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Palermo City Guide

The capital of the Mediterranean island of Sicily is one of Europe's oldest cities. Explore the antique buildings, see medieval mummies and enjoy the Sicilian cuisine.

Palermo is the capital of Sicily, a historic port city full of palaces, churches and other old buildings. The mix of architectural styles reflects the city’s past; Palermo has been successively conquered, occupied and abandoned over the centuries. Arabs, Normans, Byzantines, French and Spaniards have all ever occupied Palermo in the past. 

Palermo’s History

Visit Quattro Cantiin, the historic district. The square is located at the intersection of two main roads of Palermo and has four identical baroque buildings on its corners, displaying statues of the four Spanish rulers of the city. 

Visit the eclectic 12th Century cathedral which is a collision of all Palermo’s cultures, from its Arabic architecture to Romanesque flourishes, from its Gothic gargoyles to its baroque interior. Take a tour of the Church of San Cataldo, an Arab-Romanesque building with three domes. Walk past the heavy wooden door of the Palazzo di Alliata Pietratagliata and admire its Gothic decor and architecture.

Discover Greek, Roman and Etruscan artefacts in the Museo Archeologico Regionale Antonio Salinas. Examine medieval art in the Galleria Regionale and modern works in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna. Buy seafood and souvenirs on the open market La Vucciria and find second-hand clothes at the market Ballarò. Then take advantage of the beautiful sun and relax at one of the many beaches.

The Catacombs 

Explore the most unusual and unique attraction in Palermo, the Catacombe dei Cappuccini, a crypt beneath the Piazza Cappuccini. Here you will find thousands of mummies, some of which are well preserved, while others are in various states of decomposition. They lie on racks, hang on the walls or fill different nooks. Make sure you take a look at the bones that decorate the ceilings - lovely.

Remember, Sicily is still Italy and that means one thing is certain; the food round here will be to die for. Feast on the pizzas prepared in wood ovens and enjoy regional favourites, such as pasta with sardines and Cassata Siciliana, a traditional cake. 

Fly into Palermo International Airport or arrive by boat or train. Palermo is a major transport hub, making it a very easy location to reach. When you’re here, you can easily explore the area on foot.


Top Hotel Deals

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Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel
Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel

Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel

Salita Belmonte 43, Palermo
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 295 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    This family-friendly Palermo hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Palermo Harbour and Favorita Park. Renzo Barbera Stadium and Teatro Massimo are also within 3 miles (5 km).

    Eurostars Centrale Palace €56
    Eurostars Centrale Palace

    Eurostars Centrale Palace

    Via Vittorio Emanuele, 327, Palermo
       
      4.2
      of 5, from 796 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      This family-friendly Albergheria hotel is located in the historical district, steps away from Via Maqueda, Church of San Cataldo and Martorana. Cathedral of Palermo and Teatro Massimo are also within 10 minutes.

      Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes
      Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes

      Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes

      Via Roma 398, Palermo
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 1,000 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Ruggero Settimo, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Roma, Regional Archaeological Museum, and Teatro Massimo. Church of San Cataldo and Martorana are also within 1 mile (2 km).

        Astoria Palace Hotel
        Astoria Palace Hotel

        Astoria Palace Hotel

        Via Montepellegrino 62, Palermo
           
          3.6
          of 5, from 697 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in the heart of Palermo, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Palermo Harbour, Teatro Massimo and Regional Archaeological Museum. Renzo Barbera Stadium and Regional Gallery are also within 2 miles (3 km).

          Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa €86
          Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

          Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

          Via dei Cartari 18, Palermo
             
            4.3
            of 5, from 353 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Kalsa, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Vittorio Emanuele, Church of San Cataldo, and Martorana. Regional Gallery and Regional Archaeological Museum are also within 10 minutes.

            Hotel Palazzo Sitano €66
            Hotel Palazzo Sitano

            Hotel Palazzo Sitano

            Via Vittorio Emanuele, 114, Palermo
               
              4.0
              of 5, from 569 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Kalsa, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Vittorio Emanuele, Regional Gallery, and Church of San Cataldo. Martorana and Regional Archaeological Museum are also within 15 minutes.

              Grand Hotel Wagner
              Grand Hotel Wagner

              Grand Hotel Wagner

              Via R. Wagner, 2, Palermo
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 339 reviews
                5.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Ruggero Settimo, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Roma, Regional Archaeological Museum, and Teatro Massimo. Church of San Cataldo and Martorana are also within 1 mile (2 km).

                Hotel Garibaldi
                Hotel Garibaldi

                Hotel Garibaldi

                via Emerico Amari, 146, Palermo
                   
                  4.2
                  of 5, from 848 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Ruggero Settimo, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Roma, Teatro Massimo, and Regional Archaeological Museum. Church of San Cataldo and Martorana are also within 1 mile (2 km).

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