The 13 Best things to do in Trapani (and around!)
You are going on a trip to Sicily and want to visit Trapani? Wondering about the best points of interest?
That’s a good thing, there is a lot to discover around!
In order to help you plan your trip, I have prepared a guide of the city and its surroundings. I will start with the list of the 13 must-see attractions in Trapani (with many useful travel tips!), followed by itineraries examples to visit Trapani in 1, 2, 3 or 4 days.
And as a bonus, you will find at the end of the article my suggestions of the best accommodations and restaurants, in order to make your stay a truly unforgettable experience!
So, what are the best places to visit in Trapani?
- The 13 Best things to do in Trapani (and around!)
- Visit Trapani: The 13 Must-See Attractions
- How many days in Trapani?
- A day in Trapani
- 2 days in Trapani
- 3 days in Trapani
- 4 days in Trapani
- Where to stay in Trapani
- Where to eat in Trapani
- My impressions of Trapani
- You’re traveling in Sicily? These articles will help you!
Visit Trapani: The 13 Must-See Attractions
1. Visit Trapani old town
You don’t need to take the car to visit Trapani old town. It’s not huge and can easily be visited on foot.
There are no really famous or well-known buildings, but a short stroll through its narrow streets is very pleasant. The oldest streets are Via Garibaldi, Corso Italia and Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
Here is a list of monuments and churches to admire:
- Ligny Tower at the tip of Trapani
- The Agostino Pepoli Regional Museum
- The Basilica of St. Lawrence
- Church of the souls in purgatory
- The Contemporary Art Museum
- Saturn Fountain
- The Twin Clock Tower
Don’t hesitate also to visit the fish market, a good way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a Sicilian city! Or take a walk to Villa Margherita Park to enjoy some greenery.
If you’re a shopping lover, you will for sure enjoy the Via Giovanni Battista Fardella, the main shopping street of the city, with its cafes, restaurants, shoes and clothing shops.
2. Erice Village
If you are in Trapani, it’s certainly to visit the most famous nearby village, Erice.
This medieval village is perched on a rocky cliff at more than 750 meters above sea level, offering a magnificent view of Trapani, the Aegadian Islands and San Vito Lo Capo. It’s one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Sicily.
Your first option is to go there by car from Trapani, which takes around 30 minutes. You will then have to park on one of the paid car parks at the village entrance. It costs 2€ for the first hour and 1€ the following hours.
Your second option is to take a cable car from Trapani to Erice. A round trip costs 9€ and it takes around 10 minutes to arrive in the village. It’s the best option if you want to enjoy the magnificent scenery, but it’s also quite impressive! To take the cable car, you will need to park on the official parking lot. Some people may try to attract you to more expensive parking lots, just ignore them!
In Erice, I advise you to follow the signposted walk. It will allow you to see all the must-see attractions in the village, without missing anything. For me, the most impressive was the castle at the top of the cliff. From there, the view over the whole valley of Trapani and the sea is magnificent!
In the village, you will also find many restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops and pasticceria. The most famous is Maria Grammatico’s, which offers delicacies made from marzipan, cannoli and the complete range of Sicilian pastries. All this for a very reasonable price.
Erice is a very touristic village, you will meet a lot of people between the village entrance and the street leading to the castle. But if you move away from the main street and walk along the cobbled streets, everything quickly becomes quiet and peaceful. Don’t hesitate to walk around in the lesser known streets of the village after admiring the main attractions.
With Levanzo and Maretimo, Favignana is one of the 3 islands that forms the Aegadian Islands archipelago.
With Erice village, they are the must-see attractions during your stay in Trapani. Favignana, the largest and the most visited island of the archipelago is the best served by boat.
From Trapani, you will have to take a ferry to Favignana. All departures are from the port of Trapani.
We took the Liberty Lines ferries and paid 45€ for the round trip, for 2. Going to the island takes about 30 minutes. Liberty lines company is the best in terms of schedules, with a lot of round trips everyday day.
Once in Favignana, your best option to visit the island is to rent a bike. On foot, you wouldn’t be able to do much, apart from visiting the village and its surroundings. Renting a car is not very practical on small paths.
