Dreaming of a city break in Palermo with kids? This guide will take you through everything you need to know including the best things to do in Palermo with kids, the best places to stay in Palermo, where to eat and the day trips! We’ll even take you through some of the best Palermo itineraries from 1-5 days. The city is one of the best places to visit in Italy with kids.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through a link. Please see the full disclosure for further information.
Is Palermo Child-Friendly?
Sicily is an excellent destination for families, with plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained. Palermo, Sicily’s capital city, is no exception – there are plenty of things to see and do in Palermo with kids.
Top Palermo attractions for families include the Botanical Gardens, the Zisa Palace (a Moorish-style palace), the Piazza Pretoria (with its ornate fountains), and the Catacombs of the Capuchins (a network of tunnels and crypts which are great for a bit of adventure). Kids will also enjoy exploring Palermo’s centre’s narrow streets and colourful markets.
Many restaurants in Palermo offer kid-friendly menus, and many hotels have babysitting services available. Sicily is a great place to visit with kids – Palermo is one of the best child-friendly destinations in Italy.
When is the Best Time to Visit Palermo?
Central Palermo is mild all year round, with average temperatures ranging from 18°C to 25°C (64°F-77°F). In contrast, Mount Etna, Sicily’s tallest mountain, can be pretty cold in the winter, with average temperatures around 5°C (41°F) and hot in the summer, with temperatures averaging 28°C (82°F).
Palermo During the Summer Months
If you’re looking for warm weather and don’t mind crowds, visit Palmo during Sicily’s peak tourist season, usually from May to September. It’s a significant period to have a perfect day in Palermo. Sicily’s cities can get a bit busy and crowded during this time. Still, it is ideal for enjoying Sicily’s great beaches, which usually span several kilometres.
Palermo in Winter
Sicily gets most of its rain in the winter months from November-April in terms of weather. If you don’t mind dodging a shower or two, Sicily will still be an enjoyable destination outside peak tourist season.
If your priority is clear skies and crisp mountain air, then March is probably best avoided since Sicily gets quite a lot of precipitation at this time.
Palermo, one of Sicily’s more modern cities, is a central transportation hub for many Italian and some North African cities. As Sicily’s capital, Palermo is the largest city on the island, with more than 1 million people.
Palermo can be an excellent base for exploring Sicily by car or public transport. With several airports in Sicily that serve international flights, you might want to consider basing yourself here. Why not book this private transfer from the airport to the city centre.
Getting around is easy with an extensive Palermo city bus system. You can also try a Palermo city bus tour, which offers a quick insight into what to see in the city.
The city also has a metro system, although it is not as comprehensive as the bus system. Taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap, but be sure to negotiate the fare in advance. If you want to guarantee a transfer at a fixed price,
You can also rent a car in Palermo, which is excellent for going around the countryside and the city. It also offers you the freedom of choice without paying for taxi fares. Compare hire car prices for your dates here.
Where to Stay in Palermo with Kids
Palermo is a great city to visit with kids. There are plenty of things to see and do and some great places to stay. Here are a few suggestions for staying in Palermo with the kids.
Best Area to Stay in Palermo for Families
If you want to be in the heart of the action, consider staying at one of the hotels in the historic centre. These hotels are within easy walking distance of all the major sights. They offer a convenient location for exploring the city.
Another option is to stay outside the city centre in one of the suburbs. This can be a great choice if you’re looking for more peace and quiet or if you want to be near some of Palermo’s beautiful parks and gardens. Just be sure to factor in the extra time to get into the city centre.
Whatever your choice, be sure to book well in advance, as Palermo is a popular destination with tourists. And whatever you do, don’t miss out on trying the local cuisine – it’s some of the best in Sicily!
If you’re looking for a great place to stay in Palermo with kids, these are a few of our top recommendations.
Budget: Hotel Politeama
Families looking for a place to stay in Palermo will find Hotel Politeama an excellent option. This hotel is located in the city’s heart and offers easy access to all the main attractions. Additionally, it features a range of facilities that will make your stay with kids as comfortable as possible.
The on-site restaurant serves a variety of dishes that will please both parents and kids alike. Plus, the hotel provides cribs, high chairs, and other amenities that can make life a bit easier when travelling with children (free of charge).
Mid-Range: Hotel Giardino Inglese
Hotel Giardino Inglese is an excellent choice for families because it has a playground and a pool on site. The hotel is also located close to several tourist destinations, such as the Palermo Cathedral and the Teatro Massimo.
The rooms are equipped with wireless internet; they all have air conditioning, minibar, safe, satellite TV and hairdryer.
The hotel staff is amicable and helpful. They will be happy to provide you with directions or recommendations for restaurants and attractions.
