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Traveling Italian

Posted On April 8, 2023 By Louis

The Agrigento Travel Guide

About Agrigento Sicily

Agrigento is a historic city on the south coast of Sicily Italy. It was thought to be founded in 582-580 BC by Greek colonists and built on a plateau overlooking the mediterranean sea. It houses some of the most historic sites in Sicily such as the valley of the temples making it a popular tourist destination. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The population of Agrigento is around 59,000 however during the summer seasons and public holidays this number can inflate, especially as it's pretty close to many of the major airports in Sicily. Explore more with our Agrigento travel guide.

What is Agrigento known for?

Beaches surrounding Agrigento

The city is known for its incredible beaches such as the famous Scala dei Turchi which is a white limestone cliff that overlooks a beautiful turquoise sea and is one of the best beaches in Sicily. There is also San Leone Beach which is a long sandy beach that is a 10-minute drive from the centre and popular for its restaurants bars and beach clubs.

Agrigento Food

The city shares dishes from its surroundings and hosts coastal and mountain cuisine, so lots of fish dishes! Explore the diverse culinary offerings and restaurants with insights from our Agrigento travel guide. The city also produces a lot of almonds so you can try many Sicilian almond desserts. If you go in February you can visit the famous Almond Blossom Festival.

Historical Sites in Agrigento

There is the Valley of the Temples which has many temples to visit, the Archaeological Museum "Pietro Griffo" of Agrigento that displays many Greek artefacts, Palazzo dei Filippini, the medieval church of Santa Maria dei Grecia and many more sites. This is one of the top things to do in Agrigento.

Shopping in Agrigento

In Agrigento, there are lots of places to shop such as Via Atenea - Shopping Centre, Mercato Del Venerdì (markets) and many other local stores in town.

Languages spoken in Agrigento

One of the most important items in our Agrigento travel guide. The locals speak Italian, however being a bigger city in Sicily with many coming tourists coming from Europe, many locals do speak English. It is always useful to brush up on some common Italian phrases in case you stray out of the centre.

Temple of Hera Lacinia Agrigento on a cloudy day

How to get around Agrigento

There are many ways to get to and around Agrigento and also depends on where you are coming from.

Aeroplane to Agrigento

This is the fastest way to get to Agrigento from another country. The closest Airport is Catania Airport CTA which is also an international airport. Slightly further away are Trapani Airport and Palermo Airport. You can fly from the UK direct to Catania from just £13 which takes around 3 hours or you can travel direct from Australia using Emirates Airways which takes around 25 hours. Many people also fly to Rome airport as has a lot of routes, you can spend a few days there and then fly to Catania. From Catania Airport it is around 2 hours away from Agrigento by car or taxi.

Train to Agrigento

This is definitely a fast way to get around Sicily but slower to get to Agrigento. The nearest train station is called Catania Aeroporto Fontanarossa by the airport and operated by TRENITALIA. From the Airport stop, you get the train to Agrigento Centrale in around 3.5 - 6 hours from just €12.80 one way. Trains depart from 4 am - 5 pm. You can also get a train straight from Rome to Agrigento or go to many other areas using the Trenitalia.

Bus to Agrigento

Bus - Buses are a great way to get around in Sicily however can be delayed or even cancelled quite often. You can go from Catania Airport to Agrigento by bus in 2 hours and 50 minutes using SAIS Transporti from 6 am to 10 pm. Getting to Sicily from mainland Italy, most people will take an overnight bus due to how long it takes. Rome to Agrigento 13 hours 30 minutes.

Car to Agrigento

Driving a car is probably the easiest mode of transport to get to and get around in Agrigento and takes around 2 hours from Catania Airport or other airports in the west and north. If you are driving into Catania from mainland Italy note you will have to take a ferry into Messina (31 minutes) from Villa San Giovanni Port. Depending on where you are from remember that you drive on the right-hand side of the road with the driver on the left-hand side of the car. Manual cars are the preferred & cheapest option vs automatic. Parking can be a struggle though, especially in the town during peak seasons. Save now and book a rental car.

Walking around Agrigento

Walking in Agrigento is a great option as the city is compact & you can visit and see all of its unique buildings up close.

Taxi to Agrigento

Taxi can be a great way to get around to and around Agrigento however will be the most expensive option, however it means you don't have to wait for a train, bus or pick up a rental car, find and pay for parking. It is the most convenient option especially if flying in from overseas and just want to get straight to the accommodation door to door. A reputable taxi company in Agrigento is Taxi Agrigento H24 Tony Palermo I would also advise getting a local taxi if travelling from Catania Airport and not one from far away as they will add more to get to you. This should be around €220 - €250 one way for one person and more value when travelling in a group.

Parking in Agrigento

As a tourist parking can be very daunting going to a new country, making sure you stay in the right place and don't get fined. Here is parking in Agrigento simplified. Please note if you want to park most of the time you will have to pay for it. Sometimes you can pay by card but always carry cash just in case.

Parking in Agrigento is very tricky the closer to the centre you are. You can park on the street however that is very limited and need to be careful which is resident parking. White lines usually mean free parking unless they have a sign about residents on it and blue lines mean paid parking.

With parking on the street always look for a parking meter or you can go to the local newsagent to purchase a ticket. Always display the ticket clearly on the dashboard and do not be late even by a minute as there are parking wardens all the time. Depending on where you go there are also pricing differences in certain months, such as it becomes a lot more per hour in summer seasons.

