Ciao, and welcome to the ultimate guide on where to stay in Sicily! I am Italian and I have visited Sicily many times.
Palermo is by far the best place to stay in Sicily, as it’s filled with breathtaking views and countless attractions!
But stay tuned as I go through all the 7 Sicilian towns where you can spend your holiday, giving specific recommendations for attractions and hotels.
I also did a thorough research for each of the places and hand-picked the best hotels for ALL budget groups from luxury to very affordable.
This post will definitely save you tons of time and let you book your ideal accommodation in just a couple of minutes!
If you are in a hurry
Then check out this short list with the top hotels in Sicily, all in Palermo:
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. Palermo – where to stay in Sicily for the first time
- 2. Catania – where to stay in Sicily if you’re on a budget
- 3. Cefalu – best place to stay in Sicily for the beaches
- 4. Taormina – where to stay for luxury
- 5. Syracuse – the coolest town in Sicily
- 6. Agrigento – where to stay in Sicily for history lovers
- 7. Trapani – best place to stay in Sicily for relaxation
- BONUS: Best places to stay in Sicily for couples
- How to get around in Sicily
- FAQs about where to stay in Sicily
Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:
Have a look at this gorgeous map of Sicily with cities that I’ll talk about in this post! It’ll help you get an idea of all the locations:
1. Palermo – where to stay in Sicily for the first time
The Sicilian capital city is set on the northwest coast of the island and it’s probably where you’ll land when you visit Sicily.
Palermo is a beautiful city filled with Baroque architecture, historical churches, charming palaces, and art galleries! It’s surely one of the must-stay places for a first time in Sicily because you can even take day trips and explore around the island!
Explore unique historical sites like the Palazzo dei Normanni in the Old Town and the Palermo Cathedral. It’s also a food lover’s paradise, with bustling markets such as Il Capo and La Vucciria, where you can dive into authentic Sicilian cuisine and street food.
Seriously, it’s such a marvelous place that we wrote a whole article about the best places to stay in Palermo, but for now, see below the scoop of the best ones.
Other accommodation options in Palermo
The nice resort offers a sauna, Turkish bath, a small hydromassage pool, a bar, and a restaurant
Located around popular restaurants and bars, the hotel offers breakfast and an airport shuttle
This self-catering and modern Airbnb offers easy access to the city centre and has rooms with fab city views
Things to do in Palermo
- Visit spectacular Royal Palace of Palermo
- Go shopping at Vucciria market for crafts, clothes, and fresh food
- See the UNESCO listed Arab-Normal Palermo Cathedral
- Visit Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele
- Visit the Capuchin Catacombs to see mummified corpses
2. Catania – where to stay in Sicily if you’re on a budget
We continue our guide with Catania, the 2nd largest Sicilian town, home to another airport, and the perfect place to stay in Eastern Sicily!
This ancient town is famous for its location near Mount Etna, and guided trips to the volcano are a must-do in Catania.
The Etna volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, which can erupt several times a year, even a month! Statistics say that it has erupted over 190 times(!!) since 1500 BC.
You will find ancient Roman and Greek sites, churches, and Baroque architecture in the Old Town! But let’s not forget you’ll also have some sandy beaches just a short walk away!
Another perk of this town is the affordable hotels, making Catania ideal for those looking for cheap places to stay in Sicily!
If you’d like a more in-depth overview, you can read our post on the best areas and hotels in Catania, while below, you’ll find the best per price category.
Set in the city center of Catania and just 4 km (2 miles) from Catania Airport, this hotel is surrounded by Baroque buildings. It offers gorgeous sights from its rooftop terrace and spacious rooms, some with a spa bath! As a plus, guests get private parking and spa facilities.
Other accommodation options in Catania
The centrally located hotel has beautifully decorated rooms, free Wi-Fi, and parking available on site
The nice hotel offers free Wi-Fi, modern rooms with a private bathroom, and a convenient location
A boutique place set in an old 8th century Baroque palace that features frescoes and a balcony
Things to do in Catania
- Visit Basilica Cattedrale Sant’Agata
- Visit Museo Civico Belliniano
- Join a guided tour at UNESCO Monastery of San Nicolò l’Arena
- Attend guided Mt Etna hiking tour to explore Etna’s caves
- Take a day trip to see the Val di Noto
3. Cefalu – best place to stay in Sicily for the beaches
Cefalu is a charming town by the sea and the prettiest place in Sicily if you want to be close to the sandy beaches.
