Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and is just off the ‘toe’ of Italy’s boot. This island is filled with a long and vivid history, a fascinating culture, and the best food you’ll ever taste. In fact, it’s the food that most people remember when they return home after a trip to Sicily, so make sure you eat enough of it to last you a lifetime.
This isn’t a large island, but it can still be difficult to find the best places in Sicily to stay if you haven’t been there before. Most of the advice you’ll hear about it is contradictory, based on each person’s tastes and interested. That’s why we created this Sicily neighborhood guide, so you can find the town or area that’s near the attractions and activities you most want to see and do.
So, choose the Sicily accommodation that appeals to you and have a great trip filled with history, architecture, and incredible food!
- Where to Stay in Sicily
- Sicily Neighborhood Guide
- Sicily’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- #1 Palermo – Where to Stay in Sicily First Time
- #2 Cefalù – Where to Stay in Sicily on a Budget
- #3 Agrigento – Best Neighborhood in Sicily for Families
- #4 Taormina – Best Area to Stay in Sicily for Nightlife
- #5 Syracuse – The Coolest Place to Stay in Sicily
- FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Sicily
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Sicily.
Best Airbnb in Sicily: Historic City Center
Located in the best neighborhood in Sicily to stay in, this apartment is in the historic center of Palermo and offers easy access to all its attractions and charms. The apartment is in a former noble palace and offers historic charm and furnishings with modern additions.
Best Hostel in Sicily: Iuvara Rooms B&B
When you arrive in Sicily you will probably land in Catania, which is where this hostel is located. That makes it a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sicily for your first time. The rooms come in a variety of sizes to suit all travel groups and have charming decorations and everything you’ll need for a short or long stay. The hostel is central and offers lots of tours.
Best Hotel in Sicily: Hotel Palazzo Brunaccini
This hotel in Sicily is located in the heart of Palermo. It’s an ideal base if you want to explore the town as it’s close to local attractions like the Palermo Cathedral, Quattro Canti, and Piazza Pretoria. The hotel has an outdoor terrace, restaurant, bar, and comfortably furnished rooms with private bathrooms.
When you’re deciding where to stay in Sicily for your first time, you can’t go past Palermo. This is a somewhat chaotic city that’s filled with majestic baroque buildings built by kings and emirs.
Cefalu is a lovely seaside town that’s overlooked by the twin towers of its famous cathedral. This small town is the best area in Sicily to stay in if you want to spend most of your holiday on the beach.
Taormina is simply stunning. It’s like a picture book of Italy, with stately buildings covered in vines and flowers.
Syracuse is an hour’s drive from Catania and is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sicily for one night, or for a longer visit.
Agrigento is on the south coast of Sicily and has a long history that stretches back to 400 B.C.
Sicily is a small island that packs a lot in a small area. When you’re looking for the best neighborhood in Sicily to stay in, you’ll have your pick of small cities and towns that all have their own culture, food, and historical attractions. You can explore the main parts of this island in a couple of weeks by moving from city to city. Just make sure that you see these more popular sites.
Palermo is hands down one of the best places to stay in Sicily. It’s filled with history and attractions and offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget. With its vibrant nightlife, it’s also ideal for anyone who wants busy nights as well as busy days.
But if you want to be closer to the beach, then looking for somewhere to stay in Cefalù. This charming town must be part of any good neighborhood guide because of its relaxed atmosphere and beach activities.
But if you’d prefer to explore the region’s history, then spend some time in Agrigento. This is where you’ll find lots of historical buildings and sites in the middle of a modern town.
For beaches, bars, and history, try Taormina. This town is perched on the hilltop and offers amazing views as well as a vibrant local culture that draws tourists from all walks of life.
And the final area to check out is Syracuse. This town contains some of Sicily’s best neighborhoods for enjoying history, shopping, eating, and the beach at the same time. It’s also connected to Ortigia Island, which makes for a lovely day trip.
Some of the coolest places to stay in Sicily are in the following areas.
When you’re deciding where to stay in Sicily for your first time, you can’t go past Palermo. This is a somewhat chaotic city that’s filled with majestic Baroque buildings built by Kings and emirs. If you love history and architecture, then you’ll spend hours exploring the streets, cathedrals, and palaces. And if that isn’t enough culture for you, then check out the popular museums or art galleries in the town.
But Palermo has more to offer than just history. It’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sicily for nightlife as there are lots of trendy bars and restaurants as well as opera and ballet performances. And in the summer, the city holds not-to-be-missed outdoor performances. This town also contains some of the best places in Sicily to stay at every budget point, with a variety of high-class and budget accommodation options.
Things to See and Do in Palermo:
– Visit the Royal Palace of Palermo, built by the Kings of Sicily.
– Visit the Vucciria market for fresh food, crafts, and clothes.
– Learn more about Norman architecture at the Cathedral of Monreale.
– Make sure you spend some time in the Arab-Normal Palermo Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage listed property.
– Spend an afternoon on Via Principe di Belmonte for stylish shops and cafeterias.
