We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Getting from Palermo to Catania

Which Catania hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
london
Level Contributor
18 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
Getting from Palermo to Catania

Ok so me and my man have booked our first holiday together and thought we got a great deal on expedia for a hotel in Catania.

Going to Hotel Nettuno, which looks good but being naive didnt think to much about the flying. Turns out we are flying into Palermo as they don't fly to Catania and so we are trying to find the best, cheapest and quickest (not necessarily in that order) mode of transport, to get from Palermo Airport to Catania.

Any helpful ideas please?

Doylestown...
Level Contributor
317 posts
183 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

The best way is via Interbus. You will ride on an air-conditioned bus without stops from Palermo to Catania. I am not sure if they have a website, and I am not quite sure if they run directly from the airport, but you can get on Interbus from the main train station in downtown Palermo. Maybe there is a way from the airport to the main train station. It is much cheaper than renting a car, and you can enjoy the scenery. They are used to people carrying luggage too. We took it and it was great, and on time.

Cambridge, United...
Level Contributor
2,966 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

Hiya,

The trains aren't fantastic - most of them take a lot longer than you'd expect and you usually have to change (I think there are direct trains, but not many. If I remember rightly there are more from Catania to Palermo than viceversa - who knows why??). www.trenitalia.it will have times and prices if you want to have a look, but I think the quickest is about 3 and a half hours from Palermo Centrale to Catania.

So, I would think you'd want to take a bus. I've done that once, but I was exhausted and travelling with a Sicilian girl, so I just let her take over and I didn't really concentrate on what was happening. The one I got was run by SAIS - this link should be useful - http://www.saisautolinee.it/ricerca/index.asp

Choose "Palermo" and "Catania" as your departure and arrival points and it will give you a timetable. It's in Italian so if you need anything translated let me know, but I think it's quite self-explanatory mostly.

The buses leave from outside (well.. down the road from) Palermo Centrale station - you might want to look at a map to see exactly where the road is as I can't remember. We bought our tickets on the day, about an hour before the bus left I think, from the ticket office on the same road as the bus stop. But I'm not sure how it works - I imagine tickets can sell out if it's busy. Having said that there are quite a few buses so you should be alright. It takes 2 hrs 40 (ish), so quicker than the train! It drops you off outside Catania station, which I've always found to be a bit of a "dodgy" area, so be a bit careful.

I don't think anything goes direct from Palermo Airport to Catania, so you'll have to get the metro from the airport to Palermo Centrale. It's pretty straightforward - at the airport you go down an escalator (it wasn't very well signposted when I was there, but I might have been being dim!), buy your tickets at the bottom, and get on the train. They're quite nice trains as well. For some reason they call the airport train the "Trinacria Express" - link here: palermoweb.com/trasporti/tranacriaexpress.ht… It takes about 45 minutes I think. Oh by the way, Palermo airport seems to be called a lot of different things. For the purposes of the metro, it's called "Punta Raisi". On maps it usually "Falcone - Borsellino", or just "Aeroporto di Palermo".

Hope that was helpful!

Doylestown...
Level Contributor
317 posts
183 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

Yes, SAIS is the bus I took. Just as the other repsonse states.

Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
208 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

I rented a car and had no problems!

Cape Cod, MA
Level Contributor
3 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

Actually, there are several flights from LHR to CTA.

Cape Cod, MA
Level Contributor
3 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

Actually, there are several flights from LHR to CTA.

Adelaide, South...
Level Contributor
13 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

Have just visited Catania in Sept 05. Would have to say the worst experience of our holiday and we would never return. Were there 1/2 day and 1 night - could not wait to get out of there. It is a very dirty and congested city.

We also stayed at Hotel Nettuno. Not in a central location and is very hard to find. The hotel is a 4 star, but nothing special and the service wasn't particularly helpful. Also there are no nice restaurants or cafes nearby.

It was our last day in Sicily and it was a horrible place to spend it.

Can certainly recommend: Syracuse (Ortigia) - absolutely fantastic, Marina di Ragusa - a little seaside village, Giardini Naxos, Taormina.

Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
864 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

Hi,

Just got back from a tour of Sicily and didn't stay in Catania but the tour bus drove through it. It didn't look appealing, a large sprawling city with strip centers and industry. I wouldn't make it my choice and I agree with the previous poster, Taormina, Naxos, Sirigusa (spelling?) Cefalu, all of these would work.

You could stay a few nights in Palermo and visit Monreale Cathedral and the Norman Palace. Don't want to sound like a broken record but check out the Fiesta Garden/Athenee Hotel, about an hour east in Campofelice. Outstanding! Hotel shuttles to Cefalu and Palermo are cheap and don't miss Cefalu, a small version of Taormina.

Good Luck.

North Yorkshire...
Level Contributor
2,313 posts
377 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

Lucy - have you tried checking with Expedia to see if they will let you change hotels and hence destinations? Maybe if you pay a little extra they won't mind as long as you are not cancelling all together. It really is going to be a bind getting to Catania and as everyone points out I am afraid Catania is well...horrible. Cefalu which is close to Palermo airport really is lovely. Try getting a telephone number from the expedia website and tell them that you are really upset because you have read some terrible reviews of the hotel and the resort, lay it on thick, cry a little.. you never know. It seems a shame that you and your mans first holiday together may not be all that you dreamed of.

My suggestion may seem extreme - but it is what I would do.

Aylesbury, Bucks, UK
Level Contributor
40 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Getting from Palermo to Catania

Must disagree with the Aussie poster who was slagging Catania. My first post after a long weekend in the city and have to make my point.

Yes, the city looks dirty (most buildings are built from black basalt stone or it's concrete derivative and there does happen to be an active volcano close by!). However the architecture throughout the old city is incredible. Piazza del Duomo, the main town square, is a superb example of this.

Castello Ursino is spectacular too. Plenty of bars and restaurants, but you have to look for them. A good (and obvious) tactic is to ask the locals where they eat and drink.

Give Catania some time you will love it.

Strongly recommend the Residence Vetreria, the friendliest most helpful hotel staff I have EVER met.