Why Palermo?

In Palermo, there is something for every student. Thanks to the Byzantine, Greek, Arab and Norman empires – and not forgetting Garibaldi – the capital of Sicily has a colourful past and an even more vibrant present. Explore the historic centre under the Mediterranean sun, use street food to navigate you through its cobbled lanes and party into the night at Vucciria until the market opens the next morning. Thanks to the disobedient drivers, loud shouting and dramatic gesticulation nothing quite compares to this city, and we have compiled an insider’s guide to prove it.


"The Sicilian capital is a great place to start exploring everything the beautiful island has to offer."

Il Cattedrale di Palermo

Visit Palermo’s Cathedral for free, or nab yourself a student discount on the roof-top tour where you there is an amazing 360° view of the entire city. Prepare yourself for a spiral staircase, and perhaps think twice before going up here if you have vertigo.

Teatro Massimo

Palermo's Opera House is a stunning building inside and out. A week before some of the shows start running, tickets to the final dress rehearsal are released at a very reduced price for students. You can get tickets through the ESN, or enquire directly at the theatre.

La Spiaggia di Mondello

Mondello is the city’s most popular local beach and is just a short bus ride away from the city centre. Catch the bus from via Roma, but make sure to buy tickets from a newsagents or tobacconist beforehand and validate it when you get on board. Vendors patrol the beach selling beer & snacks so don’t worry about packing lunch.

Monte Pellegrino & La Grotta di Santa Rosalia

Climb 606m of Mount Pellegrino for stunning views of the city and coast. If you can wake up early enough, it’s the perfect place to watch the sun rise. Whilst you’re up there, make sure to visit the Grotto of Saint Rosalia, a church built into the mountain face in which the bones of the patron saint - Saint Rosalia - are buried.

Explore these unique experiences and amazing tours


Looking for long term stays? Read our guide below. 

Looking for long term stays? Read our guide below. 

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Palermo has a foot-friendly city centre!

There's a (fairly) reliable bus service, so be sure to check timetables when you arrive. For getting around the island, I recommend trains or buses but prepare yourself for southern-italian style delays.

Our Community

Talk to one of our ambassadors for bespoke advice or read our students blogs.​​

Annabel Roest

"Salut I’m Annabel and I study French and Italian. I decided not to go to France and instead chose Switzerland for my Year Abroad. I have been working in Lausanne since August and LOVE IT. I would really recommend branching out and going somewhere where none of your uni mates are going as you really have to throw yourself in at the deep end. I am moving to Milan at the end of February and cannot wait. Hit me up with absolutely any questions you have about travel, worries/anxieties (I have had my fair share), work placements (I chose work for both) or just year abroad in general. Ciao for now!"

Seren Williams

"Hi! I’m Seren and I did my year abroad in Austria and Italy. I worked as an English teacher for the British Council in Bregenz and worked again as a teacher in Palermo. I love to talk about absolutely anything year abroad related, so let me know if you have any questions, especially if they’re regarding work and travel in west Austria! Seren x"