Palermo Itinerary : Top Things To Do In 3 Days

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If you are looking for an ultimate Palermo itinerary for 3 days, you have come to the right place. Discover the best things to do and explore with this 3 days in Palermo itinerary.

Palermo is the capital of Sicily. An exceptional Italian town. They say if you want to see the best of Italy, you must visit the capital city. The range of culture, centuries of history involving kings, artisans, visitors and architects makes Palermo reach the top of many bucket lists. While people may come to lay their eyes on the making of the city, others may simply want to savour the taste of the culture and food. Though there is so much to see at Palermo, one can only wonder how they can solve the mystery of getting the essence of the city in the shortest time possible.

So, here is a 3 day Palermo itinerary of the best places that you must visit to help you plan your trip. So, you can taste the elixir of the city in the shortest time and not miss anything.

Palermo Itinerary : 3 Days In Palermo

Day 1 : Begin Your Palermo Itinerary By Exploring Its Historic Center

Morning – Afternoon

The Norman Palace

The Norman Palace - Palermo Itinerary
The Norman Palace – Palermo Itinerary

Your first day must jump start to something glamorous yet exciting and grounding. Therefore, the palace of the Norman is the best place for you once you are excited to see the soul of Palermo. Being a political office won’t hinder your experience to its beauty. You can experience the golden walls and frescoed ceilings which displays the charm of Palermo’s ancient history embraced by the grace with which it stands tall and secure through centuries.

  • Opening Hours : The timings for visiting the Norman Palace would remain 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays. But on Sundays and regional holidays, it would get extended from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Palermo Cathedral

Palermo Cathedral - Palermo Itinerary
Palermo Cathedral – Palermo Itinerary

Palermo Cathedral is the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is a Roman Catholic Church. It is a must-visit on your first day of Palermo itinerary. It is one fine piece of Italian architecture on the outside. While on the inside, its grandeur walls, tall pillars and stately craft can leave you spellbound at one sight. The alterations made to the cathedral throughout history has only added more to the beauty of the church.

  • Opening Hours : Monday – Saturday 7 AM to 7 PM ; Sunday 8 AM to 1 PM, 4 PM to 7 PM

The Church of St. Mary of the Admiral

As Palermo has been home to various cultures and religions, every single one of them has had a deep impact on Palermo and the Church of Santa Maria dell’ammiraglio is another evidence of it. Also known as The Church of St. Mary of the Admiral while the locals call it La Martorana. It is situated in the centre of Palermo which makes it more feasible to reach. Just in front of Piazza Bellini. The blue entrance gate supported by off-white or yellowish walls might give it a historic look at first but as you enter the place the tall pillars and glossed ceilings with ancient paintings makes it one of a kind.


Arab-Norman Sites and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalu

Cathedral of Cefalu - Palermo Itinerary
Cathedral of Cefalu – Palermo Itinerary

Once you make it through the city centre, you will be in the arms of not one or two but nine social and religious monuments. All these structures belong to the Norman era of Sicily and there are two palaces, three churches, a cathedral and a bridge. On topping the list would be the Cathedral of Cefalu which is not to be missed at any cost.

Hand-built by the people of Western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures, it stands illuminated to narrate the stories of origins of different religions and cultures. Once you enter the city centre you will find a trail of these structures on all sides. Don’t blame me if your feet could not stop themselves meanwhile your eyes get mesmerized by the beauty of Palermo history.

Interesting Tours For Convenience

Day 2 : Explore The Regional Archaeological Museum, Massimo Theatre, Ballaro market and Monreale Cathedral


Palermo Regional Archaeological Museum

The beautiful Regional Archaeological Museum can entice you with its collection of the articles and objects of the Greek history of Sicily. It was opened by Antonio Salinas who remained its curator till death. Antonio was a famous archaeologist himself. Thus, he brought his knowledge and collections to the museum to preserve and display which makes it a novel museum in the world. The museum itself is just a small part of the Olivella Monumental Complex, also including the church of St. Ignatius.

  • Opening Hours : The museum remains closed on Mondays but is available from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 AM. to 6 PM. The museum timings on Sundays and Holidays will remain 09:00 AM to 1:30 PM.

Massimo Theatre

Massimo theatre - Palermo Itinerary
Massimo theatre – Palermo Itinerary

The Massimo theatre was built for any kind of festivities but it is mainly an Opera house now. The walls of the theatre have seen a lot of bureaucratic and political events happening throughout its history of construction and then completion. But sitting in the theatre would be a once in a lifetime opportunity as the stage, the hall, the ceiling and the entire structure of the theatre have been so beautifully carved and painted that the resonance of the sound refracting through the walls entering in the ears can illuminate the soul for eternity.

You can prebook a guided tour of Massimo theater in advance here to avoid any last minute hassle.

  • Opening Hours : 9:30 AM to 6 PM

Shopping at Ballaro Market

The Ballaro Market surroundings pull you into pop culture from the long ancient tour that you have been having till now. The hustle and bustle of the market, the smell of the steaming street food and the crowd make you feel lively and energetic in Palermo. Not only that, the fresh fruits and vegetables will bring your senses alive and kicking. The freshly prepared dairy products are mouthwatering. The small shops with beef, seafood along with red meat and freshly prepared non-veg cuisines are always a must-visit. This is a place where one can lose themselves and then find again.

The Ballaro Market is a favorite for people planning their Palermo itinerary and looking to shop on a budget.