Hotel Giardino Inglese is an excellent choice if you are looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay in Palermo with your kids. A cot is available on-demand and costs 15€ per night.
Splashing Out: Palazzo Natoli Botique Hotel
When travelling with children, finding a hotel that will make them feel comfortable and provide them with plenty of activities to keep them occupied is crucial. Palazzo Natoli Boutique Hotel is the perfect place for families travelling to Palermo.
This boutique hotel offers charming rooms and suites decorated in a traditional Sicilian style. There is also a lovely courtyard where guests can relax and enjoy the view. The hotel staff is friendly and helpful, and they can recommend some great places to visit with kids in Palermo.
The hotel has a swimming pool, which is always a hit with children, and a playground is on-site. Plus, the location is perfect for exploring all Palermo offers, and the staff can provide you with plenty of recommendations. Also, a Cot is available upon request and is paid 10€ per night.
Top 10 Things to do in Palermo with Kids
Sicily has a lot to offer families – from beaches perfect for running around on to the island’s ancient ruins – Sicily really does have something for everyone. Palermo makes an ideal base for family holidays. Its location is near the coast and has easy links with Sicily’s surrounding towns. Palermitani people are famously friendly towards children, so your kids will be in good hands!
1. Explore Palermo’s Beaches
Head to the beach for some fun in the sun. Sicily is well known for its beautiful beaches, and Palermo is no exception. The city’s coastline offers plenty of sandy stretches perfect for kids to run around and play.
2. Visit the Shops and Markets in the Historic City Centre
There’s no shortage of shopping opportunities in Palermo, and kids will love browsing through the colourful stalls selling everything from souvenirs to local produce. Try this markets and monuments tour of central Palermo.
Palermo is home to lovely parks and gardens, perfect for a relaxing afternoon stroll.
3. Visit Palermo’s Parks and Gardens
Kids will enjoy exploring the gardens’ many nooks and crannies, and there’s often a playground or two to keep them entertained. Sicily is home to some of Europe’s oldest and most fascinating ruins, and Palermo is a great place to start.
4. Explore Palermo’s Ancient Ruins
Kids will love learning about Sicily’s history and exploring the impressive ancient sites.
5. Take a Boat Ride on the Harbour
Palermo harbour is an excellent place for a family outing, and a boat ride is a perfect way to see it all. There are plenty of boat tour operators in Palermo, so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.
6. Visit a museum
Sicily is home to some excellent and kid-friendly museums. Palermo is home to Sicily’s most important art museum, so it’s the perfect place to go if you want your children to get their first exposure to history and culture.
7. Get Up Close with Sicily’s Wildlife
Sicily has some of the best opportunities for family-friendly wildlife watching in Europe, and Palermo is no exception. If you can tear your kids away from the beach, they may enjoy coming face-to-face with Sicily’s colourful birds on one of our birdwatching tours.
8. Tour a Vineyard
Sicily is famous for its delicious red wines, so why not try them yourself? One of the most renowned wine tours Sicily offers is a local vineyard or winery tour, where you can learn all about wine-making and taste some of Sicily’s finest wines.
9. Explore Palermo’s Traditional Cusine
Sicily is well known for its delicious food, and Palermo is no exception. There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants in the city, serving everything from pasta to pizza to traditional Sicilian dishes.
10. Go On a Day Trip to a Nearby Town or Village.
Sicily is home to some beautiful villages and towns, many of which make perfect day trips from Palermo. Kids will love exploring the narrow streets, stopping at the local bar for ice cream or pastry, and checking out the local shops.
Sicily’s stunning countryside is also a great way to spend a day, and there are plenty of tours for both kids and parents.
Where to Eat in Palermo for Families
The very best restaurants in Palermo are often the simplest. The city’s most good restaurants are typically good not because of innovations or clever decor but rather because they serve – with flair and imagination – fresh dishes that showcase authentic flavours, regional cooking traditions but also new culinary ideas. When visiting Sicily’s capital, you should try to stick to this principle rule: keep it local!
Biga Genio E Farnia
If you’re looking for a delicious pizza in Palermo, Biga Genio e Farina is the place to go. Trip Advisor has named it the best pizza restaurant in Palermo, and with good reason! The pizzas here are made with only the freshest ingredients and are absolutely delicious.
Not only is the food great at Biga Genio e Farina, but the atmosphere is also very family-friendly. The restaurant is warm and welcoming, and there is plenty of space for kids to run around. This makes it the perfect place to eat with your family while in Palermo.
MEC Restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Palermo for families. They have a wide variety of dishes that will suit everyone’s taste. They also have a play area for kids so parents can relax and enjoy their meal.
