There are so many amazing things to do in Ticino, Switzerland that you can easily spend a week exploring this region of the country alone. However, time is a luxury when travelling and often we have less than we desire. Discover the 10 best things to do in Ticino to see and experience the best of this canton.
Ticino is the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland located along the border of Italy. Where a canton is like a province or a state within a country. This is a magical and wonderful part of the country with the stunning Italian Alps, bright blue water, delicious food, and brightly coloured architecture. Here is where you will find some of Switzerland’s most beautiful villages and stunning sights making it the perfect place to venture to!
Discover 10 unmissable things to do in Ticino and prepare to fall in love!
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10 Best Things to do in Ticino
View the Castles in Bellinzona
Ticino is a great place to visit if you want to see some of the most beautiful castles in Europe. In the canton’s capital of Bellinzona, you will find three famous castles that are well worth a visit. This is one of Ticinos biggest tourist attractions and an amazingly historic and cultural place to visit and explore. The three main castles are Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro which were built to protect Switzerland from Italy in the Middle Ages.
In the Castles of Bellinzona were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are open to the public to explore. Visiting these castles and experiencing them first hand is easily one of the best things to do in Ticino that you cannot miss. Below is a tour that is best booked before arrival so you ensure there are tickets available.
Lugano is one of the bigger cities in Ticino and a top destination to see and explore. It has a very unique Swiss-Mediterranean mix that is unlike anything else in the country. You can find here plenty of restaurants, shopping, hikes and more! Beyond all the amazing things to do in Lugano, it is also a super beautiful city. It sits along Lake Lugano and is surrounded by the alps. It is about as picturesque as it gets.
Explore Lugano is one of the best things to do in Ticino and Lugano is also one of the best places to stay in Ticino. With its central location in the canton, the plethora of hotels and restaurants it is the perfect place to set up a base in Ticino for your adventures!
Go to The Top of Mount Bre
Monte Brè is a mountain near Lugano that offers stunning views of all of Ticino. From the top of this mountain, you can see the Pennine Alps and the Bernese Alps plus all of the bright blue waters of Lake Lugano. This mountain is called one of the sunniest places in Switzerland making it the ideal place to go to for the sun, stunning views, and an amazing Ticino experience.
Locarno is one of Ticino’s hidden gems and a must-visit while in the region. One of the best things to do in Ticino is venture to the stunning city of Locarno to explore the colourful streets, walk the promenade or hike the mountains. It is a popular resort city that was founded in the 15th century and you will find plenty of history and culture here. Be sure to also visit Santuario Della Madonna del Sasso – a sanctuary and pilgrimage church – to get stunning views of the city.
Walk the Shores of Ascona
Ascona is a Mediterranean-style city in Ticino located just 20 minutes from Locarno. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Ticino if you are looking for a relaxing day along the water. The main highlight of Ascona is the waterfront promenade that is lined with amazing restaurants. This is a great place to get delicious Italian meals with a beautiful view.
Morcote is considered “The Pearl of Cerasio” and one of the most beautiful cities in Ticino. Venturing to this stunning gem is one of the top things to do in Ticino to see and experience this magical and historic city for yourself. The picturesque village of Morcote is built into the mountains of Switzerland which gives it a unique “layered” look. Spending a day or two exploring and admiring this city is a must.
See the Stunning Ponte dei Salti
Ponte Dei Salti is a beautiful and unexpected sight to see in Ticino. This wavy double-arched stone bridge over the bright blue water of the Verzasca River. It is a medieval gem that will have you feeling transported back in time. Walking this famous pedestrian bridge and admiring the lush surroundings is one of the best things to do in Ticino, Switzerland.
View the High Dam of the Verzasca Valley
The Verzasca Dam (also known as Contra Dam or the Locarno Dam) is a huge and unbelievably high dam on the Verzasca River in Ticino, Switzerland. It is well known for its famous appearance in James Bond GoldenEye and is a popular place for bungee jumping! It is one of the only places where you can bungee jump at night for an extra thrilling adventure.
If you are not a thrill-seeker looking to bungee jump you can also walk the ledge and view it this way as well. It is still every bit as exhilarating but not quite as dangerous.
Journey to Brissago Islands
The Brissago Islands are two islands located on the Swiss part of Lake Maggiore. They can be reached by boat tours that will allow you to get off the boat for some time to explore. Heading here is one of the best things to do in Ticino that is different and unique. Here you will find hundreds of different plant and trees species and many gardens to explore!
Explore to Alleys of Gandria
Gandria is a small town that is built amazingly into the mountainside. It is just 10 minutes from Lugano and a must-visit for a more authentic Italian feeling escape. Gandria is super romantic with its hidden alleyways, cobblestone streets, and pastel-coloured houses. Making the journey here to explore is a must.
There are so many amazing things to do in Ticino. The hard part is finding the things you want to do most and the ones you can manage skipping!
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