You could say this town has it all, which also makes it a great spot for everyone who wants to spend their whole holiday at the beach! Lido Pura Vida is great for a day out with the kids as it has sun loungers, umbrellas, and some places to eat and drink nearby!
Some popular local sites you shouldn’t miss out on are the Norman Cathedral, with UNESCO-listed mosaics, Castello di Cefalù and Lavatoio Medievale
I love Cefalu’s charming narrow streets, the typical Italian houses, and the little piazzas – they all transport you to another time!
The food is absolutely delicious here, by the way, and what better way to finish a day spent at Spiaggia di Cefalù other than with dinner at the popular Triscele Restaurant?!
With a perfect location on a private beach, this luxury resort offers a swimming pool, where you can play with the little ones, a spa, and free parking. Its rooms feature breathtaking sights of the sea, and you’ll also find 2 restaurants on-site!
Other accommodation options in Cefalu
Set in a historic building from the 1920s, this hotel has rooms with balconies with great views of the city
A beautiful villa-style accommodation which offers a nice swimming pool and rooms with an amazing view
This place has a great location in the Historical Center, room for 3 people, a beautiful balcony and free parking
Things to do in Cefalu
- Explore local shops, bars and restaurants at Corso Ruggero
- Walk to La Rocca and explore the Temple of Diana
- Spend the day at the beach
- Check out Lo Scoglio Ubriaco for epic seafood!
4. Taormina – where to stay for luxury
Taormina is located on the East coast of the island and is a 1-hour drive from Catania Airport! It is a picturesque town with beautiful buildings covered with flowers, medieval castles, a nice beach and a thriving nightlife!
A visit to Taormina is imperative while you’re in Sicily, as this glamorous town has been a favorite of famous people like Marlene Dietrich, Oscar Wilde, and Elizabeth Taylor!
While you will get a bit of everything in town, I encourage you to explore the hilly part of Taormina by cable car, from where you can enjoy amazing beach views.
A 30-min car drive from Taormina, you’ll find Forza d’Agro, a hilltop village where many scenes from The Godfather were filmed!
The luxury hotel features fabulous rooms, a rooftop terrace, an exclusive spa area with a sauna, a Turkish bath, therapy showers as well as an outdoor swimming pool. The city center is within walking distance, and an airport shuttle is available, too.
Other accommodation options in Taormina
A nice boutique hotel with a private beach, great views of the city, and an airport shuttle
Right on the Taormina seafront, the hotel features classic rooms, a good breakfast daily, and a café on-site with sea views
Make your trip unforgettable with this villa that boasts amazing views and lots of local bars nearby
Things to do in Taormina
- Check local bars and restaurants of Taormina at Mazzarò
- Watch a performance at Teatro Antico di Taormina
- Spend time at Panasia Beach and join the party when it gets dark
- Visit the village of Castlemola
- Sign up for a tour to explore Mount Etna
- Join a boat tour to volcanic Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands
5. Syracuse – the coolest town in Sicily
Located on the southeast coast, Syracuse is a nice historic town filled with ancient Greek attractions, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also one of the safest places in Sicily!
The best way to discover this area is by strolling along the medieval streets, marveling at the amazing buildings in Baroque architecture, particularly in Val di Noto!
Syracuse has a laid-back atmosphere, lots of local shops, restaurants, and many attractions. Apollo’s Temple is a must-see here, and the rest you’ll find in Isola di Ortigia, which is the Old Town of Syracuse and a great area to stay in.
Yep, this area is filled with unmissable sights and fab hotels! You’ll find some below, but if you want more options, check our post with the best Syracuse hotels!
Enjoy the fabulous sea views from the elegant rooms of this boutique hotel that offers some great vacation packages, a great breakfast, a bar, and private parking. This chic hotel also comes with a beautiful terrace and a spa center.
Other accommodation options in Syracuse
Set in the historic center, in a 19th-century building, the hotel offers great rooms, a beautiful garden and a terrace
Featuring city views and free Wi-Fi, the hotel is centrally located in Siracusa. An airport shuttle and private parking are available
A charming apartment in the city center with modern decor, a kitchen, and a balcony with city views
Things to do in Syracuse
- Visit Neapolis Archaeological Park
- Go shopping for souvenirs at the market in Ortigia
- Visit Castello Maniace and enjoy the great view
- Spend time at sandy beaches at Ortigia
- Visit the impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria Delle Colonne
6. Agrigento – where to stay in Sicily for history lovers
All the history buffs will fall in love with this beautiful area and will want to visit it again and again! Agrigento is located on the east coast of Sicily, just a 30-minute drive from Palermo.
