Sicily Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Sicily, Italy)

Photo of beachfront near PalermoSicily has a diverse collection of tourist attractions ranging from fine beaches to bustling cities and charming medieval villages. First and foremost, Mount Etna, Europe's highest and most active volcano, offers excellent trekking and skiing.

In addition, there are many beaches to choose from in all areas of the island, including an impressive selection near to Palermo and Catania. These two cities are the largest on Sicily, with Palermo, the capital, having the pick of the attractions and sightseeing opportunities, including the Capuchin Catacombs. Other noteworthy attractions suiting tourists holidaying on Sicily include the vast Madonie Regional Park (Parco Naturale Regionale delle Madonie), the town of Erice and the resorts based along the Ionian Coast.

View of grand architecture in Palermo, Sicily


Address: Palermo, Sicily, Italy, IT
Sicily's quirky capital is a sprawling place in the north-west and, although not a must-see, it does boast a large number of historical sights. The best attractions and clustered within Old Palermo, around the Quattro Canti (Four Corners), an area that can be easily explored on foot in an hour or two. Be sure to check out Piazza Pretoria Square and knock back an espresso whilst checking out the imposing Fontana Pretoria, a 250-year-old tiered fountain. Nearby La Kalsa is the old Arab quarter of Palermo and has even narrower streets. Theatre-goers may like to consider an evening out at either the Teatro Massimo on the Piazza Giuseppe Verdi or at the Teatro Politeama Garibaldi on the Piazza Ruggero Settimo.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Picture of the Capuchin Catacombs, a major tourist attraction located on the Piazza Cappuccini, Palermo, Sicily

Capuchin Catacombs

Address: Piazza Cappuccini 1, Palermo, Sicily, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 091 212 117
Not the best Sicilian attraction to take your kids to, the subterranean Capuchin Catacombs hold the remains of thousands of Palermo inhabitants. It is a somewhat macabre, and yet intriguing, sight to see the dressed-up embalmed bodies of regular folk hanging around inside the tunnels. Mummification started in the 1500s and carried through to 1920, with even children being embalmed.
Open hours: daily, 09:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 19:00 (summer); 09:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 17:00 (winter)
Admission: charge

Aerial photo showing the medieval town of Erice


Address: Erice, Sicily, Italy, IT
Erice is a spectacularly charming medieval town located high up in the mountains of western Sicily. It sits at over 750 metres / 2,460 feet above sea level and provides amazing views over the coast. This fortified medieval town also comes with an obligatory castle complete with lofty turrets, as well as a warren of cobbled streets. A temple sits at the top of the town.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Photograph of beach in the tourist village of Cefalu


Address: Cefalu, Sicily, Italy, IT
A small and perfectly formed fishing village, Cefalu lies on the northern coastline of Sicily and alongside the 'La Rocca' rock, where it has become something of a tourist hotspot. Cefalu is regularly frequented by tour buses, with crowds coming to stroll around the labyrinth of medieval streets, soak up the sun on the sandy beaches, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife. The Old Town is likely to be of most interest to sightseers and is reached by walking along the Via Moro and the Via Matteotti, while the beaches lie off the Via Gramsci / Via V Martoglio.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Madonie Regional Park (Parco Naturale Regionale delle Madonie)

Address: Tyrrhenian Coast, Sicily, Italy, IT
Located on the Tyrrhenian Coast, the Parco Naturale Regionale Delle Madonie lies between Cefalu and Palermo, and covers an immense 98,850 acres / 40,000 hectares. The Parco Naturale Regionale delle Madonie is a coastal and inland park that contains much of Sicily's flora and fauna. This park offers some fantastic trekking along rugged coastal paths and through inland forests and also comes with remote, isolated villages. Be sure to also see the lively capital, Madonie, and Castelbuono. Towering at just under 1,980 metres / 6,496 feet in height, the Pizzo Carbonara forms the highest peak.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Image showing the Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square) in Catania


Address: Catania, Sicily, Italy, IT
Catania is Sicily's second city, boasting Mount Etna as a backdrop. Not as easy on the eye as Palermo, since many of its buildings consist of eerie white marble and black lava fascias. There are, however, a couple of impressive Roman amphitheatres, along with a fortress, a castle and a cathedral. Catania is also one of Italy's hottest cities, so wandering around at midday in summer is not recommended.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

View of the Ionian Coast, with Mount Etna in the background

Ionian Coast

Address: Ionian Coast, Sicily, Italy, IT
The Ionian Coast is perhaps the most popular of all the tourist destinations on Sicily and although it is rather overdeveloped, it does come with many affordable hotels and appealing attractions, being called home by the towering Mount Etna volcano. Messina, the third-biggest city on the island, resides on the Ionian Coast and comes with wide boulevards, a restored Norman cathedral and several epic fountains, such as both the Fontana di Orino and the Fontana del Nettuno. Enjoying a scenic setting on Monte Tauro, Taormina is a glamorous resort based on the Ionian Coast, boasting a popular summer film festival. Another notable destination here is Catania, where its central plaza - the Piazza del Duomo, is now ranked as a World Heritage Site and dominated by St. Agata's Cathedral.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Picture of ancient attractions in Taormina


Address: Taormina, Sicily, Italy, IT
Sited on the terrace of Monte Tauro and boasting impressive westerly views of Mount Etna, Taormina lies on the island's north-eastern coastline and serves as one of the leading beach resorts on Sicily. This popular and somewhat glitzy resort is actually extremely beautiful and is known for its characterful medieval town centre, rich history and archaeological attractions, such as its splendid horseshoe-shaped Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco), which is believed to be of Roman origin and built on the foundations of an existing Greek structure. Many summer events take place here each year, often being organised by the Taormina Arte society.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

More information about Palermo Tourist Attractions.