Things to do in

Catania

Between Mount Etna and the sea, this vibrant and down-to-earth Sicilian city is an architectural melting pot.

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10 Things to do In Catania

The Renaissance certainly flourished in Catania, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily. Come to enjoy the grapes from vines fertilized by volcanic dust and stay to sample both the Greek and Roman influence in this coastal city.

  • Mount Etna

    1. Mount Etna

    What can compare to the thrill of visiting an active volcano? Perhaps knowing that Mount Etna is also the tallest active volcano on the entire European continent should spice up your visit.

  • Castello Ursino

    2. Castello Ursino

    This thirteenth century castle will take your breath away. It was built for the Kingdom of Sicily, back when Sicily was a kingdom and today houses a museum open to the public.

  • Catania Cathedral

    3. Catania Cathedral

    The Catania Cathedral has been shaken to its very foundation several times thanks to dear old volcano Mount Etna. Still, humans persevered and kept rebuilding the cathedral. Behold the Baroque style of the structure with your own eyes.

  • San Benedetto, Catania

    4. San Benedetto, Catania

    Marvel at intricate frescoes on your visit to San Benedetto, a beautiful monastery. You'll be pleased to learn that San Benedetto even offers audio guides in multiple languages for visitors.

  • Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania

    5. Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania

    Tickets to the theater aren't necessary if you're cruising by to see the stunning architecture of this opera house. The 200 years it took to complete the Teatro Massimo Bellini were well worth the effort.

  • Basilica della Collegiata

    6. Basilica della Collegiata

    A pristine example of Sicilian Baroque architecture, the Basilica della Collegiata was built in the 18th century following the destruction caused by the earthquake of 1693.

  • Palazzo degli Elefanti

    7. Palazzo degli Elefanti

    Only in Italy would government bureaucracy decide to make the City Town Hall inside a palace. After you tour the Palazzo continue exploring Cathedral Square. The palace is located on the northern side of the square.

  • Roman Amphitheater

    8. Roman Amphitheater

    The amphitheater in Catania is only a bit smaller than the Colosseum in Rome and can hold up to 16,000 visitors. Inside you can explore the nooks and crannies of a historic Roman amphitheater.

  • 9. Monastero dei Benedettini

    Any trip to Catania would be incomplete without a stop at the Monastero dei Benedettini. The Monastery offers a variety of guided tours and it is possible for visitors to see the faculty library, Diocesan museum, and more.

  • Piazza Duomo

    10. Piazza Duomo

    Located in one of the main squares in Catania, the Piazza Duomo is famous for the elephant statue, the Lenzulo fountain, and of course the Duomo. Climb up to the top of the Duomo to look over the whole city.

Frequently asked questions about Catania

Planning Your Visit

  • How to Get Around in Catania

    You can take your pick of trains, buses and even boats when you're traversing Catania. Of course, its always fun to roam around on foot too, and take in more sights. The transportation network is sometimes slow but functional. Make sure to validate your bus ticket as inspectors sometimes check tickets in transit.

  • Where to stay in Catania

    Stay near the Piazza Duomo for easy access to the center city and a scenic evening stroll home. You can choose from a variety of hotels in the area, no matter what your budget.

  • What is the weather like in Catania?

    Though temperatures never go below zero in Catania, for the full experience of this charming Sicilian town, we recommend you visit between the months of May and October. The hottest months are July and August but temperatures don't exceed the mid 80s.

Good to know

  • Language
    Sicilian and Italian
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +39
  • Best time to visit
    The best time to visit Catania is in the summer time. The warmer months are the perfect backdrop for sightseeing, tasting local cuisine, and enjoying the Sicilian landscape.

Other Sightseeing Options in Catania

Want to discover all there is to do in Catania? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Catania

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 6,049 reviews

The whole experience was just excellent! They came to pick (four of) us up in Augusta, which is 40+ kilometers from Catania to the south. They already earned a big plus with that, so we did not really mind that they arrived a bit late - and we were on holidays after all. And then Teresa showed up with her positive energy and attitude that stayed with us for the whole day! She explained a lot of things about Etna, life on Sicily, its history! Wine and lunch? Bunch of incredible appetizers and five wines - perfect; at the end we were all full! Perhaps a small minus was the van, as it was not really in the best shape - but on the other side, it gave us the real experience of Sicily, where people also drive a bit differently. :) - Would I repeat it? Definitely!

My husband & I loved this trip to Mt Etna! Our guide Daniele was fantastic with an excellent knowledge of geology and history. He spoke English & Italian to our fun group of travelers from around the world. Mt Etna was quite dramatic the day we went and was highly eruptive (lots of smoke, lava, sound). It was exciting and he assured us we were at a safe distance. We also strolled in underground lava tube, hiked to the top of a crater and sipped wine grown in the area. It was perfect for us because the van picked us up and dropped us off at our hotel in Catania, and was a very good value. The driver was also excellent.

Due to current restrictions we were allowed to do only the cable car, hike part and received a small refund. Perhaps GetYourGuide needs to reflect availability of tours, not just sell something and advice a day later (afternoon before trip) that this trip isn’t available. Experience itself was great, knowledgeable guides who were keen to share information and photos of recent eruptions, very well organised trip and highly recommended. Etna is fairly active currently so there are many restrictions to hike, guided tours are permitted to go much higher up. Hike lasted around 5 hours and was fairly strenuous at times.

Great experience! The guide was really nice. He offered to lend us shoes and coats for the hike, good communication, he was great ! The hike was also super, the views are incredible and it’s reassuring to be with someone who know really well the Mount Etna. I had fun, thank you !

The trip was well organised and thoroughly enjoyed, our guide Simon provide us information about mt.etna and the history of the eruptions and the formation. He made the tour a relaxed but enjoyable tour with interacting and making jokes through out the trip.