20 Best Things to Do in Sicily

Sicily
DaLiu / shutterstock.com

Sicily has always held a mystique for those people who have visited it.

This country is brimming with unique and intriguing characteristics, from mythology and history to modern and historic architecture.

It can range from the Coliseum in the ancient city of Syracuse to the piazzas in the modern towns of Palermo and Catania.

Sicily is one of the sunniest, most significant, and historic islands in the Mediterranean sea, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Are you looking for a sign to travel to a new place with your family and friends?

If so, Sicily is the best place for you.

To ensure that you will have an unforgettable trip, here are the 15 things to do in Sicily that will color your experience on this beautiful island.

Take a Walk to the Ancient Theater

Ancient Theater in Syracuse
duchy / Shutterstock.com

According to legend, the ancient Greek tyrant Dionysus built Syracuse's theater to honor the hero Theseus.

He slew the legendary minotaur, a sphinx-like creature with the body of a man and the head of a bull.

Distant view of Ancient Theater
michelangeloop / Shutterstock.com

The structures still stand in the city of Syracuse, in the southeastern part of Sicily, and are renowned for their beauty and history.

The ancient theater in Enna is a one-of-a-kind attraction that should not be missed.

Ruins of the columns at Ancient Theater
Raisa Suprun / Shutterstock.com

Located near the city's cathedral, the theater is an impressive complex dating back to the 3rd century BC.

It was once used as a theater and a political meeting place for the Enna's ruling families.

Explore the Ancient Ruins of Selinunte

Ruins of Greek Temple in Sicily
robertonencini / Shutterstock.com

Italy is home to a lot of the most beautiful and exciting archaeological sites in the world.

This country is also home to a few of the most beautiful and interesting ruins.

One of the most famous and fascinating is the ancient city of Selinunte.

This gorgeous complex of ancient buildings is located in one of the islands of Sicily, in the province of Syracuse.

Ruins of Greek Temple in Sicily
francesco de Marco / Shutterstock.com

George F. Bass uncovered a series of ruins on the island of Selinunte, off the coast of Sicily.

These ruins, known as the Heraion of Selinunte, used to be a temple dedicated to the goddess Hera.

Distant view of the Ruins of Selinunte
GagliardiPhotography / Shutterstock.com

In the 1920s, a local priest claimed that the ruins were Roman, and the Catholic Church even declared the ruins a Roman temple.

Times have changed, though, and today, the ruins are now revered as a Greek temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Buy a Print From a Local Artist

Having spent much time traveling around the world, you will come to appreciate the various cultures around the world.

Through visiting various countries, you can appreciate the multiple customs and gifts given to tourists by locals.

While internet giants like Amazon are making it easy to buy souvenirs online, there is nothing quite like handling something hard, seeing the beauty in it, and putting it on your shelf.

If you want to buy a print from a local artist, you will have to go to the source, which usually means traveling to the artist's studio to chat about current work.

Learn About Sicilian Life in Museo Medico Tommaso Campailla

Outside view of museum tommaso campailla
maudanros / Shutterstock.com

You can do many things in Sicily, but one of Sicilians' most important is visiting the museums.

Sicily is the place to experience Sicilian life, with its traditions, customs, and history.

The museum of Modica is one of the most critical places in the city because it is one of the most beautiful museums in Sicily.

Traveling to Sicily will give you a taste of ancient history while showing how modern Sicilians have preserved their heritage.

Inside museum tommaso campailla
trabantos / Shutterstock.com

Don't just visit the many churches and cathedrals, the many museums, the town squares, and the most famous of Sicily's monuments.

Sicily is a place that will take you back in time and to a place that will leave you feeling that you have been transported to a different world.

It is a place that is rich in both history and culture, and to immerse yourself in its lifestyle is to gain a deeper understanding of the world and your home in it.

Drive the Winding Roads of the Countryside

Countryside view of Sicily
Pincasso / Shutterstock.com

Sicily is one of the world's most beautiful places, and it is home to some of the most picturesque villages in the world.

