Where to Stay in Sicily in 2024 🇮🇹: Guide to the Best Places to Stay

Sicily overwhelms you with its sheer beauty. With so much to explore, choosing where to stay can be tricky. You want a city that puts you near the best attractions but retains its local vibe. This guide has you covered.

Oup pick of the best hotels in Sicily 🔝

We’ll highlight the top towns, from the historic Agrigento to luxury Taormina. You’ll get insider tips on the best hotels, boutiques, cafés, and authentic trattorias in each neighborhood.

Plus, you’ll get sample hotel recommendations for every budget and travel style. From luxury suites immersed in Italian opulence to cozy, wallet-friendly rooms. There’s something for solo travelers, couples, families and more.

So join me on a stroll through this magical island.

Quick Guide on Where to Stay in Sicily 📋

1. Palermo – Best Area in Sicily for the First Time 🔥

🏝 Heart of the island: Located on the northwest coast of Sicily, Palermo is the regional capital and largest city in Sicily. Its strategic location in the heart of the Mediterranean has shaped its long and culturally rich history spanning over 2700 years.

🗺️ Good launch point: For first-time visitors, Palermo makes an excellent starting point to discover Sicily’s culture and landscapes. The city lies in close proximity to some of the island’s most famous attractions like fishing villages of Cefalù and Mondello Beach.

🚏 Getting around Palermo is fairly convenient thanks to an extensive public transportation network consisting of buses, trams, trains as well as taxis and rental cars. The historic city center is very walkable. Top sights include:

  • The grand Norman Palatine Chapel with its Byzantine mosaics
  • The imposing Medieval cathedral with royal tombs
  • Exuberant Baroque buildings like the Quattro Canti crossroads
Norman Palatine Chapel
Palatskapellet
Norman Palatine Chapel
Palatskapellet
Norman Palatine Chapel
Palatskapellet
Norman Palatine Chapel
Palatskapellet
Medieval cathedral
Medeltida katedraler
Medieval cathedral
Medeltida katedraler
Medieval cathedral
Medeltida katedraler

🥘 Tasty treats: Another highlight is the sprawling Capo outdoor food market near the port. Here you can try delicious local street food like arancini rice balls or pane e panelle chickpea fritters.

🙏 Today, Palermo faces problems with unemployment, poverty and organized crime. Yet thanks to the resilience and creativity of regular Palermitans, the city has seen a cultural revival in recent years.

All hotels in Palermo →

Where to stay in Palermo? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes – a luxurious hotel in a historic 19th century building with a sophisticated interior and high level of service.
  • Grand Hotel Wagner – elegant neoclassical hotel with panoramic views of the city and excellent location.
  • Demetra Rooms – modern premium rooms with designer interiors and personalized service.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • il lapino – simple rooms with basic amenities at a reasonable price, a good option for budget travelers.
  • Liolà Home Palermo – a guest house with a homely atmosphere and friendly hosts.
  • Castelnuovo Rooms – inexpensive rooms with basic facilities in the city center.

2. Catania – Where to Stay near Etna Volcano 🌋

🌋 Historic charm: Located on Sicily’s eastern coast at the foot of Mount Etna, Catania is a historic city with a vibrant culture, fascinating architecture and mouthwatering cuisine.

✈️ Well connected: Catania boasts a favorable geographic location, making it convenient to explore nearby attractions like Mount Etna, Syracuse, Taormina and the Aeolian Islands. The city has an international airport with connections across Europe which is located just 2 kilometers from the city center, allowing for quick and easy transfers.

🏛️ Top sites to see in Catania include:

  • Piazza del Duomo and the adjacent Catania Cathedral and Elephant Fountain statue
  • Open air La Pescheria seafood market
  • Remnants of Ancient Roman Baths and Greek and Roman Theater
  • Castello Ursino castle which hosts rotating art exhibitions
  • Vibrant Via Etnea street with shops, restaurants and cafes

Unique only to Catania is the Festa di Sant’Agata, a February festival honoring the patron saint of the city.

