Palermo
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Palermo Culture & History

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

1. 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.

Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

2. Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

Explore Teatro Massimo, the open-air market "Il Capo", Piazza Della Memoria (Memorial dedicated to prosecutors and judges killed by the Mafia), Piazza Beati Paoli, the Cathedral, the City Hall, and Piazza Magione. Every stop will be a pause for reflection, a chance to mull over the realities of the Mafia and consider the civic movement against Mafioso power. Along the tour, you will meet shopkeepers who have said NO to paying the Pizzo, who have subscribed to the ethical consumer campaign ‘Pago chi non Paga’ (I pay who does not pay). This campaign is promoted by Addiopizzo to support those that have decided to rebel against the Mafia. End the tour at Antica Focacceria San Francesco, one of the oldest restaurants in Palermo, famous for its ‘Cibo da Strada Palermitano’ (street food of Palermo). Learn about how the owners had the courage to speak out against extortion. Lunch is not included but if you decide to stay you can taste some specialties like, "pane con la Milza" (sandwich stuffed with beef spleen and ricotta cheese), "Arancine" (rice balls), "Panelle" (chickpea fritters), "Anelletti al Forno" (baked ring-shaped pasta), "Involtini di Melanzane" (eggplant rolls), "Sarde a Beccafico" (sardine rolls) and the famous Cannoli.

Palermo: Street Food and History Walking Tour

3. 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 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: Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples Day Tour

4. Palermo: Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples Day Tour

Enjoy a scenic drive into the countryside to Agrigento on this full-day excursion from Palmero. Situated on a plateau overlooking the sea, with the Hypsasand the Akragas rivers nearby and a ridge to the north offering a degree of natural fortification, Agrigento was founded in the 6th century BC by Greek colonists from Gela. The excursion includes a short stop for a coffee (not included in the tour price) en route to Agrigento, before arriving at the Valley of the Temples. You can further explore the Hera, Concordia and Apollo temples and Hardcastle villa, with a guidebook that will provide more information about the sites. You’ll have free time to decide on a place for lunch, before your driver takes you to the Agrigento Archaeology Museum, at an additional cost. After exploring the museum’s collections, you’ll be transferred back to Palermo.

From Palermo: Guided Mafia Tour of Corleone & Hotel Pickup

5. From Palermo: Guided Mafia Tour of Corleone & Hotel Pickup

Excursion program: meeting with your driver at your hotel, B&B, cruise ship in the morning at 08.30 am, departure with New and comfortable van from Palermo. First stop Portella della Ginestra: visit places of the first Mafia massacre by the bandit Giuliano. Second stop Piana degli Albanesi where you can taste the famous Sicilian typical sweet Cannoli. Afterwards we will continue to Corleone, arrival scheduled for 11:30 am, visit to the Anti-Mafia Museum and to the places that inspired the protagonist of the famous novel by Mario Puzzo and the film Don Vito Corleone. The museum guide will explain everything from the birth of "Cosa Nostra" in America to the present day, you will see a part of the museum dedicated to the Maxi Trial and to the judges Heroes Falcone and Borsellino. You will have lunch if you want in a local restaurant or bar. If possible you will assist to the preparation of ricotta and sheep cheeses in a local dairy. After lunch departure for the Ficuzza wood reserve, visit of the reserve. Return to the hotel in the afternoon around 16:30.

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

6. 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.

Palermo: Private City Tour with a Local Guide

7. Palermo: Private City Tour with a Local Guide

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Palermo from a local guide eager to share all the tips to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with the neighborhood. Learn insider tips, such as the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city with all the information you need.

From Palermo: Erice, Salt Pans, and Segesta Day Trip

8. From Palermo: Erice, Salt Pans, and Segesta Day Trip

Discover the history of Sicily from the Greeks to the Middle Ages with this day trip to Erice, the salt pans of Trapani, and Segesta. After pickup from selected locations in Palermo, drive to western Sicily to reach Erice. The ancient Elymian people founded this medieval town, once an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Continue to Trapani where the ancient tradition of harvesting salt from the sea is still practiced. In the afternoon, head to Segesta, another city founded by the Elymians. Visit the 5th-century Doric temple built on a hilltop just outside the ancient city. Admire the astonishing views, before returning to Palermo.

From Palermo: Villa Romana and Valley of the Temples Trip

9. From Palermo: Villa Romana and Valley of the Temples Trip

Follow in the footsteps of the Greeks and Romans on a day trip where your transport is taken care of for you. Discover some of the finest Roman mosaics in the world at the Villa Romana del Casale. Learn all about the Valley of the Temples archaeological site with a licensed local guide. Meet your driver in central Palermo and be taken straight to Piazza Armerina, where you will explore the Villa Romana del Casale independently. Marvel at the luxurious 4th-century villa, home to an influential Roman family. Take your time to examine its exquisite mosaic flooring. Continue to Agrigento for a guided tour of the magnificent Valley of Temples, built by the Greeks in the 5th century BC. See the ruins of temples, necropolises, houses, streets, and everything else you'd expect to find in an ancient city. Finally, return to the meeting point in Palermo.

Palermo: Teatro Massimo Opera House Guided Tour

10. Palermo: Teatro Massimo Opera House Guided Tour

Get to know Palermo's famous opera house on this 30 minute guided tour. Explore the stunning auditorium and other rooms of the third largest opera house in Europe. Start your tour in the foyer. Admire the sculptures and bronze-decorated candelabra in this opulent place. Next, move to the auditorium and enjoy the golden stuccoes, wooden decorations, and features in velvet and glass. Visit the stage and see what happens to enable the staging of an opera. Admire the gorgeous royal box, as well as other areas like the Coat of Arms and Pompeian Rooms. Learn fascinating facts about the opera house, and enjoy breathtaking views of Palermo from the building's top.

Frequently asked questions about Palermo Culture & History

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What people are saying about Palermo

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 238 reviews

The tour itself was super interesting learning about the city and the food itself was delicious. Throughout the trip our guide was kind, knowledgeable and approachable- highly recommend!!

Our guide was super knowledgeable and made the whole experience very fun ! Highly recommend. Good sampling of Palermo street food and a good o review of some interesting local sites too.

A fabulous walking tour with a brilliant guide. Fabrizio was very informative about Sicilian history including all things street food! Highly recommended.

Really interesting tour - just the right combination of food and history. Really enjoyable, informative and relaxing.

Stunning locations and a very knowledgeable English speaking guide.