Whether you are looking to get away from fast-paced big city life or are simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the modern world, Sicily is the place to be.

It's no secret that Sicily has one of the prettiest landscapes in the world, but that doesn't mean you can take a bus there and see everything.

The roads are windy, the weather is unpredictable, and it's no place for the faint of heart, but it is worth driving through when you get to see its beauty.

Eat a Traditional Sicilian Meal

Sarde a Beccafico, a traditional food in Sicily
luca pbl / Shutterstock.com

A traditional Sicilian meal usually comprises Arancini or deep-fried, breaded Risotto rice with Caponata or fried Aubergine (the French word for “eggplant”) turned into a stew with celery, onion, and tomatoes.

Gambero Rosso or raw red prawns are also considered as part of a traditional meal in Sicily (and the rest of Italy) since the islands are abundant with fish and seafood.

Sicilian grilled fish
vvoe / Shutterstock.com

You've heard of the "tastes-great-less-filling" principle, but you might not know much about the "eat-when-you're-hungry-not-when-you're-full" principle.

Sicilian food is well known for its large portions, and the Sicilians take food very seriously: in fact, Sicilian culture revolves around food and dining.

Sicily has a reputation as a foodie destination, and the food is incredible.

Sicilian Salad
UliAb / Shutterstock.com

Traveling to Sicily with friends and family will bring you to some of the world's most famed and delicious eateries.

You can still get a traditional Sicilian meal offered in local restaurants for between $15 and $20.

However, there are also great deals for lunch where you can get a 3-course meal for $20.

Hike the Mount Etna Volcano

Aerial view of Mount Etna Volcano
Vadym Lavra / Shutterstock.com

Italy is crammed full of sights and things to do, and Mount Etna is an incredible volcano to visit.

The mountain, located in Sicily, can be reached by car or by plane, and there are plenty of routes (both long and short) to take to get to the top.

People hiking to Mount Etna Volcano
InnaLu / Shutterstock.com

The mountain is well known for being the highest active volcano in Europe, and it is also a well-known 'hotspot' for tourists.

You will have a great time hiking the Mount Etna volcano and enjoy taking pictures of the majestic scenery you can see from the tallest active volcano in Europe.

Volacano eruption at Mount Etna Volcano
Wead / Shutterstock.com

Have a View of the Entire Island From a Lookout Point

Aeria view of Sicily
Fabio Michele Capelli / Shutterstock.com

Sicily, Italy, is a fascinating island.

Once home to Dionysus, the god of wine, the island is known for its beautiful landscapes, vibrant history, and fantastic food.

The island is full of beautiful views, which you should consider when you visit, but only if you know how to access them.

View of the city from the Lookout Point
Simoncountry / Shutterstock.com

The views from the lookout point are stunning, but you have to plan as you have to book tickets for a window seat to secure a spot.

Also, if you are looking to keep yourself occupied for a few hours, you should consider strolling their coastline and hiking one of their many trails.

Both will reward you with breathtaking views of the entire island.

Beautiful view of the coastline from the Lookout Point
Tamas Gabor / Shutterstock.com

Attend Festa di sant'Agata

Sicily may not be the first place that jumps to mind when you think about travel, but it is a place that has the potential to deliver the type of authentic experiences that most of us seek when we set out on our travels.

Celebration during the Feast of Saint Agatha at Sicily
Wead / Shutterstock.com

Not to mention, Sicily offers a string of fun and uniquely Sicilian festivals, so if you are looking for a change of scenery without too many tourists, Sicily is a great destination.

If you're looking for ways to expand your travel horizons, consider checking out a local festival.

Procession at Sicily during the Feast of Saint Agatha
Wead / Shutterstock.com

The most religious festival celebrated in Sicily is “Festa di Sant'Agata” or the Feast of Saint Agatha, the city’s patron saint.

