WHERE TO STAY in Palermo [July 2019!]

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 Palermo is a charming and affordable travel destination. Often overlooked in favour of Rome or Florence, this Sicilian city has plenty of history and culture to explore, nightlife to experience, and delicious food to sample.

But Palermo can be difficult to navigate and some areas are best avoided altogether. That’s why we’ve put together this insider’s guide for where to stay in Palermo so you can confidently find an awesome neighbourhood that suits your interests, style and budget.

Our expert travel writers have put together a list of neighbourhoods in Palermo that cater to travellers of all ages. Whether you are a family of four or a solo traveler looking to party, after reading this guide, you will know exactly where to stay in Palermo.

Get excited, some of the neighbourhoods in this where to stay in Palermo guide just might surprise you…

Where to Stay in Palermo

Table of Contents

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Palermo

  • Where to stay in Palermo first time – Vecchio Central
  • Where to stay in Palermo on a budget – Kalsa
  • Best area to stay in Palermo for nightlife – Castellammare
  • Coolest place to stay in Palermo – Albergheria
  • Best neighbourhood in Palermo for families – Mondello

PS If you’re travelling around Italy, check out our fantastic guides to where to stay and things to do in Rome, plus the best hotels and the coolest museums. When in Rome! Plus, if you’re heading around Europe, our team of travel experts have compiled the ultimate guide to the 131 best things to do in Europe!

Where to Stay in Palermo

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Palermo.

Best Budget Hotel in Palermo – Jardin de France

Jardin de France Palermo

Jardin de France is the best budget hotel in Palermo

Jardin de France is the best budget hotel in Palermo as it offers great value for money and a real home from home. The warm colour scheme, soft furnishings and exposed wooden beams create a sense of homeliness from the moment you walk through the door. Jardin de France is in Kalsa.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Palermo – Colors B&B

Colors B&B Palermo

Colors B&B is the best mid-range hotel in Palermo

Colors B&B is the best mid-range hotel in Palermo and can be found in the Castellammare neighbourhood. Offering authentic, genuine Italian hospitality and complete comfort, Colors B&B is a great choice for all kinds of travellers. All rooms have a private ensuite bathroom. Free WiFi is available.


Best Luxury Hotel in Palermo – Quintocanto Hotel & Spa

Quintocanto Hotel & Spa Palermo

Quintocanto Hotel & Spa is the best luxury hotel in Palermo

No doubt about it, the best luxury hotel in Palermo is Quintocanto Hotel & Spa. Boasting a Turkish steam bath and spa complex, Quintocanto offers total relaxation. The rooms are modern, spacious and some even offer views of Palermo’s cityscape. Honeymoon suites are available that offer next-level luxury and comfort.


Palermo Neighbourhoods Guide

Palermo, Italy

Palermo, Italy

Palermo is widely regarded to be one of the more affordable Italian cities to explore. When it comes to accommodation budget travellers can afford to spend much longer in Palermo than in, say, Rome or Venice. This is just as well because Palermo has a whole heap of cultural and historical landmarks to visit.

The main areas of interest in Palermo centre around Vecchio Central, the Old Town. Although in some guidebooks this area is seemingly the whole of Palermo, in actual fact Vecchio Central is the nucleus of the city with a number of equally interesting neighbourhoods adjoining at the edges.

From budget-friendly neighbourhoods to nightlife districts, to the secretly cool spots yet to be discovered by the masses, Palermo has a neighbourhood for every kind of traveller.

Hotel Jules Insider Tip

This is a highly pedestrianised city. It is very easy to walk from one neighbourhood to the next. Traffic in Palermo can get pretty backed up at times, especially in the high summer season. Walking is a great way to slow down and embrace the authentic Italian vibes that ooze from every side street and al fresco cafe.

If you don’t fancy the walk, no worries. Palermo is a well-connected city and it is super cheap to get from one neighbourhood to the next on public transport.

It gives you the local experience too! There are blue, orange and white city AMAT buses that connect you to the whole city. Tickers are around $2 and last for 90-minutes at a time.

