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Uber is available in some parts of Sicily, offering travelers a convenient and familiar mode of transportation. However, Uber works slightly differently in Sicily than in other regions, and understanding both Uber and the local transport scene is essential to help you navigate.

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. As a major tourist destination in Italy, it offers a variety of transportation options to navigate its picturesque cities and towns. If you’re planning a trip to southern Italy you might be wondering, is there Uber in Sicily? and what other options exist for transport? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll breakdown everything you need to know before you go.

Uber In Sicily

Drawing of a car with a phone in the background showing a map and a girl holding her phone
Image from FreePik

Uber is indeed available in Sicily, though at this stage its presence is mostly found in larger cities like Palermo and Messina. Outside of the larger towns and cities, it may be difficult to find a ride using the Uber app and you may need to rely on other forms of transport.

Introduced as part of Uber’s expansion in Italy, it has become a favored choice for many travelers due to its ease of use and transparent pricing.

However, unlike other regions where Uber offers a variety of vehicles and ride types Uber in Sicily is restricted to only a couple of options. Most notably the ubiquitous UberX, an affordable ride-share option in many parts of the world is not available in Sicily. Instead Uber in Sicily are Uber Black and Uber Van

Uber Black


Uber Black is a premium ride service offered by Uber. This service features high-end, luxury vehicles driven by professional drivers. As a premium service, Uber Black also attracts a premium price.

Uber Van


Uber Van, is a ride service offered by Uber that is specifically designed to accommodate larger groups or passengers with additional luggage. Uber Van vehicles can typically accommodate up to 6 passengers, making them ideal for larger groups or families.

Uber Van is a more expensive service than other Uber services but can be economical and convenient when traveling with larger groups.

Are Ubers Cheap in Sicily?

No. Because Uber in Sicily is restricted to two premium services, Uber is expensive in Sicily compared to other regions.

However, in comparison to local taxis, Uber can sometimes offer more competitive pricing, especially in tourist-heavy areas. Another benefit is Ubers transparent pricing model which allows you to see the cost before accepting the ride.

It’s also important to note that during peak times or in less populated areas, prices may surge.

How Much Does Uber Cost in Sicily?

Uber fares in Sicily are calculated based on a standard formula: a base fare plus a per-minute and per-kilometer charge. For instance, a typical Uber ride from Falcone Borsellino Airport (Palermo) to Palermo city center might cost around €50, but this can vary based on traffic conditions and the time of day.

How Do You Pay for Uber in Sicily?

Payments for Uber rides in Sicily can be made through the app using various methods, including credit/debit cards and PayPal. Cash payments are also possible but yo must select this option in the app before booking a ride.

Common Uber Issues in Sicily

One common issue with Uber in Sicily is a shortage of vehicles. There can be long wait times for cars outside of major hubs like Palermo.

This shortage of vehicles can also lead to surge pricing during peak travel times.

Do I Need to Tip Uber Drivers in Sicily?

Tipping is not customary in Sicily, and this applies to Uber drivers as well. However, passengers may choose to tip for exceptional service.

Are There Other Ride-sharing Apps in Sicily?

In Sicily, Uber is currently the only ridesharing app available. As of now, other rideshare providers such as Lyft and Bolt have not expanded their services to Palermo, limiting the options for those seeking private driver services to either Uber or conventional taxi cabs.

While Palermo lacks a diverse range of true ridesharing applications, several taxi-oriented apps are available. These apps, although primarily connecting users with licensed taxis (instead f private drivers), do offer features similar to ridesharing apps, including some level of functionality and transparency typical of such services.

Taxis in Sicily

Two people hailing a taxi with a phone in the background showing the starting and ending points.

Taxis are a popular mode of transport in Sicily, especially in cities and at airports or train stations.

Are Taxis Cheap in Sicily?

Taxis in Sicily are quite expensive compared to other regions. They can be more expensive than Uber, particularly when it comes to longer distances. Prices also tend to vary between different cities and regions.

How Much Do Taxis Cost in Sicily?

Taxi fares in Sicily typically start with a base fare, with additional charges per kilometer. For instance, a taxi from Palermo Airport to Palermo city center might cost around €50. Note that there can be extra charges for luggage, night rides, or rides on public holidays.

Do Taxis Accept Credit Cards in Sicily?

While many taxis now accept credit cards, it’s not universal. It’s advisable to check with the driver before starting your journey or to carry some cash.

How Do I Catch a Taxi in Sicily?

