Where To Stay In Taormina, Sicily | Best hotels and areas to stay
Are you planning a trip to Sicily and wondering where to stay in Taormina?
Let me tell you that choosing the right accommodation is key to having a comfortable and enjoyable stay in this beautiful part of Italy.
Taormina is a popular tourist destination and one of the best places to stay in Sicily, known for its historic buildings, charming streets and breathtaking views.
In this post, I explore the different options and suggest the best places to stay in Taormina based on your preferences.
On my last trip, just a few months ago, I was also able to organise an easy table that compares the best areas to find accommodations in Taormina, you are either travelling with your partner or kids, with more or less beach time, enjoying a relaxing stay or with a bit of nightlife.
But let’s jump to the juicy stuff.
Where to stay in Taormina – In a nutshell with a table
Here below is a quick and easy table that compares different areas based on various factors, including average cost, bars and restaurants, historical significance, proximity to the beach and more.
To go deeper into the area, just click on it and you will find a more exhaustive list of pros and cons, cafes, restaurants and, of course, my suggested hotels and Airbnb.
|Bars & Restaurants
|For history and romantic couples
|Old Town (Centro Storico)
| Grand Hotel Timeo or
|Taormina Mare Beach
|Villa Bianca or
|Casa dei Nonni or di Laura
|On a budget
I have also written about a few great neighbourhoods to stay in Catania, and from there you could potentially explore Taormina on a day trip (there is a video later in the post), however, it is not my favourite way because Taormina really deserves at least 2 full days.
Best hotels in Taormina, Sicily
Old Town (Historical Centre of Taormina)
- 🌎 Best area to stay for sightseeing 🏩 Hotel Villa Schuler is the recommended accommodation in the area
- 👍 Pros: Spectacular views, beautiful historic buildings, great restaurants and cocktail bars, well-connected to the beach, best Taormina hotels
- 👎 Cons: Can be crowded, limited parking options, higher cost of accommodations
- 🍷 Best restaurants and bars: Osteria Nero d’Avola, Trattoria Da Ugo and La Botte
- 🧛♂️ Nightlife: Bam Bar
If you’re wondering where to stay in Taormina, the Old Town Centre is a great choice that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and gorgeous views.
Located on a hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and mainland Italy on the west side, and Mount Etna on the east side, this charming area is surely the most incredible place to stay, but, the most expensive too.
The Old Town area of Taormina is a pedestrian-friendly zone filled with narrow streets, historic buildings, and picturesque squares. I loved my walks in Corso Umberto and down in Via di Giovanni.
A must-visit is of course the ancient Greek Theatre, which is still used for performances today.
The theatre offers a terrace with breathtaking views of the sea and Mount Etna. Book the ticket in advance though because I didn’t and I spent almost 1 hour in the queue last time there (mid-September).
Just outside the Old Centre, you will also find the Interbus Station.
From there you can grab a bus to Catania (50 minutes) and Giardini Naxos (15 minutes). The ride is both affordable and comfortable, but expect plenty of people on the bus.
In this respect, you can also think of using Taormina as a base to explore Mount Etna and other towns/cities.
For some relaxation, the Old Town is connected to the beach by a cable car, which offers sensational views of the coastline. The ride is short and affordable, and it drops you off at the Mazzarò beach area, which has a variety of beach clubs and restaurants.
For the free beach, turn right and follow the coastal road for 200 metres till you find the path down to the Isola Bella.
There is a good selection of bars and restaurants in the old town. Many provide a menu fisso (fixed menu) at an affordable price. The most popular dish is probably the pasta alla norma.
My suggested restaurants in this area are Osteria Nero d’Avola, the Trattoria Da Ugo and La Botte.
For a late-night drink head to the Bam Bar, which serves up a variety of creative cocktails in a cosy and stylish atmosphere.
The Old Town is the best place for couples looking for a romantic getaway and, while it does not offer a beach, the gondola lift will take you there in no time, with a spectacular view too.
It does not work very well if you are driving your car there. Parking is limited, be ready to fork quite some money for it if it’s not provided by your host. Letojanni is a better place to stay if you are planning to hire a car in Sicily.
The Old Centre is the perfect place to stay in winter, and you will be able to find some amazing bargains, however, expect a few businesses closed and a limited transportation system.
The Grand Hotel Timeo is one of the best luxury hotels in Taormina with spectacular views from the balcony, exceptional service, and outstanding amenities, including a superb breakfast, spa, and private beach access. The location opposite the Greek Theatre adds a unique charm.
The Hotel Villa Belvedere has stunning views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea, with immaculately clean rooms, friendly staff, and exceptional breakfast. Great location and an amazing swimming pool.
