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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Italy > Palermo

Palermo Weather

16°C

Local time Palermo

Currency

Getting around Palermo

Public transport

Buses, operated by Amat (tel: +39 091 350 111; www.amat.pa.it), are easy to use and serve every corner of Palermo, including Monreale and Mondello. Buy tickets from Amat kiosks, tobacconists or any shop displaying the Amat sign. Tickets must be validated upon boarding the bus.

Minibus services on the Linea Gialla (yellow line) and Linea Rossa (red line) run from the railway station and stop at the most frequented tourist destinations.

Palermo metro goes round the historic centre from Central Station, running approximately every 30 minutes. However, it’s not that convenient for tourists.

Taxis

Taxis are fairly expensive in Palermo. Taxi ranks can be found throughout the city, including outside the main train station, in Via Roma and at most of the main squares. Otherwise, you can order cabs by phone from Autoradio Taxis (tel: +39 091 513 311) or Radio Taxi Trinacria (tel: +39 091 6878).

Driving

Attempting to drive in Palermo during the week is unwise - confusing road signs, hefty traffic jams and aggressive drivers combine to make it a trying experience. The situation improves at weekends, but parking is always a problem.

The centre of Palermo (the ZTL-zone) is restricted to traffic and a congestion charge is applicable. The ZTL-zone in Palermo is active daily from 0800-2000 and is controlled by video cameras. If you are driving to a hotel within the zone, give your number plate to the hotel in advance to avoid paying a fine.

If your hotel doesn't have a car park, leave your car at one of the garages scattered around the city (there are several located by the main railway station and around the main piazzas). The main central parking area is Piazzale Ungheria, which operates 24 hours a day. Never leave valuables in your car.

Car hire

Car hire is available from companies such as Avis (tel: +39 091 586 940; www.avis.com), Europcar (tel: +39 091 301 825; www.europcar.it) and Hertz (tel: +39 091 331 668; www.hertz.it).

Bicycle hire

Bicycles are available for hire from Tour Palermo Bici (tel: +39 331 750 7886), Via Giardinaccio 66. Cycling in the city centre is a little hairy given all the traffic, but the seaside resort of Mondello is great for exploring on two wheels.

You can rent vespas and scooters from Sicily Motor Rent (tel: +39 091 617 8022; www.sicilymotorent.it) at Via Pola 21.

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Featured Hotels

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Grand Hotel Etes des Palmes

The sumptuous rooms of this historical, city centre hotel are decorated with antique furniture and fine fabrics. Founded in 1874, and renovated by one of the great masters of the art nouveau style, Ernesto Basile, in 1907, this has been the haunt of Italian socialites, writers, musicians and film stars for more than a century.

Hotel Garibaldi

In the heart of Palermo's shopping area, Hotel Garibaldi is a decent, moderately priced stay. Recently renovated, all rooms are now modern with funky fabrics and contemporary photographic prints bringing them to life. Wi-Fi, LCD TVs and tea and coffee making facilities are among the home comforts.

Centrale Palace Hotel

In the historic centre, near the Quattro Canti, this luxury hotel has 103 rooms and 11 suites, all tastefully decorated. Breakfast is served in a grand restaurant. There is a roof terrace for evening drinks and a grand red Sicilian marble staircase for those who like to make an entrance.

Hotel Principe di Villafranca

It may have just 34 rooms, but this stylish hotel makes up for size with an intimate restaurant and bar, and a cosy reading room with an intriguing collection of books. Located in the city centre, close to some top fashion boutiques, it is conveniently place for shopaholics. Expect a refined atmosphere and elegant furnishings.

Grand Hotel Villa Igiea

At Acquasanta, 3km (2 miles) north of the city, this 5-star hotel, restored by renowned 19th century architect Ernesto Basile at the end of the 19th century, is housed in a sumptuous art nouveau building. Seriously stylish accommodation, it offers original frescoes, decoration and furniture.

Grand Hotel Wagner

The luxury Grand Hotel Wagner is full of old-world charm. Recently restored, this early-20th century building boasts antique furniture, chandeliers, rare marble, rich carpets and old paintings. Rooms are exquisitely decorated and there's a laid-back piano bar and a fourth-floor terrace with stunning city views.