After having lived in Palermo for 9 months, I can describe the town in simply two phrases: charming and chaotic! Sicily’s capital is a captivating and underrated metropolis that appeals to a variety of vacationers. Whether or not you’re a beach-lover or an arts-enthusiast, Palermo will little doubt entertain you. It’s a metropolis steeped in historical past and tradition. This displays the island of Sicily as an entire, and Palermo is a good base from which to start exploring Sicily.
Palermo is Italy’s fifth-largest metropolis with a inhabitants of simply over 600,000. It doesn’t actually really feel like ‘Italy’ in any respect although. Certainly, its bustling markets and quite a few motorbikes whizzing previous give the town an actual North-African taste.
When on the lookout for issues to do in Palermo, you possibly can go to anith scorching sizzling summers and gentle winters, Palermo is nice to go to all 12 months spherical.
High Issues to do in Palermo, Sicily
For vacationers who don’t like 40 levels warmth, spring and autumn would positively be the very best time to go to. The climate remains to be heat and sunny, though not insufferable.
You possibly can hold your self amused in Palermo for a minimum of two or three days, with a mix of historic sightseeing and seashore lounging. There’s a energetic vacationer scene within the metropolis (even throughout COVID), and it’s not exhausting to satisfy vacationers from everywhere in the world.
It was robust to decide on a prime 10 itinerary for Palermo, as there are a plethora of nice issues to do! Nonetheless, right here is my prime 10 issues to do in Palermo.
1. Loosen up on Mondello Seaside
Mondello Seaside is beautiful and is likely one of the most well-known seashores in Sicily. Palermitans and vacationers flock right here of their droves in the course of the summer time months, however it’s also fairly packed all year long. The water is beautiful and heat throughout summer time, and positively heat sufficient throughout spring and autumn too!
In addition to sunbathing and swimming within the sea, there’s a lovely nature reserve inside strolling distance from Mondello. It’s referred to as Capo Gallo, and for only a €1 entry charge you possibly can get pleasure from an attractive coastal stroll.
Mondello isn’t inside strolling distance from the town middle, however it’s simple to get to through public transport. To get to Mondello Seaside, take the 101 bus from the central bus station till Piazza Crispi, from the place you possibly can take the 806 bus on to Mondello.
2. Go to Cattedrale di Palermo
Palermo’s cathedral is arguably the only primary vacationer attraction of the town and the Historic Centre. You possibly can lounge exterior it and admire the gorgeous Arab/Norman architectural affect that makes this cathedral’s type so distinctive.
It’s effectively value coming into the cathedral too, in addition to climbing as much as the cathedral roof for panoramic Palermo views.
The entry is free to the cathedral, and it prices €7 for a rooftop view mixed with entry to the Royal Tombs inside the cathedral.
3. Admire Quattro Canti
A brief stroll down from the cathedral alongside Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, you’ll come to one in every of Palermo’s most well-known landmarks and gathering points- Quattro Canti.
This mini-square marks the intersection between Through Vittorio Emmanuele and Through Maqueda- Palermo’s primary central avenue. What’s most outstanding are the 4 completely symmetrical baroque buildings that make up the ‘piazza’. The Spanish constructed these throughout their reign in Sicily.
4. Get pleasure from an Aperitif on Through Maqueda
Palermo’s bustling primary avenue comes alive within the evenings and at night- notably in the course of the summer time. It’s the superb place to take a seat again and loosen up with an aperitif after a day of exploring the town.
Many bars and eating places line the road, and there’s a actually nice environment in the course of the late night. It looks like all of the locals are right here! Through the day, it’s also nice to eat or drink one thing right here.
Nonetheless, it feels extra like a purchasing avenue throughout daylight. There are various designer shops on the finish of Through Maqueda and the adjoining avenue (Corso Ruggero Settimo). The evenings are while you actually get a really feel for the Mediterranean outside eating tradition.
5. Go to and Admire Teatro Massimo
Palermo’s Massimo Theatre is one more cultural icon of the town, situated proper within the coronary heart of the historic middle. This extravagant opera theatre is likely one of the largest in the entire of Europe and the most important in Italy. It’s at all times nice to loosen up within the Piazza Verde surrounding the theatre while admiring its lovely structure lined with unique palm timber.