They have a special suite for families which is all you need if travelling with kids and you want to stay in the Historical Centre in a lovely accommodation
Bella Tao is a clean and simple family-run guesthouse right in the centre of Taormina, just a few metres from Corso Umberto, the core of the town.
Located on a secondary street is also super quiet, for a great night’s sleep. It is one of the best values for money in Taormina
I personally suggest booking well in advance, even a year in advance if travelling in July or August. This is one of the most desired destinations in Italy. If you do not find availability on the above hotels, you can also check out the San Domenico Palace (where the “White Lotus” HBO show was filmed), the Hotel Villa Ducale, the Hotel Villa Taormina and the Villa Fiorita Boutique Hotel.
Mazzarò – Taormina Mare
- 🌎 Best spot to stay for couples 🏩 Panoramic Hotel is the recommended accommodation in the area
- 👍 Pros: Beautiful beaches and beach clubs, nightlife, connected by bus and cable car, ideal for couples who want to mix beach time with culture and history
- 👎 Cons: Can be expensive, limited parking options
- 🍷 Best restaurants and bars: La Capinera and Il Barcaiolo
- 🧛♂️ Nightlife: Lido Tao Beach Club
Mazzarò is the perfect location for those who want to enjoy the beauty of the beach while still being able to access all the cultural and historical sites of Taormina.
Located downhill from the Old Town, the coastline is connected to the Old Town by cable car.
The ticket price for the cable car is reasonable (less than €3), and the ride takes around 10 minutes, providing stunning views of the coastline and Mount Etna.
The beaches here are simply stunning, with crystal-clear water and a mix of sand and pebbles.
There are organised areas like my beloved Lido La Pigna, which has an excellent restaurant and bar, making it a perfect spot for a beach day. This is where you can have a more comfortable experience with access to sunbeds and umbrellas
Otherwise head direction of Isola Bella, through the small path that descends to the beach, and you will find quite a long free beach, connected in low tide to the Isola Bella (ticket applies to enter).
This is one of the most popular beaches in the region which means it is more than often packed.
Once, I was there on a nice day in mid-September, mid-week too, and it was a challenge to find a spot for the 3 of us.
Besides La Pigna, there are other great restaurants like La Capinera or Il Barcaiolo.
Just remember that this area is as pricey as the Old Centre and dinners are usually more expensive than the average restaurant meals in the region.
Mazzarò is also well connected by bus to Giardini Naxos train station, which makes it easy to explore the rest of the island.
I personally don’t suggest walking to the station. I did it on my last trip and what it looked like a lovely walk turned into a dangerous activity. There is a 1km section without pavements and cars sprinting along the road.
From Giardini Naxos train station, you can take the train to most destinations on the East Coast.
For some nightlife head to Lido Tao Beach Club, one of the most popular places on the coast, always with great local and international DJ sets.
Keep in mind that disco clubs change quite often location and owner. Ask your host for the most fashionable spot at the time of your visit.
Ultimately, this is the best spot to stay in Taormina for couples who want to enjoy the full range of experiences: beach, history, culture, excellent dining and awesome nightlife.
The Hotel Villa Bianca is a simple hotel right in front of the water and just next to the cable car taking you straight into the Old Centre of Taormina, such a handy position.
The rooms’ furniture is a bit outdated and that is reflected in the price of the accommodation.
The Panoramic Hotel is really unbeatable for its outstanding view of the Isola Bella and the coastline.
Starting the day with a magnificent breakfast and that unique view is a real treat (see photos here).
They have also a private garage, which is super handy if you are driving there, however, it comes at an extra cost (€20-25)
- 🌎 Best area to stay for families 🏩 Casa dei Nonni is the recommended accommodation in the area
- 👍 Pros: More affordable, sandy beaches, Well-connected to Taormina and other cities, ideal location for families
- 👎 Cons: Can be crowded during peak season, limited parking options near the train station, not the same charm and character as Taormina Old Centre
- 🍷 Best restaurants and bars: Sindona Gerardo, La Spelonca, La Cambusa and La Bussola
- 🧛♂️ Nightlife: Splash Beach
Giardini Naxos is a small town located just a short distance from Taormina, offering a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere.
It’s known for its long stretches of sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and fantastic seafood restaurants.
If you’re looking for a destination that combines beach time with history and culture, Giardini Naxos is an excellent choice.
The town is just a 10-15 minute bus ride away from Taormina, so it’s very easy to visit the famous historic centre and enjoy its many attractions.
Just keep in mind that the buses can be quite busy. On my last trip there, I got a bus around 11am and it was packed. Try earlier in the morning if you can as the service gets crowded usually around lunchtime.
Giardini Naxos is also very well connected to Catania. In fact, you can even think of visiting it on a day trip by either train (40 minutes) or bus (45 minutes).
The beach is of course the town’s biggest draw with crystal clear water and lovely whitish sand.
