There are many ways to get to Palermo. Whether you are coming to the Regional Capital or leaving, our airports, rails, and coaches connections offer a broad range of alternatives. I will tell you straight away that if you come from abroad, the best option is by plane. The city has an international airport well connected with the mainland, as well as the main European cities. Besides, daily flights link Palermo to Milan and Rome, thus if there are no direct flights from your country, you can arrange a stopover in these towns and get here. Let’s see the main transport connections.
Where is Palermo?
Palermo is the regional capital of Sicily in Italy with around 700.000 inhabitants. Sicily is one of the 20 regions that make up the Italian Republic. Regione Siciliana is located in the south in the central Mediterranean. The Strait of Messina (Stretto di Messina) divides the region from the Peninsula.
By direct flight, Palermo is far from:
Rome→ 50 m
Milan → 1 h 35 m
Paris → 2 h 20 m
Barcelona → 1 h 50 m
New York → 9 h 00 m
London → 3 h
Doha → 4 h 00 m
Once you have Palermo’s location, it’s time to find out how to get there. Although, when you see a map of Italy, Palermo seems to be isolated from the rest of Peninsula; in truth, the city offers many options for transport connections. It is well connected to Italy, as well as the rest of Europe. In fact, going to Palermo is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. The city offers many options. Let’s see them one to one.
Palermo has an International Airport, called Falcone Borsellino – also known Punta Raisi Airport – situated about 30 kilometers away from the city center. The name, Falcone Borsellino, is due to the memory of the two anti-mafia judges murdered by Cosa Nostra in 1992. It is the third airport in the south of the Country for passengers after Catania and Naples. In 2014, it was ranked eleventh among the busiest airports in Italy.
The structure has two asphalt runways 3326 and 2068 m long. The airport can accommodate big airliners, such as the Boeing 747 or Boeing 767. Daily flights connect Palermo to the major Italian cities: Rome, Milan, Naples, Bologna, Turin, Venice, Bergamo, Pisa, Treviso, Verona, and the islands of Lampedusa and Pantelleria. Regarding the European cities, there are daily connections to London-Stansted, London-Gatwick, Paris Orly Airport, and Brussels-National. At the airport of Palermo, there is a large charter business. Rentals car apart, you have two options:
- Taxi: the cost is 40 € as it comes to a standard charge. However, often the taxi drivers try to cheat tourists, asking more after they reached the destination. To avoid an “unfortunate misunderstanding”, agree upon the price before leaving.
- Prestia & Comandè coaches: it is the cheapest solution to reach the city centre. The service is from 4 am to midnight and takes about 50 minutes. The price is 6.30 € for one way and € 11.00 for the round-trip. The ticket office is outside the airport in the Bus Parking.
Trapani Airport is an Italian military airport opened to civilian traffic. It lies with the municipalities of Trapani and Marsala, next to the Birgi River. The airport is named after Vincenzo Florio, but is best known as Birgi Airport or Trapani Airport. It is 110 Kilometres away from the Palermo city centre.
Daily flights connect the runways to the following towns: Ancona, Bologna, Bratislava, Brussels (Charleroi), Cagliari, Krakow, Cuneo, Eindhoven, Frankfurt Hahn, Genoa, Girona, Karlsruhe, Baden, Kaunas, Malta, Memmingen (Monaco), Milan (Bergamo), Pantelleria, Paris (Beauvais) Parma, Perugia, Pisa, Rome (Ciampino), Turin, Treviso, Trieste, and Warsaw. The Airport is a Ryanair’s hub; therefore, most of the time, it is the cheapest way to travel to Palermo by flight.
From Trapani airport to Palermo
Besides the opportunity to take a rental car or a taxi (taxi fare will be expensive) to go from Trapani Airport to Palermo, you can get to the city centre by Terravision Bus at the cost of 11€. The service is from 6 am to around midnight and takes about 2 hours. Go to http://www.terravision.eu to check bus times or book a ticket.
Port of Palermo
The Palermo’s port is one of the major harbors for size and passenger traffic in the Mediterranean. In addition to the major cruise lines and regional ferry connections, the Porto di Palermo is well connected to the following cities: Genoa, Naples, Civitavecchia, Cagliari, Salerno, Aeolian Islands, Ustica, Tunis, and Milazzo. The port is in the city centre; the main entrance is a 10 minute walk from the Piazza Politeama.
Palermo Train Station
The Stazione Centrale is the main train station in the city of Palermo. The Giulio Cesare Square hosts the train station in the Old Town district. It is well connected to all the main Italian cities by Trenitalia trains, as well as the other Sicilian cities.
Palermo Coach Station
Alongside the train station, there is a bus station that is a destination for coaches coming from many other Italian cities, such as Rome and Naples, as well as other Sicilian cities, such as Catania and Messina.