photo by Borya

Getting there

By car

From the east, take highway A2 Basel to Chiasso, exit at Bellinzona South, direction Locarno. After the Magadino airport, take the A13 highway,direction Locarno. After the tunnel, the first exit will bring you in the center of Locarno. Parking available in the new Piazza Castello parking.

From the west, take the road coasting the lake Maggiore, from Verbania trough Cannobio and the Brissago customs. Then take the A13 highway, direction Locarno. An alternative, from Simplon and Domodossola, is the Valle Vigezzo and Centovalli road, direction Locarno.

By train

Regular trains link Locarno directly with Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, Milan and Bellinzona. The Centovallina train line connects Locarno and the Simplon line (from Geneva or Bern).

By flight

Lugano airport. Then take the bus to Lugano and the train to Locarno.

Traveling around

By bike

Bike rental can be found at the train station (Piazza Stazione, Tel. ''+41 91 7436564). Rental fee: CHF30/day (8AM-7PM).


  • Piazza Grande. It is the heart of the city center and also the major shopping area.

  • Città Vecchia. The old town.

  • Santuario della Madonna del Sasso

  • Castello Visconteo, a castle which today serves as Municipal and Archeological Museum.

  • The Casa Rusca Gallery

Things to do

  • Walk the Lake Maggiore promenade

  • Take boat trips on Lake Maggiore

  • Ride the Funicular Take the funicular railway up to the old monastery and cable car station, from where you can take the cable car to approx 1,600m above the town, or walk back down into the town via the monastery and a stone pathway, approx 30 minute walk down.

  • Moon and Stars Music Festival in July attracts international acts.

  • Locarno International Film Festival (Festival del Film internazionale) in the first two weeks of August on Piazza Grande, biggest open air screen in Europe. Date for 2009: August 5-15.

  • Other events, see .


  • Albergo ristorante Cittadella - fish specialties.

  • Osteria Borghese

  • Pizzeria Primavera (Pizza)

  • Trattoria da Luigi (expensive)

  • Ristorante Vallemaggia.


  • Bar Sport (free entry, house music)

  • Bar Castello (free entry)

  • Bar Pardo (free entry)

  • Cantina Canetti (free entry)

  • Max's way (aperitifs lounge music)

  • Vanilla Club (expensive, good house music)


  • YHA Locarno, +41 91 756 15 00, Palagiovani, Via Varenna 18, 15 minutes walk from the central station, Budget travellers hostel, single and multi person rooms, clean and modern. many families as well as younger travellers were staying

  • Ramada Hotel Arcadia , +41 91 756 18 18, Lungolago G. Motta, This hotel offers children's programs

  • Hotel du Lac , Via Ramogna 3, Near the shore of Lake Maggiore

  • Hotel Dell'angelo, Piazza Grande, Located in main square of Locarno, Great location, although some travellers complain of the noise at night

  • Hotel Gottardo Garni, Via San Gottardo 18

  • Garni Fiorentina , Via St.Antonio 10, Close to the main square, Piazza Grande

  • Castello Schloss-Hotel , Via B. Rusca 9 / S. Francesco 7a

  • Hotel Belvédère Locarno , +41 91 751 03 63, +41 91 751 03 63, Via ai Monti 44

  • Villa India, +41 91 751 32 73, Via ai Monti 62, On the hillside above Locarno, This modest hotel offers lovely views of Locarno and the lake

  • Pensione Olanda , Via ai Monti 139a, Charming bed-and-breakfast-style pensione; beautiful breakfast terrace with views of Locarno and the lake; wonderful innkeeper Irmgard Balbina, very helpful.

  • Kon Tiki B&B , +41 79 325 55 46, +41 79 325 55 46, Via Fiorina 1, Two minutes walk from Piazza Grande

  • Hotel Alexandra , +41 91 743 25 23, +41 91 743 25 23, Via San Gottardo 43, In the neighboring suburb of Muralto a few minutes walk from Locarno station

  • Campsite Lago Maggiore , +41 91 745 18 48, +41 91 745 18 48, Via Lido 4, In the neighboring village of Tenero, Family-friendly campsite at the shore of Lake Maggiore. Reservation possible

  • Mirafiori, , Via al Parco 25 , CH-6644, The three star superior hotel is a member of Swiss Quality Hotels International. Small, romantic and charming, located on the south hill of Locarno, 2km from the city center and from the railway station. Double room from 240CHF (season of april 2009).
    www.mirafiori.ch www.SwissQualityHotels.com

  • CITTÀ VECCHIA LOCARNO (old side of locarno) , Città Vecchia Locarno, The right web site portal where you can find many informations about the old side of locarno city base in south Switzerland. Hotel, restaurant, boutique and many more.


Most of shopping areas are located on the arcades of Piazza Grande or in the Old Town. You can find out very interesting boutiques, sport shop, handmade jewels and many kinds of particular store offering specialities in old town of Locarno.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Borya, ezioman, Franco Folini, Hisakazu Watanabe, Ashleigh Nushawg, Winu

Some photos courtesy of: , . The photos provided by Flickr, Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Kayla Burtch, David, sixzilly, Evan Prodromou and Ryan Holliday, Airin, Episteme, Unger and InterLangBot

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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