Attending this local festival is a fun and unique way to experience Sicily.

Fireworks during Feast of Saint Agatha
Wead / Shutterstock.com

It is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and see it in a new light.

So, grab a candlestick and join the infamous candle parade and enjoy the handmade giant candle floats roaming around the streets of Sicily!

Visit A' Piscaria Mercato del Pesce

Palermo street market in Sicily
Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock.com

So you've made up your mind, you are ready to make the Sicily trip.

Now, the first thing you need to do is go to a street market.

This market is considered as one of the most important shops in the country.

It's full of souvenirs, artisan products, fabrics, meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, cheeses, clothing, decorations, books, fruits, vegetables, nuts, relishes, everything you need.

It's exciting to see all these things in one place, where you can find exciting and exotic locales that sell anything that you can think of.

The "Fera ´o Luni" in Sicily
Stephan Schlachter / Shutterstock.com

Going to A' Piscaria Mercato del Pesce is the best way to shop.

The variety, freshness, and affordability of products, the fun of doing your haggling, and the festive atmosphere of talking with friendly people make street markets an experience you won't forget.

Vendors selling fishes at A' Piscaria Mercato del Pesce
Noa_80 / Shutterstock.com

Browse the Local Boutiques

Boutique in Taormina
Mazur Travel / Shutterstock.com

If you are in Sicily, then you have to experience Sicily.

That means that if you're visiting the island, then you should check out the local shops.

If you want to take a break from the sandy beaches and the historic attractions, you'll find excellent shopping in Palermo.

Colorful dresses kept for display outside a boutique at Sicily
noel bennett / Shutterstock.com

Sicily is known for its local cuisine, so check out the restaurants and cafes, go shopping in the old town in Taormina, and walk down the street in Sciacca to see where all the locals hang out.

Exploring the local boutiques allows you to experience the charm and beauty of the ancient Greek city of Syracuse.

Vibrant cafe in Taormina
Kirk Fisher / Shutterstock.com

Spend a Day on San Vito Lo Capo

Mondello Beach Resort in Sicily.
Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock.com

If you are looking for a place to kick back and relax, you should plan your vacation to Sicily.

This island is full of beautiful beaches.

One of the many things you're looking forward to is exploring the beaches of Trapani one of the most charming cities in Europe.

A family swimming on the beach at San Vito Lo Capo
marcokenya / Shutterstock.com

The island of Sicily is one of the Mediterranean Sea's next top vacation spots, but the island holds much more than a beautiful destination.

Sicily also holds a fascinating history that hasn't been fully explored.

A young couple enjoying the views of San Vito Lo Capo
fokke baarssen / Shutterstock.com

One beach resort you should definitely include in your itineraries is San Vito Lo Capo.

Most famous for its beautiful beach and view, San Vito Lo Capo resort is a place where you can have a whole slew of experiences.

Watch a Play in Taormina Theater

Ruins of columns in Taormina Theater
K. Roy Zerloch / Shutterstock.com

When you're visiting Sicily, one of the best ways to explore the city is to attend a play in Taormina Theater.

Countless plays are famous in Italy, from Shakespeare to Wagner, and they are often performed at magnificent palaces or cathedrals.

Stage being prepared for the performance at Taormina Theater
fokke baarssen / Shutterstock.com

You cannot go wrong with that "Sicily" play tour.

The best tours use licensed guides that provide you an excellent experience.

The best tour operators provide a play experience described as "part history lesson, part performance art."

If you want to enjoy Sicily's rich history and culture, make sure to check out this theater when you visit.

Taormina Theater lit up during night
VLC Production / Shutterstock.com

Climb the Scala dei Turchi

Top view of Scala dei Turchi
ValerioMei / Shutterstock.com

You've probably seen many stairs in your day, but this one is unlike any you've seen.

By now, you've probably figured out that this isn't an actual staircase but a breathtaking section of the Sicilian coast that has become a seascape landmark for tourists.

