Our offers for shore excursions in Messina
Find your best cruise shore excursions in Messina on the island Sicily, Italy right below
Small groupsExcursions in a family atmosphere
Great servicePick up directly at the harbor
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Useful information for your shore excursions in Messina
You can find all information you need about the most beautiful sight-seeings, cruise port as well as other useful information for your shore excursions in Messina below.
The most beautiful sights in Messina
This port city is a popular destination of Mediterranean cruises. Impressive is the fact that the harbor entrance is right past the imposing Fort San Salvatore.
The architecturally diverse historic city center is located directly opposite the pier of the cruise ships.
The neighborhood of the city also lures visitors with attractive excursion destinations. Etna, the largest and most active volcano in Europe awaits you to explore its natural spectacular beauty. Culture lovers will also be interested in the picturesque cities of Taormina or Syracuse with their impressive Greek amphitheaters.
Messina is the third largest city in Sicily with just under 240,000 inhabitants. It has a fantastic harbor bay at the entrance to the marvelous fortress San Salvatore from the 17th Century. The city is located near the northeast corner of Sicily and separated from the Italian mainland by the 3.2-mile wide Strait of Messina. That is why Messina is also called the gateway to Sicily.
The city has a long and particularly varied history. Through various natural disasters, the city was partly destroyed several times and rebuilt. Therefore, one can discover the particularly beautiful architectural evidence of different epochs with the exceptional contemporary architecture. Piazza del Duomo is the center of the city and houses the Cathedral, the most important monument in the city. The free-standing bell tower of the cathedral of the so-called Campanile has the allegedly largest astronomical clock in the world.
Famous sights of Messina also include numerous fountains. Especially created by a student of Michelangelo in the 16th century is the Orion fountain, which is considered a masterpiece.
Mount Etna, the active, over 3,300m-high (10,827 ft) volcano, visibly dominates the eastern coast of Sicily and is the symbol of the island. Climbing it is certainly one of the highlights of every Sicily trip. An approximate 148,300-arce area around the Etna belongs to the protected natural park “Parco dell’Etna”. This offers a variety of excursions. The most exciting and authentic way to discover Etna is definitely with a jeep tour, during which you can admire the spectacular landscapes of this beautiful island. The exciting ride is mostly off-road over the cooled lava from other eruptions.
About 50 km (31 miles) from Messina in the unique hillside lies the historic city of Taormina. You can make a shore excursion from Messina to Taormina and admire the impressive architecture of the Palazzo Corvaja and the Cathedral of Taormina. Enjoy the splendid panoramic view over the bay of Giardini Naxos as well as immerge yourself in the historic charm of the Greek-Roman Amphitheater. You can stroll along the famous shopping street Corso Umberto and try a granita, another sweet highlight in Sicily which is available in different flavors at almost every corner
In the heart of the city is Piazza del Duomo. It houses the landmark of the city, the elephant fountain which consists of a black lava stone elephant bearing an Egyptian obelisk.
If it is to choose the best church in Catania, the Cathedral of Catania impresses and stands out especially. The Catania Cathedral is dedicated to the patron saint of Catania and was originally built by Count Roger in 1097 as a fortified church. It was later rebuilt after being largely destroyed during the earthquake of 1693. The Catania-born composer Vincenzo Bellini also found his magnificent resting place in the cathedral.
Also worth seeing is the second largest Roman amphitheater and the staufer castle Castello Ursino. Originally located directly by the sea, it was spared by the Etna eruption in 1669 and completely surrounded by lava. This moved the coastline further to the east. Today Castello Ursino houses the city museum.
Map of cruise port in Messina
Cruise ships moor in the port of Messina along the Via Garibaldi. The road between Via Garibaldi and the harbor is called Via Vittorio Emanuele II. Messina’s cruise port is within walking distance of the city center, making it easy to reach the city’s sights on foot. Just cross the street and you are already in the city center.
Interesting facts about excursions to and in Messina
Shipping companies and routes
NCL, Celebrity, MSC or Royal Caribbean lines also have Messina as their stop for their Mediterranean programs.
Immigration and visa
U.S. citizens may enter Italy for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. For more accurate information about the entry requirements please contact your cruise operator before the trip.
At Vittorio Emanuele II you can also find the cruise terminal. It allows several cruise liners to moor in a long line. However, the cruise terminal has limited offer like occasionally tourist information.
Taxi and other public transport
Directly at the harbor exit or at the moorings there are already many taxis waiting for customers. In particular, trips into the surroundings for example to Etna or to Taormina are frequently offered. Taxi prices are not fixed prices and should always be negotiated.
Another way to explore the island is by rental car. Across the street from Via Vittorio Emanuele II there are three car rental stations (Avis, Hertz and Sicilcar). Reservations are therefore recommended.
The train station of Messina (Stazione Centrale) is about 1.5 kilometers (4,921 ft) from the cruise ships’ berths. A drive to Taormina-Giardini takes about 40 to 60 minutes. More information can be found on the website www.trenitalia.com. From Taormina-Giardini train station, walk either 2 km/1.2 miles or take a bus to get to the center.
Between Messina and Taormina there are also public buses (Interbus) which take about two hours to get to Taormina. The bus station is about 2 km (6,561 ft) from the mooring and near the train station.
In addition to bus, taxi and train, the tram line of ATM Messina also passes directly by the harbor. The tram runs along the picturesque landscape of the coast. It is a great way to reach the train station or the regional museum.
Messina sightseeing tours often start with an open Hop On – Hop Off buses directly at the port (April – October). Tickets cost about 5 € per person.
Sicily is a region in Italy, where the euro is used (1 dollar = 0.86 euro and 1 pound = 1.11 euro). At ATMs you can conveniently withdraw money. Please note that charges may apply.
Basically, you can travel to Sicily all year round as the winter is usually very mild. The bathing season starts in July through August until September. In August, it can be extremely hot and the beaches are overcrowded by holidaymakers. The warm months of May and June are ideal for a stay in Sicily. At temperatures of about 23 °C / 73 °F, it is definitely worthwhile to make an excursion in September and October.
Website of the port and tourist organizations
- Port operator: Messina Port Authority
- Official website: Comune di Messina
- Online tour guide: Wikivoyage
Video: Highlights from Messina
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