Are you looking for the best things to do in Taormina, Sicily? If yes, then this article is perfect for you!
In this article, I have listed some of the top spots for sightseeing in Taormina, Sicily to make it easier for you to plan a trip.
We have also shared some options for where to stay in Taormina to help you book a comfortable stay for your trip.
Now, let’s first come to the commonly asked question, where is Taormina Italy?
Taormina is located on top of a cliff on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, and offers stunning views of the blue Ionian Sea.
In this historic city, you will find plenty of charming squares, bustling streets, beautiful churches, and more.
There is no shortage of things to do here and one can easily spend a few days exploring the antique shops, eating at the local cafes, and lounging at the beaches.
Are you confused about what to do in Taormina in Sicily? Well, then read our list of the 15 Best Things to Do in Taormina that you must add to your bucket list!
Things to Do in Taormina: 15 Ideas For Your Bucket List
1) Begin Your Visit at Porta Catania
A popular Taormina sightseeing point, Porta Catania is a historic archway carved into a wall that once protected the ancient city of Taormina.
This is a great spot for photographs and you will find the street lined with cafes and shops that you can explore.
It is also known as ‘Porta del Tocco’ as public meetings were held in the small square beside it. I also feel it makes for a great meeting point in case you get lost or are separated from your group.
So, if you are exploring Taormina, one of the best things to do is visit the Porta Catania.
Tickets Here: Taormina Half-Day Private Walking Tour
Tickets Here: Taormina: Food and Wine Small-Group Walking Tour
2) Stroll Through the Streets of Corso Umberto
The Corso Umberto is the main pedestrian-only street in Taormina.
It stretches between Porta Catania and Porta Messina and is lined with beautiful ornate buildings that feature flower-draped balconies, antique clocks, and more.
I loved walking on this busy street as it also has a lot of luxury shops, boutiques, and jewelry to explore.
Apart from that, I also found the street to have a plethora of amazing cafe and restaurant options which certainly left me confused about where to eat.
Tickets Here: Taormina Half-Day Sicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour
3) Visit The ‘Fortress’ Cathedral Of San Nicola
If you are still wondering about what to do in Taormina, then I recommend spending some time at the peaceful Cathedral of San Nicola.
This Roman Catholic church and cathedral in Taormina is located opposite the Town Hall in Piazza del Duomo.
When you first see it, it looks more like a fortress than a church, hence the name “fortress cathedral”.
It has a very long and interesting history and has been rebuilt several times in the past which is why you will notice both medieval and modern features on it.
Although the interiors are not unique in any way, it is still a great place to visit in Taormina if you are looking for some peace.
Tickets Here: Taormina Private walking tour
4) Visiting The Fountain Piazza Duomo Is One Of The Best Things To Do In Taormina
On my walking tour in Taormina, I learned that each church in Taormina has its corresponding piazza or square.
The Piazza Duomo is situated next to the Cathedral of Taormina, a.k.a Cathedral of San Nicola, near Porta Catania.
This piazza is popular for its unique Baroque Fountain of Taormina which is highly ornate in the baroque style.
At the center of the basin, you will see a female minotaur atop a column. She is half human and half horse and the very symbol of Taormina.
Tickets Here: 3-Hour Taormina Segway PT Authorized Tour
5) Church Of St Catherine
Another great attraction for sightseeing in Taormina is the Church of Saint Catherine.
It is a beautiful Baroque church and has a Greek-Roman lineage.
You will notice the Baroque touches on the outside with elaborate statues and a small bell tower.
Inside the church, I found it to be magnificent and glorious.
I was lucky enough to visit this charming place when I booked my Holland America Mediterranean Cruise and would recommend the same.
6) Corvaja Palace
One of the best things to do in Taormina Sicily is to visit the famous Corvaja Palace which is located across the Piazza Badia from the Church of St Catherine.
On my walking tour, I learned that it was built by the Arabs in the tenth century.
It is a wonderful example of Arab architecture in its Islamic-style tower. Due to its renovation over the years, you will see touches of Norman and Gothic architecture as well.
Although this palace was the meeting place of the Sicilian Parliament of Nobles at one time, it is now used for art and history exhibitions.
