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Holiday in Palermo

When thinking of Sicily, the first things that come to mind are the sea and relaxing days spent on the beach, but this island has much more to offer.

A holiday in Palermo can help you discover a side of Sicily you've never seen before, where millennia of history, civilisations and cultures have created a unique mixture of art, architecture and tradition. Capital of the region of Sicily, Palermo is considered a cultural and economic hub between the Mediterranean Sea and Europe, as well as one of the island's most important tourist destinations. So it's always easy to find many holiday promotions for Palermo for every budget.

Discovering the city of the "Conca d'Oro" starts at its ancient core. The first settlements stood on what is now Piazza Indipendenza, where the Royal Palace is. The building is emblematic of the various civilisations who developed Sicily's capital, bearing the legacy of the cultures which have come and gone over time in its various architectural styles. Inside the castle you can visit the Palatine Chapel, a marvellous example of Palermo's Byzantine art. Built in 1130, the chapel is renowned for its precious treasury and beautiful mosaics, including Christ Pantocrator. Leaving the castle, you can stroll through the three green areas surrounding the Royal Palace: the Villa Bonanno garden, the Piazza Indipendenza garden and d'Orléans Park, a 7-acre area which used to be part of Villa d'Orléans, but today houses the Region's offices. In Via dei Benedettini, a stone's throw from Palazzo dei Normanni, you can admire one of the city's most beautiful and famous churches, San Giovanni degli Eremiti, known for its red cupolas from the Arab-Norman period. It used to be a monastery, but today only the church remains. Back in Piazza Indipendenza, head to the kiosk on the corner of Corso Calatafimi to try a traditional sandwich with “panelle e crocché” (fried chickpeas and potatoes).

Heading towards Corso Vittorio Emanuele, you'll pass through the imposing Porta Nuova with caryatid figures symbolising Charles V's four victories in Africa. You'll then find yourself halfway down Cassaro, the long road linking Monreale to the sea. On the left stands the beautiful Archbishop's Palace and all along the road are Baroque buildings. You'll arrive at the Quattro Canti, which are four buildings representing the areas the city was divided into in the Spanish period.

To immerse yourself in Palermo's public markets, just cross Via Roma to reach Piazza Caracciolo, site of the famous Vucciria market depicted in Renato Guttuso's celebrated painting. Every July, Corso Vittorio Emanuele hosts the Festival of Santa Rosalia, patron saint of the city. Crossing the street, you'll arrive at the Church of S. Francesco, commissioned by Frederick II. Opposite is one of the city's best rotisseries: the Antica Focacceria San Francesco, where you can try some typical delicacies of Palermo.

If you want to admire some masterpieces by Sicilian artists, head to Palazzo Abatellis, one of the oldest and most elegant buildings in Palermo, inside of which is the Sicilian Regional Gallery. Outside the Gallery is the Kalsa quarter, which was originally a fortified citadel founded by Arabs. In front of the Porta Reale is the entrance to the Botanical Gardens and Villa Giulia with lovely walkways, palms, ancient trees and orchards.

Once in Palermo, you've got to spend an evening in Piazza Marina, a recently revitalised centre of nightlife. You can dine at the unique "al covo de' i Beati Paoli", which has tables outdoors in good weather, perfect for admiring the gardens of Villa Garibaldi, the palaces of the nobles and the Garaffo Fountain. Another fantastic place for dinner in the heart of the historic centre is I Grilli, just behind the Church of San Domenico, with a traditional Sicilian menu served by candlelight in a sophisticated atmosphere. You can end the night with a visit to the Complesso Monumentale dello Spasimo, a deconsecrated church that now stages concerts and plays. Sun, sea, traditions and legacies of ancient cultures. What more do you need to take advantage of a last minute holiday offer to Palermo?


Top Hotel Deals

See all 2,448 properties in Palermo
Astoria Palace Hotel £36
Astoria Palace Hotel

Astoria Palace Hotel

Via Montepellegrino 62, Palermo, PA
     
    3.6
    of 5, from 855 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in the heart of Palermo, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Villa Zito, Palermo Harbour and Via Roma. Politeama Garibaldi Theater and Teatro Massimo are also within 2 miles (3 km). Giachery Station is 5 minutes by foot and Fiera Station is 9 minutes.

    Quintocanto Hotel and Spa £85
    Quintocanto Hotel and Spa

    Quintocanto Hotel and Spa

    Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 310, Palermo, PA
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 246 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in Kalsa, this spa hotel is steps away from Via Maqueda, Via Vittorio Emanuele and Quattro Canti.

      Eurostars Centrale Palace £45
      Eurostars Centrale Palace

      Eurostars Centrale Palace

      Via Vittorio Emanuele, 327, Palermo, PA
         
        4.2
        of 5, from 881 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        This family-friendly Palermo hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Via Maqueda and Via Roma. Cathedral of Palermo and Teatro Massimo are also within 10 minutes. Palermo Central Station is 12 minutes by foot and Palermo Palazzo Reale-Orleans Station is 13 minutes.

        Mercure Hotel Palermo Centro £42
        Mercure Hotel Palermo Centro

        Mercure Hotel Palermo Centro

        Via Stabile Mariano 112, Palermo, PA
           
          4.1
          of 5, from 879 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Palermo, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Regional Archaeological Museum and Teatro Massimo. Martorana (Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio) and Church of San Cataldo are also within 1 mi (2 km). Giachery Station is 18 minutes by foot and Palermo Central Station is 22 minutes.

          Ambasciatori Hotel £54
          Ambasciatori Hotel

          Ambasciatori Hotel

          Via Roma 111, Palermo, PA
             
            4.3
            of 5, from 849 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Kalsa, this romantic hotel is steps away from Via Maqueda and Via Roma. Palermo Harbour and Ballaro Market are also within 10 minutes. Palermo Central Station is 7 minutes by foot and Palermo Palazzo Reale-Orleans Station is 17 minutes.

            Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel £104
            Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel

            Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel

            Salita Belmonte 43, Palermo, PA
               
              4.1
              of 5, from 346 reviews
              5.0 out of 5.0

              This family-friendly Palermo hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Palermo Harbour and Via Roma. Politeama Garibaldi Theater and Teatro Massimo are also within 3 miles (5 km). Fiera Station is 20 minutes by foot and Giachery Station is 22 minutes.

              Hotel Garibaldi £52
              Hotel Garibaldi

              Hotel Garibaldi

              via Emerico Amari, 146, Palermo, PA
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 939 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Ruggero Settimo, this romantic hotel is steps away from Politeama Garibaldi Theater and Piazza Ruggero Settimo.

                Grand Hotel Wagner £107
                Grand Hotel Wagner

                Grand Hotel Wagner

                Via R. Wagner, 2, Palermo, PA
                   
                  4.3
                  of 5, from 380 reviews
                  5.0 out of 5.0

                  This luxury hotel is located in Palermo (Ruggero Settimo), close to Politeama Garibaldi Theater, Teatro Massimo and Via Roma. Also nearby are Palermo Harbour and Cathedral of Palermo.

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