Palaces and museums

Palermo museums are popular destinations for many travelers. A Palermo museum offers fascinating history and facts. Browse the many museums and attractions in Palermo.

Palermo’s Museums And Palaces Testify To Its Rich Cultural History

Among all of the attractions in Palermo, the palaces and museum stand shoulder to shoulder with the cathedrals and markets as must-see destinations. A large part of the thrill has to do with the layers of Sicilian culture that have their roots in Palermo. The port city has seen empires rise and fall, kings come and go, and artists emerge and retreat.

Thank goodness someone thought to put a little of all of it into the museums and palace galleries!

Palermo museums really run the gamut in terms of type of materials available for viewing. Visitors can really take their pick of historical or cultural attractions. While multiple days would be needed to give proper attention to each one, here are a few that must be seen even if you are on a limited schedule.

Note that museum schedules vary both widely and seasonally. They can generally be counted on to be open in the mornings between 9 to 12 noon (except Mondays) year-round and afternoons in the summer.

International Marionettes Museum

This Palermo museum was the starting ground for the puppet preservation movement that later gave birth to the annual Festival di Morgana. Handcrafted puppets by Italy’s best puppet families live here, and displays teach the art of puppetry.


This castle on the western side of the city is one of the attractions in Palermo built for the Norman Kings. Once their summer residence, it blends Moorish and Baroque styles and was preserved as a residence for the Italian counts Notabartolo di Sciari. In the 1980’s the regional government converted it to a museum, which allows tourists to examine the mosaics and the Islamic art galleries.

Palazzo dei Normanni

The main Norman Palace in the city, it now houses artwork, exhibits of Norman history, and links to the Palatine Chapel.

Regional Archeological Museum

This Palermo museum is located off the Piazza Olivella and traces the history of Sicily back form the Pre-Historic Age up to the present. Constantly updating and renovating its building, it is best to check ahead for opening hours as renovations may have it closed the day of your visit.

Tesoro Museum

Who can resist the crown jewels? Nestled inside the Palermo cathedral, the quiet Tesoro is one of the Palermo museums dedicated to the Sicilian royalty. Artifacts from throughout their reign over the island are on display, including the crowns of the Kings and Queens.