Search here for great deals on cheap airfare to Palermo
Including Sicily on an Italy itinerary often sounds like a great idea, until you look at how far Sicily is from the other stops on most Italy tours – even from Rome, it’s a pretty long haul to get to the island. Thankfully, however, there are lots of flights to Sicily, so the main trick if you’re planning a Sicily trip is finding cheap airfare.
While Palermo is Sicily’s biggest city, it’s home to the island’s second-biggest airport. The largest airport in Sicily is in Catania, on the eastern coast of the island, but if your primary goal in visiting Sicily is to see Palermo then you’d be better off flying directly to Palermo’s airport.
For most travelers in Sicily, the best way to get around is to rent a car and drive yourself – there are trains that connect the bigger cities on the island, but much of Sicily is accessible only by roads. In other words, if your visit to Sicily isn’t Palermo-specific you can look at all your Sicily airport options to see which one suits you best.
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Airports in Palermo
The airport in Palermo is called simply Palermo Airport (PMO), although it does bear two other names you may see as well – Falcone e Borsellino Airport (in memory of two anti-mafia judges killed by the mafia in 1992) and Punta Raisi Airport (because the airport is technically located in the town of Punta Raisi outside Palermo). The airport itself is more than 22 miles outside the city, and there’s a train station at the airport that connects with Palermo’s main train station.
There are many car rental companies with offices in Palermo, although not all of them are at the Palermo Airport – when you’re looking into renting a car upon arriving at the airport, check to find out whether you’ll rent it at the airport or need to go into the city of Palermo (or elsewhere nearby) to pick it up.
Palermo Airport isn’t served by many big airlines, but Alitalia and Lufthansa do fly in and out of Palermo. The airport is primarily served by budget airlines, including Air Berlin, easyJet, and Ryanair.
>> Find out what budget airlines fly to Palermo
How to Find Cheap Airfare to Palermo
When you’re planning an Italy trip, the biggest line item on your list of expenses is undoubtedly the airfare – so it makes sense to do the research and find the best deals on flights to Palermo that you can.
Here are some tips to help you find cheap flights to Palermo.
- Look at all airports in Sicily – As mentioned above, getting around Sicily is often best done with a car, so if your trip includes Palermo and several other stops on the island you should also see whether there are cheap flights to Catania. Since it’s the island’s largest airport, it may offer some deals Palermo’s airport doesn’t, and as long as both of the areas around Catania and Palermo are on your to-do list it shouldn’t matter which you arrive in first.
- Check out budget airlines – Also mentioned above is the idea of flying on budget carriers to get to Palermo. There are several low-cost airlines that fly to Palermo, so as long as you’ll be changing planes somewhere in Europe before flying to Sicily you can look into switching to a budget airline at that point. (Read more about which budget airlines fly to Palermo.)
- Skip summer visits – Summer is Italy’s high season, and high season always means higher prices as well as bigger crowds. In Sicily especially, August is even more expensive and busier – that’s the month when Italians and other Europeans are taking their month-long vacations, and the majority of them go directly to the beach. Avoiding travel during the summer can save you quite a bit on everything from hotels to airfare – and since Sicily doesn’t get as cold during the winter as much of northern Italy, you might even consider planning a trip during the winter months to save even more.
photo by boklm