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Another Sicily question, this time trains.

Hello again.
In looking at trains from Palermo to Siracusa, it appears that a transfer at a place called Dittaino is required, and then you go onward by bus.
If you have done this, can you please tell me what the bus was like?
A tour-type bus?
A regular commuter bus?
After getting off the train from Palermo in Dittaino, is the bus waiting right there for its transferring passengers, or do you have to find it somewhere outside the railway station?
The Trenitalia ticket is for the train and the bus on one ticket.
Thank you!

Posted by
3812 posts

What day of travel are you using? I see only 2 direct trains at 7:31 and 17:31 plus 3 trains with changes either at Catania Airport Station or in Messina.

Incidentally Interbus buses go from Palermo to Catania in 3h and 20m twice a day. No changes.

is the bus waiting right there

Buses can't arrive close to railway tracks, it will be waiting outside the station.

Posted by
5258 posts

SJ,
Dario’s suggestion of taking the Interbus directly from Palermo to Siracusa, makes great sense.
The journey will take less time than the
train/bus combination.

I took several buses and some trains when visiting Sicily a few years ago.
The buses are comfortable and air conditioned. And… You won’t have to worry about your luggage since it travels in the hold below the bus. Just take your personal bag on the bus with you.

Enjoy your time in beautiful Sicily!

Posted by
3192 posts

Thanks,.
Taking the bus sounds much more sensible!
Would we buy tickets in advance at the bus station a few days beforehand?
I downloaded the Interbus app but can’t see a way of buying tickets through it.
I’ll have a look for the website.
Thanks again.

Posted by
5258 posts

You can buy your ticket at the bus station or on the Interbus website. I’ve not used the app but it’s probably similar to the website.

I actually bought my bus tickets at the bus station (Palermo, Agrigento. etc) or at a ticket seller (sometimes a travel agency (Trapani) a tabaccheria , a small shop at gas station, or a ticket booth (Catania Airport & Siracusa)

Please note:
Some stations won’t sell tickets in advance but only on the day of travel; this was very odd to me.
This was in 2018 so perhaps it’s different now.

Posted by
3192 posts

One other thing: do the buses have a toilet on board?
They look like the big tour buses, so I'm wondering.

Posted by
223 posts

We traveled by bus from Catania airport to Siracusa, last stop, closest to Ortigia, last May. We bought our ticket at the small ticket booth just outside of the airport (turn right, follow the sidewalk, you'll see the booth and the buses lined up.) It was 6euro each, the same price as it would have been if we bought the ticket ahead of time. On our return it was just as easy, bought the ticket at the ticket booth in Siracusa, which is basically in the center of a small parking/bus turn around area. The whole experience was a lot smoother and easier than I expected. I don't remember if there was a toilet on that bus, but probably yes - it's one of those big coaches where you store your luggage underneath, and retrieve it yourself.

Posted by
3812 posts

The driver won't let you use it and he will tell you to wait for the scheduled stop. You must really be on the verge of... to make a Sicilian bus driver slow down while you use the toilet

Posted by
3192 posts

Thanks!
Not much point in having one on board though if no one is allowed to use it!

Posted by
27336 posts

I hesitated to warn about that because I just never noticed whether the Sicilian buses had toilets to begin with. I can say for sure that many Spanish intercity buses do not have toilets, and on the ones that do have them, the toilet is often kept locked.

Posted by
1952 posts

We traveled by bus from Catania airport to Siracusa, last stop,
closest to Ortigia, last May. We bought our ticket at the small ticket
booth just outside of the airport (turn right, follow the sidewalk,
you'll see the booth and the buses lined up.) It was 6euro each, the
same price as it would have been if we bought the ticket ahead of
time.

Boy, for this October we were just planning on a private transport from Catania Airport to our hotel in Ortigia, but that is dirt-cheap! Problem is...this would be late morning after an overnight flight from Boston and transfer with a 2-hour layover at Roma Fiumicino, probably change of airline from Air France to ITA. We'll likely be on fumes by then. We'll see...

Posted by
929 posts

That bus from Catania airport to Siracusa really was a breeze. The airport is small and the bus station/area with ticket booth is literally right there. From Siracusa drop to Ortigia is a bit of a hike though, or you can splurge a quick taxi or wait for the tourist bus.