As the capital of Sicily, there's plenty to do during a holiday to Palermo. Quattro Canti in the centre of the old city is the perfect place to take a lazy stroll – keep an eye out for the four 17th-century palaces. Catch the ballet or watch an opera at the 19th Century Teatro Massimo, one of Europe's largest theatres. Adults and kids alike will enjoy a trip to the Antonio Pasqualino International Marionette Museum which contains a staggering 3,500 puppets, marionettes and hand puppets from around the world – keep an eye out for Punch and Judy.
With low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet offering direct flights to Palermo it’s the perfect destination if you’re on a budget. You’ll be able to fly out from London Stansted and London Gatwick. If you’d like a wider range of airports and airlines to choose from you’ll have to book indirect flights. Keep in mind that indirect flights can cost considerably more and make sure you shop around before you book – after all you want to secure the best deal! If you choose to take a holiday in Palermo you’ll fly into Palermo International Airport which is located around 35 kilometres northwest of the capital city.
There are a number of ways to reach your Palermo hotel from the airport. You can catch a train from the nearby station to Palermo central station. It runs every six minutes between the hours of 5.40am and 23.40pm. Alternatively you can pick up the bus – make sure you keep an eye out for the number 29 as this travels into the centre several times a day. Keep in mind it's not available after midnight. Outside these hours you can catch a taxi to your accommodation - the rank is situated outside the main terminal.
There's plenty to explore during your holiday in Palermo and thanks to the good bus service you'll have no problem seeing the sights. You can buy tickets from tobacco shops before you board. Trips made within a set time period cost a flat fare but if you're planning on cramming lots of sights into one day, you can buy an all-day pass. If you're eager to see the major attractions it may be worth looking out for the Giro Citta tourist bus. The bus travels in a loop and you buy your tickets on board.
As with any city, there's an abundance of accommodation available no matter what your budget may be. If you're after a cheap hotel in Palermo simply make sure you book well in advance – you'll be able to make some great savings. The city is extremely popular with tourists during Easter and the festival of Festino di Santa Rosalia. As a result prices for hotels can rocket. Try to avoid these times if you can and instead visit during the autumn and early spring – the weather may be cooler but you'll be able to experience the beautiful sights without hordes of tourists.
Sicily is home to delicious food – it'll leave you wanting to sample everything on offer! Thankfully it doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you're on a budget try to avoid tourist-trap restaurants and instead seek out the more traditional eateries down the side streets. You get the same – if not better – food at a much more reasonable price. For desert make sure you try the cassata - it's a sponge cake made with liquor or fruit juice, ricotta cheese, candied peel and has a vanilla or chocolate filling.
Updated 4th December 2013
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