The town is super popular as it is home to one of the most incredible attractions on the island (drum roll please): the Valley of the Temples (where you can see old Greek temples standing on a hill), a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Agrigento is famous for its Valley of the Temples, This archeological area has ruins from 3,000 years ago with Hellenistic and Roman ancient settlements, temples, as well as archaeological museums.
For a second, you’ll feel as if you’ve left Italy and landed somewhere in Athens!
Now let’s check out the best places to stay here!
Set a short walk away from all the temples around, this hotel is housed in an 18th-century villa and it offers a spa center, a swimming pool, and a laid-back atmosphere! This is a great place in the city, and it even has rooms with views of the temples!
Other accommodation options in Agrigento
A gorgeous hotel with views of the Valley of Temples, spacious rooms and a lovely terrace
Located in the city center, the hotel offers air-conditioned rooms, breakfast, and free parking
A family-friendly place with a beautiful swimming pool, great rooms, and bikes to rent out
Things to do in Agrigento
- Learn history at Agrigento Regional Archaeological Museum
- Go shopping at Agrigento market on Fridays
- Visit the beautiful Torre Salsa Nature Reserve
- Enjoy beach time at Capo Rossello (map)
- Visit Scala Dei Turchi, with stairs carved by the sea
7. Trapani – best place to stay in Sicily for relaxation
I don’t know about you, but I love the Italian lifestyle! Il dolce far niente surely resonates with me and if you feel the same, then this town on the west coast of Sicily in Italy is for you!
Trapani is a friendly port city in Western Sicily famous for its salt flats with old windmills and for boats going to the Egadi Islands.
Trapani has a historic center with old Baroque buildings and a busy fish market, and not far away, the hill town of Erice offers great views and old stone streets to walk through.
Here you’ll find lots of historical attractions, and beaches but what distinguishes Trapani is the proximity to amazing sites like Zingaro Nature Reserve, and San Vito Lo Capo! You’ll need to rent a car, though.
Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the yummy Sicilian food at Ristorante Antichi Sapori, which serves local dishes like almond-based pesto and fish!
Spend some amazing days in Italy at this hotel that’s close to the local attractions and offers great rooms with a hot tub! There is also a spa center on site where you can relax and private parking
Other accommodation options in Trapani
With amazing sights of the coast and sea, this hotel has a balcony, a kitchenette and some local restaurants nearby
Enjoy the sun on the sun terrace of this Trapani hotel that has rooms with a TV and free parking
A great place for your holiday destination that has a kitchen, a balcony and some restaurants around
THINGS TO DO IN TRAPANI
- Visit the beautiful Trapani Cathedral
- Stop by Torre di Ligny, a watchtower with breathtaking views
- Take a stroll through the Saline di Trapani nature reserve
- Visit the historical Temple of Segesta
|👑 Luxury price:
|💵 Mid-range hotel:
|📍 Best area:
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:
|Grand Hotel Wagner
|💵 Best mid-range hotel:
|Hotel Porta Felice
|👛 Best budget hotel:
BONUS: Best places to stay in Sicily for couples
Is there anything more romantic than taking a trip with your partner to Sicily? The food, the atmosphere, the Venusian vibes will make this trip unforgettable!
But you’ll definitely need a hotel to match all that!
1. Atlantis Bay
You and your partner will never want to leave this place! Perfect for a young couple, this hotel in Taormina offers incredible views, a swimming pool, a private floating sea platform, and romantic seaside dining (ahh, to be in love)!
2. Reggia del Saraceno
Want to feel at home and super cozy during this holiday? Then check out this apartment in Syracuse with everything you need for your trip, plus a fab terrace where you and your loved one can catch a scenic sunset!
3. Meo Design Suites & Spa
Just look at the view! This hotel in Catania has a spa center where you can relax with your partner, a great location near Piazza Duomo, and modern rooms with large windows!
4. Grand Hotel Villa Politi
Spend your romantic holiday in Syracuse in this gorgeous hotel that has rooms with such a great style and breathtaking views! You’ll also find a pool and a restaurant (perfect for those romantic dinners).