PS Are you heading to Venice? Is so, our team of travel experts have compiled these handy guides to save you research time and money! Coolest things to do in Venice, Neighborhood guide to Venice, Best Hotels in Venice, Best Museums in Venice.

Palermo’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Now let’s take a look, in greater detail, at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Palermo. Each is a little different to the last so be sure to check out which is right for you!

Neighborhood #1 - Vecchio Central

(Where to stay in Palermo first time)

Vecchio Central, Palermo

Vecchio Central is our pick for where to stay in Palermo for your first time (photo credits: Booking.com)

Centring around the City Courthouse in Palazzo Pretorio Vecchio Central is the overflowing with cultural gems to explore. Once a thriving residential hub as Palermo has grown locals have moved further afield leaving this neighbourhood to be perfectly preserved and adored by all who visit.

For culture vultures and anyone interested in Sicilian history, Vecchio Central is the best place to stay in Palermo. From the artistic splendour of Fontana Pretoria to the architectural wonder that is Cattedrale di Palermo, everywhere you look there is something new to learn and something gorgeous to photograph.

The Palazzo Riso Art Museum is one of the highlights of the neighbourhood. Home to an impressive curation of modern Italian artwork it is an inspiring stop off, to say the least.

It almost goes without saying that in this, the heart of Palermo, you will find some of the most incredible Italian food in the city. From seafood linguine to classic pizzas you can gorge yourself guilt free. It’s a cultural must when in Italy!

Top Things to Do in Vecchio Central

  • Admire the artistic splendour of Fontana Pretoria.
  • Marvel at the 12th-Century architecture of the Church of San Cataldo with its Arabic decor.
  • Embrace all kinds of Italian art at Museum Palazzo Riso.
  • Take a moment to sit and gaze in awe at Cattedrale di Palermo before exploring inside.
  • Relax in the sun or seek a shady spot in Villa Bonanno city park.
  • Gorge on authentic Sicilian dishes at Ai Tetti Dining.

Where to Stay in Vecchio Central

Best Budget Hotel in Vecchio Central – Hotel Alessandra

Hotel Alessandra Palermo

Hotel Alessandra is the best budget hotel in Vecchio Central

Simple, homely and affordable, the best budget hotel in Vecchio Central is Hotel Alessandra. Offering basic but comfortable rooms, each with an en-suite,  Hotel Alessandra provides everything you could need. The staff are really sweet and very helpful. WiFi access is complimentary and unlimited. The in-house cafe serves light snacks.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Vecchio Central – Palazzo Brunaccini Residence

Palazzo Brunaccini Residence Palermo

Palazzo Brunaccini Residence is the best mid-range hotel in Vecchio Central

Palazzo Brunaccini Residence is the best mid-range hotel in Vecchio Central, right in the heart of the city. Each room has a bathtub, some in a cute heart shape. The neutral tones and light wood furniture offer a sense of high class without the luxury price tag.


Best Luxury Hotel in Vecchio Central – Quintocanto Hotel & Spa

Quintocanto Hotel & Spa

Quintocanto Hotel & Spa is the best luxury hotel in Vecchio Central

Quintocanto Hotel & Spa is the best luxury hotel in Vecchio Central, in fact, all of Palermo. This modern, boutique hotel provides great service and excellent attention to detail. There are just 21-rooms so the hotel is quiet but has just the right amount of atmosphere. Breakfast is included.


Neighborhood #2 - Kalsa

(Where to stay in Palermo on a budget)

Kalsa, Palermo

Kalsa is our pick for where to stay in Palermo on a budget

As we have established, Palermo is one of the more affordable cities to explore in Italy. The best place to stay in Palermo on a budget is Kalsa. Very much in the heart of the city, Kalsa offers olde-world charms for a fraction of the cost. Accommodation here is a steal!

With wonderful views of the Meditteranean Sea and architectural gems in abundance, Kalsa is a great place to stay in Palermo regardless of your budget. Neighbourhood hotspots include Sanat Maria dello Spasimo Church, Giardino Garibaldi and Palazzo Chiaramonte.