For 5€ a day, get on your bike and avoid falling into a pothole (like my girlfriend). Don’t worry, if you’re not ready for the Tour de France, the island tour is mostly flat.
Cycling routes and points of interest are well indicated. You can’t really get lost on the island, but it’s handy to have a map (they give you one when renting the bike) to see where you are and estimate the travelling time. It would be a shame to miss the ferry back!
There are 2 historic buildings to see on the island:
- The Palazzo Florio, housing the town hall
- The famous tonnara, the old tuna products factory.
If you go to Favignana, it’s mainly to go around the beaches and coves, enjoy the beautiful turquoise water and white sandy beaches.
Main points of interests: Cala Rossa, Lido Burrone, Cala Azzurra, Cala Rotonda and many others. For sure you will find a great place to swim!
And for diving enthusiasts, it’s simply heaven! The crystal clear water will allow you to observe groupers, lobsters and barracudas.
Levanzo is the smallest Aegadian island, with only 6 km² of land.
If you want to visit it during your stay in Trapani, you have 2 choices:
- Take the ferry from Trapani. The journey takes about 25 minutes for 20 euros round trip per person.
- From Favignana, you can take taxi boats. It takes around 10 minutes.
Levanzo’s peculiarity is the Genovese prehistoric cave, housing representations of people and animals dating almost 10 000 years back.
You can go there by boat or on foot, following a footpath on the side of the mountain. Your choice!
Other things to do in Levanzo include a seaside walk, swimming, sunbathing, diving and aperitif! This quiet little island is the perfect place to relax and rest. There is no road in Levanzo, hence no sound pollution from cars.
If you wish to stay there, you should really book in advance, there are only 2 hotels and a few apartments available. You can have a look at the best accommodations and book your night now by clicking here.
And if you want to visit all the Aegadian Islands, you can go to Marettimo, the wildest, the farthest and certainly the least touristic of the 3 islands.
To get there, count 1h20 in hydrofoil from Trapani.
In Marettimo, just like in Levanzo, you can enjoy the calm and sunshine or go swimming in magnificent coves. You can also book a boat trip to visit the many karst caves in the area.
It’s also a great destination if you enjoy hiking, with many trails offering superb views. Punta Troia Castle is a must!
It’s the ideal place, after a tour in Sicily, to spend a day far from the civilization before returning home.
6. Trapani and Paceco salt pans
From Trapani, don’t miss the salt road or via del sale in Italian. it will take you along the salt pans, from Trapani to Marsala. There are on of the major points of interest in the region!
The view of the salt piles and old windmills (used to grind salt) reflected in the water is simply magnificent. The salt pans are inside a nature reserve, which has allowed the restoration of some of the mills. However, most of them are no longer in activity or just used for a small traditional production.
The salt being processed there is nowadays considered a luxury product mainly used for fine cuisine. You can buy some if you want!
By taking the via del sale from Trapani, you will reach Marsala in about 45 minutes by car.
If you don’t know the city, you may know its typical product. Marsala, the famous wine of the same name! If you’ve never tasted it before, this is your chance. Many stalls organize tastings.
And to sober up after all this wine tasting, you should take a walk in the old town.
Here are the must-see attractions in Marsala:
- The Baroque Cathedral dedicated to St. Thomas or Chiesa Madre
- The Republic Square
- The Palace April VII, former Senate palace, now the town hall
- The Saint Joseph’s Church
- The “Baglio Anselmi” archaeological museum, which houses the world’s only Phoenician warship.
- The Saint Peter’s Monastery
- The Carmine church and convent
8. Segesta Temple
30 minutes’ drive from Trapani is one of the most important archaeological remains in the region, the Temple of Segesta.
This ancient city was founded by the Elymes. It has suffered many armed conflicts, notably with the neighbouring city of Selinunte. Today, all that remains is a temple and a theatre.
Segesta Temple, lost in the countryside, is beautifully preserved and offers a panoramic surrounding view. Historians assume that this temple made of 36 Doric columns could never be completed because of the conflicts. The temple never had a roof!
The theatre is located on Mount Barbaro, 400m above sea level. With a capacity of 4,000 spectators in the ancient times, It nowadays still hosts plays and concerts in the summer.