5. Villa Boscarino
What can be better than spending a few days in a historic villa with your partner? Set in Ragusa, the hotel features fabulous rooms with stone-made walls, a pool where you can sunbathe, and a yummy breakfast!
How to get around in Sicily
Planning to go around all the towns and beaches on the island and visit even the most remote sites on your Sicilian trip? Well, I’m here to help you with that!
After a thorough research on the web I found the best ways to get around Sicily from car rentals to public transport so let’s have a look!
We all know that renting a car is the easiest way to explore all the towns and beaches on your trip! If you are planning to stay a long time and make stops in different towns, then this is the recommended option.
It is easy to drive in Sicily among major cities but keep in mind that you might get caught in traffic jams in some areas. In order to avoid that, choose early hours in the morning or the middle of the day to hit the road.
All main cities in Sicily, such as Palermo, Catania, Messina, Syracuse, Agrigento, Taormina, and Trapani have good train connections and are therefore great places to stay in Sicily without a car.
There are 2 train operators in Italy, Trenitalia (or Ferrovie Dello Stato FS) and InterCity, you can check timetables on their websites. I recommend booking train tickets in advance as the price sometimes goes up the closer you get to the date.
Bus fares are generally less than train tickets and are even cheaper when you buy a round trip.
The biggest bus companies on the island with the largest network are AST and Interbus. You can check the routes and timetables on their website and buy the tickets online.
There are lots of tours from the major cities like Palermo, Catani, Cefalu and other towns that will take you around the island!
FAQs about where to stay in Sicily
🗺️ What is the best part of Sicily to stay in?
Palermo is the best place to stay in Sicily! The capital town has numerous attractions and offers easy access to the other towns and beaches.
🏖️ What is the nicest part of Sicily?
Palermo, Cefalu, Taormina, and Catania are the nicest parts of Sicily.
🏡 Which side of Sicily is better?
Even though there are many nice parts of the island, the southwest part of Sicily offers beautiful beaches and historic sites.
🏝️ Where is the best base in Sicily to discover the island?
On the east coast, Catania is a good base to discover surrounding areas and also to visit Mount Etna. In the southwest, Palermo is a great place to explore historic sights and beaches.
⏱️ How many days should i stay in Sicily?
Sicily is a very big island so if you want to explore many parts of the island you should stay for 4-5 days at least.
🤔 What should you not miss in Sicily?
Some of the things that should not be missed in Sicily are the Aeolian Islands, Mount Etna, the Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina, and the Valley of the Temples.
📅 Where to stay in Sicily for a week or a month?
For a perfect blend of history and comfort, consider Taormina, with its ancient ruins and luxurious resorts, making it ideal for short or extended stays in Sicily.
🏨 What is the best place to stay in Sicily in October or March?
🔝 Is Cefalu a good place to stay?
Yes! Cefalu is a great place to stay in Sicily! This popular town on the coast has amazing beaches, a beautiful Old Town, and great hotels like Le Calette N.5.
🐚 Where to stay in Sicily for beaches?
Cefalu, Taormina, and San Vito lo Capo have some of the most amazing beaches and beach hotels in Sicily!
⛔ What areas to avoid in Sicily?
Definitely avoid the Ballarò and Brancaccio areas in Palermo and the Stesicoro area in Catania.
⚖️ Is Catania or Palermo better?
It depends, the towns are so different! Pick Palermo if you want to explore the north coast and Catania if you want to visit the east coast and Mt Etna.
I’m happy you reached the end of this post on where to stay in Sicily! Today, we’ve seen the best towns and hotels on the island, how to get around Sicily, the most amazing beaches on the island, and some fab romantic hotels!
That’s a lot of information and hotels! But you’ll need it! And if you want some extra help, have a look at my 2 favorite hotels, both set in Palermo:
- Grand Hotel Wagner – you’ll love the old charm and design of this hotel, set in a 20th-century building.
- Hotel Porta Felice & Spa – relax in one of the best hotels on the island that has a spa center, a rooftop terrace, and a bar.
Remember that Sicily is one of the most popular islands in Europe! This means that the hotel will surely sell out super fast, especially if you’re traveling between June and September, their busiest months.
And with that, we’re done! However, I’m still around if you’ve got any other questions! Just ping me in the section below and I will make sure to reply!
Have a nice holiday,
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