Wandering through the winding alleyways of Kalsa is a real treat. Around every corner is another historical building more photogenic than the last.

Palazzo Chiaramonte was built in 1307 and is now a university building. Inside you will find the impressive Hall of the Barons & the Philippine Prisons. Directly opposite Palazzo Chiaramonte, you will find the tranquil Giardino Garibaldi.

Step foot into the park and follow the paved path to Ficus Macrophylla. Unquestionably the most beautiful natural landmark in Palermo.

Top Things to Do in Kalsa

  • Give the biggest tree in Palermo a hug, at Ficus Macrophylla. Don’t miss any of the trunks or vines.
  • Visit Palazzo Chiaramonte and the Hall of the Barons & the Philippine Prisons.
  • Explore the curiosities and learn about the history of puppetry at the International Puppet Museum.
  • Experience the opulence of ancient Sicily Mueso Plazzao Mitro House Museum.
  • Feed your sweet tooth at Cioccolateria Lorenzo.
  • Relax in the sun at Giardino Garibaldi and plan your next steps in wonderful Kalsa

Where to Stay in Kalsa

Best Budget Hotel in Kalsa – Jardin de France

Jardin de France

Jardin de France is the best budget hotel in Kalsa

With low, exposed beams, comfortable beds and wonderful hospitality, Jardin de France is the best budget hotel in Kalsa. With affordable rates throughout the year, even in high season, Jardin de France is an ideal choice. Guests have a choice of a double room or studio apartment. Bicycles are free to rent.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Kalsa – Addauru Bed and Breakfast

Addauru Bed and Breakfast

Addauru Bed and Breakfast is the best mid-range hotel in Kalsa

Addauru Bed and Breakfast has only four rooms but is certainly the best mid-range hotel in Kalsa. Each of the four rooms has a private bathroom, wardrobe and access to free WiFi. There are single, double and even quadruple rooms available.  Breakfast is included in the room rate.


Best Luxury Hotel in Kalsa – Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa Palermo

Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa is the best luxury hotel in Kalsa

Boasting 4-stars, a porter service and a hot tub, Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa is the best luxury hotel in Kalsa. The staff are incredibly welcoming and will go out of their way to ensure guests have a memorable stay. There is an in-house restaurant serving wonderful authentic Italian dishes.


Neighborhood #3 - Castellammare

(Best area to stay in Palermo for nightlife)

Castellammare, Palermo

Castellammare is the best area to stay in Palermo for nightlife

Even with your high school Italian, you could hazard a guess that Castellammare means ‘castle by the sea’ and indeed it does. Castellammare is characterised by the impressive coastal fortress that was once the beacon of the neighbourhood.

Located adjacent to Kalsa, Castellammare is too very much in the heart of Palermo. To its tip, Castellammare borders with Vecchio Central. The most vibrant part of Castellammare is the Vuccuria Market. Here you will find local flitting around buying their fresh groceries and tourists taking a casual saunter admiring the local produce. There is a great vibe to Castellammare, day or night.

Castellammare is the best place to stay in Palermo for nightlife and Vuccuria Market is a great place to grab a drink in the late afternoon. Il Bar in Piazza S. Domenico is the next place to head to for some casual cocktails as the sun starts to set.

Roxanne nightclub is a great place to head after dark. Especially if you want to sip on wine, meet fun-loving locals and perhaps have a little dance.

Heading on to Florence? Why not let us do the research for you and check out our favourite hotels in Florence, our top rated things to do in Florence, where to stay in the gorgeous city and our list of the most ultimate day trips from Florence.

Top Things to Do in Castellammare

  • Admire the Castellammare’s most impressive church, Chiesa di S. Domenico e Chiostro.
  • Visit the neighbourhood’s defining feature, Castello a Mare Archaeological Park.
  • Roam around Vuccuria Market, buy a trinket or two and chat with locals.
  • Review your purchases from Vuccuria Market over a beer at the watering hole next door, Taverna Azzura.
  • Enjoy cocktails overlooking the sea at upmarket bar and lounge, A’Cala.
  • Party the night away local style at Roxanne Bar & Club.

