Palermo Airport Trains
There is a railway terminus underneath the airport which is reached by stairs, escalators or lifts. On the timetable, the station is named Punta Raisi, the original name of the airport. The train is the Trinacaria Express and links the airport to the city of Palermo.
The journey time to Palermo Centrale, the main railway station, is around sixty minutes. Palermo Notarbartolo station in the north of the city can be reached in approximately forty-five minutes. The times vary according to how many stops are made.
The train departs twice an hour in each direction. From Palermo, the first service is at 04:45 and the last at 21:10. From the airport to Palermo the trains run from 05:32 to 22:10. The timetable can be different on weekends and holidays. For the full timetable, click here. A single ticket costs €5.80.
(Please note: The train service was suspended while work was undertaken to upgrade the railway. It was due to resume in late 2017, but may have overrun. Check the Trenitalia website for the latest details.)
Sicily by Train
If you are planning on travelling around the island by train, you can book tickets online. There are a variety of ticket options depending on your journey type. The Trenitalia website (www.trenitalia.com) has special ticket offers for families, groups, weekend returns and there are economy and super economy variations.
The website is available in English but, when selecting stations, you must enter the exact Italian name or you will come up blank.
Tickets can also be purchased at stations and travel agents. In Italy, you must validate a ticket at the station before boarding the train.
At Palermo Centrale, you can connect to trains to most coastal towns, but there is no service to the interior of the island other than connections to certain towns.
Unfortunately, the trains tend to be very slow because the majority of the network is single track which involves waiting at junctions for signals. A trip between the two largest cities of Sicily, Palermo and Catania, can take five hours, which is twice as long as a coach journey.
However, taking the train in urban areas is quicker as the roads in the cities can get very congested.
For planning rail journeys in Sicily, Trenitalia has a useful website called Trip Tipp Sicily.
It is possible to travel to the Italian mainland by rail with the whole train being carried on the ferry.
In general, to see the best of the island, hiring a car is your best bet.