Palermo is a brightly colored town with a lot of history and intricate culture. People who take the time to travel to this part of Italy fall under the charming spell of this city, and often succumb to the allures of its food as well.
Whether you want to relax, enjoy the natural scenery, go shopping, or explore the history of the region, you’ll be spoiled for choice with things to do in this city. And that’s why you need to find the best areas to stay in Palermo to suit your interests and budget.
Palermo isn’t an overly large city, with around 650,000 people living there in 25 neighborhoods. It’s the most populated city in Sicily and located on the North side of the Island of Sicily, across the sea from Naples.
Palermo has a long history that dates back to the 8th century BC and can be frustrating, lively, and frustrating, all at once!
When you travel to Palermo, you want the right mix of budget-friendly and convenience when it comes to your Palermo accommodation options. That’s why we’ve created this easy guide, so you can see all of your options in one place.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Palermo
- Where to stay in Palermo first time – La Kalsa
- Where to stay in Palermo on a budget – Mondello
- Best area to stay in Palermo for nightlife – Borgo Vecchio
- Coolest place to stay in Palermo – Monte di Pietà
- Best neighborhood in Palermo for families – Politeama Libertà
- Try one of the many taverns for a drink of prosecco and some incredible Sicilian dishes.
- Spend a day weaving yourself down tiny streets to find antique shops and unexpected boutiques.
- Grab your friends and hit some bars for a fun and lively night on the town.
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in Palermo
- Palermo Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Palermo
- #1 La Kalsa – Where to Stay in Palermo First Time
- #2 Mondello – Where to Stay in Palermo on a Budget
- #3 Borgo Vecchio – Best Area to Stay in Palermo for Nightlife
- #4 Monte di Pietà – Coolest Place to Stay in Palermo
- # 5 Politeama Libertà – Best Neighborhood in Palermo for Families
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Palermo.
Best Hostel in Palermo: Bed and Breakfast Alla Vucciria
This Palermo accommodation option is located less than 1 kilometer from all the most interesting and popular attractions in the city. Each room has a private bathroom and the owner offers a delicious breakfast of warm croissants, fruit and bread each morning.
Need to spend some quality time with fellow backpackers? Get your fix by staying at one of these amazing hostels in Palermo!
If you’re looking for accommodation that’s like a home away from home then you’ll find it because the owner works hard to create this atmosphere.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Palermo: La Casa Perfetta nel Posto Perfetto
If you’re deciding where to stay in Palermo for one night or for longer, then this apartment is the answer. It’s suitable for 2 guests and you’ll get the whole apartment to yourself, including the private bathroom.
It’s five minutes’ walk from all of Palermo’s best attractions, so you really can’t beat it for optimum convenience!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Palermo: Hotel del Centro
This hotel in Palermo is perfectly placed in the city center, a short walk from all the most amazing architecture, bars, and restaurants. It’s a modern hotel with all the amenities you’ll need for a short or long stay.
There are 22 charmingly decorated rooms that are surprisingly homey and comfortable. Basically, it’s perfect no matter whether you’re deciding where to stay in Palermo for families or on your own.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Palermo
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Monte di Pietà
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Palermo has 25 neighborhoods, each with their own vibe and atmosphere. Some of them should be avoided, mostly because of high crime rate, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid this city.
Palermo has several neighborhoods that are safe and well set up for tourists. They’re also filled with fascinating people and history as well as incredible places to eat.
La Kalsa is one of the districts that makes up Palermo’s Old Town and offers the perfect combination of easy access to all the sites and an intriguing mix of cultures. Everything will be on your doorstep when you stay in this area.
That’s why it’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Palermo for your first time.
The second neighborhood you should consider is Mondello. It’s further out from the city and is the ideal area if you want to relax, enjoy the beach, and only occasionally brave the city center crowds.
The next neighborhood, Borgo Vecchio, offers the best of both worlds. It’s close enough to the center to be convenient to everything while offering a vastly different feel and more vibrant night life.
If you’re looking for the best neighborhood in Palermo to stay in for convenience, then check out Monte di Pietà. This is quite literally the center of the city, so you’ll be surrounded by all the best and most interesting historical buildings and sites.
And finally, if you have a little more money, try Politeama Libertà. This area is a little more expensive and is filled with elegant and spacious restaurants and shopping malls.
It definitely isn’t the place to go if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Palermo on a budget, but if you’re looking for higher quality accommodation options, this is where you’ll find them.
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Palermo
If you’re ready to start booking your Palermo accommodation, then here are Palermo’s best neighborhoods.
La Kalsa is one of the four districts that makes up Palermo’s old town and the most extensive. It’s located near the port and its intoxicating mix of cultures and influences makes it incredibly picturesque and one of the coolest places to stay in Palermo.
If you’re interested in history, churches, medieval buildings, amazing food, and antique shops, this is the place to stay.
La Kalsa not only has all the history you could want, it’s also one of the safest and most lively parts of the city as well. 20 years ago, it was a little shady.
