Getting around in Palermo: Information, costs and tips on Transportation

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Martí Micolau
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What is the best way to get around Palermo?

Palermo is the capital of beautiful Sicily and is also the fifth largest city in Italy. This Sicilian center is really big and offers its visitors a lot of attractions to see. Unfortunately, public transportation represents one of Palermo's "criticisms". Despite the large number of solutions available, the public transport system is not very efficient, despite recent investments that have led to the creation of the streetcar line and car sharing and bike sharing services.

Let's discover then the guide onhow to move around Palermo: info, costs and tips!



index

  1. Useful advices
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Palermo
  3. How to move around on foot
  4. How to get around by bike
  5. By public transport
  6. By car

How to get around Palermo


Moving around Palermo presents some criticalities in the transport systems, largely due to the traffic that prevents public transport from guaranteeing a certain punctuality. The most reliable bus lines are those in the center, i.e. 101, 102, 104 and 806. In the center there is also a free line called Free Centro Storico. We also recommend the tourist bus, with stops at strategic points of the city.

Always because of the traffic, Driving in Palermo is a very stressful and demanding experience.... Therefore, we also discourage car rentals and car sharing.

The Palermo metro is operated by Trenitalia, but is only useful to reach the airport or key stations such as the central station. The recently introduced tramway has very few lines and is currently useful for connecting peripheral areas, such as the city's shopping centers.

Walking on foot is the best way to get around the centerdespite the distances. The tip is to take a tour with a local guide first, to locate the landmarks and settle in more easily. If you want to know why Palermo is the European capital of street food, take advantage of the walking tour between street food and history!



  • Recommended solutions and means: on foot and by bus to move around the center, cab at night, streetcar for the suburbs, train / subway to the main stations, tourist bus.
  • Solutions andmeans not recommended: city buses outside the narrow historical center, metro and streetcar to move around the center. The use of cars, scooters and bicycles is strongly discouraged.
  • City cards and season tickets are recommended: daily for city bus 3,50 €, several days from 5,70 € (2 days).

How to get from the airport to Palermo city center


Palermo is served byFalcone-Borsellino Airport and represents one of the main airports in Italy, besides being the base of several low cost and non low cost airlines. The airport is not far from Palermo, it is located to the west of the city, in the municipality of Cinisi, and it is very easy to reach the center.
Alternatively, there is Trapani Vincenzo Florio airport, just over 100 km away.

Falcone-Borsellino Airport

  • Distance from the center: 35 km / travel time: 35 min;
  • By train: Trinacria Express Line / ticket costs 5,90 € / travel time: 1h;
  • By cab: average cost 40,00 € / travel time: 35 min.
  • By bus: cost one way 6,30 €, round trip 11,00 € / transfer by Autolinee Prestia and Comandè / travel time: 50 min

Trapani Vincenzo Florio Airport

  • Distance from the center: 118 km / travel time: 90 min;
  • By cab: average cost 90,00 € / travel time: 55 min
  • By bus: average cost 9,00 € / line Autoservizi Salemi and line Segesta / travel time: 1h 30min

How to get around on foot

Palermo is a large city and has many attractions to visit. Most are in the historic center, others are more distant; however, getting around on foot is the best way to visit the center. However, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for long walks, as the center is very large. Also, the intricate maze of streets and the chaos of the city can be confusing: for a first approach and to avoid missing the must-see sights, we recommend a tour with a local guide, to identify landmarks and settle in more easily.
If you want to learn about the wine and food culture of the city, opt for the walking tour between street food and history, which will show you why Palermo is the European capital of street food.

To give you an idea of the distances between one attraction and another, the famous "Quattro Canti" are about 600 meters (8 min walk) from the Cathedral, which in turn is 2 km from Piazza Politeama. The mondello beach is about 30 minutes away by public transport; for trips like the latter, it is obviously recommended to use public transport.

For other itineraries on foot and by public transport, download our Smart Guide to visit Palermo for free.



Getting around by bike

The possibility to travel by public bicycle was initially a service offered by the university and reserved only for students. Then it was extended to everyone, thanks to the management of AMAT, and today it counts 420 bicycles throughout the city, divided into well Stations 37.
The Bike Sharing of Palermo is called BiciPa, you have to register to get your electronic card, necessary for the collection of the bike. You can find all the information on the official website.

However, due to the dense traffic and generally "messy" driving style, it is not recommended to travel by bike...

  • daily 7: 00-22: 30 / on public holidays daily 7: 00-24: 00
  • Cost of ticket / single trip: 30 minutes free, then 0,50 € every half hour thereafter
  • Cost of ticket / pass: daily 5,00 €, weekly 8,00 €.

By public transport

In Palermo you will have a great variety of means to move around: metro, bus, streetcar, cab, bike sharing and car sharing. But unfortunately the transport system is not always efficient and punctual. The service is quite inadequate especially when it comes to buses, which hardly respect the timetables. Therefore, whenever possible, prefer to move around on foot or with the main downtown lines (i.e. 101, 102, 104 and 806), which often pass through the main streets.

An excellent alternative that we recommend is the tourist bus, which follows a circular route with stops located at strategic points of the city, close to the main attractions. This way, besides not having to worry about which means to take and in which direction, you can also enjoy a panoramic tour of the city!