🍝 Foodie heaven: The city’s most iconic dish is pasta alla Norma featuring tomatoes, fried eggplant and ricotta salata cheese. But foodies will find all types of Sicilian street snacks and pastries like arancini (stuffed rice balls), cannoli and refreshing Sicilian granita ice.

All hotels in Catania →

Where to stay in Catania? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Palazzo Sangiorgio – a luxury hotel in a historic 18th-century building with exquisite design and a restaurant serving traditional Sicilian cuisine.
  • Katane Palace Hotel – an elegant hotel in the center of Catania, offering spacious rooms with views of Mount Etna volcano and top-notch service.
  • Let's B&B – a modern hotel with designer rooms located in a quiet area near the historic center.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • casa Giuseppe – a small hotel with basic amenities and friendly staff, located near the historic center.
  • Marcello's Home – a guest house with simple and cozy rooms, ideal for budget travelers.
  • Harmony Rooms – affordable and comfortable rooms in the heart of Catania, a short walk from Piazza Duomo.

3. Taormina – Best Area to Stay for Luxury 💎

Nestled on a rocky bluff along Sicily’s Ionian coast, Taormina charms visitors with its picturesque landscapes, historic ruins, and charming medieval architecture.

Ancient Theater
Antik teater
Ancient Theater
Antik teater
Public Gardens
Offentliga trädgårdar
Taormina
Isola Bella
Isola Bella, Sicily
Isola Bella

🗺️ Well-located: Located approximately 50km north of Catania, Taormina sits 200m above sea level. Its convenient position allows easy day trips to Mount Etna, Syracuse, the Alcantara Gorge, and other top attractions.

🔝 Top sites and activities:

  • Ancient Theater – This beautifully preserved Roman amphitheater from the 3rd century BC hosts summer concerts and film festivals with Mt. Etna as a backdrop.
  • Corso Umberto – Taormina’s pedestrian-friendly main thoroughfare features high-end shops, cafes, and 15th-18th century palazzos.
  • Public Gardens – These stunning gardens contain exotic plants, palm trees, and panoramic views.
  • Isola Bella – Catch some sun at the rocky coves below town, or visit the sandy Isola Bella nature reserve just south.

🚶‍♂️Walker’s paradise: Within the city, visitors can traverse the pedestrian streets on foot, occasionally climbing stairways that serve as shortcuts. Cars are restricted in most areas, making Taormina pleasantly calm.

All hotels in Taormina →

Where to stay in Taormina? 🏩

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price category:

  • Hotel Villa Taormina – cozy family hotel in typical Taormina style with panoramic bay views and friendly staff.
  • Hotel Villa Paradiso – comfortable hotel in an elegant building with good value for money, located in a quiet area near the center.
  • Villa Fiorita Boutique Hotel – a charming small hotel in a historic mansion with exquisite design and a homely atmosphere

4. Syracuse – Best Town in Sicily for Sightseeing 🏫

🏛 Historic gem: Syracuse enchants visitors with its rich history spanning over 2,700 years. Known as Siracusa in Italian, the city offers a treasure trove of Greek and Roman ruins in Isola di Ortigia, Syracuse’s beautiful center.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable: Getting around is quite convenient thanks to Syracuse’s compact size. Ortygia sits just across a short bridge from the mainland, making it easy to explore top attractions on foot. Public buses run regularly between key sites like Neapolis Archaeological Park and downtown.

