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“Hop On- Hop Off-Ripped Off!”

City Sightseeing Palermo
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Palermo City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Ranked #23 of 95 Tours in Palermo
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Dana Point, California
Level Contributor
66 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Hop On- Hop Off-Ripped Off!”
Reviewed October 31, 2012

We took the Hop On- Hop Off Bus in Monreale-Palermo Italy, it was so very disappointing! What time does the Monreal bus to Palermo come? 11:05... The Bus was a half an hour late from Monreale to Palermo, then we wanted to change lines. We hopped off, at the # 2 spot, which was the second stop from Monreal and the Blue Line Bus was scheduled come along in about four minutes we waited and waited and waited. We waited forty minutes, yes Four-Zero and it never came.

We finally walked around hoping to find the market we thought we would find off the Blue Line stop, we finally gave up and looked for any line and found one, it was the number 9 Red line, great, we can just ride it to the stop near the Blue Line, we think, nope... They thew us off at the very next stop!

We then have to wait another half hour for the next Blue line bus, we realize now, if we continue the Blue Line, we will miss our last bus to Monreal. We Hop off to catch our Red Line back to the Monreal pick up. after wasting one of our of two days in Palermo waiting for Hop On buses that never came or came late then only to be thrown off the Hop On bus at the next stop! What a RIP OFF!

In all, it cost my girlfriend an I 50 Euros to do what it cost my husband 2.60 Euros to do and we had all the frustration of dealing with no shows and waiting! Don't bother! Good concept but poorly run! Oh, by the way, when it was raining and against the traffic up to Monreal at rush hour it cost 25.00 Euros for two.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Furmommy2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CitySightseeing P, Direttore at City Sightseeing Palermo, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Dear Lady,
before analyzing the content of your review, I would like to point out
that on the same day two reviews appeared on Tripadvisor, your
disappointing one and an excellent one from a very good
satisfied customer.
I don't really understand what happened to you by reading part of your

Please, refer to our brochure where all departure times are listed.

You wrote you waited the Monreale bus at 11:05 but it is unclear where
you were waiting for it. You also added you hopped off on the second
stop after Monreale, but route B has not a stop over there . For
instance the second stop after Monreale is the Cathedral stop which is
stop n°8 of Route A.
This is why you waited and waited.

I believe all those unhappy situation you lived were caused by a bad
understanding of our system clearly explained in our brochure: route B runs only in
the afternoon. It starts at 2 pm.

All the other things you affirm are not correct, this is another reason
why I believe you misunderstood our lines and schedules.
We invite to check it yourself by consulting our brochure that we deliver to all our costumers.

Regarding what you said about the amount of money your husband spent to
do the same thing, we would like to point out that € 2.60 are only
enough to catch a local bus from Piazza indipendenta (Royal Palace) to
Monreale and back without any facilities and without a guaranteed seat.

Buying a ticket with us means being authorized to make Route A, Route
B and Monreale, getting on/off wherever you want, listening to an
English commentary in the meantime assisted always by an hostess.

I hope you will
come back to our city to even appreciate our tour, as many people did
gratifying our service with 5 stars.

Best Regards
Franco Alessandro
Direttore City Sightseeing Palermo.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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215 reviews from our community

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Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2012

We eventually succumbed to the sightseeing bus when the noise and the heat got too much for us, this must be the noisiest city in the world. It's not great value for money as the tour isn't very long and the soundtrack is sometimes out of sync with the surroundings. It does cover most of the major attractions and it's a relief not to have to think about how you're going to get to the next attraction.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Siobhan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CitySightseeing P, Direttore at City Sightseeing Palermo, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
Dear Sir,
We would like to thank you for your review that we,
however, judge positive.
We believe you experienced a really hot day in Palermo: the weather in
the city, which represents a true fortune for its residents and its
tourists, is usually characterized by a particular warm wind called
“Scirocco” that is not well tolerated by those people who are not used
to it.
Palermo mild climate is also, in a way, the cause of the noise levels,
especially in peak hours: as a matter of fact people instead of staying
home because of the temperature or bad weather, prefer to pour in the
street, living many hours outdoor.
We are though surprised to read your comment about the duration of the
tour, as a matter of fact route A lasts one hour (without getting off
the bus) and route B 50 minutes, if you also go to Monreale, you would
need to add at least 2 hours more in the tour.
One of the reason our commentary was out of sync with the surroundings
could have been traffic; it is possible that the bus was forced by the
Municipal Police to carry out a change of route due to a car accident
or a procession of striking workers along the official route; in this
particular cases, our commentary, which is arranged in 8 languages, can
not be synchronized to the alternative path.
We are happy to read you confirm the fact that our tour covers most of
the city major attractions and it also relieves any stress caused by
the research of the sites of interests.
Best regards.
Franco Alessandro
Direttore Palermo City Sightseeing srl
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Valencia, Spain
Level Contributor
90 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A good snapshot of the city.”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

It was worthwhile using the tourist bus, but we considered it overpriced. Also, on the day we used the bus there were demonstrations and there was a failure in communicating the difficulties in negotiating the city to passengers on the bus.