Metro

The Palermo subway is a service managed by Trenitalia and is divided into 3 lines called Line A, Line B and Line C, with which it is possible to reach some areas of the city, mostly nerve centers such as the central station, Notarbartolo or suburbs and airport. The frequency of the runs varies between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the time slots.

  • Downloadable map: metro-palermo
  • Line A (central station - airport) 5: 00-22: 00 / Line B (Notarbartolo - Giachery station) 6: 00-20: 00 / Line C (central station - Bagheria - Altavilla Milicia) 5: 30-21: 40
  • Cost of ticket / single journey: € 1,50
  • Ticket cost / season ticket: € 10,80 weekly, € 28,60 monthly

Bus

Palermo's buses are managed by the AMAT company and offer Lines 90, plus 4 more nights and a free shuttle to the historic center called Centro storico gratuito (Free historic center). AMAT offers the possibility to buy, in addition to the normal single tickets, also single day tickets of various durations, called Multiple days. Unfortunately, the bus service does not guarantee a certain punctuality, except for the lines that move in the historic center (101, 102, 104) and that connect the city with the maritime area of Mondello (806) which, instead, are in full capacity.

  • Downloadable map: bus-palermo
  • daytime lines 5: 30-23: 00 / night lines 23: 00-5: 30
  • Cost of ticket / single trip: € 1,40
  • Cost of the ticket / pass: day ticket 3,50 €, booklet of 20 tickets 23,50 €, multiday 2 days 5,70 €, multiday 3 days 8,00 €, multiday 4 days 10,20 €, multiday 5 days 12,50 €, multiday 6 days 14,60 €, multiday 7 days 16,80 €.

Streetcar

The streetcars are always managed by AMAT, so the tickets or passes you buy for the buses can also be used to travel on the streetcars, and the prices are the same. The lines are 4 and have a frequency of 5, 10, 12 min. It is still not very useful for tourists and for getting around the center. It is still not very useful for tourists and to move around the center, as it reaches mainly the suburbs and shopping centers. However, it is still developing and expanding.

  • Downloadable map: tram-palermo
  • from 6: 00 21 to: 00
  • Cost of ticket / single trip: 1,40 € valid for 90 minutes
  • Cost of ticket / pass: day ticket 3.50 €, booklet of 20 tickets 23.50 €, multiday 2 days 5.70 €, multiday 3 days 8.00 €, multiday 4 days 10.20 €, multiday 5 days 12.50 €, multiday 6 days 14.60 €, multiday 7 days 16.80 €.

Cab

The cab service in Palermo is divided and managed by numerous cooperatives or private cab drivers,therefore, since it is not a unison service, it is not possible to have accurate information on prices other than an average summary of various fares. As for schedules, you will find a cab at any time and at various points in the city. They are, by far, the most recommended way to travel at night...

  • 24h
  • Cost of the ticket / single trip: basic fare 4,50 € + 1,60 € per km
  • Cost ofticket / pass: 27,00 € for one hour

By car

Use ofthe car in Palermo is strongly discouraged. due to heavy traffic and the rather untidy driving style. Use it only for excursions in the surrounding area.

On the other hand, the historic center of Palermo is a limited traffic zone (ZTL), so the circulation of vehicles is limited to pre-established schedules and to particular categories of users. Finally, it is easy to encounter endless queues due to the city traffic, especially during rush hours, so we always invite you to pay the utmost attention and caution. If you have a car, our advice is to leave it in the paid parking lots and then move on foot or by public transport.

ZTL

To access the Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL) in Palermo it is necessary to buy a ticket, with a cost of 5,00 € valid for one day. The ZTL is active from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 20:00. For more detailed information, you can download the ZTL Palermo application, contact the call center at 091-350350 from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 18:00. Or visit the official website of the city of Palermo or the official website of AMAT, where a map of the ZTL is also available.

Stops and parking

If you plan to use the car, pay attention to the areas where you can park, since, especially in the areas surrounding the historic center, there is the presence of blue areas, each of which is marked with abbreviations ranging from P1 to P18. Each has an hourly rate of 1.00 € valid from Monday to Friday in the time slots 8: 00-14: 00 and 16: 00-20: 00.
In these blue areas you will almost always encounter unauthorized parking attendants, who for a few euros will "watch" your car. Of course, be careful and always prefer to buy parking cards independently from automatic machines or at nearby newsstands and tobacconists.

There is also the possibility to park in one of the many private parking lots, including, for example, the multi-storey parking lot Piazza Orlando (Get directions), the parking lot Piazzale Hungria (Get directions), the parking lot Amari (port - Get directions), the parking lot Via Ernesto Basile (University - Get directions). All at convenient prices, from 1,60 € / h.

Car Sharing "I drive".

Car Sharing is also managed by Amat, and in Palermo is called Io guido Car Sharing. It makes available to citizens and visitors 130 Vehicles, between electric cars and methane cars. You register online on the official website and get your Smartcard, then you have to book the car by calling the service number and agreeing on the time and pick-up station. We reiterate however how it is The use of the car is discouraged. We recommend not to use a car, due to heavy traffic and a rather untidy driving style.

  • all day
  • Cost of ticket / single trip: fares vary according to the type of vehicle and one way or round trip use, but on average range between 2,00 € / hy 3,00 € / h
  • Cost of ticket / pass: annual € 25.00

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