Exclusive Palazzo dei Normanni and Cappella Palatina Tour in Palermo

Visit the regal Royal Palace of Palermo and the historic Palatine Chapel

Travel Flexibly · 1.50h · Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Want an exclusive visit to one of Europe’s oldest royal residence? Immerse yourself in centuries of history on this captivating tour through the historic Palazzo dei Normanni and the ornate Cappella Palatina, or Palatine Chapel. Explore the grounds, marvel at the regal interior of the Royal Palace, and be awestruck by the Palatine Chapel. All the while, your guide will explain the remarkable integration of artistic, religious, and cultural influences reflected throughout the Royal Palace.

  • New Tour
  • Palazzo dei Normanni
  • Europe's oldest royal residence!
  • Cappella Palantina
  • Exquisite mosaics and muqarnas
  • Explore the palace grounds
  • An unforgettable glimpse into Palermo's history

Your regal tour begins in front of the main entrance of Palazzo dei Normanni, otherwise known as the Royal Palace, where your expert tour guide will be waiting. With the rest of your small group, you’ll be treated to an exclusive visit to one of Europe’s oldest royal residence. Begin by touring the grounds of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which encompass an ensemble of buildings dating back to various historical periods. Admire the intricate, architectural details of these buildings, along with two stunning inner courtyards and gardens. 

Next, your guide will lead you inside the Royal Palace, Palermo’s most iconic building. Learn about how the Normans transformed the palace over time, before moving on to the first floor where you will access the breathtaking Palatine Chapel. Your jaw will drop at the intricately painted wooden ceiling and the 12th century mosaics that adorn the chapel. Your guide will detail that chapel’s fascinating history as you admire its many treasures. After visiting the Palatine Chapel, the tour comes to an end you’re free to explore Palermo’s captivating historic center. 

Exclusive Palazzo dei Normanni and Cappella Palatina Tour Description 

Your 1.5 hour tour includes: 

  • Expert English-speaking, local guide

  • Exclusive guided tour of Palazzo dei Normanni

  • Visit the Palatine Chapel

  • Learn the history of the Royal Palace and the Palatine Chapel

  • Explore inner courtyards and gardens of the Royal Palace

  • Maximum group size of 16

Tour the Grounds of one of Europe’s Oldest Royal Residence

To begin your tour of Palermo’s most notable buildings, head to the main entrance of Palazzo dei Normanni, where your expert, local guide will be waiting. Your guide will begin by taking you on an exclusive tour through the grounds of the complex. Built around the 10th century, the Palace grounds encompass an ensemble of buildings, all of which date back to various historical periods. Phoenician, Byzantine, Arab, Greek-Roman and Norman origins are all reflected through different architectural aspects of the buildings. Stare in amazement at these brilliant details and stop to admire the two gorgeous courtyards and their magnificently curated gardens. Don’t forget to snap some photos in this absolutely picturesque location!

Enter the Palazzo dei Normanni

Continue following your knowledgeable guide inside the Royal Palace, the 2nd oldest royal residence in Europe, renowned as a symbolic monument of the Norman Kingdom. Today, the Palace serves a prominent role as the seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly, the Sicilian Parliament. Spanning two levels, feel the immense weight of the Palace’s history and importance as you admire the incredible craftsmanship and ornate detail within each room. Over years of transformation, the Normans built four towers connected by porticoes and gardens, symbolizing the economic, military, and political power of the kingdom. It’s truly remarkable to walk through the halls of this historic property.

Admire the Cappella Palatina

On the first floor of the Palace, you will have access to the majestic Palatine Chapel. Founded in 1132 by Ruggero II, this historic chapel is one of Europe’s greatest treasures. The Chapel’s architecture and décor was built to illustrate the meeting of diverse cultures and religions, and Byzantine, Islamic and Latin craftsmen all took part in bringing this magnificent structure to life. As your guide explains the fascinating history of the Palatine Chapel, take in the elaborate details that surround you, starting with the captivating royal throne. Marvel at the 12th century, Byzantine mosaics which depict religious scenes from the gospel, and appreciate the intricately painted wooden ceiling with the muqarnas, a nod to Arab tradition.

After completing your mesmerizing visit to the Palatine Chapel, your tour will end, and you’re free to spend the rest of your day exploring Palermo’s enchanting historic center!

We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise the Palatine Chapel might refuse entry and you’ll miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Sicily can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

What you get with this tour
Expert, English-speaking guide
Exclusive visit to Europe’s oldest Royal residence
Visit the Palatine Chapel
View 12th century mosaics, painted wooden ceiling, and royal throne
Visit inner courtyards and gardens of Palazzo dei Normanni
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Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

Is this tour run by The Tour Guy?

No, this tour is operated by one of our trusted and vetted partners in Sicily.

Is there a dress code to enter the religious sites on this tour? 

We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise the Palatine Chapel might refuse entry and you’ll miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Sicily can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Start From: $87.69

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$87.69 / per person
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