Honestly, during my time in Italy, I’ve never thought about traveling to Trapani, Sicily. When I do search online, I often see that Trapani doesn’t seem to have anything to do. It wasn’t until this year, due to the impact of the pandemic caused me to decide to go to Trapani with my friend. When I planned this trip, I also just decided to go to the beach and nothing more. But in the end, Trapani was a well-deserved surprise. A place that proves that simplicity brings wonderful things. And importantly, remember that never impose your personal opinion on a place you have never been to. So, is Trapani worth visiting, what to do in Trapani, Italy and how to plan a perfect budget trip to Trapani for the first-time? Let’s check out our Trapani blog with the fullest Trapani travel guide (Trapani Italy guide) from how to get to Trapani, where to stay, what to see and top things to do in Trapani to find out the answer!
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Trapani blog: What to know before traveling to Trapani?
Traveling to Trapani is quite easy because it is one of the quite large cities in Sicily with the Vincenzo Florio (aka Birgi) airport. However, you will maybe have to fly to Palermo or Catania.
There are also both trains and buses to Trapani. But the bus is a reasonable and shorter option than the train (which is cheaper). For example, it takes about 5 hours traveling by train from Palermo to Trapani, while the bus takes only two hours. The bus company with the most trips to Trapani is Segesta Autolinee.
Trapani is the perfect destination for exploring the western Sicily, home to Sicily’s most sandy beaches. From Trapani, you can easily visit surrounding destinations such as Favignana, San Vito Lo Capo, Zingaro,… even without renting a car.
When renting a room in Trapani, if possible, rent in a slightly more modern place… We rented an old Trapani-style room, but the bathroom was too small and uncomfortable. In addition, the hot water is also sometimes available sometimes not, quite tired when thinking about it. I’m a little bit obsessed with cleanliness. The last day that house was cut off water, I couldn’t take a bath after returning from the beach. One night without a bath, I thought I would faint, both itchy and burning, and could not sleep at all all night while it was still hot…
Trapani travel guide: What to do and things to do in Trapani?
No need to go anywhere further, right in Trapani, under the city wall, there are two sandy beaches that locals often come to relax. These two beaches are very clear, the sand is smooth, clean, and usually not too crowded even in the middle of the peak tourist season. These are great places to swimming, the water was warm and not cold like other Italian beaches in general. The sunset in Trapani is also extremely brilliant! It is very advisable to wander until dusk.
In Trapani, there are many beautiful beaches. Mura di Tramontana beach is the most central beach, located right in the city. This was beach where we went. However, if you go a little further, you will find Vittorio Emmanuele beach which is equally beautiful and deserted. And the beach that our hostel owner highly recommends is San Giuliano beach. This beach is so beautiful when take pictures. This beach is a bit further, it takes about half an hour walking from the center. There is a bus go directly here.
Aperitivo in the sunset by the sea
After bathing, the ideal is to go up the road along the wall along the sea, find a beautiful place for aperitivo (An aperitivo is a pre-meal drink). However, if you continue going to the Ligni tower, you will meet a lovely little fishing village. Well worth a walk enjoying the atmosphere and chasing sunset.
Visit Favignana and Levanzo Islands
Favignana Island is definitely a must-visit if traveling to Trapani. The group of islands with ravishing beaches includes Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. Getting to these islands is easy. In Trapani, there are two main marine companies, Siremar and Liberty. Siremar has a boat trip every three days, each trip is quite long (seems like an hour or more). As for Liberty, there are 15 trips, each takes half an hour, or 45 minutes. (Visit this page for more information). Buying tickets is very easy, just go to the port, you will see the ticket office. Fares range from 9 to 12 euros/one-way. In peak season, tickets can be purchased in advance online, but I think no need. It’s ok to go there and buy tickets a day before you go.
Although these are the two most famous marine companies with good service. But there are other small firms operating these routes. We were out a bit late that day, Liberty’s previous trip was already sailing, so we took a cruise tour from a smaller company, BlueLines, it was also Okay. The ticket price was the same. This trip runs alternate hours between Liberty trips.