The easiest way to pay for parking in Italy is to download the EasyPark app. It's available in most places, and lets you pay directly from your phone, so you don't have to find a parking meter or newsagent, which may be far away or closed. You can pay for a few hours, or stop the timer early if you come back sooner, and you'll only be charged for the time you parked.

Tip: When you download the app, enter a random Italian phone number, as your local number may not work. EasyPark charges a small fee, but the convenience is worth it.

ZTL - Some areas of Agrigento centre are designated as a Zona Traffico Limitato during certain times, that only residents and certain vehicles are allowed to enter. If you're not a resident, you can receive a big fine if you enter a ZTL area so avoid this in your own/ rental car.

The most common and accessible place to park is the parking garages. They are called a Parcheggio if you type it into google maps near where you want to go. The safest and best place to park is the Hotel car park if you are staying there. Some include parking for free or charge you a small fee.

People on the Scala Dei Turchi on a hot day in Agrigento

The Best things to do in Agrigento

  • Tour the Valley of the Temples. These are archaeological sites a 5-minute drive or 30-minute walk from the city centre.
  • Go to the Jardin de la Kolymbethra. They are open from 10 am - 7 pm during the summer seasons however always check off peak times.
  • Relax at some of the nearby beaches or take an excursion of the Scala Dei Turchi with turquoise waters. All you need is your swimming costume, sun location, sunglasses and a towel.
  • Visit the Church of Santa Maria dei Greci. This a medieval church that was built on the site of an ancient Greek temple with a glass floor where you can see the remains of the temple.
  • Explore the historic city centre. It is filled with narrow streets and ancient buildings that date back to the Middle Ages. You can also explore the local shops, restaurants, and cafes.
  • Go fine dining and eat at the top restaurants in Agrigento.

Explore other things to do in Agrigento in our guide here.

Top 5 Hotels in Agrigento

Hotel Villa Athena

The Hotel Villa Athena is a 5* hotel situated in the Valley of the Temples. It has an outdoor pool, free parking, free wifi and a wellness centre. The rooms have private marble bathrooms and many have views of the temples or gardens. They also have a famous restaurant with panoramic views.

Hotel Villa Athena Luxury Room in Agrigento

Colleverde Park Hotel

Close by is the Colleverde Park Hotel a 19th-century 4* hotel. All rooms come with air-con, satellite tv, free wifi and private parking.

Hotel room at Colleverde Park Hotel part of the Agrigento travel guide

Doric Boutique Hotel

The Doric Boutique Hotel is a 4* hotel with many rooms overlooking the Temple of Juno, the sea, the pool and the gardens. The restaurant has a selection of national and regional dishes whilst the breakfast is buffet style.

Doric Boutique Hotel pool

Hotel Exclusive

Hotel Exclusive is in the centre of Agrigento City. This 4* hotel with many rooms with a balcony that has an ocean or Valley of the Temples view.

Room at Hotel exclusive

Hotel Del Viale

Hotel Del Viale is a 3* hotel a short stroll from the centre. 750m away is the Monastery of the Holy Spirit and the Church of Santa Maria dei Greci. The hotel also rents out electric bikes for those who want to get around the town and all the historic sites quickly. Rooms also include free wifi, and free parking and some of them have air conditioning.

Room in Hotel Del Viale Agrigento

How much should you budget for a trip in Agrigento?

There are several categories into which this can be divided, based on the type of activities involved. However, at present, my recommendation would be to allocate a minimum of €260 per day per person for budgeting purposes, especially when consulting our Agrigento travel guide. To break it down further:

Breakfast (sometimes included in accommodation)€20
Lunch €30
Tourist Activities€30
Going out€30
Total cost per day€260

Best travel card to use on holiday

If you're looking to transfer money for your holiday, I highly recommend the Wise card as one of the best international cards available. Plus, with our Agrigento travel guide, you can make informed financial decisions for your trip. You no longer need to visit the post office to convert money into cash as Wise allows you to use it with Apple Pay or Google Pay even before receiving the physical card.

Wise's transaction fees are much lower compared to banks, without any additional markup. They offer the current exchange rate of the day without any inflated rates. It's always useful to carry some cash during your trip, and Wise's fees are quite reasonable, making it worthwhile to compare with your current local debit card.

Personally, I've been using Wise for over five years and have saved a considerable amount of money in comparison to my local bank. Additionally, I use Wise to transfer money to hotels and other places abroad, where I save on exchange fees compared to my bank. The app even informs you of how much other banks might charge you for the same transaction.

Wise isn't just a one-time use card; you can use it repeatedly on every international holiday you take, or even for business purposes.

How long should you stay in Agrigento?

The amount of time you should spend in Agrigento City depends on your interests and travel itinerary. If you are interested in exploring the Valley of the Temples and all the other historical sites, you may want to plan to spend at least two to three days in Agrigento. This will give you enough time to explore the major sites and take in the local culture and cuisine.

If you are interested in spending more time relaxing on the beach, like going to the famous Scala dei Turchi or exploring the surrounding countryside, you may want to consider staying for a week or longer. Restaurants are also very popular. Agrigento is home to some of the best restaurants in Sicily so worth exploring and not rushing.

Agrigento is a very popular town to go to, especially in the summer seasons so make sure to book your flights & accommodation early as these get taken up very quickly each year considering there are only a handful of 5 and 4-star hotels. Prices also do sometimes rise every year so my advice would be to book your summer luxury Italian holiday the year before. I have seen them go up as soon as the Christmas holidays are over.

When reading our Agrigento Travel guide make sure to pair and read our blog on Travel Essentials for Europe along side it.

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