To get to the theatre from the Temple, you will have to follow a 2 km uphill path. If you wish, you can also take a bus to the summit and go back down on foot afterwards.
To visit Segesta, you will have to park on the paid parking, a little far from the site and take the shuttle to the site for 5€. Then you will have to pay the 6€ entrance fee for the temple and theatre.
If you want to take the shuttle to the theatre, it will cost 1.5€. As the organization is not optimal, you will have to pay each time, there is no combined ticket.
9. Mount Cofano Nature Reserve
From Trapani you can go to Monte Cofano Nature Reserve (Riserva Naturale Orientata Monte Cofano). Less known than its “rival”, the Zingaro nature reserve, it’s nevertheless just as pretty.
There are 2 entries in the reserve:
- One on the side of Cornino town (30 minutes’ drive from Trapani)
- The other on the side of San Vito Lo Capo (1 hour from Trapani).
When I went there, I arrived from San Vito Lo Capo. If you can, it’s the best choice, as there are many nice places to see on this side before the reserve.
To get there you will have to take a rather bumpy path but don’t hesitate to continue up to the parking. The access to the reserve is normally paid (2€ per person). However when I was there, it was free because one of the trail was closed (risks of rock fall, too dangerous).
The walk begins on a pleasant flat path along the seaside. Going to the other side of the reserve takes about 1h30 (3hrs round trip) and is very easy. There are many many nice viewpoints along he way, and you will be able to swim in some coves (near the 2 entrances). Don’t forget to take water, a hat and sunscreen as there is no shade at all and nowhere to buy anything.
Another trail leads to the summit of Mount Cofano. This one requires a good physical condition as the climbs gets a bit steep, and you need to use ropes attached to the rocks to go up.
Bring hiking boots and a good equipment, don’t go in flip-flops! You will be rewarded for your efforts with the stunning view from the top of Monte Cofano. Count 4 to 5 hours for the round trip, depending on your walking speed.
10. Trapani’s beaches
If you are staying in Trapani, why not try one of the beaches nearby after your day trips?
There are 2 main beaches in Trapani:
- Lido San Giuliano, about twenty minutes’ walk from the city center. You can find bars and restaurants there. You will be able to rent deckchairs and beach umbrella for the day.
- Lido Paradiso, a fully equipped private beach with a swimming pool for children. The water isn’t deep and the beach is well protected from the wind. Perfect if you travel with children!
You can also swim along the waterfront. There are several places to go on the rocks and a few small beaches where you can put your towel.
Of course they are not the most beautiful beaches of Sicily, but it is enough to cool down after an intense day trip!
11. Zingaro Nature Reserve
The Zingaro Nature Reserve is another great place to visit around Trapani. It’s located about 1 hour away from the city.
Going to the Zingaro is the perfect day trip if you enjoy hiking next to the sea. You can alternate walking and swimming in beautiful coves the whole day!
Palermo, located at 1h30 by car from Trapani, is the closest big city. If you visit the west coast during your road trip in Sicily, you will probably land in Palermo.
Here are the best places to visit in Palermo:
- The Palace of the Normans and the Palatine Chapel, covered with gold mosaics
- St. John of the Hermits church, with its bright red domes
- The cathedral of Palermo: the burrial place of many kings and queens.
- Palermo Regional Archaeological Museum (free entrance)
- The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, which shelter nearly 8000 mummies
- The numerous palaces of Palermo
- The many churches
Around Palermo, you should also visit the famous Monreale Cathedral, a masterpiece of architecture listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can find detailed information about Palermo in my article: The 20 best things to do in Palermo.
13. Selinunte Temples
If you want to visit an archaeological site near Trapani, I would recommend you to go to Selinunte.
It’s located a bit further than Segesta temple (around 1 hour driving from Trapani), but there are a lot more things to see!
There are several temple remains spread over different areas. They are more or less well preserved however, as they have been built on a plain overlooking the sea, the place is really beautiful!
How many days in Trapani?
I advise you to spend at least 2 full days in Trapani, and if possible, 3 days. And if you want to visit more than 1 Aegadian Island, add 1 day per island, with a night on Favignana and/or Levanzo for example!