In addition, there will be many small tours, mini cruise tours, which I think are quite worth it. These tours will take you to the beautiful spots of Favignana or Levanzo, which cannot be reached on your own. It including the time to let you swim leisurely on the beach or off the coast of the islands. Lunch is also included. See more here.
We didn’t join a tour, but we went on our own way (because unfortunately, three out of five of us are not very good swimmers, so we thought it would be a pity to go on a tour to some beautiful spots but couldn’t jump off to swim, lost money). We bought BlueLines ferry tickets to Favignana. Arriving at Favignana port, there are bike or scooter rentals available. Should rent, because on the island there is no public transport. Bicycle rental is 10 euros/bike/day, return late at 8pm. No deposit needed.
After renting a bike, it’s convenient, it’s up to you to choose what you want to do or which beach to go. Most beaches will be crowded, especially sandy beaches. We chose Lido Burrone beach, super beautiful, super clear water, super white sand. This beach was also small and quite crowded. However, the water was very calm and the atmosphere was not noisy even though it was crowded. It was this beach where I learned how to swim.
This beach was free, but there was a Lido to rent out umbrellas and chairs. A pair of chairs with umbrellas all day was 18 euros. If you don’t bring your own umbrella, you should rent one, because the sun will “burnt” your head. They also serve food and drink, but it is most convenient to bring your own.
We stayed here all day and then we lazily returned to the port to prepare to back Trapani. At first, I wanted to go to Levanzo, but after I rented a bicycle, so I decided to stay. Also here, you can spend some time visiting the small tourist village in the center of the island with many eateries and bars to eat and drink.
In the case of self-sufficient travel, it is easy to go even Levanzo. Go to Favignana, after playing enough, then go to the box office at the port to buy tickets to Levanzo, then from Levanzo back to Trapani. From Levanzo to Trapani, tickets will be slightly cheaper.
Trapani Old Town
Trapani is not particularly famous for its beautiful old town or splendid architecture. But for me, this city has a particularly neat and simple architecture. You may not like it when you look at the photos, but when you are here, you will love it. It is advisable to spend some time walking around the cobblestone alleys with houses close together to observe the life of the local people.
In addition, Trapani at night is also very lively. Choose a nice bar or pub to chill out. We chose Frida’s bar (Address: Via dei Crociferi, 16, 91100 Trapani TP, Italy/Hours: 6PM–3AM), a small bar nestled in Trapani’s maze of identical streets. Delicious drinks, extremely reasonable prices, ranging from 5, 6 euros. Shots are very cheap. If you go with a large group, you will also get a round for free. Highly recommended!
After drinking, we thought we should go to the coast! The night sea was enchanting. I’ve been addicted to the night sea since I was a kid, when my father let me go to Ngoc Vung island. At that time, the island was deserted (it seems to be the same so now). Very dark at night. My father and I spread the mats and looked at the night sky and saw the whole galaxy. The whisper of the night sea was both calm and scary. The sea in Italy certainly doesn’t have that supernatural feel anymore because of light pollution. However, going down to the water and playing with the water is nothing better.
Visit the local fish market
Address: Via Cristofono Colombo 3. (Or just type Fish market (Mercato del pesce) on Google map to show).
This is the city’s fish market, the food is fresh every day. The fish and shrimp were both plump and very fresh. The price is also very reasonable. In addition, there are more unique seafood, such as stingray, red shrimp, tuna, mantis shrimp, lobster… Craving seafood but want to save? A trip to the market is a must-do.
Trapani travel guide: Where to stay?
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Giardini Mon Plaisir (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- BADIA NUOVA apart hotel (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- I Giardini di Elencosta (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Baglio Soria Firriato Wine Resort (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Duca di Castelmonte (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Trapani deserves more attention and time than a transit point between Sicily’s more other famous areas. I stayed here for 3 nights and when I returned, I still thought I should have stayed longer. If you have time, visit Trapani, it is definitely worth the expectation!