– Spend some time in the Quattro Canti, a 400-year-old baroque square.
– Check out what’s on at the Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele, one of the largest opera houses in Europe and built in 1897.
– If you have a strong constitution, then spend some time in The Capuchin Catacombs.
Best Airbnb in Palermo: L’appartamentino
Suitable for up to 4 guests, this comfortable apartment offers convenient access to Sicily’s best neighborhoods. It’s close to the city bus station as well as the Politeama theater and contains everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay including a fully equipped kitchen.
Best Hostel in Palermo: A Casa di Amici – Boutique Hostel
This hostel in Palermo offers both dorms and private rooms, close to the center of Palermo, the train station, and the bus station. It’s bright and cheerful and looks more like an art gallery than a hostel, with musical instruments, paintings, and sculptures all around the space. It offers lots of shared spaces, laundry, and free Wi-Fi.
Best Hotel in Palermo: Hotel Bel 3
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Palermo for one night or for a longer visit, this is a great choice. It offers a rooftop terrace, an outdoor pool, an onsite restaurant, and a welcoming lounge bar. The rooms are clean, modern, and come in a variety of sizes to suit all travel groups.
Cefalu is a lovely seaside town that’s overlooked by the twin towers of its famous cathedral. This small town is the best area in Sicily to stay in if you want to spend most of your holiday on the beach. There are a range of accommodation options available in town, though they will get more expensive the closer you are to the town center.
Cefalu has an intriguing old town feel. It’s filled with restaurants and bars selling local food as well as bakeries that have stood there for years. You’ll also find picturesque fisherman’s cottages clustered around one beach and lavish seaside resorts around the next! This contrast is part of the charm of Cefalu and is why this is one of Sicily’s best neighborhoods if you’re on a budget.
Things to See and Do in Cefalu:
– Spend some time exploring Corso Ruggero, the main artery of the historic town and filled with bars, shops, and restaurants.
– Head over to Pasticceria Pietro Serio, a renowned local pastry shop, for a snack.
– Walk up La Rocca to see the beautiful Temple of Diana and the view of the harbor.
– Wander around the small harbor west of the town to see how the locals live.
– Rent a sunbed and umbrella and relax on the beach.
– Try the local delicacies in as many restaurants as possible.
Best Airbnb in Cefalù: House Nica on the Sea
When you stay in Cefalu, you want to be near the ocean, and that’s exactly what this apartment offers. The space is suitable for 3 guests and it’s close to the cathedral and other landmarks in town. The furnishings are traditional but comfortable and include a private bathroom and living spaces.
Best Hostel in Cefalù: B&B Dolce Vita
When you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sicily on a budget, this is a good choice. It offers high-quality accommodations at a bargain price near the beach and in the heart of Cefalu. The hostel has excursions during the summer and offers single, double, and larger rooms to suit every travel group.
Best Hotel in Cefalù: Hotel Kalura
This hotel in Sicily offers the perfect base for your trip to this part of Italy. It offers a fitness center, private beach, outdoor pool, sun deck, childminding services, and outdoor tennis course. The rooms are well-appointed and contain everything you’ll need during your stay. And best of all, the hotel is close to local attractions and to a variety of restaurants and shops.
Agrigento is on the south coast of Sicily and has a long history that stretches back to 400 B.C. It started its life as a Greek colony and quickly became one of the richest colonies before it was sacked by the Carthaginians in 406 BC. Today, it’s one of the best areas to stay in Sicily because of this long history, and tourists flock there every year to see its monuments.
If you love history, then you need to spend time in this town. There are several main historical sites, but countless more Hellenistic and Roman sites are found all throughout the area. Because of all the tourists, there are also lots of great restaurants, hotels, hostels, and apartments for rent in town. So, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a Sicily accommodation option that suits your budget and needs.
Things to See and Do in Agrigento:
– Head down to see the Valley of the Temples, one of the most famous historical sites in Sicily.
– Learn more about the history of the area at the Agrigento Regional Archaeological Museum.
– Buy clothes or kitchen utensils at the Agrigento market on Fridays
– Take a stroll through Agrigento Old Town for historic buildings and cathedrals.
– Head a little west of the town to see and photograph the Scala dei Turchi, a staircase carved by the sea.
– Head down to the beach at Capo Rosso, in Realmonte for a quiet swim.
– Visit the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve.
Best Airbnb in Agrigento: Vecchia Girgenti
Located in the best neighborhood to stay in Sicily, this apartment offers convenient access to all the history in Agrigento. It’s a gracious home that was renovated to modern standards in 2009 and offers enough room for up to 5 guests. It contains a well-equipped kitchen, private bathroom and living area, and free parking just outside.
Best Hostel in Agrigento: Arco Ubriaco
This B&B is ideal when you’re deciding where to stay in Sicily on a budget. It’s close to the center of the city and the shopping area and only 3 km from Temple’s Valley and all its attractions. A free breakfast is included and the house itself is from the 12th century but newly renovated to modern standards.
