Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Palermo
Shopping in Palermo mixes the experiences of navigating a bazaar and walking down a posh corridor of one of Europe’s capital cities. The largest city in Sicily has an eclectic shopping scene, to say the least.
Most of the famous international brands have a presence along the main thoroughfares and shopping centers. These major streets, located throughout Old Town and surrounding neighborhoods, are charming and fashionable. Some of them resemble narrow alleys, by American standards. And some of them have plazas and town squares which are as fun to relax and people-watch in as they are fruitful to shop in. These streets are great for both shopping and getting a sense of the city, and certainly a must-do for any trip to Palermo.
There are also traditional markets scattered across Palermo’s Old Town city center where you can find a variety of handcrafted goods, antiques, street food, and fresh produce. These colorful markets are some of the most iconic sites to see in Palermo and are worth visiting regardless of whether or not you’re in the market for a new outfit or handcrafted keepsake.
Whether you are looking for an antique or a chic outfit from your favorite brand, Palermo is a world-class shopping city. Here is a list of the best shopping in Palermo:
The Best Shopping Destinations in Palermo
Mercato di La Vucciria (Vucciria Market)
Translated into the Sicilian dialect, this market’s name is the “place of loud voices” and for good reason. Mercato di La Vucciria is not only one of the most famous markets in Sicily, it’s the busiest and most bustling. With a prime location off of Via Roma and Piazza San Domenico, this market sprawls throughout Old Town.
The market is labyrinthine in its layout, with winding alleys and lanes that are easy to get lost in, and are reminiscent of a North African Souk or Bazaar. You can find all sorts of incredible goods, including fresh produce, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, seafood, crafts, gifts and souvenirs, and even some local clothing and accessories.
The market is open Monday through Saturday every week. It’s beneficial to head there before 11 AM when all the action happens. The crowds are manageable, and witnessing the hustle and bustle is part of the appeal!
Via Bandiera Street Markets
Heading through Piazza San Domenico from Via Roma, you’ll find one of the city’s best street markets. The market runs from Via Maqueda through Via Sant’Agostino, almost all the way to the Teatro Massimo.
Via Bandiera is a wonderful place to find handmade and imported clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, handcrafted goods, and souvenirs. The prices are unbeatable, and the quality is solid. The vendors are friendly, but this market is set up for negotiable prices, so set your budget and come ready to haggle! Like most markets, the best merchandise is available before the post-espresso crowd shuffles in.
This department store is conveniently located in Via Roma at the corner of Piazza San Domenico, so this is the perfect place to go for air conditioning after you’ve been window shopping in the summer heat. There is a nice mix of chic designer clothing, accessories, and some useful home goods and decor. The cookware section is certainly worth checking out, given Italy’s penchant for producing some of the finest kitchen tools in the world. Many of these brands can’t be found outside of Italy, and their quality is unbeatable.
If nothing on the racks catches your eye, head to the rooftop for some of the best views in Palermo. Obikà is La RinScente’s rooftop cafe, which has a panoramic view of the city. So snap some amazing photos of the surrounding city and grab an espresso before continuing your shopping spree down Via Roma.
Urban Italy is not what you’d associate with shopping malls, but one of Palermo’s best shopping experiences is the Forum Palermo. With over 120 shops, this is the largest shopping center located within Palermo’s city limits. It’s just southwest of downtown and is accessible both by car (about 15 minutes from the city center) and the light rail train station that’s located just across the street. In fact, you'll get used to the light rail service since it's also one of the best ways to get to and from the Palermo Airport. Expect all the best from modern international brands. If the weather isn’t cooperating, you can pop into the UCI Cinemas to take in a flick.
The Best Designer Stores and Outlets in Palermo
Giglio - Piazza Francesco Crispi
With nine outlets throughout Sicily and Palermo, this is a go-to destination for all the best luxury brands. Balenciaga, Iceberg, Missoni, Valentino, and Moschino are all on the shelves. Oh, Giglio just so happens to have one of the best Gucci offerings in all of Palermo. This store’s two floors of chic women’s clothing and accessories are perhaps the best option for picky shoppers with a more forgiving budget. They have several dozen huge window displays that entice a posh clientele, but many shoppers in the know come to this part of Palermo specifically to pick from Giglio’s luxurious collection.
Located on Via Ruggiero Settimo and Via Cerda, this stylish boutique’s location is only beat by its incredible selection. They offer a range of men’s and women’s clothes, accessories, and shoes, all with an elegant and classy aesthetic. For men, there are tailored pieces by Brioni, and stylish sportswear from everyone from Burberry to Brunello Cucinelli. Their selection of shoes is also incredible, from Church’s Derby Shoes to Car Shoe Loafers. If you want to be “Palermo chic” pick up a light blazer and some classy sneakers for getting around town in style.
Located on the major thoroughfare Via Della Liberta, this quirky boutique offers some of the most eccentric and high-minded fashion collections in Palermo. Starting in the 1960s, renowned designers like Issey Miyake, Yamamoto, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Commes dex Barrcons have been contributing various pieces to this prestigious boutique. While the collection isn’t massive, suits, accessories, dresses, handbags, and shoes are all on offer. The emphasis here is on quality, exclusivity, and uniqueness. It’s a must-hit boutique for devoted fashionistas, industry types, and upscale shoppers.
