If you’re planning on flying to Sicily, the chances are you’ll fly into the Falcone-Borsellino Airport (PMO) that serves the capital of this gorgeous Italian isle. As a passenger, you can take advantage of the free WiFi, the ATMs, the foreign exchange desks, restaurants and bars, a duty-free area, and a few shops. There’s also a pharmacy, and an information desk as an added bonus.
You have two options when it comes to getting into the city, with both buses and taxis travelling the 35km between the airport and town. A taxi can be picked up outside the airport, but this is a pricey option, coming to 45EUR ($65) approximately.
Travel to Palermo with a number of different carriers, among which you can fly with Alitalia, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, Air Malta, Vueling, and Cathay Pacific.
Why visit Palermo?
Perhaps Sicily’s most important city historically; it has passed from the Phoenicians to the Romans, then to the Byzantine Empire, and Arab rule, only to join Italy for the final time in the 1800s. Today, this city is home to the relics of the empires that ruled it, and absolute heaven for history buffs and culture vultures alike. It is also one Sicily’s most buzzing cities, where seafood restaurants and happening bars abound, where sun-kissed Sicilians and tourists stroll the cobbled streets enjoying a gelato on a hot day, or an Aperol Spritz by the seaside. Get swept off your feet by Palermo.
Things to do in Palermo
Palermo is almost overrun with architectural wonders, and knowing where to start may feel a bit daunting, but we recommend you begin by seeing the city’s cathedral. This stunning church is history made tangible, with parts of it ranging from the 12th to the 19th centuries, with aspects reused from mosques, and influence from the Norman to the Gothic styles, you are really peeking back through time in this building.
Then you must go to the Normal Palace, which has bones dating back to the 9th century. This impressive palazzo houses the current parliament of Sicily, and is definitely worth a tour.
After seeing these landmarks of the city, find time for the Archeological Museum, which includes one of the finest collections of artefacts from ancient civilisations such as the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, and of course, the Romans. Then go to the wonderful Regional Gallery of Sicily housed in the Abatellis Palace, and gaze at art by Messina, Laurana, and Gossaert.
Outside of the museums and ecclesiastical treasures, you can take in a show at the popular and impressive Massimo Theatre, one of the most famous opera houses in Sicily, or stroll through the lovely Botanic Gardens of the city, that look out to sea.
Best time to visit Palermo
· Summer (June to August) is the busiest time because the weather is dry, hot, and the city is full of life. The prices are as high as the temperatures (which can get to 30°C), but this is ideal for hitting up the surrounding beaches.
· The months of May, September and October, can still see highs of 23-27°C, but you are less subject to the crowds, or the rising rates. This is a wonderful time to see the city, especially if you are planning to see a lot of the monuments and museums.
Arriving in Palermo by plane
· Two, and sometimes three stops await you if you want to travel to this lovely city. Expect these to be in places like Doha (DOH), Bangkok (BKK), and Rome (FCO).
· Euro (EUR).
· Australian citizens do not need a visa for Italy, but it is still worth checking the conditions of entry through the Australian government’s travel advice page on Italy before you depart. This will list how long you can stay, and any up-to date safety information.
Please note that information is correct as of December 2016
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Airports near Palermo
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