First I looking when we come to Locarno is local tourist information center. It is located in the next to the Casino and Theater. My family was seat in cafe bar across the street during my searching for information.
For a good view above Locarno take that old style Funicolare and visit the Madonna del Sasso Church or just go and have a coffe up there.
Leaves every day from 7:00 to 20:00
More or less every 15 minutes
Cool openair rock concert mid of July normally.
The atmosphere on Piazza Grande is great.
Check homepage for details of the year.
Tickets normally need to be bought ahead. Hotels tend to get full in that week.
For those who like open air theathers, this is something you shouldn't miss.
Every year in the main square, the city organizes the International Movie Festival, with famous authors and famous movies.
Suggestion: book in advance from www.ticketcorner.ch, tickets and fast sold out.
Val Verzasca is just a few kilometers away from Locarno, it offers some of the wildest hiking in Switzerland because of very reduced infrastructure. The most famous hike, a 6-day Via Alta, is especially recommended but if you only have a day, or even half a day you can still find an exciting hike, either along the valley, or by climbing up to the peaks.
Some of the best hikes take you from Verzasca to the neighboring valleys (Maggia, Leventina) through breathtaking passes. Generally the nicer hikes start in the higher section, in and after Lavertezzo.
You'll find a detailed list of over 20 hikes with description, times, photos etc. at verzasca.net - Hiking in Val Verzasca
Parks and squares are not rare. The most popular here is the Piazza Grande, the meeting place in the heart of the town. The commercial area, concerts and events takes place here and the weekly market on Thursdays. In the month of August, the evening screenings for the film festival is held here.
A cobled pilgrimage pathways leading up to the towering Madonna del Sasso, a monastic complex built high up on a rock in Orselina. It takes more or less 30 minutes walking from the town. For alternative, there is a funicular commuting regularly
The sanctuary is named after the Virgin Mary, which is said to have appeared at this very same spot in a vision of the Monk Bartolomeo d'Ivrea in 1480, is overlooking the charming town of Locarno. The sanctuary regroups a small museum, a church and a lot of statues on its way. In addition it has many nice paintings such as the Virgin Mary or the boat escape of the Egyptians all dating from the 15th century. The sanctuary itself is a 20 minute walk from Locarno's town center through a pathway called the Via Crucis or is reached within a few minutes using the funicular.
The castle was once the residence of the Visconti family from Milan. It is located at the west end of the town with its impressive fortified tower.
It features various halls with richly inlayed ceilings and a beautiful XVth century inner court. As well as an archaeological museum, this castle can nowadays be rented in its entirety for private events, including the hosting of meetings, conferences, receptions and gala dinners, enchanting the guests in the magical medieval atmosphere.
I am sure for myself, that whereever i go, i usually find the next or the nearest tourist information center. For those who need infos and for those who wants more , the office is located in the same building where the Casino and Theater is.
Monday-Friday 9 am to 12/13:30 pm to 17
Saturdays 10 am to 15:30
Sundays and holidays closed
You can spend a good half a day in Ascona. Ascona is about 30 minutes from Locarno. You can take one of the many buses from the main train station in Locarno. Once you get to Ascona, get lost through the winding, quiet streets of the old town. Wander in and out of lovely boutiques and have an authentic italian dish at one of the many quality lake-side restaurants.
Live an exciting experience in the world of birds of prey, observe from near the flight of eagles, hawks and owls in a respectful environment of the animals. Daily from Tuesday to Sunday, birds of prey flight representation and Spanish horseback riding of the duration of 45 min.
Nowadays, professional falconers offer the possibility to see birds of prey performing acrobatic flights, in order to renew an interest in the ancient art of falconry which has been fascinating humanity over the past centuries. During the performance, while the birds are flying, the falconer gives the history of falconry and explains how important birds of prey are to preserve the entire ecosystem.
During the month of July this annual festival takes place in the main square of Locarno.
Every year different famous bands and singers are doing concerts for 5 days in the evening.
Personally i've seen Eros Ramazzotti, Dido and Lenny Kravitz.
I really suggest if you are in Locarno to book for a concert (if you like the band that is singing), for more information check the official site and for tickets:
Are you brave enough to jump from a dam ?
Well not really a common dam, this is James Bond dam, where the famous actor jumped in Goldeneye movie.
220 mt high, looking from the top you will really feel the Adrenaline, and then 3-2-1 bungeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Try different kind of jumps, solo, back, etc... check out the site
The dam is a little far from Lugano, is really close to Locarno, up in the valley.
There are a couple of nice walks from Locarno on the lake. Heading to towards Bellinzona, you can walk about 5km towards Tenero mostly along the lake. The views are absolutely fabulous and there are many cafes you can stop at.
Walking the other way, you walk about 4km to a great little village called Ascona. The walk is not as interesting but Ascona is a must. You can always get the number 31 bus to ascona which cost about Sfr 2.80.