Things to do in Taormina

About Taormina

Visitors to Taormina must not miss exploring the Ancient Theatre with its remarkable views, the picturesque Isola Bella, and the stunning panoramic promenade along Corso Umberto I. Other highlights include the Public Gardens for a tranquil stroll and the medieval village of Castelmola perched above the town.
Families with children enjoy visiting the beaches such as Mazzarò, exploring Isola Bella's nature reserve, and spending time at the public playgrounds in Taormina's parks. The cable car rides to the beaches also offer a thrilling experience for the little ones.
Taormina's outdoor enthusiasts revel in hiking to Castelmola, snorkeling at Isola Bella, and leisurely garden walks. Additionally, the town's beaches offer sunbathing, swimming, and watersports.
Indoor opportunities include visiting historic sites like the Naumachia or exploring the cultural exhibitions at the Museum of Art and Popular Traditions inside the Corvaja Palace.
Some of the best Taormina tours include the self-guided audio tours of the Ancient Theatre, Isola Bella, and the historical town center. Guided excursions to Mount Etna and wine tasting tours are also highly recommended.
The most sought-after museums in Taormina include the Taormina Archaeological Museum (Museo archeologico di Taormina), showcasing regional artifacts, and the Treasury of the San Domenico Palace which offers artistic and historical exhibits.
For rainy days, consider indoor tours such as the immersive cultural experiences in Taormina's museums or a cooking class that explores Sicilian cuisine from local chefs.
Shorter tours in Taormina include quick walking tours of the main streets like Corso Umberto, a visit to the Odeon Roman ruins, or a concise audio-guided tour around the Ancient Theatre.

Best Things to Do In Taormina

Uncover the timeless beauty of Taormina with its stunning landscapes and cultural heritage waiting to be explored.

Taormina: Villa Comunale

What is it?
A municipal park, previously a private garden, showcasing a variety of Mediterranean flora.
Why you should go?
Giving life to the phrase "garden with a view", Villa Comunale is a verdant retreat with breathtaking vistas of the coastline and Mount Etna. Once belonging to an English noblewoman, this garden is a palette of blooming flowers, diverse plant species, and whimsical structures. It is a sanctuary where visitors can stroll along shaded paths, find tranquility at a fountain, or rest on a bench while enjoying a panoramic seascape. For those seeking peace and natural beauty, this is one of the fun things to do in Taormina.

Taormina: Piazza IX Aprile

What is it?
One of Taormina's most picturesque squares, offering stunning views and architectural beauty.
Why you should go?
Piazza IX Aprile is the heart of Taormina's social life, lined with cafés, and boutiques, and boasting an unparalleled view of Mount Etna and the Ionian coast. With its black and white checkered tiles, this square is the perfect postcard setting flanked by historic buildings and the captivating Church of Saint Augustine. It's the ideal starting point for understanding the allure of Taormina, and it stands as a cultural must-see for first-time visitors exploring the best things to do in Taormina.

Taormina: Naumachia

What is it?
The ancient ruins of a Roman naval combat amphitheater, reflecting Taormina's historical grandeur.
Why you should go?
Naumachia is an awe-inspiring historical structure, one of the largest of its kind, serving as a reminder of the Roman penchant for spectacle. This monumental brickwork edifice, once the setting of simulated maritime battles, now stands as a testament to Roman engineering prowess. Tourists are entranced by the sheer scale of the ruins, which are among the key Taormina activities for history buffs seeking to grasp the complex layers of this town's past.

Taormina: Chiesa di San Giuseppe

What is it?
A charming baroque church dedicated to Saint Joseph, showcasing impressive architectural designs.
Why you should go?
With its splendid facade and stairway that marries beautifully with the surrounding buildings of Piazza IX Aprile, Chiesa di San Giuseppe is a focal point of religious and architectural interest in Taormina. The church offers visitors an intimate look at local religious practices and a chance to view the beautiful interiors and artworks that adorn the church's nave and altars. Witnessing the grandeur and devotion encapsulated within these walls is one of the reflective things to see in Taormina.

