Taormina is such an incredible place! Located in Sicily, Taormina has been one of our favorite destinations while cruising around the Mediterranean with Seabourn. We’ve been twice now and can totally think of even more things to do while there. Therefore, we have plans to head back; we even hope to stay there – and we have the perfect hotel in mind. So, for those that are heading there on a cruise (or even if you’re headed there for a few nights), here is our list of things to do in Taormina.
free things to do in taormina
Let’s go ahead and start with the things that are free. Let’s face it, cruises are expensive. You might not want to spend a ton of extra cash in each destination. If Taormina is one of the places you’d rather not spend some extra Euros, check out our list of free things to do.
check out the views
Obvi, one free thing to do is admiring the views. We have a few places that we like to check out the views from (disclaimer: we do like to grab a snack or a drink at these places, since they are hotels).
The first place is Hotel Metropole. This spot has such a beautiful view of the bay and of the world below. (FYI – Taormina is not along the shoreline.)
The second place is the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo. Gorgeous views of the colorful buildings and streets can be found here. You can also catch Mount Etna in the background. The hotel itself is beautiful and we like to explore the little chambers off of the outside area.
check out al cuore immacolato di maria taormina
After wandering through the main street of Taormina for a bit, you’ll reach a square. This square has an amazing viewing area and a beautiful church. While we haven’t gone in to this church, we have not noticed a price. (Our reason for not going in? It’s been very crowded each time we’ve gone.)
Nonetheless, it’s beautiful on the outside and the picture-perfect symmetry is just pleasing to look at. Writing this post, we kind of wish we knew what it looked like on the inside. We bet it’s absolutely beautiful.
wander through the streets
The next thing on our list: just wandering through the streets.
To be honest, the streets are beautiful, winding, and colorful. We love just exploring. You can stop in various little shops (that aren’t tourist-y at all!), pop into a cute cafe, or just admire the colors and architecture.
The main street is filled with designer stores but, if you’re looking for something a bit…well, different, leave the main street and wander around somewhere else. It’s fun to get lost sometimes!
visit garden of villa communale
This free garden is home to some ancient, crumbling buildings (some are blocked off but others are still accessible), a shady path, and gorgeous views.
This was the first spot we went to on our second trip. After seeing tons of snaps of people here on Instagram, we knew we had to check it out. However, when we went, a lot of the photo spots we saw were blocked off.
However, there are still lots of places to take photos, sit and relax, or explore. It’s an amazing find that is well worth the trip.
It’s been one of our favorite free finds – almost ever! Because who doesn’t love a beautiful garden?
paid things to do in taormina
For those that are interested in checking out some of the things that require a fee, keep reading. Lots of the historic sights need to be paid for, and here are a few of our favorites.
the ancient greek amphitheatre
The main reason we plan on spending the night (at the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, btw) in Taormina? The ancient Greek amphitheatre. This historic sight is one of the main things to do in Taormina. It’s still used to host concerts too, which is our reason for wanting to go back. It would be so amazing to witness a concert here!
Entrance to this historic sight is ten Euro each. We def. think it’s worth it. We remember wandering around the actual amphitheatre and also a small “park” area that boasted views of the world below.
Fun fact: these snaps are from our honeymoon! Jamie is still growing her hair out!
There are various fees that need to be paid in order to get to Isola Bella, but it was worth it. FYI – the trip is a long one. And in the summer, it’s super hot!
To get to Isola Bella from Taormina, there’s a cableway fee, as well as a fee to get onto the island. In total, it cost us eighteen Euro.
If you’re interested in reading all about our full Isola Bella experience, check out our full blog post here.
grab a drink at hotel metropole
Remember the hotel with the amazing view? Hotel Metropole? Well, we totally recommend grabbing a cocktail here. While on our honeymoon, we ended up stopping here in the morning.
Adam grabbed a mimosa and I picked a bellini. We sat at the hotel, admiring the views and chatting all about our first trip to Sicily. It was hot, much as it always is in the summertime, but we couldn’t think of anything better to do in that moment.
In truth, we recommend grabbing a drink here at night, when the super cool bar is open, and the sun falls beyond the horizon. It would be the perfect ending to a magical day.
nom on a granita at the belmond
Obvi, there are various spots to grab a granita, including some famous spots that we didn’t go to, but we just love hanging out at the Grand Hotel Timeo.
On our first trip here, we picked up some alcoholic drinks. Adam’s was so intense! We couldn’t finish it…it was one of the strongest drinks we’ve had in a long while. So the second time, we opted not to grab a drink, not when we still had to head down to Isola Bella (and we were so thankful we skipped the drinks before that trek!).
This hotel is seriously one of our favorite places to relax in Taormina. And the granita was absolutely delicious, although a little pricier than we imagine it would be outside of the hotel. It cost use 12 Euro. Adam ended up grabbing an espresso, which came in a martini glass!
Yep, the Belmond is definitely the place for us.
things to do next time
We do have a list of things that we’ll do the next time we end up in Taormina, other than the concert if we end up staying there. We would love to visit Mount Etna. We hear there are hikes, as well as opportunities to sip on some wine that’s grown in the ash/dirt.
There’s also a town above Taormina (we don’t know what it’s called), but we’ve love to visit it. It almost looks like it was build on top of a mountain. It look small and kind of medieval.
So what to you think about our list of things to do in Taormina?