plane (if you are coming from elsewhere in Italy) or by train (if you are already in Sicily—and are not driving). » more

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Palermo tourist office
Piazza Castelnuovo 34
tel. +39-091-605-8351

Also useful:


Palermo lodging
Find hotels in Palermo

Reid's Recommended hotels in Palermo
★★ Centrale Palace Hotel [€€]
★★ Botique B&B Vintage [€€]
★★ B&B Ai Cartari [€€]
Hotel Posta [€€]
Hotel Cortese [€€]

» More hotels in Palermo[from €30]
» B&Bs in Palermo[from €30]
» Apartments in Palermo[from €49]
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