But recent renovations have filled it with the best bars, restaurants and clubs in the city. There are also extensive pedestrian areas so you can spend days exploring on foot.
Things to See and Do in La Kalsa:
– Try one of the many taverns for a drink of prosecco and some incredible Sicilian dishes.
– Check out some of the local churches such as Magione or Spasimo with their Arabic influences and impressive architectural features.
– Marvel at the thousand-year-old Arab Gate where the Norman knights are said to have fought their way into the city many years ago.
– Spend a day weaving yourself down tiny streets to find antique shops and unexpected boutiques.
– Grab your friends and hit some bars for a fun and lively night on the town.
Best Hostel in La Kalsa: Bed and Breakfast D’Angelo
This hostel in Palermo is close to everything. Located right in the center of La Kalsa, it’s surrounded by historic buildings and attractions.
Breakfast is included with each booking and the rooms range from Private rooms to 4 beds to suit every traveler and travel group. Everything is bright and clean, making it the perfect base for your visit to Palermo.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in La Kalsa: Small Nice Art House
This is a cool choice for your stay in Palermo if you like things that are a little off-center. It’s right in the center of Kalsa, looking at the Santa Teresa Alla Kalsa Church and can hold up to 5 people.
This townhouse has 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, and a sun terrace where you can enjoy your breakfast. And it’s charmingly decorated with a huge array of art pieces that brighten up every square of space.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in La Kalsa: Hotel Ambasciatori Palermo
This hotel in Palermo offers comfort, convenience, and a good price. If has free Wi-Fi and refined, elegant rooms that contain everything you’ll need for a short or long stay.
It’s located close to the railway station for easy access everywhere and is within walking distance of several shops, cafes, and restaurants.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
If you’re deciding where to stay in Palermo on a budget or just want to be on the beach, then Modello is the best place to stay. This area is on the beach and offers relaxation and calm away from the frenzied tourist parts of the city.
It’s also a little cheaper than staying in the center because it can be a little inconvenient. You will need to hire a car or get very used to public transport in Palermo if you want to stay in this area and still explore the city’s center.
Mondello offers a completely different experience than the city center. The beach is simply stunning, with turquoise waters and fine sand as well as buildings that are refined and architecturally significant.
This is the best neighborhood to stay in Palermo if you want a relaxing, quiet visit.
Things to See and Do in Mondello:
– Slap on some suntan lotion and just be a beach bum for a day or two.
– Rent a car and head into the city center to explore before returning to your peaceful oasis.
– If you’re visiting in summer, head out at night to enjoy Mondello’s famous beachside nightlife.
– Grab some authentic Sicilian food while you watch the sun go down over the sea.
– Spend your days swimming, windsurfing, or enjoying other watersports.
Best AirBnB in Mondello: Casetta Toto
If you’re staying in Mondello, then you want to be near the beach, and this house offers amazing access. It’s a two-room cottage with a large private bathroom located only 100 meters from the beach.
Up to 4 guests can stay in this cottage comfortably and have a relaxing, peaceful time in Mondello, the best area in Palermo to stay in if you love the beach lifestyle.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Mondello: Mondello Home Hostel
This hostel is located in the best neighborhood in Palermo to stay in for a relaxing beach stay as it’s within walking distance of the beach.
You’ll have access to a laundry, garden, and a terrace when you stay here as well as comfortable rooms that are ideal when you’re on a budget.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Best Hotel in Mondello: Al Baglio Palermo
Mondello is the best area in Palermo to stay in for beach activities, so make sure you stay close to the ocean at this hotel. It offers a fitness center, airport shuttle, and a safe.
The rooms are bright and clean and include a mini bar and tea and coffee making facilities.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
If you want to find the best places in Palermo to stay outside of the city center, then Borgo Vecchio is a good choice. It’s located between the port area and the high-end neighborhoods.
This area is the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Palermo for nightlife as it’s filled with cafes, bars, and restaurants to suit every type of traveler.
Borgo Vecchio is also close enough to the center so you can explore its streets. In fact, this area is more like an extension of the center rather than a separate area.
Things to See and Do in Borgo Vecchio:
– Check out the latest hot restaurants and eat at as many as possible.
– Grab your friends and go bar hopping for a night.
– Check out the ornate 9th century Norman Palace.
– Spend some time shopping as the locals do at the Ballaro Market.
Best Hostel in Borgo Vecchio: Castelnuovo B&B Palermo
This elegant hostel in Palermo is located close to the neighborhood of Borgo Vecchio while still offering convenient access to the city center. The building is built in the historic Art Noveau style and the rooms are cosy and comfortable.
All of these features makes this B&B one of the best places in Palermo to stay all types of travelers.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Borgo Vecchio: Casa Costanza
If you want your own apartment in Borgo Vecchio, then try this one. It’s a great choice whether you’re deciding where to stay in Palermo for one night or for a longer stay.
