Located on the northern coast of Sicily, the Falcone–Borsellino Airport, also known as Palermo Airport and Punta Raisi, is located 22 miles northwest from the capital city of Palermo. Travel times between the airport and Palermo typically take about 30 minutes but vary greatly depending on the traffic. There are several rental agencies at the airport. Travelers should book a rental car early to avoid shortages due to high tourist demand.
Locating the Best Rental Car at Falcone–Borsellino Airport
Many visitors flying into Sicily want the convenience and flexibility of renting a car to explore the island. Proceed to the Arrivals hall to find rental desks for Autoeuropa, Avis, Europcar, and Hertz. Booking early will ensure the best rates on the car rental. Most vehicles in Sicily have a manual transmission, although both transmission options are available. When searching for a car to rent on Skyscanner, filter the field for either manual or automatic.
Rules of the Road
There are a few rules and laws to remember when visiting Sicily. Renters are required to have a valid driver's license from their country of residence and an international driving permit before arriving. Using a cell phone while driving is strictly prohibited, although a hands-free system is permitted. The use of seat belts is mandatory. When driving outside of main cities, be sure to turn on headlights. Finally, keep in mind that the blood-alcohol limit is 0.05 percent while driving.
Driving Around Sicily
Upon leaving the airport, drivers will notice the Tyrrhenian Sea to their left. This scenic road will continue for about five minutes before approaching the freeway, E90. Going east, the E90 will lead to the ring road and Palermo. There are several gas stations surrounding the airport to fuel up as needed.
Remember, driving is on the right and passing is on the left. Roundabouts are common. If a vehicle quickly approaches from behind and is honking and flashing their lights, that's a sign to move to the right.
Some of Sicily's loveliest regions are only reachable by car via narrow country roads. Drive slowly and watch for goats. There are two toll roads: the Messina–Catania A18 and the Messina–Palermo A20. It's also a good idea to carry cash, as credit cards are not accepted at the toll booths.
Parking in Sicily
Parking in major cities like Palmero and Catania can be difficult. Pay-and-display public parking spaces are indicated by blue-lined road markers. Purchase tickets from the electronic meters or from the nearby tobacco stands. Rates typically range from 0.50 to 1 euro per hour (about $1). There are also parking lots near the ports and main cities charging around 7 euros per day (a little over $8).
Visiting the Best Attractions in Sicily
The Doric Temple of Segesta is a highlight among visitors. This ancient, 5th century temple sits perched on a hill, with views of both the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean Sea. Many stop to enjoy views of Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. Once there, tourists can hike the craters or take the cable car to the top. Beach lovers will want to relax on San Vito Lo Capo, one of Sicily's most beautiful beaches, and Taormina is regarded as the most famous resort town in Sicily. It's full of many shops and cafés that overlook the Ionian coast.
Renting a car gives visitors the best, easiest access to some of the best attractions around. Download the Skyscanner app for the best car rental deals in Sicily.