So, if you are interested in history and architecture, then do visit this Taormina sightseeing spot.
7) Marvel At The Teatro Antico di Taormina
Are you wondering what to see in Taormina apart from the ancient churches and piazzas?
Well, then one of the best things to do in Taormina is to visit the ancient theatre of Taormina, “Teatro Antico di Taormina.”
This open-air theatre was built by the Greeks and was later renovated by the Romans.
Due to the amazing acoustics, concerts, and shows are happening here in the present day as well.
When I visited, the theatre was being restored and partially restricted. However, the walking tour I was on was still able to walk through the entire structure.
8) Rest At Piazza IX Aprile
Taormina in Sicily is home to many beautiful piazzas including the famous Piazza IX Aprile.
It is in the center of Corso Umberto and offers the absolute BEST views of the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna.
There are plenty of great bars and restaurants here as well, making it the best piazza to spend time in Taormina.
I particularly loved roaming this location in the evening when the entire place gets lit up.
Tickets Here: Taormina: Arancino Making Class with Drinks and Meal
9) Church Of San Guiseppe
If you are wondering about what to visit in Taormina, then the Church of San Guiseppe is one of the top attractions here.
It is the highlight of Located of Piazza IX Aprile and features beautiful Baroque architecture.
Built in the late 1600s to early 1700s, the church is located right next to the clock tower.
For architecture lovers, this is one of the best things to do in Taormina Sicily.
9) Hike Up To The Madonna Del Rocca Church
One of my favorite things to do in Taormina was hiking up to the Madonna Del Rocca Church.
It is a steep climb and you will need good sturdy walking shoes. Plus, drink loads of water when doing it.
However, the humble church dedicated to Mary at the top is worth your efforts. And of course the views.
The church has limited visiting hours, so be sure to check before you plan your visit.
10) One Of The Best Things To Do In Taormina Is Visiting Taormina Castle
Are you looking for more ideas for what to visit in Taormina? If yes, then one of the best things to do in Taormina is to visit Taormina Castle.
It is located on top of Monte Tauro and features crumbling walls that overlook the city and the sea.
I hiked to the castle for which the staircase starts from the Church of the Madonna Del Rocca.
Sadly, this fortification is not open to the public and there is no entrance.
However, the stunning views from atop Mount Tauro are worth the hike.
If Taormina is in your Italy Itinerary, then don’t miss Taormina Castle!
11) Soak Up Some Sun At Isola Bella Beach
This Taormina beach is famous as the ‘Pearl of the Ionian Sea’ due to its stunning rock formations, tombolo beach, and turquoise waters.
You can take the Taormina cable car ride to reach this beach from downtown.
The views are breathtaking on the way down and at the bottom, you only have a short walk to the beach.
Or if you enjoy walking as I do, walking down to the Taormina beach is also an option.
For water lovers, visiting Isola Bella Beach is one of the top things to do in Taormina Sicily.
Tickets Here: Giardini Naxos: Boat Trip Isola Bella with Snorkeling
Tickets Here: Giardini Naxos: Semi-Submarine Tour to Isola Bella
12) Explore the Public Gardens of Villa Communale
One of my favorite and most refreshing things to do in Taormina was walking in the municipal park of Villa Communale.
The park is located on a cliff and offers stunning views of Mount Etna and the sea.
There is lush, green vegetation and plenty of shaded alleys here for a pleasant evening stroll during the hot months.
You will find here pines, palms, cypresses, and countless rare species as well.
For nature lovers, this park is one of the best things to do in Taormina.
13) Swim at Giardini Naxos
Do you love swimming and sunbathing on a beach?
If the answer is yes, then one of the best things to do in Taormina is to spend a day at Giardini Naxos.
It is a 15-minute drive from the city and is a cute fishing village that offers beautiful sea views.
I found many bars, restaurants, and resorts lining the beach here so, you have plenty of options.
Apart from swimming and sunbathing, one can also enjoy the bay views or explore the archaeological sites nearby.
Tickets Here: Giardini Naxos Taormina Sunset Dolphin Watching Tour
14) Sant Agostino Church
Another beautiful church that I recommend you visit is the Sant Agostino Church.
Built in 1448, this church is in the Piazza IX Aprille and you can explore it on an evening stroll.
