Hop-on, hop-off bus, Palermo, Sicily – Fastest way to see the city

In most cities around the world these days you’ll find a “hop-on, hop-off” bus tour that follows a specific route, allowing you to get to the sights worth seeing. To be honest at 18 euro it was good value.

Generally, you get earphones to listen to commentary along the route that helps you get to know about the cities history, culture and background.

I’d describe it as a whistle stop tour.

The bus comes every 20 minutes on the red route and once an hour for the blue route, and given that many streets in Palermo are narrow there is a limited amount you can view and learn.

On our red route, we decided we would get off at the Palace. We were told by one of the staff on the bus that the palace would be open today despite a national holiday, so at our stop, located at the rear of the palace we made our way up a hill, to the front entrance … only to find it had just closed!

Nevertheless, we walked around and headed in the direction of the Cathedral, where we knew we would be able to rejoin the bus at some point.

The inside of Palermo Cathedral was beautiful as you would expect. There were a lot of Carabinieri and people in the Cathedral and right in the aisle were congregants hugging and kissing the Arch Bishop of Palermo.

The Carabinieri is actually the national guard that works like the police but only on domestic duties. So whilst you’ll see Police and Carabinieri they are not one and the same.

So we headed off in the general direction of where we felt we would meet the red bus … Talk about lack of signage!

Anyway, after walking for half an hour we eventually arrived at the stop which both services the red and blue route.

So if you plan a trip to Palermo, bare in mind that it is like most Mediterranean cities, it has the cathedral, shops, great restaurants, an enormous Opera house and fabulous authentic Sicilian charm.