Where to Stay in Castellammare

Best Budget Hotel in Castellammare – Alla Loggia del Gattopardo

Alla Loggia del Gattopardo

Alla Loggia del Gattopardo is the best budget hotel in Castellammare

Set in a great location, Alla Loggia del Gattapardo is the best budget hotel in Castellammare. There are just 10-rooms at Alla Loggia del Gattapardo creating a lovely relaxed atmosphere. All rooms have air conditioning and an ensuite bathroom. The staff are local and really lovely.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Castellammare – Colors B&B

Colors B&B

Colors B&B is the best mid-range hotel in Castellammare

Colors B&B is a popular choice and the best mid-range hotel in Castellammare for a number of reasons. The rooms are as bright and cheery as its name would suggest and offer high levels of comfort. Palermo Centrale Railway Station is within walking distance as well as Vuccuria Market.


Best Luxury Hotel in Castellammare – B&B Delle Vittorie

B&B Delle Vittorie Palermo

B&B Delle Vittorie is the best luxury hotel in Castellammare

B&B Delle Vittorie is a little gem. As the best luxury hotel in Castellammare, B&B Delle Vittorie offers everything you could need. There are just five spacious rooms, all of which have a seating area, a work desk and an ensuite bathroom. A wholesome breakfast is served each morning.


Neighborhood #4 - Albergheria

(Coolest place to stay in Palermo)

Albergheria, Palermo

Albergheria is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Palermo

Refined and upmarket, Albergheria is the coolest place to stay in Palermo. With a smattering of historical wonders, wide open piazzas and a wealth of bars and restaurants to explore, Albergheria is where the cool Italians come to hang.

Tucked around every corner you will find a cosy wine bar serving up some chilled whites and moreish reds produced across Italy. Filled with locals and curious tourists, the tiny bars of Albergheria deserve a day of exploration all of their own.

Being so close to Vecchio Central means that Albergheria is ideal for travellers who don’t want stick to the ‘boring tourist trail’ but still want to tick off the highlights.

The highlight of a stay in Albergheria is surely a visit to the Norman Palace. Tucked away in the farthest reaching corner of the neighbourhood the Norman Palace is an often overlooked landmark. Built in the 9th-Century is it as majestic today as it was when it was first built.

Top Things to Do in Albergheria

  • Visit the majestic, magnificent Norman Palace in Piazza Indipendenza.
  • Walk beneath the Porta Nuova Gate, built in 1570 it stands 43-metres high.
  • Take a stroll past the deconsecrated Church of St John of the Hermits and admire its crumbling walls.
  • Shop like a local at Ballaro Market.
  • Hang out, play games and enjoy a beer or two at Ballarak.
  • Try an Italian-inspired burger at Spillo La Birroteca.

Where to Stay in Albergheria

Best Budget Hotel in Albergheria – Casa Orioles Apartment

Casa Orioles Apartment Palermo

Casa Orioles Apartment is the best budget hotel in Albergheria

Simple but homely, Casa Orioles Apartment is the best budget hotel in Albergheria. There is a kitchenette area where guests can prepare basic meals and there is an in-house restaurant too. The staff can help you arrange tours and travel arrangements from the front desk.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Albergheria – Apartment Dietro la Cattedrale

Apartment Dietro la Cattedrale Palermo

Apartment Dietro la Cattedrale is the best mid-range hotel in Albergheria

With a homestay feel but hotel service, Apartment Dietro la Cattedrale is the best mid-budget hotel in Albergheria. With a cosy atmosphere and warm tones, guests feel at home the moment they walk through the door. A wake-up call can be arranged on request.


Best Luxury Hotel in Albergheria – Baglio San Giovanni

Baglio San Giovanni Palermo

Baglio San Giovanni is the best luxury hotel in Albergheria

Baglio San Giovanni is a wonderful holiday aparthotel in the heart of Albergheria. Easily the best luxury hotel in Albergheria Baglio San Giovanni offers a great amount of space and all the amenities you could wish for. Despite being a whole house the cost is very affordable.