Taormina: Alcantara Gorge

What is it?
A natural gorge formed by a volcanic eruption, renowned for its unique geological formations and cool waters.
Why you should go?
A short distance from Taormina, the Alcantara Gorge (Gole Alcantara) is a marvel of natural beauty carved into basalt rock formations. Visitors take delight in exploring the gorge's pathways or daring a dip in the refreshingly brisk river that cuts through the valley. This natural attraction offers more than just exploration—it affords an educational experience into the geothermal dynamics that have sculpted this landscape. Among Taormina excursions, the Alcantara Gorge presents an invigorating addition to the cultural tapestry of the region.

Taormina: Ancient Theatre of Taormina

What is it?
This attraction is a remarkably preserved Ancient Greek theater with Roman modifications.
Why you should go?
The Ancient Theatre of Taormina, second in grandeur only to the theatre in Syracuse, is not just a monument, but a testament to the cultural blend of Greek and Roman influences. Perched on a hilltop, it allows visitors to absorb theatrical history alongside an incomparable view of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea. Its impressive acoustics and majestic backdrop make it a favorite for performances still today, offering an experience that transcends time, and securing its place as one of the things to do in Taormina for any history and architecture enthusiast.

Taormina: Isola Bella

What is it?
A picturesque island located in a small bay near Taormina, often referred to as the 'Pearl of the Ionian Sea'.
Why you should go?
Nestled at the foot of Taormina, Isola Bella is a nature reserve connected to the mainland by a slim beach path, offering a unique conjunction of rich biodiversity and historical significance. This tiny island enchants visitors with its lush greenery, pebbled beaches, and the clear waters of the surrounding Marine Park. It's the perfect spot for those looking for fun things to do in Taormina – whether snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, exploring the local flora and fauna, or learning about the islet's past as a private residence and nature reserve.

Taormina: Corvaja Palace

What is it?
A medieval palace that stands as an architectural representation of Taormina's storied past.
Why you should go?
The Corvaja Palace, boasting Arab-Norman architectural features, tells a tale of Taormina’s layered history. Visitors admire its combination of defensive military structure and stately elegance, which now houses the town's Museum of Art and Popular Traditions. Exploring its halls, you can delve into regional craftsmanship and artistry that have shaped the culture and traditions of this Sicilian treasure. A tour here is one of the Taormina activities that offers a deeper understanding of Sicily's complex tapestry of cultural influences.

Taormina: Public Gardens

What is it?
A tranquil park offering sprawling views of Taormina and the surrounding seascape.
Why you should go?
The Public Gardens of Taormina provide a serene escape from the buzz of the city streets, with terraced gardens overlooking the coastal cliffs. These gardens are not only a place of relaxation but also a cultural hub encapsulating the essence of the town’s character—a blend of English and Sicilian garden design. Visitors will encounter an array of exotic plants, medieval structures, and peaceful walkways as they uncover what to see in Taormina for those who seek both natural beauty and reflective quietude.

Taormina: Castelmola

What is it?
A historic village perched above Taormina, offering stunning vistas and traditional charm.
Why you should go?
Situated high above Taormina, the village of Castelmola is well worth the excursion for the breathtaking panoramic views it affords. The ascent is a delightful experience in itself, with winding streets leading to the ancient castle ruins at the summit. The village's quaint streets, lined with traditional shops and cafés, offer an authentic slice of Sicilian life. Exploring Castelmola and its ancient fortifications provides insight into the strategic importance of this town throughout centuries, making it one of the most compelling Taormina excursions.

TOP-5 tours in Taormina for first time visitors

  • Discover the ancient theatrics with a tour of the Greek Theatre, offering panoramic views and a rich history of dramatic arts, making it one of the best things to see in Taormina.
  • Embark on a scenic journey through the Public Gardens, a verdant oasis providing insight into what to do in Taormina for leisure and tranquility amidst historic follies.
  • Indulge in Taormina activities with the Isola Bella audio tour – find out why this is a top place to visit in Taormina as you explore this enchanting island and nature reserve.
  • Unveil the medieval charm of the town on a Corso Umberto I tour, featuring insights into places to visit in Taormina’s bustling main street filled with history and local culture.
  • Experience one of the best Taormina tours through the enchanting alleyways and layers of the historical city center, revealing what to see in Taormina with every step.

