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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Italy > Palermo

Palermo Weather

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Local time Palermo

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Travel to Palermo

Flying to Palermo

Ryanair and easyJet operate direct flights to Palermo from the UK. There are no direct flights from the USA; Alitalia offers connecting flights via Rome. Prices rise between June and September with cheaper flights available from November to February.

Flight times

From London - 2 hours 55 minutes; New York - 11 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Toronto - 11 hours 45 minutes (including stopover); Los Angeles - 15 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 25 hours (including stopovers).

Travel by road

As with much of Italy, driving in Palermo is not for the faint-hearted, but for travellers wanting to see more remote sights, hiring a car is the best option.

Traffic in Palermo drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18 years. Driving licences should be carried at all times. Speed limits are 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas, 90kph (56mph) on secondary roads, 110 kph (68 mph) on main roads and 130 kph (81 mph) on autostrades (motorways). It’s also worth noting that petrol is expensive in Sicily.

The AA or RAC in Britain and the AAA in America have reciprocal agreements with the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI) (tel: +39 06 491 116; www.aci.it), who provide a useful advisory service as well as dealing with breakdowns.

Emergency breakdown services

ACI (tel: +39 803 116).

Routes

Palermo, in the northwest of the island, is connected to Catania via Enna by the A19. The A20 follows the northern coast of Sicily to the east via Cefalu and Capo d'Orlando, while the A29 goes west towards Trapani.

Coaches

SAIS Autolinee (tel: +39 091 616 6028; www.saisautolinee.it) has modern, comfortable coaches that serve most of the major cities and towns in Sicily, including Cefalu, Messina, Enna, Caltanissetta, Catania and Siracusa.

Elswhere, Segesta (tel: +39 091 616 7919; www.interbus.it) operates to Trapani and Cuffaro (tel: +39 91 616 1510; www.cuffaro.info) serves Agrigento. Most services depart from Via P Balsamo.

Time to city

From Cefalu - 1 hour; Trapani - 1 hour 40 minutes; Catania - 2 hours 50 minutes; Messina - 2 hours 20 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

Palermo Centrale, located at Piazza Giulio Cesare, is the main railway station in Palermo.

Operators

Trenitalia (tel: +39 06 6847 5475; www.trenitalia.com) operates all services across mainland Italy and Sicily. Night trains run to Palermo from Rome and Naples with the train boarding a ferry at Messina to cross the straits from the mainland. There are regular departures to Palermo from all major towns on the island, including Cefalu, Messina, Catania, Siracusa, Enna, Caltanissetta, Agrigento and Trapani.

Journey times

From Rome - 11 to 12 hours; Cefalu - 45 minutes; Messina - 3 hours; Catania - 3 hours.

Travel by boat

There are a number of ferry services that go from mainland Italy to Palermo. They all dock at Molo Piave, located at Calata Marinai d’Italia.

Ferry operators

Grandi Navi Veloci (tel: +39 010 209 4591; www.gnv.it) and SNAV (tel: +39 081 428 5555; www.snav.it/en) run ferry services from the mainland to Palermo, including daily sailings from Genoa, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples.

Tirrenia (tel: +39 829 123; www.tirrenia.it) also run daily services from Naples.

Book Accommodation

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.