Palermo Highlights: Unique Things to Do & See

Who’s Denilo ?
February 9
Written by Elena Kostas

Discover all the things you can do in Palermo, from exploring its charming streets to visiting its incredible tourist attractions. Don't miss out!

Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is a city with a rich history and impressive architecture. Located on the northern coast of the island, Palermo offers a perfect blend of cultural and culinary influences.

In Palermo, you can enjoy stunning historical sites, such as the Palermo Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Normanni. You can also stroll through the narrow streets of the local markets and try traditional Sicilian dishes, such as pasta with sardines and cannoli.

With its beautiful beaches, like Mondello, and charming nearby towns, like Cefalú, Palermo is the perfect destination for those seeking a unique mix of culture, history, and relaxation.

1. Palermo Cathedral

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a clock on a tower
Palermo Cathedral / Regös Környei, Unsplash

Palermo Cathedral is one of the main tourist attractions in the city. This impressive church, built in the 12th century, combines elements of Gothic, Norman, and Arab styles, making it a unique blend of cultures.

The cathedral features a spectacular facade, with a central portal displaying statues of saints. Inside, you can admire beautiful mosaics, decorated chapels, and an impressive crypt housing the tombs of several Sicilian kings.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit Palermo Cathedral, a must-see for history and architecture enthusiasts. Discover the beauty of this Sicilian treasure!

2. Palazzo dei Normanni

Historical Monuments and Architecture
man watering vegetables
Palazzo dei Normanni / Adelio, Unsplash

Things to do in Palermo:

Palazzo dei Normanni is one of the main tourist attractions in Palermo. Located in the heart of the city, this medieval palace is a true architectural gem.

Built in the 9th century, Palazzo dei Normanni features stunning architectural details and a rich history. It was the residence of the Norman kings and now houses the Sicilian Regional Assembly.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore its beautiful halls, such as the Palatine Chapel, decorated with Byzantine mosaics, and the Hall of Roger, with its incredible 12th-century frescoes.

3. Teatro Massimo

Museums and Art Galleries
beige concrete building during daytime
Teatro Massimo / Alberto Melluso, Unsplash

Teatro Massimo is a magnificent example of neoclassical architecture in the heart of Palermo, Sicily. Opened in 1897, this theater is famous for its exceptional acoustics and is considered one of the largest opera houses in Europe. If you are a lover of classical music, you can't miss attending a performance here during your visit to Palermo.

The interior of Teatro Massimo is as impressive as its facade. With a capacity of over 1,300 spectators, its main hall features stunning decor, with gold and red details that will transport you to a bygone era. In addition to opera, the theater also offers a variety of concerts, from classical to contemporary music, which take place throughout the year.

The location of Teatro Massimo in the center of Palermo makes it a landmark for culture and art lovers. Not only does it offer world-class performances, but it is also a place where you can marvel at the architectural beauty and immerse yourself in Sicilian history and tradition. Don't miss the opportunity to visit this impressive theater during your trip to Palermo.

4. Mercato di Ballarò

Food and Markets

Discover the heart of Palermo at Mercato di Ballarò

Mercato di Ballarò is one of the oldest and most authentic markets in Palermo. Its origins date back to the Arab era, and throughout the centuries, it has witnessed the everyday life of the city. Here, you can find a wide variety of fresh products, from fruits and vegetables to fish and typical spices of the region.

Immerse yourself in Sicilian culture

By wandering through the narrow streets of the market, you can immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere of Palermo. Listen to the Sicilian dialects as the merchants offer their products and enjoy the hospitality of the local people. You can taste traditional products such as panelle (chickpea fritters) or arancina (stuffed rice croquettes) and get up close to the customs and traditions of Sicily.

A unique experience in Palermo

Visiting Mercato di Ballarò means immersing yourself in the daily life of Palermo. Watch the locals buy their ingredients for meals, discover unique products, and savor authentic Sicilian cuisine. Undoubtedly, a must-visit place to experience the cultural and gastronomic richness of Palermo.

5. Orto Botanico of Palermo

Natural Spaces and Parks$$$

The Orto Botanico of Palermo is one of the most fascinating things to do in Palermo. Located in the heart of the city, this botanical garden is a true oasis of tranquility where you can enjoy the beauty of nature.

In the Orto Botanico, you will find a wide collection of exotic and tropical plants, as well as beautiful and well-maintained gardens. Take a stroll along the shaded paths and discover unique species that will transport you to distant places.

Whether you are interested in botany or simply want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, the Orto Botanico of Palermo is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the serenity of nature.

6. Mondello Beach

Natural Spaces and Parks

Mondello Beach is undoubtedly one of the gems of Palermo. Located just a few kilometers from the city center, this dreamy beach will captivate you with its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere.

With its crystal clear waters and impressive golden sand, Mondello Beach is the perfect place to unwind, swim, and soak up the sun during your visit to Palermo.

In addition, Mondello offers a wide range of amenities to make your day at the beach perfect. You can rent sun loungers and umbrellas, enjoy delicious seafood dishes at nearby restaurants, and participate in water activities such as windsurfing and paddleboarding.

7. Catacombe dei Cappuccini

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Catacombe dei Cappuccini is an impressive tourist attraction in Palermo. Known as the catacombs of Palermo, they offer a unique insight into the city's history and culture. This place is one of the most popular destinations for history enthusiasts and those seeking a mysterious experience in Palermo.

The Catacombe dei Cappuccini house a large collection of mummies and embalmed corpses dating back centuries. It is incredible to be able to get up close to this unique collection and witness the art of embalming.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Catacombe dei Cappuccini during your stay in Palermo. It's a one-of-a-kind experience that will transport you to the past and leave you amazed by the dedication and history behind each preserved remains in this iconic place.

8. Monreale Cathedral

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Embark on a visit to Monreale Cathedral and discover a masterpiece of Norman-period architecture and mosaics in Sicily. Perched on a hilltop, this cathedral is a stunning example of Arab-Norman influence in the region's architecture.

The cathedral, adorned with intricately designed golden mosaics, represents a unique fusion of architectural styles and cultures. The geometric patterns and depictions of biblical scenes bring the walls and ceilings of the cathedral to life, creating an atmosphere of reverence and beauty.

In addition to the spectacular architecture, Monreale Cathedral offers breathtaking views of the city of Palermo and the Sicilian coast. Climb to the cathedral's terrace and marvel at the landscape that stretches before your eyes. Undoubtedly, a must-visit for history and architectural beauty enthusiasts.

9. Quattro Canti

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Quattro Canti is an incredible place that you cannot miss during your visit to Palermo. Located in the heart of the city, it is a unique street intersection that showcases impressive Baroque architecture. The four identical buildings surrounding this intersection are adorned with sculptures, mythological figures, and fountains, creating a magical and captivating atmosphere.

This iconic location is one of Palermo's main landmarks and represents the junction of the city's two main historic districts. Besides its architectural value, Quattro Canti has a rich history and is full of fascinating stories that will transport you to Sicily's past.

When visiting Quattro Canti, you will have the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of its architecture, learn about Palermo's history, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the city. Don't miss it during your trip!

10. Capuchin Church of Palermo

History and Cultural Heritage

The Capuchin Church of Palermo is one of the must-see attractions when visiting Palermo. Its magnificent architecture and rich history make it a fascinating place to explore.

Built in the 16th century, this church has witnessed important events throughout the years. Its stunning baroque facade will leave you speechless, with intricate details and prominent sculptures.

Don't miss the opportunity to step inside the church, where you'll find beautiful religious artworks and a unique spiritual atmosphere.