There are free areas as well as a few organised beach clubs where you can rent your sun umbrella and sunbeds and have a cocktail with some chillout music later in the day.
And it’s not all about the beach and easy access to Taormina. The town itself has also a few attractions like the Archaeological Museum, which houses a fascinating collection of ancient artifacts from the area.
There’s also the Castello di Schisò, a medieval castle that offers stunning views of the coastline and Mount Etna.
Giardini Naxos is the perfect place to stay if you want to mix Taormina’s history and culture with some beach time.
It works so well with families and kids that can enjoy Taormina in the morning or late in the evening, and spend some time at the beach during the hot hours of the day.
Book your accommodation close to the Train Station if you plan a few day trips, however, keep in mind that this is also the most difficult area to find parking (in case you drive there).
When it comes to dining, Giardini Naxos has no shortage of fantastic seafood restaurants.
My suggested restaurants are Sindona Gerardo, La Spelonca, La Cambusa and La Bussola.
La Casa dei Nonni is one of the best bargains in the Taormina area, especially if you are travelling with kids.
This 2BR apartment is located in an unbeatable position, close to the beach, restaurants ad supermarkets. Still, just a few minutes away by bus to Taormina.
Casa di Laura is an exceptionally clean 1 bedroom house metres from both the beach and the Taormina-Giardini Train Station.
They also have private parking which is great if you have rented a car.
Read more about Sicily
- Is Sicily part of Italy? The short and the long answer
- Renting a Car in Sicily: 25 Tips to Avoid Scams & Headaches
- The best Sicily itineraries you can do on the island
- Top 5 Scenic Drives in Sicily
- Is it worth renting a car in Sicily?
- Is Sicily Expensive
- Catania or Taormina, best and worst
- Sicily or Puglia, the best and worst of the two regions
- Sicily or Sardinia, the best and worst of the two regions
- 🌎 Best town to stay on a budget 🏩 Casa Famiani B&B is the recommended accommodation in the area
- 👍 Pros: Cheaper, clear water beaches, though with pebbles, well-connected to Taormina, the best location with a car, quieter atmosphere
- 👎 Cons: Limited restaurants and nightlife, the pebbled beaches may not be suitable for everyone, not as charming or romantic as Taormina Old Centre
- 🍷 Best restaurants and bars: Antico Borgo, Punto Pizza and La Rupe Tavola Calda
- 🧛♂️ Nightlife: Twin Pub and Girasole Lounge Bar
Letojanni is a coastal town located just 7 km north of Taormina.
It offers a more laid-back and budget-friendly atmosphere compared to its famous neighbour.
It is the best spot to stay near Taormina for a relaxing holiday, saving some money too.
The main attraction of Letojanni is its clear water beach, absolutely stunning. However, I recommend taking water shoes because those pebbles, mixed with the sand, can be painful.
A few sections of the beach are free to enter, others have beach clubs where you can rent sun loungers and umbrellas, or enjoy a refreshing cocktail.
When it comes to dining, Letojanni offers a great selection of budget-friendly restaurants serving delicious Sicilian cuisine.
Prices in this area are much cheaper than in the Old Centre of Taormina, however, it must be said that the quality of service is also lower.
My suggested restaurants are Antico Borgo, Punto Pizza and La Rupe Tavola Calda
The tavola calda in Italy is usually a takeaway providing a small number of tables outside, similar to a Fish & Chips in UK/Australia, for example.
Letojanni is very well connected to Taormina by public bus (around 20 minutes). This makes it an ideal base for those who want to explore Taormina’s historic Old Town but prefer to stay in a quieter and cheaper location.
There is also a train station, with connections to Giardini Naxos (one stop), and other major cities.
If you are driving around, Letojanni is probably the best destination to stay in Taormina with a car. You can find affordable parking options, which will save you money and hassle.
Overall, Letojanni is a great destination for those who want to experience the beauty of the Sicilian coast without breaking the bank.
The Casa Famiani B&B offers one of the best value for money in the Taormina area, really unbeatable.
Clean spacious rooms with a beautiful view of the sea. Just opposite the beach and with a special discount on the nearby beach club. Breakfast is highly suggested.
The train station is also within walking distance (less than 5 minutes)
The Casa dei Girasoli is a just refurbished 1BR apartment that can host up to 4 people.
The location is once again unbeatable, next to the beach and the train station.
Taormina on a day trip from Catania
You can also think of visiting Taormina on a day trip from Catania, however, this is not my favourite way because you will only marginally experience the beauty of this area.
Here below is a video with all you need to know, including how to make it from Catania either by bus or train.
Although I love Palermo (you can find plenty of content about it on this website including the best areas to visit and stay in Palermo) I would not consider visiting Taormina on a day trip.
The journey itself would take most part of the day.