Holidays in
Palermo

A Sicilian seaside city

Filled with Arabian domes and Baroque splendour, the Sicilian capital is all about romance. Palermo holidays offer the chance to wander around faded palaces and mosaic-lined churches, graze on delicious street food, and discover some of Sicily’s incredible coastline.

In a prime position between Italy and Africa, the city has been occupied by Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and Spanish (among others) over the centuries – and all have left their mark. As one of Europe’s largest historic centres, Palermo has a cluster of fantastic sights that couples and families who like history and architecture will love exploring, including the beautiful Palatine Chapel, the Norman (or Royal) Palace and the Teatro Massimo – Europe’s third largest opera house.

It’s not just about sightseeing, however: days in the city can simply be spent relaxing in pavement cafés, soaking up the vibrant street life and feasting on tasty snacks. For an intoxicating combination of sights, street food and the Sicilian way of life, holidays to Palermo are hard to beat.

Your Palermo questions, answered

You’ll have an amazing city break if you choose to only visit Palermo, but the capital is also a wonderful springboard from which to visit other parts of Sicily.

Fabulous beaches nearby include Aspra, a curve of pale sand that’s just outside the city, and Mondello, a long, white-sanded beach about 12 kilometres to the north.

Palermo is a great destination for shopping: as well as big-name designer shops, you’ll find places selling colourful ceramics and locally made puppets, and there are various markets to explore.

Best things to do in Palermo

Visit the Palatine Chapel

This 12th-century chapel is an architectural highlight. A jewel-like masterpiece found inside the Norman Palace, it’s decorated with golden mosaics, virtuoso carving and inlaid marble floors.

Savour the street food

Palermo is famous for its amazing street food. Try the pizza and ‘arancini’ (deep-fried rice balls) at the local markets or join a tour that can steer you to latest foodie hotspots.

See the Teatro Massimo

Take a tour of this grand, 19th-century theatre and wonder at its opulent red-and-gold interiors, then book tickets for an opera to see the space come to life.

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