The best bars and nightlife in Sicily

Housed in a 17th-century crypt, Anche gli Angeli is one of Sicily’s best bars

Nightlife in Sicily generally means nightlife in Sicilian towns or their beachside satellite towns. Catania has perhaps the most vibrant music scene on the island, closely followed by Palermo. In Castelbuono, south of Cefalu, the annual summer festival Ypsigrock looks a bit like a Sicilian Glastonbury.

Apart from a few Euro-dance clubs, the classic Sicilian nightlife center is the bar, in various guises, from extravagant cocktail bars to modest neighborhood hangouts, where summer refreshment comes in traditional forms. Is there anything better than a homemade one granita di mandorla (frozen almond water) on a square that is still bustling with village life at midnight?

For more inspiration about Sicily, check out our guides to the island’s best hotels, restaurants, beaches and activities.

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Nautoscopio is a beach hut bar that brings a very special seaside atmosphere to the heart of Palermo. You can laze on the sand all day, eat delicious fast food with fish and watch gigantic ships sail through the harbor. But stay here until it gets dark and the mood changes: candles are lit on the port side tables and live bands and DJs get started. There is dancing on the sand, lots of kissing, cocktails and perfectly drinkable Sicilian wines.

Prices: £

Nautoscopio, SicilyNautoscopio, Sicily

Nautoscopio is a beach hut bar that brings a very special seaside atmosphere to the heart of Palermo


If the Italian foodie bible, Gambero Rosso, once called this friendly venue with a cool, vintage vibe the best cocktail bar in Italy, who’s to argue? Upstairs is a gourmet restaurant; downstairs is the hippest drinking establishment in the Sicilian capital; and there are also outdoor tables to enjoy Palermo as it passes by. The wine selection leans strongly towards natural producers. The cocktails range from different variations on the classic negroni to challenges such as the Tomatotini (gin with sun-dried tomatoes, Noilly Prat, anchovy colatura and chili-infused olive oil). On many Thursday evenings there is live music with a jazz slant.

Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations recommended for dining

Bocum Mixology, SicilyBocum Mixology, Sicily

Visit the award-winning Bocum Mixology for expertly crafted cocktails

Kalapinta craft beer

At Kalapinta you are not obliged to drink serious ales: you can opt for a cocktail such as Bandito alla Fragola (tequila, lime juice and strawberry juice) or Tsantsa Punch (rum, cloves, star anise, pineapple juice, mint and lime juice). But – as the name suggests – craft beer is the raison d’être of this lively pub just off Cefalù’s main drag, and there are some very good labels to choose from, from the ten brews (some of them local) on tap to the wide international choice of bottles and cans. Theme evenings and live music – from rock ‘n’ roll to jazz and soul – are regularly announced on the Facebook page.

Contact: 00 39 0921 820168;
Prices: £

Kalapinta craft beer, SicilyKalapinta craft beer, Sicily

Kalapinta Craft Beer has 10 brews on tap (some local) and an extensive international selection of bottles and cans


Morgana bar

Taormina is extremely beautiful but very touristy and isn’t exactly ‘Nightlife Central’ – but if you’re still restless when all the cafes are closed during the day, head to this cocktail bar that’s open until late in the evening. Make sure you reserve a table first, otherwise you might not get in. The little Morgana is done in a kind of surreal 60s style and serves cocktails such as Cucumber Negroni (cucumber-infused Campari with gin and Vermouth) or Ddhanens (bourbon, rhubarb liqueur, lemon juice and rosemary syrup). The outdoor area is a wonderful place to sip and drink. The music on the small dance floor is relatively boring, but there is usually some action after midnight.

Prices: ££
Getting in: Booking essential

Morgana Bar, SicilyMorgana Bar, Sicily

Morgana Bar is a late-night cocktail spot, decorated in a surreal 1960s style


This charming boho bar and cafe in the heart of Ortygia, Siracusa center store, is a relaxing place for everything from a morning cappuccino to a great light lunch (salads include salmon, avocado, walnuts, lamb’s lettuce; delicious bruschette, including one with sun-dried tomatoes and salted ricotta) to afternoon tea (they have more than 30 varieties). There are regular live music events in the evenings. The atmosphere is particularly relaxed and welcoming around aperitivo time, when an alternative crowd of locals and ex-pats meet over wine, cocktails (try Ortygia Island with gin, prosecco and orange juice) and snacks.