Taxis can be hailed on the street, found at designated taxi stands, or booked via phone. In larger cities like Palermo and Catania, finding a taxi is generally easy, especially in central areas and near tourist attractions.

Taxi Phone Numbers in Sicily

There is no central taxi service for the whole of Sicily, rather, towns and regions have there own taxi services. It is recommended to research a couple or reputable taxi companies in each place you plan to visit so you have some phone numbers of reliable taxi companies. You can also ask accommodation providers for taxi recommendations.

Taxi Apps in Sicily

There are several taxi apps that work in Sicily that provide much of the functionality of rideshare apps (like Uber) but connect riders with licensed taxis.

Two popular services in Sicily are:

Are Taxis Safe in Sicily?

Taxis in Sicily are generally safe and operate under strict regulatory guidelines. However, it’s important to exercise caution and ensure you are using a licensed taxi, as is advisable in any location.

Common Taxi Issues and Scams in Sicily:

  • Overcharging: A prevalent issue in tourist areas, including Sicily, is the tendency of some taxi drivers to charge higher rates, particularly from tourists unfamiliar with the standard fares. It’s advisable to check if the meter is on or negotiate a fare beforehand for fixed-rate routes. Consulting your hotel or a local for fare estimates is also a good practice.
  • Additional Fees: Be vigilant about confirming the total fare before beginning your ride, as some drivers might attempt to add extra fees later, such as for luggage.
  • Indirect Routes: There’s a possibility of drivers taking longer routes, which can result in higher fares. This can happen either intentionally or unintentionally.
  • Non-usage of Meters: Some taxis might not use their meters, sometimes claiming they are broken, which can lead to arbitrary and inflated fares. Always ask if the meter will be used before the journey starts.
  • Language Barrier: Differences in language may cause misunderstandings regarding destinations or fares.
  • Scarcity during Peak Hours: Finding a taxi can be more challenging during busy periods, leading to extended waiting times.
  • Refusal of Short Trips: Drivers may sometimes decline short trips in favor of longer, more profitable journeys. You may need to incentivize drivers with a higher fare in this case or resort to other forms of transport.
  • Refusal of Long Trips: Conversely, some drivers may refuse to accept fares from busy areas to far away destinations if they don’t believe they will find a return journey. In this instance, you may need to negotiate with drivers or book a private transfer.
  • Issues with Change: Drivers may not have, or claim not to have, sufficient change, which can cause inconvenience. Carrying smaller notes and coins is recommended.

These tips can help ensure a more secure and fair taxi experience in Sicily.

Do I Need to Tip Taxi Drivers in Sicily?

Tipping taxi drivers in Sicily is not customary, but rounding up the fare is a common practice.

Other Ways to Get Around Sicily

Sicily offers a variety of transportation options beyond taxis and ride-sharing services. Each mode offers a unique way to explore the island’s diverse landscapes and cities.

Public Buses

Public buses are a cost-effective way to travel around Sicily, connecting major cities, towns, and even some rural areas. Bus services like AST, Interbus, and SAIS Autolinee offer extensive routes. Tickets are relatively inexpensive, and schedules can be found at local bus stations or online.

  • Fare Estimates: Bus fares in Sicily vary depending on the route and distance. For example, a one-way ticket for a short journey within a city might cost around €1.50 to €2.50. Longer inter-city journeys can range from €5 to €20.
  • Resources:

Trains

Trenitalia operates train services across Sicily, connecting key cities and towns. Train travel offers scenic views and comfort, especially for longer journeys. Prices vary depending on the distance and train type. It’s recommended to check the Trenitalia website for schedules and fares.

  • Fare Estimates: Train fares depend on the distance and type of train. A regional train ticket from Palermo to Cefalù might cost around €8, while a longer journey like Palermo to Catania could be around €15-€25.
  • Resources: Trenitalia.

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Car Rentals

Renting a car provides the freedom to explore Sicily at your own pace, especially for visiting more remote areas or coastal regions. Numerous rental agencies operate at airports and in major cities. Remember that driving in Sicily can be challenging due to narrow roads and unique driving styles.

  • Fare Estimates: The cost of renting a car in Sicily starts from about €30 per day for a small car, but this can vary widely based on the car type, rental period, and season.
  • Resources: Major rental companies like Europcar, Hertz, and Avis operate in Sicily.

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Bicycles and Scooters

For short distances or leisurely exploration, renting bicycles or scooters can be a fun option. Many tourist areas and larger cities offer rental services.

