Add dates

Palermo Rainy-day activities

Our most recommended Palermo Rainy-day 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.

From Palermo: Monreale and Cefalù Half-Day Trip

2. 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

3. 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: Markets and Monuments City Center Walking Tour

4. Palermo: Markets and Monuments City Center Walking Tour

Get a feel for the rich history, culture, and architecture of central Palermo on a 3-hour guided walking tour. Your guide will take you to Norman Sicily churches and beautiful palaces, through bustling city squares and famous old street markets. Head first to the Teatro Massimo and learn about Italy’s largest opera house, known for its perfect acoustics. Then visit the beautiful Palermo Cathedral, dating from the 12th century and part of Unesco ’s list of World Heritage sites. See the Church of the Gesù, one of the most important Baroque churches in Palermo, as well as the Praetorian Palace, an outstanding palace of the 15th century.   Continue to Pretoria Square, referred to by locals as the “square of shame” for the nudity of its fountain statues. You’ll also visit the nearby Bellini Square where you’ll see the Church of San Cataldo and Martorana Church, two more Norman Sicily–era churches and Unesco World Heritage sites.   Along the way, your guide will lead you through the famous Capo street markets. Observe the lively scenes and multitude of smells, textiles, and colorful foods as you weave among the stalls. You can also buy and taste some of the city’s popular street food, including: panelle, crocché, sfincione and arancina The tour ends in the exact center of historic Palermo, the Baroque Villena Square, also known as Quattro Canti (Four Corners). It was built in the early 1600s at the crossing of the two most prominent streets in Palermo: Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda.

Palermo: Walking Tour of Historic Markets and Monuments

5. Palermo: Walking Tour of Historic Markets and Monuments

Explore Palermo's historic center led by a seasoned guide. Hear about the history of the capital of Sicily while admiring notable monuments such as the Teatro Massimo, the Cathedral, and the Quattro Canti, before wandering through markets for local wares and traditional street food. Start the tour by entering the Palermo Cathedral, a UNESCO-listed site dating from the early 12th century. Admire its iconic bell towers and learn about its architectural evolution through time. Then, stop by the Massimo Theater and hear about the ghostly legends surrounding it. You'll visit other must-see landmarks like the baroque Quattro Canti plaza, and the imposing Fontana Pretoria in the Piazza of the same name. Along the way, discover the myths and legends of Siciliy like the mysterious Beati Paoli sect, and the city's patron saint Santa Rosalia, or La Santuzza. Finally, walk through the Capo street market and take the opportunity to try some of Palermo's delicacies like Sicilian street food and pastries.

Palermo: Teatro Massimo Opera House Guided Tour

6. 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.

Palermo: Art and Architecture Walking Tour

7. Palermo: Art and Architecture Walking Tour

Discover the historical monuments of Palermo on a small group half-day tour, and learn the fascinating history of the city, from its birth under the Phoenicians through the Roman Republic and the Byzantine Empire to the modern day. Wander the winding streets of the Politeama sestiere (district) to see iconic buildings such as the Teatro Politeama and Teatro Massimo, one of the largest opera houses in Europe. Learn about the Arab-Norman era and religious rites at sites such as the 12th-century Cappella Palatina (Palatine Chapel) in the Palazzo Reale. Look in wonder at the splendid façade of Palermo Cathedral, characterized by different architectural styles, from the Gothic through the early Renaissance and Baroque. Learn more about the hidden treasures of the historical center and hear amazing stories that take you on a journey through time.

Palermo storie e segreti: tour tra arte misteri e leggende

8. Palermo storie e segreti: tour tra arte misteri e leggende

You’ll get to see and admire in a few hours with a local tour guide the beauty of the Historic Center of Palermo with its impressive baroque churches, its aristocratic palaces between alleys, squares and arabic fairs. Dive in the unique atmosphere of this city with a real local, professional tour guide with lots of experience. We’ll go together and I’ll tell you amazing legends and myths about this extraordinary city, such as the ghost of Massimo theatre or the mysterious secret sect of Beati Paoli, the tragic love story of the baroness of Carini and the miraculous events of “santuzza” (Saint Rosalia, Palermo’s protectress). We’ll talk about cinema, “mafia”, literature and art, war and rebirth, everything in a Palermitan way. We will get trough the antique arabic Capo Market and you will, if you want to, taste the delicacies of palermitan street food (Let’s not forget that Palermo is one of the capitals across the world of street food). There will also be the sweets of “Pasticceria Siciliana” and its secret receipts kept for centuries by cloistered nuns. Come with us to see Palermo: Stories and secrets that no other guide will ever tell you!

Sicily: Castelbuono, Castle of Ventimiglia, and Cefalù Trip

9. Sicily: Castelbuono, Castle of Ventimiglia, and Cefalù Trip

Meet your host and the rest of the group at the meeting point and drive to Castelbuono, a medieval village. The town develops around the castle of Ventimiglia, near a Byzantine hamlet called Ypsigro. Upon arrival, we join a small pastry shop to taste the famous Sicilian Panettone, a typical Christmas cake. Later onto Cefalù, a gorgeous town located on the northern coast of Sicily and one of the major tourist attractions in the region. Built on a promontory dominated by a sheer cliff, Cefalù, still keeping its ancient print, has grown around the Cathedral wanted by Ruggero II. Stroll through the medieval narrow street and admire the picturesque houses on the sea and the long beach of finest sand. At the end of the tour head back to Palermo.

Palatine Chapel: Private Walking Tour & Sicilian Lunch

10. Palatine Chapel: Private Walking Tour & Sicilian Lunch

Palermo is especially suited for a walking tour, considering its Arabic-influenced urban structure and narrow streets and lanes. Get acquainted with this beautiful Sicilian city on this half-day walking tour. Start by crossing Politeama Square, the main square of Palermo, where the main city avenues meet. Continue along Ruggero VII Street, which is considered the “lounge of Palermo” and pass the Church of St. Lucia before arriving at Theater Massimo, the largest theater in Europe. Continue along Via Maqueda, an ancient commercial street full of churches and historic buildings, to Candelai, which is at the heart of Palermo's nightlife. See Quattro Canti, meaning "four corners," which divides the city exactly into four parts. See the beautiful church, St. Joseph of Theatine and tour the iconic Cathedral of Palermo. The Royal Palace awaits afterward, where you can visit a Jewel of Arab Norman art and also the most visited monument in Sicily: the Palatine Chapel. Throughout the tour, you will see old Arab quarters hidden among the narrow lanes of the inner city, including the community of St. Clare. Admire the nude statues in the Square of Shame and the red Arabic-style domes atop the Church of the Martorana. Shop around the historic market, Vucciria and Saint Dominic Square before lunch. Inside a 16th-century Spanish building, enjoy a rich Sicilian buffet, including panelle, sfincione, anelletti al forno, caponata and cassatelle, along with a traditional Sicilian wine and a dessert of almond biscuits and mocha espresso.

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • Private tours
  • Day trips
14 activities found
Sort by:

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

Want to discover all there is to do in Palermo? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Palermo

Awesome trip. We were picked up and dropped off at our Airbnb. I love hands-off tours where the driver gives you a few tips and then you're off on your own. I had my two children with me and we were able to explore on our own and enjoyed some playtime. I would definitely recommend if you're more of a hands-off traveler.

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