Contact: 00 39 333 5785347;
Prices: ££

Tinkitè, SicilyTinkitè, Sicily

The atmosphere at Tinkitè is particularly relaxed and welcoming around aperitivo time

Mercati Generali

The ‘General Market’ – probably Sicily’s most influential club – sprawls across the warehouses and press rooms of a restored 19th-century winery in Catania’s far southern outskirts. In summer the scene moves outside to the palm-shaded courtyard. The atmosphere is relaxed, but as soon as the music – broad in genre and always high octane – starts, you know you’re where it is. Some of Europe’s best DJs perform here, as well as big live rock and pop acts (usually before they become big names). Check the website for events. DJ sets usually start around 11pm.

Prices: ££

Mercati Generali, SicilyMercati Generali, Sicily

Mercati Generali extends over the warehouses and press rooms of a restored 19th-century winery

First lounge bar

In the very leafy (although rather uncentral) San Berillo area of ​​Catania you’ll find the First Lounge Bar – a relaxed, friendly boho curio shop, with outdoor seating in a beautiful square. It’s really worth seeking out. There is simple food – mainly selections of meats and cheese – and a great selection of beers. The cocktails are very good indeed: try an excellent mojito or a Boston Iced Tea. But above all, come for the atmosphere. Until recently this was a run-down part of the city; The former is a key element in a rejuvenation project that is giving San Berillo a real buzz.

Contact: 00 39 346 5791091;

First Lounge Bar, SicilyFirst Lounge Bar, Sicily

First Lounge Bar is a relaxed, friendly boho curio shop in an up-and-coming neighborhood


Enche gli Angeli

This spot in the center of Noto is worth a visit purely for its architecture: it’s set in a 17th-century crypt with large stone arches – a wonderfully cool place to escape the summer heat of Sicily. It’s a cafe, a restaurant (perhaps more expensive than it should be) and a really hip wine/lounge bar. There’s a decent choice of excellent Sicilian wines by the glass (try the Nero d’Avola) and local craft beers, plus a changing menu of good cocktails. Live music on Wednesday and Friday evenings ranges from soul to Latino to folk and much more.

Prices: ££-£££

Anche gli Angeli, SicilyAnche gli Angeli, Sicily

Anche gli Angeli is a hip bar, concept store, bookstore and restaurant in one

Excellent class

Open from breakfast (the pastries are excellent) until the early hours, this smart, modern space with retro touches is a firm favorite with a cool Ragusa crowd for aperitivi and after-dinner drinks. Classic cocktails are expertly prepared; for something southern-mediterranean, go for the Bergamottini (gin with bergamot liqueur) or the Googdfather (sic), which combines Jack Daniel’s with amaretto di Saronno liqueur. There are also craft beers from micro producers. Art and photo exhibitions, live music ranging from free jazz to electronica and comedy stand-up acts complete the picture. There is also a restaurant, serving modern medical cuisine.

Prices: £-££
Getting in: Reservations recommended for dining

Prima Classe, SicilyPrima Classe, Sicily

Prima Classe is a smart, modern space with retro touches, which is a firm favorite with the cool Ragusa crowd

Don Beach

Located between Siracusa and Noto on the southeast coast, Avola is famous for its grape variety (Nero d’Avola), for its almonds and for its white beaches. At one of these, right next to the grim ruins of a historic tuna factory, Don Beach serves up some exceptional cocktails to the coolest locals and a handful of well-informed visitors. Cocktails change with the seasons. In the summer, try a Julep Sour (bourbon, orange and lemon juice, barley water); in winter a Mandarinero (mandarin liqueur, cognac, pomegranate syrup, chocolate bitters and boiling water) – all served in the strangest selection of cups and glasses. Occasionally live music is announced on their Facebook page.

Contact: 00 39 333 4839221;
Prices: £

Don beach, SicilyDon beach, Sicily

Don Beach serves up some exceptional cocktails to the coolest locals and a handful of knowledgeable visitors.

How we choose

Every bar, venue or experience on this curated list has been tried and tested by our destination expert, who’s dropped by to give you their insider perspective. We cover a range of budgets and styles, from casual pubs to exquisite cocktail bars – to suit every type of traveler – and take service, drinks, atmosphere and price into account in our recommendations. We update this list regularly to stay informed of the latest vacancies and to provide current recommendations.

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