8 Best Things To Do in Locarno

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Looking for the best things to do in Locarno for an amazing Swiss getaway? Then keep reading!

Locarno is a stunning town located in the Italian part of Switzerland. It is not quite as touristy as Lugano, while still offerings all the same beauty and magic. You will quickly notice the Italian influences all around Locarno from the food, to architecture to culture and beyond. It is the perfect place to escape to for some Italian sun in the comfort of Switzerland.

Discover the 10 best things to do in Locarno to make your dream vacation a reality.

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8 Best Things to do in Locarno

Explore the Old town

Exploring the old town in Locarno is easily one of the best things to do in this beautiful town. The old town is full of pastel-coloured houses, cobblestone streets and a plethora of secret alleys. It is the perfect place to get lost in while admiring the beauty of this Italian-influenced Swiss destination. You will find yourself walking up and down hilly streets, window shopping, and stopping in plenty of little cafes and bakeries!

Pastel coloured buildings in Locarno old town
Pastel coloured buildings in Locarno old town

The old town is the best place for shopping as well. You will find many local boutiques and shops with unique items to bring home from your adventures. It is also the perfect place to find authentic Italian restaurants for a bite to eat in a unique environment.

Walk Promenade Lungolago Giueseppe Motta

Promenade in Locarno

The Promenade Lungolago Giuseppe Motta is the main promenade in Locarno that snakes along the shore of the city. It is the perfect place to go for a morning or sunset walk to see the Swiss mountains filled with houses and a stretching lake. The promenade is beautiful and offers a lovely, relaxing walk that will show you some of the highlights of the city.

Enjoy a Meal in Piazza Grande 

Colourful buildings in Locarno

Piazza Grande is the main Piazza in Locarno and a stunning sight to see. It is located in the center of Locarno and is full of pastel-coloured buildings, cobblestone pavement, and a ton of different restaurants. All year long this Piazza is full of like and activity and the place to be! This is where all the biggest events are held and where you can always expect a ton of people there enjoying a good time.

Day Trip to Ascona

Ascona is a beyond picturesque town just a short 10-minute drive from Locarno. It sits along the shores of Lake Maggiore and is one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland. Ascona is the perfect village for an Italian getaway and a quick day trip from Locarno. It is the ideal place for soaking up the sunny warm weather, walking along the palm tree-lined streets, and admiring brightly coloured buildings.

Ascona lakefront on the shore of Lake Maggiore, Ticino, Switzerland

The promenade is the highlight of Ascona where you will find stunning views and tons of restaurants. There is nothing better than relaxing in one of the lakeside restaurants and enjoying Italian food with the stunning views of the lake and mountains. Going on this small day trip is one of the best things to do in Locarno that shows you a different side to the town and surrounding areas.

Visit Madonna del Sasso

Madonna del Sasso is one of the most important religious and historical sites in the Swiss canton of Ticino. Venturing into this prominent place is one of the best things to do in Locarno! Here you will find both the Church of the Annunciation and the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso. Both of which hold a ton of history and spiritual importance.

View of the lake and Lorcarno
Large church on the mountain

From Madonna del Sasso you are blessed with stunning views of Lorcaro and the Lake below. Its positioning on the rocks in the mountains gives it one of the best viewpoints in the area. This amazing site is open to the public and is best reached by Funicular, check out the timetable here.

Adventure to Cardada / Cimetta

Paraglider over the lake

Cardada / Cimetta is a mountain located just above Locarno and the surrounding Lake Maggiore. It is the perfect place to escape to if you are looking to enjoy some of the natural beauty and wonder of Switzerland. Cimetta offers stunning views, peaceful hikes and more. It is best reached by Funicular to Madonna del Sasso and then taking a cable car Cardada.

If you are seeking adventure and thrill, this is one of the best things to do in Locarno.

Have in Coffee on an Outdoor Patio

Coffee on a table

With all the amazing cafes in Locarno, stopping in one for a fresh coffee and croissant is a must. There is a prominent coffee culture in Locarno much like most of Italy where relaxing in the morning for a coffee and snack is the way to start the day. Finding a cute cafe with coffees and treats and starting your day off slowly is the way to go.

Enjoy Lido Locarno

Lido Locarno is a high-tech, man-made swimming oasis made for all kinds of travellers. It is one of the best things to do in Locarno if you are looking to escape and relaxing for some time. Here you will find a hot spring, swimming pool, waterslides and more. It is open all year long and a wonderful place to enjoy. The unique swimming experience paired with the stunning Ticino views and unmatched.

Where to stay in Locarno


Travel Insurance

Getting travel insurance before you travel is a MUST. It’s the number one thing you should always pack before travelling that can save you a lot of money, time, and stress. With how crazy travel has gotten recently you need that peace of mind that no matter what happens there is something protecting you from losing out. I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should.

I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should. Below is my favorite travel insurer Safety Wings, enter your details to get a free quote! 


These 8 best things to do in Locarno are just the beginning! There are so many more amazing and exciting things to do and see that will make your Swiss adventures even more enjoyable!

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