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grand buildings in Catania, Sicily

Catania is a Sicilian city located on the east coast overlooking the Ionian Sea and towards Mount Etna. With gorgeous historical buildings, piazzas and public gardens, and delicious restaurants, it’s just waiting for you to explore. Dive into our complete guide to help inspire your upcoming trip now.

Table of Contents:

Where is Catania?

Catania is on the eastern side of Sicily, which is one of Italy’s most popular islands for holidays. Half way down the coast, the Sicilian city overlooks the Ionian Sea.

What Time of Year Should I Visit Catania?

When planning your Italian family holiday, the first factor that comes to mind is the Sicilian weather. We’ve got the low down on the best times of year to visit Catania:

  • Spring (April – May) – The weather at this time of year is pleasant, whilst the season is less crowded and offers cheaper prices when compared to the busy summer period.
  • Summer (June – August) – Hot and sunny – ideal for beach go-ers! As this is peak tourist season you will find it is more crowded and prices more expensive.
  • Autumn (September – October) – As with spring, the autumn sees milder temperatures in Catania that lend themselves to exploring. As it is off-season you can expect fewer crowds and lower prices.
  • Winter – The coldest season with a high chance of rain. This is the least busy time of year and offers the best prices.

How to Get to Caltanissetta

Catania is home to the busiest airport in Sicily, handling over 9 million passengers a year. For those travelling from abroad or elsewhere in Italy, then this is the best option to get to the city.

There is also a train station here which provides trains around Sicily and beyond.

Are There Direct Flights from London to Catania?

As Sicily’s busiest airport, there are plenty of direct flights to and from London. With well-known airlines including British Airways, easyJet, and Ryanair all having regular routes that take roughly 3 hrs and 10 mins.

a bustling Catania street

Best Things to Do in Catania

Catania is a lovely coastal city in Sicily and it has so much to offer visitors and locals alike. We’ve narrowed it down to our top 5 things to do in Catania for you:

  1. Explore the Roman Theatre – The Roman Theatre is thought to have been built in the 2nd Century AD and was designed to seat 7,000 attendants. Today whilst the theatre is in ruins, it can still be explored to take in the wonder of ancient civilisation. 
  2. Stroll Around Piazza del Duomo – Also called Cathedral Square, this Piazza is in the heart of Catania. Boasting a Baroque style cathedral, a gorgeous fountain made from black lava stone, and plenty of cafes to sit and enjoy the view.
  3. Take in the Monastery of San Nicolo l’Arena – This Benedictine monastery was founded in the 16th century with building works going on through both the 1669 eruption of Mount Etna and a later earthquake in 1693. It is the second largest Benedictine monastery in Europe and is crafted from volcanic lava stone. It is no longer a working monastery but is home to the Humanities department of the local university.
  4. Take a Day Trip to Mount Etna – If you’re wanting to take in the famous volcano Mount Etna, then take a day trip from Catania. You can get to Etna via a 2 hour bus that goes from the train station, or hire a car for a drive that’s just over an hour.
  5. Basque in the Weather at Giardino Bellini – A beautiful public garden that’s just calling for you to take a picnic full of Sicilian delicacies to enjoy in the warm weather.

Best Hotels in Catania for Your Budget

When you need a break from exploring the city, it’s time to have a rest in your comfy hotel room. Here are our top hotel picks in Catania, one for every budget.

  • Romano Palace Luxury Hotel – A five star hotel that boasts not only a gorgeous outdoor pool, but its own private beach, luxurious restaurant and a pizzeria.
  • Duomo Suites & Spa – A mid-tier hotel choice in Catania, this charming abode boasts rooms themed on the cinema. You’ll also find it has a spa and a gorgeous rooftop offering views over the city.
  • B&B Affittacamere City Hall – This spot is a budget hotel choice, with comfortable rooms and a central location – what more could you want?
baroque style building in Catania

Best Restaurants in Catania for All Taste Buds

Enjoying a gastronomy tour of Sicily? We’ve drawn together the most highly reviewed restaurants in the city to help guide you to which you should be visiting on your trip.

  • Etnea – Etnea is a rooftop bar and restaurant, giving fabulous views over the city all the way to Mount Etna, whilst serving up delicious local food.
  • Catania Ruffiana – Looking for classic Sicilian seafood? Look no further than this rustic spot. With fresh fish served everyday and a fabulous local wine menu – you’re sure to enjoy it.
  • Vuciata – For a low-key spot for a meal, head to Vuciata that specialises in seafood and pasta (and what’s a trip to Scicily without indulging in copious amounts of pasta?).
small blue and red boats moored on the Catania coast in Sicily

Is Catania Featured in Any Movies or TV Shows?

Due to its stunning natural beauty, Sicily has long been a popular location for movies and TV shows. Catania itself has featured as a backdrop in the famous Godfather trilogy, as well as being the primary location for 2024 Italian crime show Vania.


What is Catania Best Known For?

Catania is best known for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as being one of the key logistical hubs in Sicily.

Does Catania Have a Beach?

Yes, the city has a beach called ‘The Playa of Catania’ with gorgeous sand and sea.

Is Catania Tourist Friendly?

Yes it is considered safe for tourists, as with all tourist areas be aware of pickpockets however.

Experience All That Sicily Has to Offer

Want to explore more regions of Sicily? Look no further than our series of complete guides featuring: Palermo, Caltanissetta, Trapani, and Agrigento.


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