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One of the busiest of Italy’s air hubs, Palermo Airport is located 22 miles from Sicily’s capital city, Palermo, and serves over four million passengers every year. The complex has its own rail station, Punta Raisi, set in the northwest terminal, with trains running to the city’s central rail station every half an hour. Other transportation options include shuttle buses, taxis and car rental in Palermo Airport, which is the most practical way to visit all of the historic and natural beauties of the island.
Who to Book With
The facility is well-supplied with car rental companies, including international outfits Avis, Hertz, Europcar and Sixt, all with offices found on the terminal’s ground floor and desks in the Arrivals hall. If you’re visiting in the high season, booking in advance is recommended in order to secure your preferred vehicle.
Need to Know Essentials
The following documents must be shown at vehicle collection:
- Your valid UK, EU or home country driver’s licence
- The credit card used for the reservation
- A passport or EU ID card
- Confirmation of booking
Getting around Palermo by car can be frustrating as the road layout is confusing, traffic is heavy and Italian drivers tend towards the impulsive. Away from the city, self-drive around Sicily is an enjoyable experience involving motorways and well-maintained highways which link the island’s many highlights. Speed limits are 55mph on open highways, 80mph on motorways and 30mph in built-up areas. Italy drives on the right, seatbelts must be worn by all occupants and many car hire firms offer GPS. Metered parking is the norm in the cities, although spaces are often scarce. Petrol stations are frequent in most regions, with most accepting payment by card.
The airport is located on the E90 motorway and the A29 fast road, with self-drive the quickest way get from the facility to the city. Trains run regularly from the airport station and shuttle buses or local bus lines are the most inexpensive ways to travel. Taxis are found outside the Arrivals hall, but are the most expensive option.
Trains to Palermo’s central railway station from the airport’s terminal run every half hour between 06:00 and 22:00, with the trip taking around 1 hour and costing about £5. From Palermo, the Sicilian rail network spreads out to popular destinations such as Taormina and Syracuse. The rail service here is operated by Trenitalia, with special offers regularly available.
To be sure of a safe journey at a fair, local authority-regulated price, it’s recommended to use only official taxis. These are yellow or white with a taxi sign on the roof and a registration number on the door, and are all metered. Surcharges apply for luggage and late-night or public holiday travel, and getting a price for your trip in advance is the best idea.
Palermo Airport to Palermo city centre is about £40
Palermo Airport to Taormina is about £265
The Prestia e Comande bus company offers a convenient half-hourly airport shuttle from outside the terminal’s Arrivals exit to Palermo’s central railway station, Piazza Croci, Via Liberta and other central locations. The trip takes about 1 hour depending on traffic and costs around £4.50. Tickets can only be bought from the driver and the service runs between 06:00 and 22:00.
Palermo Airport’s single terminal is on two levels and provides the usual traveller amenities to over four million passengers a year. Its carriers are a mix of full service and budget airlines offering seasonal, regular scheduled and charter flights. Destinations include London’s Gatwick and Stansted with EasyJet and Ryanair, respectively, Munich and Frankfurt with Lufthansa, and Rome with EasyJet and Alitalia.
A total of 1,310 long- and short-term parking bays are found at the airport, 550 of which are covered. The Quick Car Valet Guarded Parking service boasts extra security and collection and return by valet. Payment is by card at automatic tills or at the exit, and parking costs from £2.50 per hour to £4 per hour for the valet service. 24-hour parking costs £12.50 or £17 in the valet service area.
Wi-Fi internet access is found in the terminal.
There is an information office in the terminal, next to the GESAP ticket office.
Service Centre: +39 91 702 0273
Reduced mobility passengers can use the dedicated drop-off zone at the western end of the terminal, and reserved spaces in all car parks are provided. A dedicated call point for assistance is located by the drop-off area and a special assistance lounge staffed by Italian Red Cross members is located in the first floor’s Departures area. Wheelchairs, lifts, ramps and adapted toilets are offered, and boarding and deplaning help is provided if requested.
Restaurants and Bars
Seven bars and eateries, including Bar Autogrill and Pasticceria Palazzolo, are found in the landside and airside areas of the terminal, although most are located in the public areas, with just a small café in the Departures lounge.
Money and ATMs
Banking services including currency exchange are found on the second floor Departures lounge between 08:30 and 16:20, except on public holidays. ATMs are located in the Departures lounge, the Arrivals hall and Check-in area B, and another bureau de change, open between 07:00 and 21:00 Monday through Saturday, is found in Check-in area A.
A newsagent, general shop and several gift shops are found in the public area of the terminal, with a selection of fashion, local product and souvenir outlets in the Departures lounge as well as a small duty-free store offering cosmetics, wines and spirits, perfumes and tobacco products.