Neighborhood #5 - Mondello

(Best neighbourhood in Palermo for families)

Mondello, Palermo

Mondello is our pick for best neighbourhood in Palermo for families (photo credits: Flickr)

Set away from the main historical hub of Vechhio Central, the best place to stay in Palermo for families in Mondello. Offering beautiful landscapes and complete relaxation Mondello has something for everyone to enjoy. The beautiful beach of Mondello sits nested between Mount Gallo and Mount Pellegrino.

The highlight for families in Mondello is Toy Park Beach. Set just off the main sandy beach, Toy Park Beach is a family-orientated theme park that features splash pools and water slides.

There are inflatables, traditional fairground rides and an affordable cafe too. This is a local favourite for children, especially in the summer.

If you want to get into the great outdoors Capa Gallo Reserve is the best place to explore. With incredible views over the sea from the rugged cliff tops and with plenty of space to run and play, this is the kind of place where the best holiday memories are made.

Getting back into historical Palermo is easy. Hiring a car is rather affordable and the best option if travelling with kids. Alternatively, catch the bus into Vecchio Central, it takes an hour by public transport.

Top Things to Do in Mondello

  • Splash, play and make new holiday friends at Toy Park Beach.
  • Hike up Monte del Gallo at Capa Gallo Reserve and admire the amazing views.
  • Sunbathe, make sand castles and paddle in the sea at Mondello Beach.
  • Experience authentic Sicilian seafood dishes at Le Antiche Mura restaurant.
  • Take a look at Monte del Gallo from a different angle in Sferracavallo.
  • Explore the Caves of Addaura and look out for caveman paintings in the rocks.

Where to Stay in Mondello

Best Budget Hotel in Mondello – B&B Great Sicily

B&B Great Sicily Palermo

B&B Great Sicily is the best budget hotel in Mondello

The best budget hotel in Mondello is B&B Great Sicily. With a huge outdoor pool and offering views of the mountains, B&B Great Sicily offers great value for money. The rooms are nothing special but are comfortable and have all the amenities you could wish for.


Best Mid-Range Hotel in Mondello – Villa Nettuno

Villa Nettuno Palermo

Villa Nettuno is the best mid-range hotel in Mondello

As the best mid-range hotel in Mondello, Villa Nettuno is a little bit of luxury. The main bedroom sits on a mezzanine floor that overlooks the rest of the villa. Extra beds are available on request. The villa has an outdoor hot tub and sun deck. Babysitting services are available.


Best Luxury Hotel in Mondello – Bed and Breakfast II Girasole

Bed and Breakfast II Girasole Palermo

Bed and Breakfast II Girasole is the best luxury hotel in Mondello

Bright, colourful and modern, Bed and Breakfast II Girasole is the best luxury hotel in Mondello. Guests are welcome to dine at the in-house restaurant and relax at the in-house bar. All rooms have a private ensuite bathroom and come with air conditioning. The breakfast is a great start to the day.


Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Palermo

Packed with charm and history, Palermo is one of the most underrated cities in Italy. It’s ancient landmarks, quaint streets, and delectable cuisine are just a few of the reasons it deserves your time and travel dollars.

To recap; Castellammare is our top pick for where to stay in Palermo to be at the centre of the action. Vibrant and lively, this neighbourhood has a great atmosphere and vibe both day and night.

Our recommendation for the best hotel is Colors B&B. Offering authentic Italian charm and hospitality, this quaint bed and breakfast is perfect for all types of travellers.

Looking for a list of things to do in Palermo? Why not check out our 16 best things to do in Palermo to save you time and money! Additional reading – check out our guide to the best hotels in Palermo. And, if you’re heading on to Milan, you’ll need to know where to stay with our top 5 neighborhoods in Milan, the best hotels in Milan, the most majestic day trips from Milan, and Milan’s best museums. We’ve got you covered!

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below. Grazie!

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If you liked this article, then check out our other AMAZING guides to save you time and money on your trip!

About the Author Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.

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