🔥 Must-see attractions:

  • Piazza del Duomo – Ortygia’s main piazza with the Cathedral of Syracuse.
  • Castello Maniace – imposing 13th century Swabian castle at Ortygia’s southern tip.
  • Neapolis Archaeological Park – featuring ancient Greek and Roman ruins like the 4th century BC Teatro Greco amphitheater.
  • Temple of Apollo – Doric temple built in the 6th century BC, one of the oldest Greek structures in Sicily.
  • Latomia del Paradiso – former stone quarry turned lush botanical garden with its famous “Ear of Dionysius”.
Castello Maniace
Castello Maniace
Castello Maniace
Neapolis Archaeological Park
Neapolis arkeologiska park
Temple of Apollo
Apollontemplet
Latomia del Paradiso
Latomia del Paradiso
Latomia del Paradiso

Also don’t miss Piazza Archimede, buzzing hub of  Syracuse dominated by the towering Diana fountain.

🛒 Beyond touring ruins and medieval Ortygia’s atmospheric cobblestone lanes, don’t miss Syracuse’s vibrant outdoor markets overflowing with fresh produce.

All hotels in Syracuse →

Where to stay in Syracuse? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Grand Hotel Des Etrangers – elegant hotel with panoramic sea views, offers luxurious rooms and a high level of service.
  • Ortea Palace Hotel – luxury hotel in a historic palace building, located in the heart of Ortigia.
  • Grand Hotel Ortigia – a fashionable hotel with exquisite interior design and excellent service.

Medium price category:

  • Palazzo Giunta – comfortable apartments in a historic building overlooking the port.
  • Grande Albergo Alfeo – cozy hotel in the center of Ortigia, offers stylish rooms at a reasonable price.
  • Palazzo Gancia – elegant apartments in a historic building with modern design.

Budget Hotels:

  • Gymnasium – simple and comfortable hotel rooms with friendly staff, a great choice for budget travelers.
  • Casa 68 Ortigia – small guest house with an authentic atmosphere, offers rooms at an affordable price.
  • Il Cortiletto di Via Minniti – cozy boutique hotel in typical Sicilian style, located in a picturesque courtyard.

5. Agrigento and Valley of the Temples – Where to Stay in Sicily for History 🗿

👌 Many sites: Living up to its nickname as «the most beautiful city of mortals», Agrigento offers visitors an easy way to step back in time without losing modern comforts. Four of the seven remaining structures constitute one of Italy’s 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the largest such collection preserved outside of Greece.

🚌 Well-connected: Visitors flying into Palermo can make the two hour drive, while ferries and buses conveniently access the central train station from stops along the Mediterranean coast.

🏛️ Top things to do are:

  • Valle dei Templi: Ticket gains entry to the glorious Greek temple ruins and onsite museum with fascinating historical artifacts
  • Archaeological Museum «Pietro Griffo»: Extensive, additional collection of Greek and Roman antiquities worth seeing after the main outdoor site
  • Monastero Santo Spirito: Restored medieval abbey hosting cultural events in a hidden corner of the old town
  • Scala dei Turchi: Stunning white rock cliffs, a short drive away (19 min)

📝 Helpful tourism:  Thanks to an infusion of recent infrastructure investment, Agrigento provides accessibility on par with much larger cities in the region. Visitors can appreciate the historic ambience while enjoying efficient transportation, widespread free WiFi access, and excellent mobile connectivity.

And helpful tourism offices around the train station provide ample sightseeing maps to navigate the walkable streets.

All hotels in Agrigento →

Where to stay in Agrigento? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price category:

  • BnB Sant'Alfonso – cozy family-run hotel with warm hospitality and delicious breakfast.
  • Le Vie di Girgenti – comfortable hotel in the city center, offers spacious rooms at a reasonable price.
  • Hotel Della Valle – a modern hotel with good value for money.

Budget hotels:

6. Trapani – Best Place to Stay in Sicily with Family 👦

Located on Sicily’s northwestern coast overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Trapani makes an excellent base to explore the region’s top attractions.

🚌 Transportation hub: Getting around central Trapani is easily done on foot. Venturing further afield is convenient via public transportation, with an efficient bus system connecting to nearby towns. Rental cars are also readily available for day trips.

🛬 Quick airport transfer: With an international airport just 30 minutes outside the city center, Trapani makes accessing its highlights simple for first-time visitors.

