Palermo
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Palermo Culture & History

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 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.

Palermo: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour 24-hour Ticket

2. Palermo: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour 24-hour Ticket

Discover Palermo, the chief town of Sicily, on an open-top, hop-on hop-off bus tour! Start from the terminal outside the Politeama Theater, cruise past the Massimo Theatre, and continue towards Piazza Quattro Canti and the nearby Vucciria Market. The tour continues towards the botanical gardens, passing near Palazzo Steri. After a quick glance of the central station, you'll find yourself in the vicinity of the Royal Palace, the Flea Market, and the Cathedral. Then return to the terminal along the ancient via Roma. The second route takes you to the beautiful villas of Palermo. Starting from the terminal outside the Politeama Theatre, admire the gorgeous English Garden and then continue towards Villa Malfitano and the wonderful Zisa Castle. The tour passes near the Mercato del Capo and the Massimo Theatre, towards the port, and then returns to the terminal in Politeama Square.

Palermo: Private City Tour with a Local Guide

3. Palermo: Private City Tour with a Local Guide

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Palermo from a local guide eager to share all the tips to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with the neighborhood. Learn insider tips, such as the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city with all the information you need.

Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

4. Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

Explore Teatro Massimo, the open-air market "Il Capo", Piazza Della Memoria (Memorial dedicated to prosecutors and judges killed by the Mafia), Piazza Beati Paoli, the Cathedral, the City Hall, and Piazza Magione. Every stop will be a pause for reflection, a chance to mull over the realities of the Mafia and consider the civic movement against Mafioso power. Along the tour, you will meet shopkeepers who have said NO to paying the Pizzo, who have subscribed to the ethical consumer campaign ‘Pago chi non Paga’ (I pay who does not pay). This campaign is promoted by Addiopizzo to support those that have decided to rebel against the Mafia. End the tour at Antica Focacceria San Francesco, one of the oldest restaurants in Palermo, famous for its ‘Cibo da Strada Palermitano’ (street food of Palermo). Learn about how the owners had the courage to speak out against extortion. Lunch is not included but if you decide to stay you can taste some specialties like, "pane con la Milza" (sandwich stuffed with beef spleen and ricotta cheese), "Arancine" (rice balls), "Panelle" (chickpea fritters), "Anelletti al Forno" (baked ring-shaped pasta), "Involtini di Melanzane" (eggplant rolls), "Sarde a Beccafico" (sardine rolls) and the famous Cannoli.

Segesta, Erice and Salt Pans Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

5. Segesta, Erice and Salt Pans Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

This popular 8-hour itinerary takes you to see the most interesting sites of western Sicily. With your guide you’ll visit and explore Segesta, a Greek archaeological site. Travel to Nubia and the Salt Pans in Trapani, and admire the Sicilian coast and natural landscapes en route. You’ll also stop at Erice, a medieval hilltop town. Enjoy spectacular views throughout the day. All of the sites are relatively near Palermo, meaning that you’ll have plenty of time to explore each of them. This itinerary is also known as the Elimians's Road, named for the Elimians who were among the first inhabitants of this part of Sicily.

Palermo: Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples Day Tour

6. Palermo: Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples Day Tour

Enjoy a scenic drive into the countryside to Agrigento on this full-day excursion from Palmero. Situated on a plateau overlooking the sea, with the Hypsasand the Akragas rivers nearby and a ridge to the north offering a degree of natural fortification, Agrigento was founded in the 6th century BC by Greek colonists from Gela. The excursion includes a short stop for a coffee (not included in the tour price) en route to Agrigento, before arriving at the Valley of the Temples. You can further explore the Hera, Concordia and Apollo temples and Hardcastle villa, with a guidebook that will provide more information about the sites. You’ll have free time to decide on a place for lunch, before your driver takes you to the Agrigento Archaeology Museum, at an additional cost. After exploring the museum’s collections, you’ll be transferred back to Palermo.

From Palermo: Villa Romana and Valley of the Temples Trip

7. From Palermo: Villa Romana and Valley of the Temples Trip

Follow in the footsteps of the Greeks and Romans on a day trip where your transport is taken care of for you. Discover some of the finest Roman mosaics in the world at the Villa Romana del Casale. Learn all about the Valley of the Temples archaeological site with a licensed local guide. Meet your driver in central Palermo and be taken straight to Piazza Armerina, where you will explore the Villa Romana del Casale independently. Marvel at the luxurious 4th-century villa, home to an influential Roman family. Take your time to examine its exquisite mosaic flooring. Continue to Agrigento for a guided tour of the magnificent Valley of Temples, built by the Greeks in the 5th century BC. See the ruins of temples, necropolises, houses, streets, and everything else you'd expect to find in an ancient city. Finally, return to the meeting point in Palermo.

From Palermo: Erice, Salt Pans, and Segesta Day Trip

8. From Palermo: Erice, Salt Pans, and Segesta Day Trip

Discover the history of Sicily from the Greeks to the Middle Ages with this day trip to Erice, the salt pans of Trapani, and Segesta. After pickup from selected locations in Palermo, drive to western Sicily to reach Erice. The ancient Elymian people founded this medieval town, once an important religious site associated with the goddess Venus. Continue to Trapani where the ancient tradition of harvesting salt from the sea is still practiced. In the afternoon, head to Segesta, another city founded by the Elymians. Visit the 5th-century Doric temple built on a hilltop just outside the ancient city. Admire the astonishing views, before returning to Palermo.

Palermo: Teatro Massimo Opera House Guided Tour

9. 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.

Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

10. Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

Europe’s highest active volcano is studied extensively by scientists and is popular with trekkers and nature lovers as well. Visit Mount Etna and the clifftop village of Taormina on this 11-hour excursion from Palermo. From Crateri Silvestri you’ll take the funicular with a local mountain guide all the way up to 2,500 meters above sea level. From this point you’ll experience unforgettable panoramic views. Just south of Taormina is the nature reserve of Isola Bella, and further south you’ll see the popular seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Visit the village of Taormina, a 45-minute drive from Mount Etna. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, the village features an ancient Greek theater, many old churches, antique shops, lively bars and fine restaurants.

Frequently asked questions about Palermo Culture & History

What are other things to do than Culture & History that are worth visiting in Palermo?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Palermo

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What people are saying about Palermo

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 238 reviews

Just back from our trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. Got to try the best ever cannoli and some amazing local cheeses. Loads of interesting facts about Siciliy in general and the visit to the Anti Mafia museum was really informative. Would recommend the trip as not just about the visit to Corleone which was brilliant but loads of other things too.

TAKE THIS TOUR! This is the most fun you can have exploring the city! The cars are adorable and fun to drive, and take everyone by surprise! The places you drive give you chance to explore the history of the city while giving you the thrills of navigating the back streets and alleyways. Salvo and his cars are so much fun!

Each of the three destinations was spectacular! Both Segesta and the Trapani Salt Museum were interesting from an historical perspective. The hill town of Erice is breathtaking and a nice change from the busy atmosphere of Palermo! The guide and driver were helpful and made the trip smooth and easy.

We had excellent time with guide Fulvio. Recomend to eweryone who want to try diferent street food in Palermo with touch of history. Fulvio prepared some food surprises. I can't tell you more. Try it.

It was a very nice experience. Manuela explaines us a lot about the history of Palermo and made us try the most famous Palermo street food at a local market. Highly recommended!