MEC Restaurant is open every day from 12 PM to 11 PM.
Another excellent option for families is Galloway. This restaurant specializes in Sicilian cuisine and has something to appeal to everyone in your group. From pizzas and pasta to seafood dishes and meatballs, there is something on the menu for everyone. What’s more, the portions are large enough that even the hungriest of teenagers will be satisfied.
2 Days in Palermo
If you have a couple of days in Palermo with your kids, there are many things to do and see. Here is a suggested itinerary that will make the most of your time.
Many attractions in Palermo are child-friendly. It is a destination with lots to see and do, whether you’re just visiting for the day or looking for something to do that won’t cost too much money or take up too much of your time.
Day 1: 24 Hours in Palermo With Kids
Morning: The tour of Palermo has its starting point in the historical centre. We will use local transport while moving across the city until we arrive at Monreale, where we can visit its impressive gothic cathedral.
Why Not Try: Welcome to Palermo – Private Tour with a Local
Afterwards, before coming back to Palermo for lunch, we will make a quick stop at Cefalu’ if time allows us. In any case, our driver will also be at your disposal during this time. Finally, after having returned from Monreale, you may wish to visit the ancient mosaics of Piazza Bellini, in the heart of the city.
Afternoon: Visit the Regional Archaeological Museum, which has an extensive collection of art and archaeological finds from all over Sicily.
Day 2: 48 Hours in Palermo with Kids
Morning: Start your day at The Puppet Museum, where you and your kids can learn about the history of puppetry. This museum is especially child-friendly, with interactive exhibits and plenty of hands-on activities.
Afternoon: Head to the beach! There are several great beaches in Palermo, so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. If you want to stay closer to town, try Mondello Beach, which is only a few kilometres from the city centre. When you’ve had your fill of sun and sand, head back to town to see the Teatro Massimo, one of Europe’s most famous opera houses.
There are many other things to do in Palermo with kids, so be sure to explore and find what interests you and your family the most. Enjoy your time in this beautiful city!
3 Days in Palermo
Morning: Start your day at the Mercato Ballarò, where you can find fresh produce, meat, fish, and cheese, as well as souvenirs and clothes. Be sure to try some of the delicious street food, such as arancini (rice balls) and panelle (chickpea fritters).
Afternoon: Head to the Vucciria market for even more shopping opportunities. This busy market is also home to some great street food vendors. Once you’ve had your fill, take a walk through the historical centre of Palermo, stopping to see the Cathedral, the Royal Palace, and Piazza Bellini.
4 Days in Palermo
Morning: Head to the Norman Palace to tour its beautiful gardens and historical exhibits. Then visit the Church of San Giovanni Degli Eremiti, famous for its exquisite mosaics. After lunch, explore the city’s bustling markets, where you can buy souvenirs or try some delicious Sicilian cuisine.
Afternoon: Use the rest of the day to visit one of the historic churches and mosques that you can explore with your family. Some activities include:
- Visiting the Palatine Chapel in Palazzo dei Normanni. The chapel features beautiful mosaics and Byzantine art.
- Visiting the Church of San Giovanni Degli Eremiti, built during Norman times, showcased exquisite religious mosaics on its walls.
- Listening to choral music at St Agata’s Cathedral or admiring its Renaissance paintings.
5 Days in Palermo
Morning: Palermo is also home to many beautiful parks to go for a nature hike. Use the last day to visit them. Some recommended parks are:
- Villa Giulia features lovely gardens and a pond with turtles and fish.
- The Botanical Garden has an extensive collection of plants from all over the world.
- The Monte Pellegrino Nature Reserve offers stunning views of Palermo and its coast.
- The Regional Park of Lo Zingaro is known for its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters.
Afternoon: Don’t forget to buy some authentic Sicilian souvenirs, head to the markets and food shops around Palermo. Some recommended markets are:
- The Ballarò Market is known for its vibrant atmosphere and where you can try local street food.
- Vucciria Market, offers a large variety of products from all over the world and fresh produce from Sicily.
- Capo Market features local clothing and accessories along with arts and crafts.
- La Pescheria Fish Market, where you can taste delicious sardines straight from Sicily’s coast.
- Il Capannone Artigianale di Ballarò, a market featuring handcrafted items made by locals.
Day Trips from Palermo with Kids
There are many places within easy reach of Palermo (a car would come in handy) where everyone can spend time together while enjoying spots off the usual tourist path.
The first suggestion for our list is Mondello, which has long been one of Sicily’s most famous beach resorts; around Via Veneto, countless restaurants offer excellent seafood-based dishes using fresh fish caught just moments before being served.
The road that runs along the seafront contains small bars, pastry shops, ice cream parlours and all kinds of entertainment.