A day in Trapani
However, if you only have one day in Trapani, I advise you to do the following:
- If you arrive in Trapani from the South, stop on your way to see the salt pans
- Discover Trapani old town and stroll through the streets of the Sicilian city.
- Lunch Break
- Spend your afternoon in Erice, for me the best place to visit in Trapani
- Sunbath and idleness in late afternoon on Trapani’s beach.
2 days in Trapani
In 2 days in Trapani, you can do what I advised above for the 1st day and add:
- A day on one of the Aegadian Islands.It’s really a must-see in the region!
3 days in Trapani
For 3 days in Trapani, you can resume the program of the 2 previous days. You can also:
- Visit Segesta Temple
- Lunch Break
- Walk along the coast in Monte Cofano Nature Reserve or the Zingaro Nature Reserve
- Go swim in one of the reserve coves
4 days in Trapani
If you are lucky enough to spend 4 days in Trapani, you will have the time to go explore Palermo for a day.
And if you prefer archaeological sites, then you should definitely head to Selinunte archaeological park!
Where to stay in Trapani
If you’ve decided to spend the night in Trapani, it’s best to book your hotel immediately. There aren’t a lot of hotels and the best ones are sold out quickly! Here are my favourites:
- Moderno Hotel: The hotel is located in the heart of Trapani old town. Spacious and comfortable double room from 55€ per night, breakfast at 5€. Why I like it: the ideal location, close to restaurants, the beach and the port to take the ferry to the Aegadian Islands.
- Trapani inn Hotel: Located in front of the ferries to Aegadian Islands departure. Modern and well decorated double room from 72€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: located in the heart of the city, a very friendly staff and an excellent breakfast. It’s the best value for money in Trapani!
- San Michele Hotel:Located 5 minutes’ walk from the port, also in Trapani old town. Spacious double room with carefully decorated decoration from 82€, breakfast included. Things I loved: the quiet location, the attentive staff, a good breakfast and large Italian-style showers!
- Residence la Gancia: Located in the heart of Trapani, at 30 meters from the beach. Modern studio apartment with a fully equipped kitchenette starting at 125€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the rooftop terrace to take your breakfast or see the sunset, the great location and the studios design.
- Firriato Hospitality – Baglio Soria: Located at 7km from Trapani center, in the vineyards. Bright double room starting at 200€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the very quiet place, the superb breakfast, the view, the swimming pool, the very helpful staff. If you don’t mind being a bit away from the city center, this is the best choice for a luxury stay in Trapani!
Where to eat in Trapani
- El Medina: A Kebab Restaurant to eat on the go. Located opposite the entrance to Villa Margherita park. Pizza slices are large and delicious for as little as €2! I highly recommend it, the value for money is unbeatable and you will come out satisfied. We only tested the pizzas but they also offer kebabs and cabuci (typical Sicilian sandwiches).
- Il Grilli: Located on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Restaurant specialized in meats with a simple side dish of potatoes and salad. Great choice of meat from all over the world for a super affordable price. Very good wine list.
- Trattoria La Golosa: Located on Via Salemi, away from the city center. Trattoria offering authentic Sicilian cuisine. Fresh and local produce. Generous and delicious dishes for a very reasonable price. The chef himself will explain you the menu. A hidden gem!
My impressions of Trapani
I really liked Trapani, especially for the variety of things to do!
You can enjoy magnificent coves, swim or hike on the Aegadian Islands or in Monte Cofano nature reserve, visit Erice medieval village, the Paceco salt pans or the temple of Segesta.
It’s always nice to mix several experiences in a few days, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too!
Of course, Erice and Favignana are very touristic places but it didn’t bothered me much this time. You can always find a quiet place, away from the crowd, to enjoy the time with your lover, friends or family.
Sicily travel Guides
- Buy the Lonely Planet Sicily guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the DK Eyewitness Sicily guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
You’re traveling in Sicily? These articles will help you!
Discover all my articles about Sicily: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Sicily are listed there.
- Itinerary: 10 days in Sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions! (West coast)
- Agrigento: The 10 best things to do in and around the city
- Palermo: The 15 things to do in the capital
- Syracuse: The 15 best things to discover