You are not going to get a lot of help from the public transportation system in Palermo, but there are still several good ways actually getting to the city. When you are there you might have some trouble getting from place to place easily, but that’s another problem for another day.
If you are curious how to get to Palermo, there are planes, trains and automobiles at your disposal to get you here. Coming to the Sicilian Regional Capital or departing from it, you have coaches, airports and railways that will offer any form of transportation you desire.
Coming from far away, it is easy for me to recommend taking a plane. The international airport for Palermo is easily connected to the mainland which can give you quick access to Palermo, and also a convenient means of accessing some of Italy’s other top attraction cities like Rome and Milan. You can even arrange stopovers in one of these iconic cities if you cannot get a direct flight to Palermo and really put your vacation into high gear.
But just where is Palermo?
Actually finding the city shouldn’t be that hard as it is the regional capital of Sicily with 700,000 residents or so. Sicily is one of the 20 regions that the Italian Republic is made up of and it is located in the central Mediterranean region in the southern part of Italy. This area is divided from the mainland by the Strait of Messina (Stretto di Messina).
By Plane, Here’s How Long It Would Take To Reach Palermo From Certain Major Cities:
Rome – 50 Minutes
Milan – 1 Hr. 35 Minutes
Paris – 2 Hrs. 20 Minutes
Barcelona – 1 Hr. 50 Minutes
New York – 9 Hrs.
London – 3 Hrs.
Doha – 4 Hrs.
Transport Connections for Palermo
Now that you have learned where Palermo is exactly, the question becomes how you personally will get there. Though it might appear to be cut off from the rest of the Peninsula and Europe in general, Palermo is actually very well connected to everything and offers a lot of potential ways in and out. It’s actually as easy as counting to six, which is good, because that’s how many options I am about to give you.
The international airport of Palermo, knowns as Falcone Borsellino (also known to some as Punta Raisi) is about 30 km from the heart of the city. Its name is in memory of two judges who fought against the mafia and were murdered by Cosa Nostra in the early 1990s. It Is a very busy airport, actually being ranked a few years ago at #11 for the busiest in all of Italy.
In terms of what it can accommodate, the airport is equipped for all levels of airplanes, from the very small to the Boeing 747s and 767s. This airport isn’t just a hub to other popular Italian cities, but you will find daily flights to:
- Islands of Lampedusa and Pantelleria
In terms of its common connections to other major cities throughout Europe, you will be delighted to know that every day you will find flights to London (both Stansted and Gatwick), Paris Orly Airport, and Brussels National. Now that you’re at the airport you have 2 options, if you don’t decide to just go with the highly recommended rental of a car that is. Here are the two non-rental choices:
This is a pretty set charge between the airport and the city at 40 €, though there is a word of caution that comes along with this. Make certain that you have solidified that price before you ever leave. Many times these drivers take advantage of tourists by upping the price when you arrive at your destination.
b) Prestia & Comande Coaches
If you are looking for how to get to Palermo the cheapest from the airport, this is going to be the way that you choose. This runs from 4 in the morning until midnight every day. The trip itself is 6.30€ for a one way trip or €11 for a round trip fare. The journey will take about 50 minutes, and you can get your tickets for this outside of the airport in the Bus Parking area.
The second of your options is another airport which is about 100 km from the heart of Palermo. This is a military airport that has been opened for civilian traffic and it sits close to the cities of Trapani and Marsala. The airport is named after Vincenzo Florio (Italian industrialist), but it is most commonly called Trapani Airport or Birgi Airport.
This airport is a Ryanair’s hub. This means that most often this is the cheapest way to travel to the Palermo area by plane. You will find daily connecting flights to major European cities from here such as:
These are just a handful of the extensive daily flights that come out of this airport and stretch out all over Europe.
Trapani Airport to Palermo
I cannot stress again how wise it is to rent a car, but if you have still not taken this advice, then you should know how to get to Palermo from Trapani Airport. You can take the expensive taxi with the fluctuating rates, or you can rely on a bus to get you to Palermo. This bus system runs from 6 AM to 12 AM. If you are there within the 6 hrs. the terminal isn’t running, you will be waiting or hailing a cab so plan accordingly. To take the bus, you will pay 11€ for a bus ride that takes around 2 hrs. in total.
Port of Palermo
In terms of passenger traffic throughout the Mediterranean, Palermo’s port is perhaps one of the busiest and most frequently used. Apart from this being a stop for many cruise ships and the regular ferry traffic of the region, the Porto di Palermo (Port of Palermo) is directly connected via waterway to Genoa, Naples, Civitavecchia, Cagliari, Salerno, Aeolian Islands, Ustica, Tunis and Milazzo. This port is located in the heart of Palermo, which means that this point of access is easy to get to, and puts you off right in the center of the history and art that makes the city famous.
Palermo Train Station
The main train station in Palermo is known as Stazione Centrale. This is located in the Old Town District in Giulio Cesare Square. These trains connect this hub to every other major Italian city, as well as other main Sicilian cities. While this might not be as good as flying, this is a suitable alternative for those that might want to stay closer to the ground.
Palermo Coach Station
Alongside the train station that was just discussed is a hub for coach activity. This bus station will connect you to all of the other main Italian and Sicilian cities. You can save a lot of money by flying into Rome and taking a bus heading to this station from Rome, but it is a very lengthy trip. You would be on that coach for around 12 hrs.
Perhaps now you have a better idea of how to get to Palermo in a way that suits you best. Feel free to look over the tourist page for even more helpful tips and facts. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out via the comment box below.