How to Get to Mondello from Palermo
Mondello is just 12.2km from Palermo – a 27 minute drive.
Drive: The easiest way to get to Mondello from Palermo is to drive. If you’ve hired a car, this is the perfect trip. View hire car prices for yourdates here >>>
Bus: Bus line 544 take 38 minutes to get from Palermo to Mondello and cost jus €2.
Not far from Mondello is Salemi, a town with a long history dating back to before the Arab conquest.
Visitors can start by climbing up to the top of the castle built by Count Roger’s son, Jordan; it offers fantastic views of the surrounding countryside and coast. There are also two beautiful churches: Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio (St Mary Admirals), King Roger II was crowned in 1130, and San Nicolò l’Arena.
How to Get from Palermo to Salemi
Palermo is 99.2km from Salemi.
Drive: The easiest way to get to Salemi from Palermo is to drive. The drive will take you around 1 hour, 26 minutes. If you’ve hired a car, this is the perfect trip. View hire car prices for yourdates here. If you’re travelling with kids, the next best option is to book a private transfer. Get a fixed price transfer with Get Transfer here.
Train: Trains from Palermo to Salemi take 1 hour, 46 minutes can cost around 9 Get your train tickets here.
Bus: Buses from Palermo to Salemi take 1 hour, 45 minutes and cost €8. You can buy your tickets here.
The town of Monreale is 27 minutes from Palermo. It is known for its beautiful Duomo and the world-famous Cappella Palatina. This church, with its spectacular mosaics, was built in 1174 under King William II. He reigned over Sicily during the Norman Period.
The most striking feature of this Norman cathedral is the huge Byzantine style gold mosaic ceiling that covers three naves and 500 square meters. The designs depict stories from the Hebrew Bible involving God, Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses, David and Goliath. They were created by craftsmen who came to Sicily from Constantinople between 1076-1091.
Begin your visit at one of two parking lots near the centre of Monreale. This will save you some time because these are the only lots you pay with a credit card. The ticket office will give you a map of Monreale and a sheet explaining all the mosaics found in each room of the cathedral.
How to Get from Palermo to Montreale
Drive: The easiest way to get to Salemi from Palermo is to drive. The drive will take you around 27 minutes. If you’ve hired a car, this is the perfect trip. View hire car prices for yourdates here. If you’re travelling with kids, the next best option is to book a private transfer. Get a fixed price transfer with Get Transfer here.
Bus: The number 364 bus takes 21 minutes from Parcheggio Basile Corsia Interna to Montreale.
Getting Around Palermo
Palermo, Sicily, is an expansive city, making having your own mode of transportation a practical option. Whether you’re driving or using public transport to get around Palermo, there are several different options for getting from one place to another. Here we’ll provide a brief overview of each so that you know the cost and the estimated time it takes before your trip.
Subway, Train and Bus in Palermo
Most bus lines connect with the subway system to form a streamlined way of getting around Palermo during regular hours or when other services have stopped running for the evening.
The buses generally run from 5:30 AM-11 PM Monday-Saturday, with reduced services on Sunday. The Palermo urban railway, or ‘metropolitana’ as it’s called in Italian, connects the city centre with many suburbs and is open from 5:30 AM-11 PM Monday-Saturday (8:30 PM on Fridays) and 8:30 AM-11 PM on Sundays.
The cost of a single ticket for all forms of public transportation is €1.50, which can be purchased at tobacconists, newsstands, vending machines or directly from the bus driver. Tickets valid for more extended periods (3 hours, 1 day, etc.) can also be purchased and offer a discounted rate.
Renting a Car in Palermo
If you plan on renting a car in Palermo, keep the following points in mind:
- A driver’s licence (valid for one year) is required along with your original passport; be sure to check the expiration date of both documents before renting.
- The minimum age for car rental is 21 years old. However, if you’re between 21-25 years old, there is often a Monadditional fee.
- Before leaving the rental agency, take time to read over all documents carefully.
- Don’t forget that it’s mandatory to have third-party insurance covering any dam Aroundage or injury that may result from driving.
Walking and Cycling in Palermo
Palermo is a great city to explore on foot or by bicycle if you’re the active type. The narrow streets, an abundance of piazzas (squares) and pedestrian-only areas make for a leisurely stroll or a cycling adventure. There are several places to rent bicycles in Palermo, both short and long-term, so be sure to inquire at your hotel or visit one of the local tourist information centres.
No matter how you choose to get around Palermo, be sure to take time to enjoy the sights and sounds of this vibrant city. There’s much to see and even more to do, from its Norman architecture and baroque churches to its street mar inkets and seafood restaurants.
Try this bike tour of Palermo old town