  • Opening Hours : Monday – Saturday 7 AM to 7 PM; Sunday 7 AM to 1 PM

Afternoon – Evening

Monreale Cathedral and Monreale Village

Monreale Cathedral - Palermo Itinerary
Monreale Cathedral – Palermo Itinerary

The end of the second day can be done by the beautiful Monreale Cathedral along with the Monreale Village. After a day at the busy streets of the Ballero market. Your heart can enjoy the silence of the Monreale Cathedral. At the same time, if you plan your visit at the right time of the year, you can enjoy the native Italian music along with a beautiful view of the scenic and picturesque Monreale Village.

The tranquillity of the surroundings along with the most spectacular sights to rest your eyes on is a luxurious requirement. The Monreale Cathedral is one of the highlights of your Palermo itinerary and should not be missed.

Book a guided tour to Monreale Cathedral inclusive of round trip transportation and tickets here.

  • Opening Hours : The visiting hours of the church range from 02:30 PM to 04:30 PM on Sundays. The rest of the days it is open from 09:00 AM to 12:45 PM to 02:30 PM to 04:30 PM.

Day 3 : Make a visit to The Palatine Chapel, Mirto Palace; Relax at Mondello Beach

Morning – Afternoon

Palatine Chapel

Palatine Chapel is an unmissable part of Palermo. There are several reasons behind that. Mainly, its architecture, the dome-like ceiling and the hexagonal walls are one of a kind in the vicinity of Palermo. The paintings, the engravings along the designs on the wall of the chapel will leave you speechless. It is beautiful at the start of the day as the sunlight hits the little windows of the chapel, the golden walls of the chapel light up to their maximum beauty.

  • Opening Hours : For your visit, the chapel would be open from 09:00 AM to 4:15 PM from Monday to Saturday. And, 08:30 AM to 09:40 AM 11:15 AM to 01:00 PM on Sundays and holidays.

Mirto Palace House Museum

Mirto Palace stands in its full glory to welcome the visitors. Words can’t describe the uniqueness of this place. As it is another unequalled establishment on the land of Palermo. The water body welcomes you at the front while the little sculptures neatly carved on the walls gradually take you in their embrace. Further, the mosaic flooring in the palace along with chic chandelier lighting brings warmth and cosiness to the place.

  • Opening Hours : The palace remains closed on Mondays. The timings from Tuesday to Saturday remain between 09:00 AM and 07:00 PM. Though on Sundays the timings get restricted from 09:00 AM to 01: 00 PM only.


Mondello Beach

Mondello Beach - Palermo Itinerary
Mondello Beach – Palermo Itinerary

At a distance of over two hours with a local cab. Your final stop must be a beach and that must be the best of what is available at Palermo. The Mondello beach thus cuts. After long hours of shopping and walking from one monument to another. You can rest your body at the beach under the Italian sun and meditate over the soothing waves of the Sea which makes the experience as calming as possible. This also allows you to leave the hustle and bustle of your Palermo itinerary for a quiet stroll. 

General Information On Palermo

Where To Stay For 3 Days In Palermo?

For a short 3 day trip to Palermo, we did recommend you to stay in its historic center, so that everything is easily accessible. You will find many cool restaurants and hotels in this area. To help you plan better, below are our highly recommended accommodations you should choose from, to stay in Palermo.

Budget (Upto €50) : Teatro Del Sole Apartment is a steal deal, when looking for a perfect place to stay in Palermo on a budget. Its located in Monte di Pietà, the prime center of the old town. The rooms are comfortable, well equipped and air conditioned. Family rooms are also available. Additionally, this hotel offer facilities like free WiFi and an accessible parking area (chargeable per day). Click here to book this hotel or to check its availability.

Mid Range (€50 – €100) : Set 0.5 kms away from Palermo Cathedral, La Terrazza sul Centro boasts of a sun terrace with panoramic architectural views of the surroundings. Rooms are cosy, comfortable, well equipped with modern amenities and have balcony with city views. This lovely B&B provides facilities such has free WiFi, Italian style breakfast and airport shuttle service. It is also just a 10 minute walk away from Palermo Central Train Station. Click here to book this hotel or to check its availability.

Luxury (€100+) : If you are looking for a luxurious hotel in Palermo, the Grand Hotel Wagner will not disappoint you. Set in the heart of Palermo this charming hotel offers upscale amenities and rooms boasting gorgeous city views. Rooms are exquisitely decorated, soundproof, comfortable, cosy and spell elegance. Wake up to the sight of amazing views, as you enjoy your breakfast in the room. To top it all this fantastic hotel is within a short distance from Palermo Harbour and Palermo Cathedral. An exciting fact about this hotel is that its exceptional interiors have been featured in a famous Italian movie, ‘The Leopard’. Click here to book this hotel or to check its availability.

How To Get Around In Palermo?

Palermo has a very semi reliable public transport system which includes buses and the metro. Go for it only if you are on a tight budget or have enough time in the city. Buses are only operational within the city centre and the metro is good for traveling to outskirt areas. Taxis are available too but they are overpriced.

In Palermo, it is better to avoid public transport hassle and have your own rental car for navigation. It is the best and most convenient way to get around the city.

What’s The Currency Used In Palermo?

The currency used in Palermo is Euro (€). It is always better to keep some cash with you, as not all places accept credit cards.

We hope you enjoy your 3 days in Palermo itinerary as much as we did. In this hustling city rich of heritage and culture, there is something for everyone to discover. Let us know if you have any questions or share with us about your favourite place in Palermo in the comments section below.

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