Best Hotel in Agrigento: Hotel Costazzurra Museum & Spa
This hotel is located in one of the best areas to stay in Sicily and provides luxurious, relaxing surroundings. It offers a rooftop terrace, Turkish steam bath, outdoor pool, and a sauna as well as recently refurbished, fully equipped rooms. There’s an onsite restaurant and lounge bar and the area surrounding the hotel offers a variety of restaurants too.
Taormina is simply stunning. It’s like a picture book of Italy, with stately buildings covered in vines and flowers. This town is perched on a hilltop over the coast and is a popular resort town. You might be among lots of tourists when you spend time in this part of the island, but it’s still one of the coolest places to stay in Sicily.
Taormina has everything from beautiful beaches lined with bars and restaurants to medieval buildings, castles, and nearby villages. It’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sicily for nightlife too as the bars, clubs, and restaurants come alive with tourists and locals after dark. And just in case you were wondering, the food in this area is simply superb and will be a highlight of your trip.
Things to See and Do in Taormina:
– Try as many of the local restaurants as possible.
– Wander the streets and take in the vibrant atmosphere.
– Visit Mazzarò beach and end the day at one of the local bars or restaurants.
– See a performance at the ancient Greco-Roman theatre Teatro Antico di Taormina.
– Visit the medieval village of Castlemola for beautiful views of Mount Etna and the remains of a medieval castle.
– Spend the day on Panasia Beach and stay after dark for its trendy nightclub scene.
Best Airbnb in Taormina: Daria’s House
Located in the best area in Sicily to stay in, this private apartment offers enough room for up to 2 guests. It’s newly renovated with comfortable, elegant furnishings, a fully equipped kitchen, and private bathroom. It’s also close to local restaurants and shops.
Best Hostel in Taormina: B&B Rosangela
This hostel in Sicily is within ten minutes’ walk of the old center of the town in a quiet area. It provides colorful rooms with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, private bathrooms with showers, and some rooms have a balcony. There’s a shared garden on site as well as a buffet breakfast on request.
Best Hotel in Taormina: Hotel Villa Belvedere Taormina
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sicily with kids or with friends, this is a great choice. It’s right in the center of town and surrounded by restaurants and shops. The hotel offers an outdoor pool, tennis courts, babysitting services, and a sun tanning bed. The rooms are well-appointed and there’s a restaurant on site so you can have a comfortable meal at the end of a long day.
Syracuse is an hour’s drive from Catania and is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Sicily for one night, or for a longer visit. There are lots of family-friendly hotels and apartments in the area and everything’s within walking distance, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting around. Syracuse is a fascinating historic area with its own culture, food, and vibe, and it’s a popular stop-off for tourists from all over the world.
Syracuse has a lovely old town center, with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, and it’s also close to the island of Ortigia. Ortigia is accessible by bridge and contains twisting cobblestone bridges and piazzas filled with shops and restaurants in classical buildings. There’s also a fantastic archaeological park in Ortigia if you want to learn more about the history of the region.
Things to See and Do in Syracuse:
– Explore Syracuse’s ancient city center to find hidden gems.
– Head across to Ortigia and wander the ancient streets.
– Visit the market on Ortigia for unique souvenirs.
– Explore Ortigia’s, 13th century castle.
– Spend some time in Piazza Dumomo for a meal, coffee, or some gelato.
– Check out Ortigia’s beaches.
– Visit the archaeological park, the home of the famous Ear of Dionysus.
– Choose a restaurant or bar near the waterfront for a relaxing meal at sunset.
Best Airbnb in Syracuse: Seaside Loft
This apartment is located in the best neighborhood to stay in Sicily, right in the heart of Syracuse with stunning views of Ortigia Island. You’ll have the entire apartment to yourself, which is large enough for up to 4 people and contains bright, clean decorations and amenities. There’s also a Jacuzzi in the apartment and everything else you’ll need to be comfortable during your stay.
Best Hostel in Syracuse: B&B Casa D’Alleri
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Sicily with kids, this is a good choice. It offers private rooms in a variety of sizes as well as clean, comfortable surroundings. The location is ideal, close to everything, and a free breakfast is offered along with the room.
Best Hotel in Syracuse: Aretusa Vacanze B&B
This Sicily accommodation option offers a warm, welcoming place to stay in the middle of the town. It offers a safe, rooftop terrace, and lots of outdoor activities like fishing and scuba diving. The rooms are spacious and include a fully equipped kitchenette as well as a dining area. There’s also a café on site and breakfast is served on request.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Sicily
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Sicily and where to stay.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Sicily
Sicily has something for everyone. Whether you’re trying to find the best places to stay in Sicily for families, for friends, or when you’re on your own, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Accommodation in Sicily is unique, informed by the local culture and customs. This ensures that you’ll have a memorable stay wherever you end up. And what more can you ask for from a travel destination?
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
Find out how YOU can support the site.
We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers (that’s you!). Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂
For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a piece of gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only link to stuff that members of the Broke Backpacker team has actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support!