👀 Top sights within comfortable day trip distance include:

  • Erice – Medieval hilltop town with Norman castle
  • Segesta – Impressively preserved 5th century BC Greek temple
  • Egadi Islands – Archipelago perfect for swimming and snorkeling
  • Saline di Trapani – Salt marshes and windmills producing sea salt
  • San Vito Lo Capo – Golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters
Erice
Erice
Segesta
Trapani
Trapani

🍝 Local flavors: The pedestrianized old town area offers atmospheric trattorias, wine bars, and cafés. Don’t leave without trying local specialties like pesto alla Trapanese pasta and couscous infused with North African flavors.

🎉 Lively festivals: Trapani is especially lively during summer months when cultural festivals animate the streets with music and street performances.

All hotels in Trapani →

Where to stay in Trapani? 🏩

Expensive hotels:

  • Secret B&B – elegant apartments in a historic building with panoramic views of the harbor.
  • B&B HOTEL Trapani Crystal – luxury hotel with excellent service and views of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Kantunè – chic premium apartments with exquisite interior design.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

7. Cefalu – Best Area to Stay in Sicily on a Budget 💸

On Sicily’s northern coast about an hour east of Palermo lies the scenic seaside town of Cefalù.

😍 Picturesque promenade: The town sits on a promontory with the sea on one side and a rocky coastline on the other. The seaside promenade skirting the town is lively and lined with restaurants, gelato shops, hotels, and a pebbly beach popular for swimming in the summer.

🔥 Some things not to miss in Cefalù:

  • Norman Cathedral – Dating back to 1131 AD, the cathedral is one of the best examples of Norman architecture in Sicily.
  • Medieval Lavatoio – The old 16th century stone wash house and bathing station is very well preserved.
  • Temple of Diana Remains – See pieces of old columns and relics from this ancient Roman temple built on the cape.
  • Cefalu Beach – Enjoy swiming and sunbathing with the medieval old town as your backdrop.

Cefalù is also great for picking up souvenirs, ceramics, glassware, wine, and sampling delicious pasta, seafood, and Sicilian sweets like cannoli.

📍 Compact & accessible: When visiting Cefalù for the first time, it’s easy enough to see all the top attractions in a day or two. The city itself is compact and walkable, clustering around the port with most key sights a 10-15 minute stroll from each other.

Norman Cathedral
Normannisk katedral
Norman Cathedral
Normannisk katedral
Medieval Lavatoio
Medeltida Lavatoio
Medieval Lavatoio
Medeltida Lavatoio
Temple of Diana Remains
Dianatemplets lämningar

If relying on public transportation, Cefalù’s train station and intercity bus stops make it efficient to reach too.

All hotels in Cefalu →

Where to stay in Cefalu? 🏨

Medium price category:

  • Duomo Apartments Cefalù – comfortable apartments in the heart of the city center overlooking the main cathedral, ideal for families.
  • Ale e Franz – small cozy hotel with friendly staff and comfortable rooms within walking distance to the beach.
  • Casanova Rooms and Apartment to Rent – apartments in a historic building with preserved authentic design, a great option for immersing yourself in the atmosphere of the city.

Budget Hotels:

  • Casa Zaffiro – simple and inexpensive rooms in the city center, perfect for budget travelers.
  • Casa Sandy – small family-run hotel with basic facilities at a reasonable price, suitable for short stays.
  • Guest House Spinuzza – a guest house with a warm welcome and homely atmosphere, offers comfortable accommodation at an affordable price.

8. San Vito Lo Capo – Where to Stay in Sicily for Couples 💖

🌊 Idyllic seaside: Nestled on Sicily’s northwest coast, the small seaside town of San Vito Lo Capo offers a tranquil getaway. Yet it remains conveniently located, just a 90 minute drive from Palermo.

🏖️ Golden sands: The crown jewel of San Vito Lo Capo is its renowned golden sand beach, consistently ranked one of the best beaches in Italy. The four kilometer beach has areas with lounge chair rentals and restaurants, as well as quieter parts for those seeking seclusion. Kiteboarding and windsurfing conditions are also superb thanks to steady breezes.

🥕 Fresh produce: Thursday mornings bring a weekly farmers market selling local fruits, vegetables, cheeses, breads, and prepared foods.

🗺️ Top attractions within easy day trips of San Vito Lo Capo:

  • Zingaro Nature Reserve (20 mins): hike unspoilt coastline trails and secluded coves
  • Erice (1 hr): medieval hill townTEXT
  • Segesta (1 hr): one of Sicily’s most enchanting Greek ruins

🎉 For culture lovers, San Vito Lo Capo hosts several festivals throughout the year like the Cous Cous Fest each September celebrating the North African rice dish popular locally.

All hotels in San Vito Lo Capo →

Where to stay in San Vito Lo Capo? 🏩

Expensive Hotels:

  • Hotel Altamarea – an elegant sea view hotel offering luxurious rooms, gourmet cuisine and personalized service.
  • Accussì Rooms – chic, contemporary style apartments with panoramic views of the bay, private beach and upscale service.
  • Cocciu d'Amuri – romantic boutique hotel in traditional Sicilian style with magnificent sea views.

Medium price category:

  • Talos Apartments – comfortable apartments 5 minutes from the beach, with kitchen and terrace. Good value for money.
  • Hotel Al Paradise – cozy family hotel with pool and restaurant, located in a quiet area near the center.
  • Hotel Iride by Marino Tourist – a modern hotel with clean spacious rooms and friendly staff, a great option at a reasonable price.

Budget Hotels:

Where are the Best Beaches in Sicily 🏄‍♀️

First, you can’t miss the stunning Scala dei Turchi beach on the southern coast near Agrigento. The white rocky outcroppings and cliffs descending into crystalline blue waters create incredible scenery. I’d argue Scala dei Turchi ranks among the most beautiful beaches not only in Sicily, but in the world.

Second, head over to the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily to find some of the most postcard-perfect beaches. Salina Island‘s beaches have both pebbles and volcanic black sand with the bluest water that’s so clear you can see your toes. The waters stay shallow far out, making it ideal for families.

Another top pick is Rabbit Beach on Lampedusa island. The fine white sand and turquoise waters live up to the hype. As a protected sea turtle nesting ground, it retains an isolated, unspoiled charm. Pack a picnic, bring snorkeling gear and relax all day due to the lack of development.

Additionally, if you visit Sicily during the summer months, don’t miss San Vito Lo Capo on the northwestern coast. It bustles with families and beachgoers. So it may not offer seclusion, but makes up for it with scenic beauty.

Best Areas & Hotels in Sicily on a Map 🗺

FAQs about Visiting Sicily ❔

Where should I stay in Sicily for the first time?

When you’re visiting Sicily for the first time, consider staying in Palermo. This vibrant city, with its rich history, lively markets, and delicious street food, serves as an excellent introduction to the diverse Sicilian culture. You’ll find a range of accommodations to suit your preferences, from charming boutique hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts.

Which part of Sicily is most beautiful?

Determining the most beautiful part of Sicily is subjective, as the island boasts diverse landscapes. However, the southeastern region, encompassing the towns of Siracusa, Ragusa, and Noto, is often praised for its stunning Baroque architecture, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque countryside.

What is the most luxurious part of Sicily?

For a touch of luxury, head to Taormina on the east coast. Perched on a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea, Taormina offers upscale resorts, high-end shopping, and exquisite dining options. The town’s ancient Greek theater hosts cultural events, providing a unique blend of history and luxury.

How long to stay in Sicily?

To truly immerse yourself in Sicily’s beauty and culture, plan to stay for at least a week. This duration allows you to explore key cities like Palermo and Catania, relax on stunning beaches, and venture into the charming countryside.