The capital of Sicily

The capital city of Sicily. Palermo has a diverse history, influenced by various civilizations, including the Romans, Arabs, Normans, and Spanish. Palermo is known for its stunning architecture, with landmarks like the Norman Palace, which houses the famous Palatine Chapel. There is also a fascinating mix of architectural styles, including Arab-Norman architecture, evident in structures like the Martorana Church and the Cathedral of Palermo. The city is home to the second largest opera house in Europe, the Teatro Massimo, renowned for its grandeur and acoustics. In this guide below, we have compiled a list of the places to visit in Palermo.

Pictures & places to visit in Palermo

The Palermo Cathedral

This is the main church in the city. Construction began in 1185 under King William II and continued for centuries, resulting in a fusion of architectural styles, including Norman, Gothic, Baroque, and Neoclassical. 

The cathedral has been through a lot over the years, including earthquakes and renovations, which have adapted its architecture over time. Today, it symbolizes Sicily’s complex history and cultural diversity. It’s a testament to the island’s rich heritage and the interactions between different civilizations over centuries. The Cathedrals’s Arab-Norman architecture earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015.

Today, you can tour the church and climb to the roof of this iconic building, which offers fantastic views of the city. We recommend you visit during the day and again in the evening to see the church lit up. 

Teatro Massimo of Palermo 

The Teatro Massimo stands as a majestic testament to neoclassical architecture and artistic grandeur. As the largest opera house in the country, it has been enchanting audiences since its opening in 1897, offering a rich program of operatic and cultural performances amidst its opulent interior and iconic presence in the city.

Mondello Beach – The beach of Palermo

Mondello Beach is situated along the coast of Sicily and is a 20-minute drive or bus ride from the centre of Palermo. It is a lovely beach well-known for its soft golden sands and crystalline waters. While Sicily has several more picturesque beaches than Mondello, it is the closest to the capital, making it popular with the locals. If you’re visiting Palermo in the summer, carve out a day to spend at Mondello. 

Porta Nuova

This historic city gate is an emblem of the city’s enduring past, as a tangible link between its ancient origins and the vibrant present. The Porta Nuova gateway was built in the 16th century and welcomes visitors with its distinctive architecture, showcasing a mix of Renaissance and Spanish influences. Today, it serves as a reminder of Palermo’s rich cultural and architectural heritage.

Videos of places to visit in Palermo

Check out the short clips of some of our favorite places to visit in Palermo.

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