Visited October 2012
Thank 1728lien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CitySightseeing P, Direttore at City Sightseeing Palermo, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Dear customer,
First of all we would like to thank you for choosing our service and
we appreciated to receive your review about it. Thanks to our
customers’ reviews, we can try to improve as much as we can, the
We regret to express our disagreement though with you about the ticket
This is definitely not expensive if you consider you can use your
ticket for 24 hours in any of our buses, hopping off-on in all our
stops and it also let you travel in two different routes: in the 60
minutes city center route (route A) and the 50 minutes “Liberty” and
Zisa Castle route (route B).
In addition to this, our service allows you to comfortably hop off near
the major attractions (within walking distance) and to get back onboard
to continue the tour once your visit has finished.
As a matter of fact we believe our service is the most comfortable,
relaxing and cheap way to visit the city. It also give you, in 24
hours, a good idea about the history and the major sites of Palermo.
Unfortunately there are often workers marches in Palermo, especially in
the city center who decide to strike in front of Palace where the
Presidency of the Region takes place which is just where our stop 7 of
our Route A is located.
When cases like this happen, our hostess before making or validating
tickets, make their best to inform our customers about the traffic
In the brochure we give to our customers, you can find also alternative
We hope you can come back soon in our beautiful city and we are
confident you will be able to appreciate better City Sightseeing
Best wishes,
Franco Alessandro
A.D. Palermo City Sightseeing srl
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
245 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
“9 non-objective truths about Palermo”
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Below my various impressions from visiting the city of Palermo:
1. “Bella” or “bello”, accompanied by a loud cheering(?) yell or a whistle (as far as my limited knowledge of Italian is concerned, and as well as my own impression from having taken a look at the mirror tells me, rather the latter version shall be applied, however, I could almost swear to have heard the first one) – this is how you may be treated by young (male!) folks passing by in their cars or riding their funny Italian scooters in the... less cultivated areas of town, especially along the coast and in the area between Palazzo dei Normanni and the Central Main Station (Piazza Cesare).
2. Beaches – as far as I've seen, there aren't any in the city. A large portion is the coast is cut off from the “man of the street” eyes for it's a harbor. Right from the middle aisle of the city – where the street Via V. Emanuele finishes with Piazza Sto Spirito - southwards, there is a nice promenade to take a walk along the seaside (until it stops close to the Villa Julia area for you've already reached Palermo's ultimate slums area...), nevertheless, I did not see any place servicing as a beach (apparently, they are there but further out from the town).
3. A consistent and clear network of public transport, as well as information in English, at least at the main stops (i.e. main train station) – neither of the two exist.
4. Cars – there seems to be a heavy competition in town on who gets his car dirtiest. The leaders are able to get their vehicles so dirty that you cannot anymore recognize the car's original color.
5. Junk – an unmistakable landmark of Palermo, present everywhere, apart from a very few main streets. From an “innocent” empty bottle or old newspapers swaying on the wind here and there, up to huge impressive piles of all sorts of garbage, dumped wherever the folks feel like dumping it. They can sometimes grow as impressive as to take possession of half of the road's width.
6. Dressing. Indeed, this must be acknowledged: the Sicilians put much weigh on their appearance. They dress well, they generally look nice, they love to wear their Sunday best when paving their way across the usual street junk.
7. Stores. Normally, I would never bother with such a topic, but this time I will make exception. As stated above, the Sicilians like nice wear, and this attitude is also reflected in the number of, usually small, shops with all sorts of clothing, among them a considerable number of elegant men's wear outlets (with suits and similar non-casual wear) – a cruising paradise for every traditionally minded gentleman!
8. Architecture – Palermo is rather a big city of concrete and house of blocks. Numerous old noble houses (palazzos, villas) must be searched for as they're tucked away among some customarily falling apart buildings. Along the coast and in many areas around the several high streets (i.e. via Roma or via Maceda), a completely different world displays its face of poverty and mediterranean architectural negligence. The sight of a thick net of small and very narrow streets, arranged by houses at various stages of demolition, most of them already completely run down, forces you to re-consider your belief of still being in Europe here. Indeed, more often than not, you will seriously re-consider the idea of venturing out to those areas, asking yourself how (in)secure it is for you to hang around there.
9. Cuisine. I am no expert and I do not know much of it, so let me just confirm one thing – my 5 days in Palermo re-affirmed my old addiction to the Italian ice cream!

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Vannegen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Okay tour”
Reviewed September 25, 2012

Line A is worth getting on if you are not into walking much or would like a restful day as it takes you around the big attractions in the centre of Palermo. The Line A route is walk-able in a day visiting some of the attractions on the way around and finding some pleasant surprises if you'd prefer.

We thought Line B was a waste of time and wouldn't recommend getting off at Villa Malfitano or Castello della Zlsa. Although Villa Malfitano's front gate was open the villa was not and at least half of the Castello della Zlsa exhibits were missing and there was no guide/leaflet, so it was a bit overpriced for EUR6. Also the pretty gardens in front of the building, which we saw from the bus aren't accessible from the building, so you have a bit of a walk to reach these. If you get off at either of these attractions you'll either have to wait for the bus to come back (its on an hourly loop) or walk about half an hour back to the starting plazza. The only two possible attractions on this route, the Mercato del Capo and Giardino Inglese are a nice 5/10 minute walk away from the starting plazza.

We didn't feel it was particularly good value for money the commentary was fairly interesting, but we didn't find it detailed enough...

Visited September 2012
Thank Scot-keith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CitySightseeing P, Direttore at City Sightseeing Palermo, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Dear Sir/Mrs,
We thank you for your review that we, however, judge positive.
We believe, from the estimation you gave us regarding the necessary
time you would need to complete both routes by foot, you are a very
good walker: as a matter of fact Route A is 10 km and Route B 8 km

Route B is effectively on an hour loop but the waiting time is not that
long if you decide to hop off from the bus at Zisa Castle since you
need some time to visit it.
We agree with you when you write Route B is less interesting than Route
A, but our goal is to let our tourists discover the “Liberty” area of
the city and Zisa Castle, which are usually out of the touristic
itineraries and not easy to reach by foot.

We do not agree with you though when you say the service is not worthy,
on the other hand we strongly believe our service is the more relaxing,
comfortable and cheap way to get, in 24 hours, a good idea of the
monuments and the history of the city, not only of its historical
Best regards.
Francesco Alessandro
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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