Our Palermo Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help planning your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Italy. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from the airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need? We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips.

It’s all compiled in this Palermo Travel Essentials. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip in Palermo, Sicily.

  • When is the best time to travel to Palermo?

    When is the best time to travel to Palermo?

    Palermo has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures ranging from 11ºC in winter to 26ºC in summer.

    • Most rainfall occurs from October to April, with an average of 10 rainy days per month.
    • The sunniest time of the year is from May to September. 
    • Summer, from June to August, is peak tourist season, hotel and flight prices rise accordingly.
    • May and September are pleasant times to visit. The weather is warm and hotel and flight prices are more affordable than during summer.
  • Palermo basics

    Palermo basics
    • Primary Languages: Italian
    • Plug types: C, F and L
    • Electricity: 230 V
    • Currency: Euro (€)
    • International dialling code: +39 91
    • Emergency telephone number: 112
  • How to get to my hotel in Palermo?

    How to get to my hotel in Palermo?

    Falcone Borsellino - Palermo Airport

    Simply known as Palermo Airport, Falcone Borsellino Airport sits 23 km northwest of the city centre. One of the busiest airports in southern Italy, it features shops, restaurants and facilities including bank services. There are several transfer options to reach central Palermo:

    • A taxi takes around 40-50 minutes to reach the city centre. Taxi ranks can be found outside the arrivals hall.
    • A shared shuttle bus takes around 40-50 minutes. The shuttle buses wait outside the arrivals hall. They depart only when full.
    • The Prestia e Comande bus takes around 50-60 minutes. It’s the cheapest way to get to central Palermo.
    • Car hire agencies can be found in the arrivals hall.
  • How to get around Palermo?

    Travel tips

    How to get around Palermo?

    Palermo city centre is pretty compact and can be explored on foot. Within 1 sq mi, you’ll find many popular landmarks and attractions, such as the Norman Palace, the Palermo Cathedral and the Quattro Canti octagonal square. For longer journeys, Palermo has a good choice of public and private transport services at hand to get you around the city.

    photo by Jorge Franganillo (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • Public transport

    Public transport
    • The AMAT (Azienda Municipalizzata Auto Trasporti – Municipality Transport Company) operates bus and tram networks in Palermo.
    • The tram network features 4 lines that cover many landmarks and attractions.
    • The bus network covers the entire city. Note that it’s often criticised for its lack of punctuality.
    • A single ticket is valid for 90 minutes.
    • 1-day tickets are available.
    • Tickets and passes can be purchased on the bus, in tram stations, and in newsstands and tobacco shops throughout the city.
    • You can also buy a PMO Tourist Card which includes unlimited public transportation, discounts for museums, monuments, shops, restaurants, and more. Available for 1, 2 or 3 days, prices start from around €10 for 1 day. The PMO Tourist Card is available online.

    photo by Patrick1977Bln (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

  • Taking a taxi

    Taking a taxi
    • Many taxi companies operate in Palermo. You can directly call companies such as Cooperative Autoradiotaxi Palermo (091 513311), Radio Taxi Trinacria (091 6878), and Radio Taxi Palermo (091 8481), just to name a few.
    • Many taxi ranks can be found across the city.
    • Taxis can be hailed on the street, unless a taxi rank nearby.
    • The payment of a taxi fare by credit card is rarely possible.
    • Rates are higher at night and on weekends.
    • Be aware that taxi drivers do not have a very good reputation in Palermo. Taking longer roads, forgetting to put the metre on and overcharging are common practices.
  • Cycle around Palermo with BiciPA

    Cycle around Palermo with BiciPA
    • BiciPA is the name of Palermo’s bike-sharing system. It’s run by the AMAT (Azienda Municipalizzata Auto Trasporti).
    • Just download the app on your mobile phone and register.
    • 1-day and 1-week registrations are available.

    photo by Teresa Grau Ros (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

  • What are the main annual events in Palermo?

    What are the main annual events in Palermo?

    Feast of Santa Rosalia

    • What: Annual celebration of Saint Rosalia, also known as La Santuzza. The story goes that she appeared to a few Palermo inhabitants during a 17th century’s period of plague. The celebration includes a procession, ending with a large fireworks display.
    • When: 14th July
    • Where: Palermo Old Town

    Ferragosto (Assumption Day)

    • What: Palermo celebrates this national public holiday in Italy with a rowing race in the port, local food stands, concerts, and a fireworks display.
    • When: 15th August
    • Where: Every town in Sicily

    Martedi Grasso (Fat Tuesday)

    • What: The traditional Fat Tuesday (aka Carnival) in Sicily is celebrated in most towns around the island. Expect flower parades, music, dance, and many local delicacies to sample in a very festive ambience.
    • When: Tuesday before Lent
    • Where: Every town in Sicily

    photo by Federica Di Fiore (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified