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Why rent a car in Palermo?
Palermo is a great place for renting a car. Not only will it let you explore the rest of the island, a great city in its own right.
Top ways to enter Palermo
- Palermo Airport: Also known as Aeroporto Falcone Borsellino, named so after two Italian judges, Palermo Airport serves more than 5 million passengers every year.
- Trapani Airport: Small and cozy, Trapani Airport is about 90 minutes drive west of Palermo.
- By sea: If you’re arriving in Palermo by ferry, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Palermo Port.
Useful city facts
- Palermo is the capital of Sicily. Not only one of Italy’s 20 regions, Sicily is also the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Palermo enjoys a typically warm Mediterranean climate. Influenced by winds from nearby Sahara, it has some of the hottest weather in Europe. Even winters are mild, although the snowfall does occur about once every decade.
Top destinations and activities
- Palace of the Normans. The home of old Sicilian kings and the oldest royal residence in Europe, this palace is a monument of the unique Arab-Norman architecture that you can find in Sicily. Now a seat of the Sicilian Parliament, it can still be accessed as a tourism object.
- Capuchin Catacombs. Seeing the mummies of ex-residents of Palermo might understandably be considered scary, so you should definitely know what you’re getting into before visiting, but it does provide a fascinating insight into the city’s history.
- Gesu Church. Built of polychrome marble and older than many other churches in Palermo, Gesu is one of the most important baroque buildings in Sicily.
Traffic and parking tips
- The speed limit in cities is 50 km/h, although in certain areas the speed limit may be reduced to 30 km/h.
- Main highways are limited to 130 km/h, non-major highways to 110 km/h, and local roads to 90 km/h. During the rain the limits are respectively lowered to 110 km/h, 100 km/h, and 80 km/h. The general speed limit is lowered to 50 km/h during heavy fog or other cases of bad visibility.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers. Being over the allowed limit can result in hefty fines and even imprisonment.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
There are numerous toll roads in Italy. The exact fee depends on the route of your choice and the type of a vehicle. See the official Italian toll road website for more information. Use the website’s toll road calculator to find out exactly how much you’ll have to pay for using the toll roads on your planned route.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Bagheria. This small town is visited both for its magnificent villas and for the museum of painter Renato Guttuso.
- Trapani. Similar in atmosphere to Palermo, only smaller, Trapani is a great place to visit on a relaxing day trip. Nearby Lido di San Giuliano beaches are some of the most beautiful you’ll find in Sicily.
- Cefalù. About an hour’s drive east of Palermo, this village is famous for its beaches, seafood, and unique architecture.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental cars in Italy are the Fiat Panda, the Ford Fiesta, and the Fiat 500. The most popular rental car type is an economy, followed by mini and compact.
- Catania. Dramatic Mount Etna and beautiful baroque architecture are just two of the many reasons to visit Palermo’s great rival on the eastern coast of Sicily.
- Syracuse. Not far from Catania, Syracuse is perhaps the best place on the island to learn about Sicily’s Greek heritage.
- Malta. Picturesque, hospitable, and full of ancient stories, Malta is a great destination that’s only a short fly away from Palermo.
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are many things you can do to get a good rental deal in Palermo:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Palermo is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 70% cheaper than the yearly average.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Palermo?
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Top 7 Locations near Palermo
Top 14 Best Palermo Suppliers in 2019
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