Fun things to do in Taormina with kids

Taormina is a treasure trove of adventures for both adults and children, with activities that can make a family vacation truly memorable. First on the list is the captivating Isola Bella, where families can engage in a range of activities from sunbathing on the pebbles to discovering the rich marine life while snorkeling in the clear blue waters surrounding the island. Next, the cable car ride to the beaches of Mazzarò offers an exhilarating experience for kids, with panoramic views that parents will appreciate as well. The beach itself provides ample opportunities for sandcastle building or a refreshing swim in the calm sea. Lastly, a stroll through the enchanting Public Gardens will captivate the young ones with its playground and variety of plants and birds. All these attractions are not only fun but also educational, allowing children to learn about the natural and cultural history of this picturesque Sicilian town.

Things to do in Taormina with family

When traveling with family, Taormina shines as a place of enjoyment and discovery. Venture to the Ancient Theatre of Taormina, where the grandeur of history impresses all ages. Children are often awed by the scale and stories of gladiators and actors past, while the view from the theatre remains a picture-perfect memory for adults. For a touch of nature's wonders, the trip to Isola Bella reveals a world-class pebble beach and nature reserve. Here, families can bond over snorkeling or simply soak up the sun on a family picnic amidst the breathtaking scenery. Lastly, the enchanting medieval village of Castelmola offers a quieter but equally fascinating destination. Walking the cobblestone streets and exploring the remnants of the fortress provide a medieval adventure for the kids and a picturesque retreat for the parents. Each location offers a unique experience, ensuring that there's something special for every family member during their Taormina visit.

Free things to do in Taormina

Taormina offers a wealth of experiences that do not require a ticket. One can start at the iconic Corso Umberto I, the main thoroughfare that is a hive of culture and history. Strolling this charming street is a delightful way to soak up the local atmosphere, window-shop, and see historical landmarks including palaces and churches, at no cost. Next, the Public Gardens provide a peaceful respite from the bustling town. These beautifully landscaped grounds afford spectacular views of the coastline and Mount Etna, perfect for a leisurely walk or a family picnic. Lastly, for those looking to explore beyond the town's borders, a hike up to Castelmola offers panoramic views and the chance to explore the charming alleys and ruins of the ancient castle without spending a penny. Each of these activities invites visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and history of Taormina while keeping their wallets firmly closed.

Cheap things to do in Taormina

Exploring the enchanting town of Taormina doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. One of the most cost-effective activities is to visit the Ancient Theatre of Taormina, offering a glimpse into the ancient past at a minor expense, especially considering the dramatic views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea. Another affordable excursion is to indulge in the local culinary delights at the town's vibrant street food vendors, providing a taste of Sicilian cuisine without breaking the bank. Lastly, for a nominal fee, the cable car from Taormina down to Mazzarò beach is a memorable experience that offers stunning aerial views of the coastline and is particularly delightful during sunset. These attractions promise enjoyment and the chance to engage with Taormina's rich culture and stunning natural beauty, all while being easy on your travel budget.

Things to do in Taormina for couples

Taormina, with its romantic ambiance, is a haven for couples seeking memorable experiences. A visit to the Ancient Theatre of Taormina is a must-do, where couples can take in the historical splendor and stunning vistas for a small entrance fee. For those enamored by nature, a walk to the captivating Isola Bella, a nature reserve known as the 'Pearl of the Ionian Sea', offers tranquil beach time and an opportunity for joint snorkeling adventures. Additionally, a leisurely stroll through the enchanting Villa Comunale gardens, with their beautifully curated flora and panoramic sea views, provides a serene escape ideal for those cherished quiet moments together. Each of these locations offers couples the chance to create lifelong memories, surrounded by the beauty and history of this picturesque Sicilian town.

Things to do in Taormina at night

Taormina transforms as the sun sets, offering a vibrant night scene perfect for visitors. Start the evening with a stroll along Corso Umberto, the main street that comes alive at night with its plethora of shops, cafes, and street performers, offering a glimpse into the nocturnal soul of the town. For a night of elegance and cultural infusion, attend a performance at the Ancient Theatre of Taormina, where the dramatic ancient backdrop is often host to concerts and live events under the stars. Finally, for a quiet retreat with a view, enjoy a glass of local wine at any of the cliffside bars and terraces overlooking the twinkling lights of the bay and the sparkling waters of the Ionian Sea, providing an intimate atmosphere and a breathtaking experience unique to Taormina's nightlife.