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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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Eurostars Centrale Palace €45
Reviewed on 11 Oct 2019
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Eurostars Centrale Palace

Eurostars Centrale Palace

Via Vittorio Emanuele, 327, Palermo, PA
     
    4.2 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Well situated in the old town with good facilities and period features. Helpful staff.

    Astoria Palace Hotel €31
    Reviewed on 4 Oct 2019
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    Astoria Palace Hotel

    Astoria Palace Hotel

    Via Montepellegrino 62, Palermo, PA
       
      3.6 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Staff was very friendly, service and continental breakfast very good!

      Artemisia Palace Hotel €55
      Reviewed on 20 Sep 2019
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      Artemisia Palace Hotel

      Artemisia Palace Hotel

      Via Roma 499, Palermo, PA
         
        4.3 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Modern boutique style hotel. Very well cleaned everyday. Spacious bathroom. Excellent breakfast. Staff very accommodating and welcoming. Air conditioning worked well. Fairly central although a long walk from the station. Room was very comfortable but was too small (there are larger rooms available). ...

        Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel €99
        Reviewed on 2 Oct 2019
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        Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel

        Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel

        Via Sant'Oliva 8, Palermo, PA
           
          4.2 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Guiseppe at front desk was very helpful. good breakfast

          Hotel Garibaldi €46
          Reviewed on 8 Sep 2019
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          Hotel Garibaldi

          Hotel Garibaldi

          via Emerico Amari, 146, Palermo, PA
             
            4.1 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Location was great. Clean comfortable room with lots of space. Buses to all areas very close. Breakfast was very good. Close to restaurants bars and retail stores.

            Hotel Casena Dei Colli €44
            Reviewed on 7 Oct 2019
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            Hotel Casena Dei Colli

            Hotel Casena Dei Colli

            Via Villa Rosato 20-22, Palermo, PA
               
              4.0 of 5
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              too far away from town- without a car not a good place to stAY

              Hotel Palazzo Sitano €80
              Reviewed on 1 Sep 2019
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              Hotel Palazzo Sitano

              Hotel Palazzo Sitano

              Via Vittorio Emanuele, 114, Palermo, PA
                 
                4.0 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                There is a poor selection for breakfast. My room was very dark with no view out of the window. The hotel is very well situated.

                Grand Hotel Wagner €115
                Reviewed on 25 Sep 2019
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                Grand Hotel Wagner

                Grand Hotel Wagner

                Via R. Wagner, 2, Palermo, PA
                   
                  4.3 of 5
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  The property is located within walking distance for many of the important historical sites and two blocks from where you can catch the hop on hop off bus. The staff is fantastic and everything is done immediately when asked. The rooms are beautiful. Enjoyed every minutes I was there.

                  Top Deals on Flights

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                  Top things to do in Palermo

                  See all 45 things to do in Palermo (province)