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Palermo Activities

Our most recommended Palermo Activities

Palermo: Street Food and History Walking Tour

1. Palermo: Street Food and History Walking Tour

Embark on a walking tour through the center of Palermo and feel like you are visiting an open-air museum. Marvel at a range of different architectural styles and see the Capo street markets that are a true mix of culture, customs, and food traditions. Taste five local food specialties and a drink to wash them down tastefully. Blend a historical and foodie walking tour into one. See and learn about historical landmarks, including Opera dei Pupi (traditional puppet theater), Piazza Beati Paoli, the Cathedral, the Quattro Canti, and the Pretoria fountain en route. Walk through the bustling Capo Street Market, offering a wide selection of local meats, seafood, produce & Sicilian bites. Then, taste some local specialties from Palermo. Tuck into some sfincione (dough topped with onion, bread crumbs, tomato, and oregano), panelle (fried chickpea flour), crocché (potato croquettes), arancine (rice croquettes stuffed with meat or butter), and cannolo (crunchy shell with sweet-cheese). Refresh yourself with a drink, to close off your tour in style.

Palermo: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour 24-hour Ticket

2. Palermo: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour 24-hour Ticket

Discover Palermo, the chief town of Sicily, on an open-top, hop-on hop-off bus tour! Start from the terminal outside the Politeama Theater, cruise past the Massimo Theatre, and continue towards Piazza Quattro Canti and the nearby Vucciria Market. The tour continues towards the botanical gardens, passing near Palazzo Steri. After a quick glance of the central station, you'll find yourself in the vicinity of the Royal Palace, the Flea Market, and the Cathedral. Then return to the terminal along the ancient via Roma. The second route takes you to the beautiful villas of Palermo. Starting from the terminal outside the Politeama Theatre, admire the gorgeous English Garden and then continue towards Villa Malfitano and the wonderful Zisa Castle. The tour passes near the Mercato del Capo and the Massimo Theatre, towards the port, and then returns to the terminal in Politeama Square.

Segesta, Erice and Salt Pans Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

3. Segesta, Erice and Salt Pans Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

This popular 8-hour itinerary takes you to see the most interesting sites of western Sicily. With your guide you’ll visit and explore Segesta, a Greek archaeological site. Travel to Nubia and the Salt Pans in Trapani, and admire the Sicilian coast and natural landscapes en route. You’ll also stop at Erice, a medieval hilltop town. Enjoy spectacular views throughout the day. All of the sites are relatively near Palermo, meaning that you’ll have plenty of time to explore each of them. This itinerary is also known as the Elimians's Road, named for the Elimians who were among the first inhabitants of this part of Sicily.

From Palermo: Monreale and Cefalù Half-Day Trip

4. From Palermo: Monreale and Cefalù Half-Day Trip

Escape the hustle and bustle of Palermo city center on a half-day tour to Monreale and Cefalù. Marvel at a Norman cathedral on the slopes of Monte Caputo, and learn the Greek and Medieval history of one of Sicily’s most beautiful towns. Following a pick-up from your hotel or the port of Palermo, transfer to Monreale where you will have approximately 1-hour to tour the Duomo. An official audio guide is included to learn the history of the 12th-century building, considered one of the greatest landmarks of medieval ecclesiastical architecture in the south of Italy. Then, drive along the north coast of Sicily, on route to the beautiful town of Cefalù. Sit back and relax on the 1.5-hour journey, and on arrival go to the 12th-century Duomo. See traces of the Middle Ages at the Osterio Magno. Get panoramic views from the Porta Terra. Discover Greek and Arabic pottery in the Mandralisca Museum, and walk down some curving stone steps to a picturesque cluster of 16th-century wash basins at the Lavatoio.

Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

5. Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

Discover the top sights in Palermo from a unique angle on a guided walking tour. Every stop is a chance to pause for reflection on the realities of the Mafia and consider the civic movement against Mafioso power. Meet your guide and begin your mafia-themed adventure through the streets of Palermo. Explore Teatro Massimo, the open-air market Il Capo, and Piazza Della Memoria (a memorial dedicated to prosecutors and judges killed by the mafia). Along the Cassaro, come across places with orange stickers on their windows, representing owners that have said no to paying the extortion racket and have subscribed to the ethical consumer campaign pago chi non paga (I pay who does not pay).  After strolling by sights like Piazza Beati Paoli, Palermo Cathedral, and the city hall, finish the tour in the heart of Palermo's old town center. Get tips from your guide on how to continue your visit and where to taste the best Sicilian specialties.

Palermo: Norman Palace and Palatine Chapel Tour with Tickets

6. Palermo: Norman Palace and Palatine Chapel Tour with Tickets

With more than 800 years of history, it’s perfect for culture vultures! Of all the incredible attractions in Palermo, the Palazzo dei Normanni is one that you can’t miss off your itinerary. Once the seat of the King of Sicily, it is the oldest royal residence in Europe and you can learn the history of all the dynasties who had their thrones here - as well as visiting a stunning and sublime channel. Palermo is decorated in history and there are few buildings that offer a window into the past quite as clear as the Palazzo dei Normanni. The Palazzo dei Normanni (or the Norman Palace to English speakers). Construction on the palace started in the 9th century when Sicily was under Islamic rule, though it was renovated by the Normans in 1072 when their empire spread across Europe. Now, it’s the home of the Sicilian Regional assembly. You’ll get exclusive entrance into the palace and its gardens Though not as well known as Rome’s Sistine Chapel or Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, the Cappella Palatina (or Palatine Chapel) is one of the most spectacular in all of Italy. The chapel, on the second-floor of the palace, was built in 1140 and gives an insight into the arts, science and philosophy of the dominant Western and Middle Eastern cultures at that time. See traditional Islamic designs, Byzantine mosaics, and golden decorations in one of the best examples of the Arab - Norman - Byzantine style. Not only do your tickets allow you entrance to the palace and chapel, but you can explore the gardens too with your expert guide. And as the tour is 1.5 hours long, there’s enough time for you to appreciate the stunning historic building and then spend the rest of the day wandering through Palermo’s historic centre.

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Frequently asked questions about Palermo

What top attractions are a must-see in Palermo?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Palermo?

The best day trips and excursions from Palermo are:

Agrigento

Other Sightseeing Options in Palermo

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What people are saying about Palermo

I booked this tour and a half day tour spur of the moment and so glad I did. This was a great day trip from Palermo. The drivers let us know important things/what to do at each stop. I didn’t know much about any of the stops when booking, especially Erice. Erice turned out to be one of my favorite stops from both of the tours I did. Definitely recommend!

This tour may be listed as a street food tour first, but it truly is a balanced blend of the history and the food of Palermo. I really appreciated this mix and it helped my family and myself get oriented with Palermo. 10/10 would recommend!

This was a great half day trip from Palermo. Monreale had great views over the cities and a lovely church. Cefalu was beautiful on the water. It was during the holidays/off season, so my was closed, but it was fun to visit.

it was a pleasant experience, and the guide was kind and provided many interesting details about the history of the city and how some words are formed.

Very knowledgeable! Nice, Funny, good pace of tour