People climbing the Scala dei Turchi
poludziber / Shutterstock.com

Near the beach between Realmonte and Porto Empedocle, you'll find this white cliff (in the province of Agrigento).

Its marlic rock is mild, calcareous, clayey, and brilliantly white.

Over time, with the aid of the sea and wind, nature has sculpted this material like a master sculptor, shaping terraces and rounding off sharp edges.

Closeup of the white rocks at Scala dei Turchi
nikolpetr / Shutterstock.com

The water uses this dazzling white to display its deepest, rich shades of blue and aqua.

The ancient ships of Arab and Turkish marauders sought refuge in the port now known as Scala dei Turchi, thus the name.

Check out the Fountain of Arethusa

View of the Fountain of Arethusa
lindasky76 / Shutterstock.com

The clear water of Ortigia island mirrors the papyrus and ducks of the island's interior before meeting the saline waves of Syracuse's Porto Grande.

This freshwater, located close to the ocean, spring is a sight to behold.

Top view of the Fountain of Arethusa
Roberto La Rosa / Shutterstock.com

Suppose you consider it one of the primary motivating factors in the settlement of Ortigia.

In that case, you'll see that the natural fountain's allure multiplies tenfold.

Fishes swimming in the Fountain of Arethusa
Roberto La Rosa / Shutterstock.com

It appears as though the gradual movement of water towards the sea, via the papyri plants, ducks, and massive fish, is a permanent feature of the landscape.

Make sure to see this natural fountain and take snaps for a souvenir!

Catch the Performance of Opera dei Pupi

An ancient shop selling Opera dei Pupi in Sicily
lindasky76 / Shutterstock.com

The Sicilian Opera dei Pupi became a part of UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.

Its repertory, mechanics, figurative style, mode of performance, and stage arrangement set it apart from other types of puppet theater in Italy and beyond.

Puppets used in Opera dei Pupi
BlackMac / Shutterstock.com

The puppets are still operated, spoken, and sometimes even built and painted by hand by the theatrical management of today.

Palermo and Catania have some of the best puppetry programs in Sicily.

Catching a performance gives you insight into Sicily's history and the craftsmanship of its people.

See Flamingos at Saline di Priolo

Flamingos at Saline di Priolo
mikefai / Shutterstock.com

The Saline di Priolo Nature Reserve opened in 2000.

It lies close to Priolo Gargallo (SR) and spans 55 hectares, protecting a natural ecosystem.

Saline di Priolo, a natural reserve in Sicily, has been a remarkable success as a breeding place for greater flamingos in recent years.

Flamboyance of flamingos at Saline di Priolo
Wead / Shutterstock.com

Since 2015, hundreds of chicks have been born in the coastal wildness north of Syracuse.

Tourists may see the birds as early as February when they fish for shrimp in the mud along the shore.

After the summer, you may witness the grey chicks you saw earlier in the season learn to fend for themselves and take flight.

Go Winetasting at Di Giovanna Winery

Traditional Sicilian culture is evident in Di Giovanna's wines and extra virgin olive oil.

Between Sambuca di Sicilia (Agrigento) and Contessa Entellina (Palermo), the Di Giovanna family operates an organic farm.

They make Sicilian and worldwide autochthonous wines and extra virgin olive oil here.

The Di Giovanna family has great and abiding pride and love for their homeland, a sentiment passed down through the years.

Since 1997, the entire business has been organically certified.

Visit the winery for a sensory trip around our region as you sample its organic wines and extra virgin olive oil.

You may arrange for guided tours and tastings in advance.

Final Thoughts

Sicily isn't the most visited part of Italy, but it is worth visiting if you want a new experience.

From the beaches to the food to the nightlife, Sicily is a unique destination worth venturing to.

There are few cities with the rich history of Palermo, the natural beauty of Taormina, the charm of Noto, or the taste of wine in Agrigento.

You might find yourself wondering why you never visited Sicily before.

💌
Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
✍️
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.