  • Fare Estimates: Bicycle rentals typically start from around €10-€15 per day. Scooter rentals can start from around €25-€40 per day.
  • Resources: Local rental shops are prevalent in tourist areas and major cities. It’s best to check locally for the best options and deals.

Ferries

To visit the smaller islands around Sicily or to travel from the mainland, ferries are a convenient option. Companies like Siremar and Ustica Lines operate regular services to islands like the Aeolian, Egadi, and Pelagie archipelagos.

  • Fare Estimates: Ferry prices depend on the destination and type of service (fast ferry vs. standard ferry). For example, a one-way standard ferry ticket from Milazzo to Lipari (Aeolian Islands) might cost around €13-€20.
  • Resources:

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How Do I Get from the International Airport to the City Center?

Passengers with luggage in airport flat illustration
Image by pch.vector on Freepik

Traveling from Sicily’s international airports to the city centers can be conveniently managed through various modes of transportation. Here are the options for the main airports:

Falcone Borsellino Airport (Palermo)

  1. Bus: The Prestia e Comandè bus service connects the airport to Palermo city center, with tickets costing around €6-€8. The journey takes about 40-50 minutes. Prestia e Comandè Website
  2. Taxi: A taxi ride to the city center can cost around €35-€75, depending on time of day, traffic and exact destination.
  3. Shared Taxi: It is possible to catch a shared taxi from the airport for as little as €8
  4. Uber and Ride-sharing Services: Uber and similar services are available, offering a convenient option with varying prices based on demand and time of day.

Catania-Fontanarossa Airport

  1. Bus: The AMT Alibus service connects the airport to Catania city center and the main train station. Tickets are approximately €4, and the journey takes about 20-30 minutes. AMT Alibus Information
  2. Taxi: The taxi fare from the airport to the city center is typically around €20-€30.
  3. Uber and Ride-sharing Services: Available for a convenient transfer, with prices subject to real-time demand.

WiFi Availability in Sicilian Airports

Sicily’s main airports generally offer WiFi services to passengers, allowing them to stay connected during their travel. Here’s a brief overview:

Falcone Borsellino Airport (Palermo)

  • WiFi Service: Falcone Borsellino Airport provides free WiFi for passengers. You can connect to the airport’s network, usually by registering or logging in through a portal page.

Catania-Fontanarossa Airport

  • WiFi Service: Catania Airport also offers free WiFi access. Similar to Palermo, passengers can connect by following the instructions provided at the airport.

Other Airports in Sicily

  • Smaller airports in Sicily, such as Trapani-Birgi Airport and Comiso Airport, typically offer WiFi services as well. However, the availability and quality of the service may vary.

Is There Uber Eats in Sicily?

Uber Eats is not available across Sicily. However, the region offers a variety of alternative food delivery services that connect you with a wide array of culinary choices, ranging from authentic Sicilian dishes to international cuisine:

  1. Just Eat Italy: This popular food delivery service operates in various parts of Sicily, offering a broad selection of restaurants and diverse cuisines. It’s part of Just Eat Italy’s network.
  2. Deliveroo Italy: Known for its quick and reliable service, Deliveroo is available in several Sicilian locations, providing access to many local restaurants. It’s part of Deliveroo Italy.
  3. Glovo: Glovo serves numerous areas in Sicily, delivering not just food but also other essentials like groceries and pharmaceuticals.
  4. Local Restaurants: Across Sicily, many local restaurants offer their own delivery services or collaborate with local delivery apps. This provides a convenient way to enjoy the rich flavors of Sicilian cuisine right at your doorstep.

These services are particularly handy for savoring a meal comfortably at your accommodation, especially beneficial after a day spent exploring the diverse and scenic landscapes of Sicily.

Final Thoughts on Uber in Sicily

Uber in Sicily offers a familiar and reliable option for many travelers, complementing the island’s diverse transportation network. Its ease of use, transparent pricing, and availability in major cities make it a convenient choice for airport transfers, city-to-city travel, or exploring tourist attractions.

While Uber is not always the cheapest option, particularly during high demand, it provides a level of convenience and safety appreciated by many visitors. The availability of alternatives like local taxis, public transport, and other ride-sharing services ensures that travelers have a range of options to suit their preferences and needs.

Exploring Sicily, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, is made easier with the variety of transportation options available. Whether opting for the convenience of Uber, the scenic routes of trains, the flexibility of car rentals, or the authenticity of local buses, each mode of transport offers a unique way to experience the beauty and diversity of Sicily.

For more information on transportation in Sicily, visiting the official tourism websites or the specific transportation service websites can provide the latest updates and detailed guides.

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