Why choose a cruise to Palermo?

The ancient city of Palermo was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians, and has also been under Greek and Arab rule. It is now a unique mixture of cultures and civilisations, complete with Arabian souks (markets), crumbling ruins and churches topped with arabesque domes.

Palermo is full of museums, art galleries and attractions. You’ll love wandering through the winding streets, uncovering more fascinating history around every corner. The city is also surrounded by miles of gorgeous coastline, with plenty of beaches to relax on.

A guide to Palermo’s hotspots

The streets of Palermo’s historic centre are studded with historic attractions. Visit Palermo’s marvellous cathedral or the Cappella Palatina, an ornate chapel renowned for its mosaics. Soak up the city’s grandeur with a stroll through the Quattro Canti, an octagonal piazza with ornate fountains, surrounded by palatial buildings.

Palermo Cathedral

If you want to know more about the city’s history, take a trip to the Museo Archeologico Regionale. This museum contains many Ancient Greek and Roman treasures excavated from the region. It’s housed in a Renaissance monastery, so you can enjoy a wander through citrus-filled cloisters and quiet courtyards.

You can’t visit Palermo without sampling its street food. Two of the best markets are Vucciria and Ballarò, the city’s oldest souk. A popular treat are Sfincione, spongy pizzas topped with local cheese, and panelle, tasty chickpea fritters, while those with a sweet tooth will love ice-cream sandwiches: gelato con brioche.

No Palermo cruise is complete without a trip to the beach, either. Cefalu, Sicily’s most renowned beach resort, is only an hour away. It boasts a wide bay of golden sand, lapped by the clear waters of the Mediterranean. Cefalu itself is a picturesque historic town, with many drinking and dining options.

Cruise lines that sail to the port of Palermo

Marella Cruises

MSC Cruises

Silversea

The best time to visit Palermo

Cefalu Sicily

Summer is a season of clear skies and bright Mediterranean sunshine in Palermo. The temperature averages 26-27°C in July and August, so you’ll definitely need your swimming gear and suncream.

If you’re more interested in visiting Palermo’s historic attractions, we recommend a Palermo cruise outside the summer months. In March and April, the temperature averages a pleasant 14-17°C, and there’s also a chance to catch the city’s traditional Easter celebrations.

Did you know?

  • Palermo was initially named Ziz by the Phoenicians, which means ‘flower’
  • Palermo houses Italy’s largest opera house, Teatro Massimo
  • Palermo is renowned for its tradition of puppet theatre, known as opera dei pupi