If you’re an opera fanatic or simply curious to see contained in the theatre, every day guided excursions can be found. You should buy your tickets on-line right here and for normal adults, the entry charge is simply €8.
6. Stroll round La Cala and Foro Italico
Palermo’s port (referred to as La Cala) is one other picturesque a part of the town. I used to go for a stroll round right here nearly day-after-day! You possibly can stroll alongside the promenade and admire the gorgeous fishing boats earlier than heading additional alongside to Foro Italico.
Foro Italico is basically a big, inexperienced area and stretches alongside the waterfront. It’s a great spot to loosen up and watch the boats coming into Palermo harbor.
Certainly, you possibly can take the boat to different locations in Sicily and Italy from right here, together with Messina, Naples, and even Sardinia!
7. Go to The Norman Palace and The Palatine Chapel
Palermo’s Norman Palace is likely one of the single most-visited historic landmarks within the metropolis and is a UNESCO World Heritage web site. The palace is situated on the highest level of the city- very near Piazza Indipendenza (Independence Sq.).
Its Arab/ Norman affect is obvious, and this palace is definitely one of many oldest in Europe! It was as soon as a centre of Sicilian royalty and historically housed the Kings of Sicily.
You can even go to the lavish Palatine Chapel which is related to the Palace. With its beautiful Byzantine mosaics in its well-crafted inside, you’re going to get a real really feel for an historic Sicilian noble life.
There’s a €7 Euro entry charge to the Palace and Chapel collectively, which is effectively value it if you’re a historical past buff.
8. Store on the World-Well-known Ballaro Market
I’d say that Ballaro Market epitomizes Palermo: gritty, hectic however culturally fascinating.
This market is alive every day, with avenue distributors promoting nearly every thing! Whether or not it’s meals, garments, or on a regular basis objects, you should purchase just about something from Ballaro. Ballaro is situated fairly near Palermo’s historic center- within the Albergheria quarter of the town.
It’s one in every of Europe’s oldest and most genuine avenue markets, relationship again 1000 years. You should buy a few of Palermo’s finest avenue meals from right here, at a predictably low-cost value.
Strolling by way of Ballaro’s many stalls for the primary time made me really feel like I used to be in Morocco. You actually get a way of Palermo’s cross-cultural mix and North African affect right here.
9. Eat Palermo’s Well-known Road Meals
Road meals is offered in abundance throughout Palermo, not simply at Ballaro market.
While Italian delicacies, on the whole, is extra well-known for its Pasta and Pizza dishes, Palermo and Sicily are fairly distinctive with their avenue meals fame. Don’t get me improper, the pasta and pizza dishes are nonetheless scrumptious right here! Nonetheless, the town is characterised by its conventional and diverse avenue meals.
Arancini might be probably the most well-known choice. These heavy and filling rice balls are usually not the healthiest, however make an amazing occasional deal with! You possibly can select a vegetarian choice (burro) or have them full of meat (Carne).
One other in style selection is Panelle e Crochhè- containing fried chickpea and flour.
10. Take a Brief Day Journey To Monreale
Even if you’re solely staying a short while in Palermo, any native will suggest you to make the brief, half-hour bus journey to the close by city of Monreale. To reach in Monreale, merely head to Piazza Indipendenza and take the AMAT 389 bus that may drop you immediately in Monreale.
Monreale is technically part of the metropolitan metropolis of Palermo, though it feels far more like a separate city. It’s most well-known for its unimaginable Arab/ Norman cathedral that actually offers Palermo Cathedral some severe competitors!
Constructed within the 12th century, this monumental advanced incorporates a remarkably well-designed inside and marvelous mosaics that you could admire totally free. You even have the choice of accessing the cloister, treasury, and cathedral roof for a mixed €10 ticket.
There may be not that a lot else to do in Monreale besides go to the cathedral. There’s a lovely panorama of Palermo and the encompassing area to be loved from slightly below the city middle, nevertheless.
These are simply ten of the very best issues to do in Palermo; I may title many extra!
Palermo actually is likely one of the most underrated cities I’ve skilled. Positive, there are various vacationers in the summertime months, however the metropolis doesn’t benefit from the standing of Rome or Milan.
Spending just a few days exploring Palermo earlier than touring across the island of Sicily is a good journey for any backpacker. I’d fortunately do all of it once more!