When we hear mention of Palermo, there is one thing that immediately springs to mind: the Mafia. There is no denying that the Mafia exists in this city. As does unemployment, traffic and piles of rubbish. There are many clichés associated with Palermo, some of which are true, while others are false.

Palermo is no beauty at first sight, but it is certainly one of the most interesting cities in Italy. Magnificently located in the Capra di Oro bay, Palermo’s allure is only experienced at second glance.

Oriental-style markets with pyramids of oranges, spices and Arabian garments. Authentic Italian cafés and restaurants that invite you to linger. You can easily get lost in the narrow streets, but the journey of discovery through the city is worth it every time. Many parts of the old town have been left untouched since they were bombed during the war. There is also a never-ending array of impressive buildings, not to mention major sights such as the cathedral and the Royal Palace.

Last but not least, Palermo is an ideal gateway for discovering the whole island of Sicily and enjoying a few days of relaxation on the beach. At Mondello Bay, for example, the nearest beach to the city. A trip to Palermo is definitely a worthwhile adventure.

City Facts

  • Location

    Capital of the self-governed region of Sicily and the province of Palermo

  • Population

    approx. 678,500

  • Size

    approx. 158 km2

  • Public transport

    Good bus and train network

  • Climate

    Mediterranean climate; hot summer, mild winter

  • Best time to visit

    From March to May and September to November; very hot in the height of summer

  • Good to know

    There are three different types of plug sockets in Italy, so it is always a good idea to take an adapter.

  • Nice to know

    Palermo is safer than it is made out to be. However, it is advisable to stick to convention – be wary of carrying valuable objects around and steer clear of side streets.

  • Airport

    Palermo-Punta Raisi "Falcone e Borsellino", around 35 km outside the city.

  • Bus

    The Prestia e Comandè bus leaves for the central train station every 30 minutes; journey time approx. 50 minutes.

  • Railway

    The Trinacria Express takes passengers to the central station every hour; journey time approx. 45 minutes.

  • Taxi

    Taxis wait in front of the main terminal; journey time approx. 30 minutes depending on traffic.