It can hold up to 3 people and offers fun furnishings and all the amenities necessary for your stay. It’s also right in the center of Borgo Vecchio and convenient for everywhere.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Borgo Vecchio: Hotel Vecchio Borgo
Borgo Vecchio is the best neighborhood to stay in Palermo if you have a little extra money to spend. And there’s no better place to spend it than at this hotel.
The hotel has recently been refurbished and offers spacious rooms, a bar, a sun terrace, and easy access to all of Palermo’s best attractions.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Monte di Pietà is the very center of Palermo’s Old Town and one of the coolest places to stay in Palermo. This is where all the history of the city seems to congregate in a stunning display of monuments and buildings that will take you right back to medieval times and beyond.
But the charm of this area goes beyond its architecture. It’s close to all the best attractions in Palermo, so you won’t have to travel far to see, eat, or do something amazing.
And it’s one of the safest areas in the city, so it’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Palermo with kids.
Things to See and Do in Monte di Pietà:
– Spend a day admiring architectural marvels like the Palermo Cathedral and the Brancifote Palazzo.
– See a show and experience the perfect acoustics at the beautiful Massimo Theater.
– Check out the famous Il Capo market, where the locals go for all the best and freshest produce in town.
– Learn about Sicily’s religious past at the Diocesiano Museum.
– Do some people watching and learn how the locals live!
Best Hostel in Monte di Pietà: ACasaMia
If you want a hostel that’s right in one of Palermo’s best neighborhoods, you can’t get much closer than this. Located in a historic building, you can rent mini apartments that include a bedroom, kitchenette, and private bathroom.
The building is located in one of the many historic alleyways that weave through this part of the city and are filled with traditional Sicilian restaurants for you to try!View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Monte di Pietà: View of the Capo Market
If you’re going to stay in Monte di Pieta, the best neighborhood in Palermo to stay in to be close to the action, then you need an apartment with a local, historic flavor. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in this flat.
It’s very central and offers perfect privacy for up to 4 people with a private bathroom and very cool views into the Capo Market.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Monte di Pietà: Hotel Mediterraneo Palermo
This hotel is a good base for your trip and it’s in the best area in Palermo to stay in for convenience and a vibrant nightlife. It’s minutes from restaurants and bars and offers elegant rooms that contain all the essentials for a short or long stay.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Politeama Libertà is the newest part of Palermo’s city center and a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay with kids. You won’t find many pickpockets in this area as it’s the safest part of the city, which can be a big draw when you’re visiting with your family.
This area is also within walking distance of all of Old Town’s attractions, so you won’t have to worry about using public transport when you want to see the sites.
But Politeama Libertà has more to offer than convenience and safety. It’s also one of the poshest areas of the city, with high-end houses, bars, shops and restaurants.
This makes it a great area to stay in if you want an active nightlife while you’re in the city. You’ll find a lot of bars and restaurants that offer quality nights out in a safe and more local atmosphere.
Things to See and Do in Politeama Libertà:
– Get dressed in your nicest clothes and head out for an elegant night on the town.
– Head into city center to explore the historic buildings and attractions.
– Research the best restaurants in the area and try as many as you can during your stay.
– Spend a day wandering the streets and popping into every interesting boutique and shop that you come across.
– Catch a show at the Politeama Garibaldi Theater.
– Get some peace and quiet at the beautiful and peaceful English Garden.
Best Hostel in Politeama Libertà: A Casa de Amici Boutique Hotel
This hostel in Palermo is an unusual but charming accommodation choice. It’s a contemporary art museum showcasing paintings, musical instruments and sculptures belonging to the Vitale family.
It also offers dormitories and private rooms and is within a short walk from the airport bus stop for easy access in and out of the city.View on HostelWorld
Best AirBnB in Politeama Libertà: Mini Loft
It can be difficult to find budget places to stay in this area, but this apartment fits the bill perfectly. It’s located right in the center of this part of the city and can hold up to 3 guests.
The flat is located on the 3rd floor in an aristocratic palace and there’s an elevator so you don’t have to face all those stairs. The apartment also includes a private bathroom, living area, tv, and kitchen.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Politeama Libertà: Liberty Suites
This is one of the coolest places to stay in Palermo. It offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms so close to the center of the city that you won’t need to worry about public transport.
This Bed and Breakfast has a concierge, bicycles for hire, swimming pool, and an airport shuttle on request.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined
Final Thoughts On The Best Places To Stay in Palermo
When you’re looking for the best areas to stay in Palermo, you need to be a little cautious. Some parts of the city are a little rundown and should be avoided.
However, this isn’t a real safety concern, as it’s unlikely that you’ll visit these parts of Palermo while you’re in the city. And you can guarantee that by booking your stay using our Palermo neighborhood guide.
It’ll help you find the best areas, the best prices, and make your stay as easy as possible.
While Italy can be very safe, it’s super important to make sure you get travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.