The Best Vintage Shops in Palermo
Magazzini Anita - Old Town
This Old Town vintage store offers an impeccably curated collection of fashion from the 1970s and 1980s. Iconic brands like Chanel, Hermes, and Gucci are the focus, but you’ll find some truly rare pieces from hundreds of niche and legendary brands. While most of the items on offer are well preserved and restored, there are select never-worn items. With such an amazing array of rare and bespoke items, this shop is a gem you’ll be bragging to your friends about.
The Piazza Peranni Antique Markets
Located near Mercato del Capo and Monte di Pieta, this charming antique market is just hard enough to find that it’s not overrun with crowds. This flea market is comprised of storefronts and stalls lined up along Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, one of the oldest and most quaint streets in Palermo. Collectibles, antiques, cookware, and everything in between are all sold here. Many of these items are decades or even centuries old, and depending on the seller, you can learn a great deal about Sicily and Palermo just by discussing the piece with its owner. Get there early on weekends, because this market’s sterling reputation among serious collectors means the choicest items do not last.
Luxury Hunters Vintage and Second Hand Shop
This shop’s specialty is vintage accessories and bags. You’ll find some of the most well-reserved purses, handbags, and luggage from all the best brands. Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton enthusiasts all swear by this store for its expert curation, reasonable prices, and knack for finding and selling items that are generally deemed impossible to find elsewhere. The prices are generally regarded as reasonable, but there are a few rare items that can certainly stretch a budget.
The Best Streets for Shopping in Palermo
It’s hard to plan a trip to Palermo without running into (or through) Via Roma. It’s Palermo’s most prominent thoroughfare and one that you’ll want to walk down to get the full experience. The shopping is decent; not the best, but certainly not bad. You’ll find that window shopping might be the best way to approach Via Roma, considering many of the shops that line the street are familiar international brands. There are a few gems, but you’re best served by stopping when something special in the window catches your eye. Otherwise, take in the scenery, enjoy the sights and sounds of the crowds, and make sure to keep an eye out for an enticing street food vendor.
Via Principe di Belmonte
This quiet side street is situated in the middle of Old Town. It’s a narrow street, and it’s been pedestrianized near Via Roma to Via Ruggero Settimo, which makes it perfect for window shopping. There are trees and canopies lining the street, which is ideal if you’re visiting Palermo during the steamy summer months. You’ll find many high-end boutiques here, but there are shops that will fit any budget. There are also incredible restaurants and street food vendors lining this street. Regardless of whether you buy anything or stop anywhere for a quick drink or bite to eat, Via Principe de Belmonte is one of the most authentic places for a quick stroll in Palermo’s Old Town.
This is easily Palermo’s swankiest shopping destination. With flagship boutiques lining either side of the street, including the likes of Marina Rinaldi and Max Mara, this is a must-visit destination for high-end shoppers looking for their next prized accessory or outfit. It’s posh with a capital “P” so don’t expect any bargains here. It’s also a charming street, so window shopping is an enjoyable enough experience for those not looking to open their wallet.
Famous for its Arab-Norman architecture this bustling street is home to some of the most iconic buildings in Palermo. The Church of St. John of The Hermits, The Grand Norman Palace, and the Palatine Chapel are all located in this compact and historic neighborhood. There are dozens of quaint little stalls and shops that line the streets that are, at the very least, a joy to peruse for curiosities and keepsakes. But shoppers head to this busy district for the Ballaro Street Market, which offers handcrafted goods, souvenirs, and fine Sicilian produce. It’s not the place to head for a Gucci bag, but it’s one of the most fulfilling destinations to explore in the entire city and a world-class food market.
Via Ruggero Settimo
Located prominently within Old Town, Via Ruggero Settimo is one of the longest and busiest shopping streets in Palermo. Expect trendy shops from local designers and international fashion brands. Definitely expect Sicilian teenagers and University students to be walking in large groups down the sidewalk and aisles of the many boutiques and outlets. There are dozens of excellent cafes, restaurants, and bars that offer much-needed sustenance for your all-day shopping spree in Old Town.
Via Della Libertà
Some of the most bespoke and dapper boutiques in Palermo are located on this street, including the flagship location for Dolce and Gabbana. Expect a number of smaller designer labels to have stores along this stylish stretch of road. Via Della Liberta is also located near Parco Piersanti Mattarella (Giardino Inglese), which is one of the most beautiful parks in Palermo, having been designed as an English-style garden.
The Quattro Canti
This is the best destination in Palermo for bargain jewelry, imported goods, and ethnic clothing from a variety of origins. There are also a number of stores dealing in authentic Sicilian ceramics. Many of these stores are set up for haggling, which is particularly beneficial for those who speak Italian, and can get quite interesting for those who don’t…
Whether you hit up one of the city’s malls, colorful markets, designer boutiques, or inner-city bazaars, shopping in Palermo is an unforgettable experience. While you explore La Vucciria or traverse Via Roma to find your favorite new outfit or Sicilian keepsake, let Bounce bag storage take care of the luggage.