The original church features Gothic architecture but after the 1700s renovations, only the small rosette window from the original structure remains.
Presently, this church functions as a public library and is the perfect place to spend a quiet evening in Taormina, Sicily.
If you are flying to Sicily, here is information on how to handle a long-haul flight.
15) Visit the Village of Castelmola
Are you still wondering about what to see in Taormina?
Then, do plan a visit to the Castelmola village which lies on a mountaintop.
This medieval town is a 15-minute drive from Taormina, Sicily, and is home to several historic sites that visitors can explore.
Built to protect Taormina from invaders, this hillside village offers gorgeous views of the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna.
I also loved visiting the ruins of the Normal Castle, the Church of St. Nicholas of Bari, and more here.
So, do set aside some time for the historic village near Taormina.
Tickets Here: Tour da Messina a Taormina, Castelmola, Isola Bella
Where to Stay in Taormina Sicily
Hotel Villino Gallodoro – If you are looking for a budget-friendly yet comfortable stay in Taormina, then Hotel Villino Gallodoro is the perfect choice.
It is 700m from Isola Bella and offers rooms with terraces or balconies. Enjoy beautiful ocean views from this budget hotel in Taormina, Sicily.
Excelsior Palace Hotel – For a luxurious experience, stay in Excelsior Palace Hotel which is a Moorish-style building.
The hotel features elegant wood furnishings and parquet floors, and a few have balconies with sea views. You will particularly love the outdoor pool that offers views of Mount Etna.
Hotel Villa Diodoro – One of the best hillside hotels, Hotel Villa Diodoro is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a luxurious experience at a reasonable cost.
It is a minute walk to the city’s center and features a pool and a sun terrace that guests use.
Packing Tips For Things To Do In Taormina
Read my tips on how to pack lightly here.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
This world traveler adapter kit can charge several devices at the same time.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips. It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek Selfie Stick and Tripod for my birthday. It has Bloothtooth connectivity so it is very easy to use.
These Bagail packing cubes are the exact ones I use whenever I travel. I cannot believe how much more organized I am now!
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it will fit nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse.
And the Bobble replaceable carbon filter ensures fresh clean water whenever and wherever you fill the Bobble.
You will want to bring a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc… This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great.
Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your international travel. This antitheft backpack has a charging port, is water-resistant, and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.
It comes in a range of colors to choose from and it is inexpensive as well.
And let us not forget the beach shoes for Taormina’s pebbly beaches. These quick dry slip on aqua shoes are a great selection. They come in a ton of bright colors for men, women, and children.
I also sometimes bring along my Vionic Tides flip flops. The toe post is so comfortable which makes wearing these super comfortable.
These unisex polarized sunglasses come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.
If you are fond of the aviator-style of sunglasses these polarized aviators may interest you.
Don’t forget to bring along a universal power adapter on your trip to Taormina.
And this world traveler adapter kit can charge several devices at the same time.
This is what you will need when there are several people traveling in your group, or if you bring several electronic devices on your trip that require charging at the same time.
If you are in need of new luggage, this expandable soft side spinner luggage is affordable and comes in lots of colors. If you like hard-sided better, then you may favor this hard-sided luggage set better.
As an ASmazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Quick Tips For Your Visit to Taormina
If you are flying into Italy, then avoid getting sick on your plane and be prepared
Before you leave home, contact your credit card company and check to see if your credit card does or does not have foreign transaction fees.
If it does, inquire about the possibility of applying for one that does not carry foreign transaction fees attached to it (the small fee charged you whenever you use your card out of your home country.)
Also, remember to notify your bank of the dates you will be out of the country.
When you visit an ATM in Taormina, check to be sure it is on the same network as your bank, so you are not charged a transaction fee every time you withdraw cash.
Withdrawing larger amounts of money will help you limit bank transition fees. Italy’s form of currency is the Euro.
Purchase advanced tickets to attractions whenever possible.
Admission tickets purchased online are usually offered at a discount, and you will save a lot of time waiting in lines to buy tickets at the individual attractions.
Your things to do in Taormina list will flow more effortlessly when you have your plan and can pace yourself. And not have to worry about the availability of tickets at each location you wish to visit.
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