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 take you to the center of Locarno. Parking available in the new Piazza Castello parking.
From the west, take the road along the coast of Lake Maggiore from Verbania through 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.
Lugano airport. Then take the bus to Lugano and the train to Locarno.
Bike rental can be found at the train station (Piazza Stazione, Tel. +41 91 7436564). Rental fee: CHF30/day (8AM-7PM).
Most of the city can be explored on foot. The Main Square Piazza Grande is walking distance from Main Railway station. Old Town of Locarno is behind Piazza Grande.
Ticino Discovery Card
With this card you get access to all major tourist attractions in Ticino canton including unlimited travel on public transport, cable cars, furniculars and museums. Price of the card is 87 CHF. People holding Swiss GA Travel card or Half fare card get 10 CHF discount. Card is valid for 3 days. A real good deal to discover Ticino and is available at major hotels, hostels, train station and Tourist Offices.
- Piazza Grande. A heart of the city center and the major shopping area.
- Città Vecchia (Old town).
- Santuario della Madonna del Sasso, Largo Zorzi 1, ☎ +41 848 091 091.
- Castello Visconteo (Visconti Castle), Piazza Castello 2, ☎ +41 91 756 31 70. A castle which today serves as Municipal and Archeological Museum.
- Pinacoteca Casa Rusca (Casa Rusca Gallery), Piazza S. Antonio, ☎ +41 91 756 31 85.
- Walk the Lake Maggiore promenade
- Ride a funicular, Viale Balli 2, ☎ +41 91 751 11 23. Take a historical funicular up to the old monastery of the Santuario della Madonna del Sasso 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. Single: CHF 4.80; Return: CHF 7.20.
- 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. August.
- Falconeria Locarno. An interesting show of birds like Peregrine Falcon, American Eagle, White Owls and Vultures. Check the show timing before reaching the place.
- Other events. See.
Most of shopping areas are in 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.
- Albergo Ristorante Cittadella (old town). Fish specialties and pizza.
- Osteria Borghese (old town). Traditional.
- Pizzeria Primavera (old town). Pizza, icecream.
- Ristorante Universo. Pizza, pasta, and more.
- Ristorante Vallemaggia (old town). Original, good quality/price ratio, operated by a foundation.
- Govinda (old town). Indian vegetarian.
- Marnin (old town). Breakfast / tea time.
- Bar Sport. Free entry, house music.
- Bar Castello. Free entry.
- Bar Pardo. Free entry.
- Cantina Canetti. Free entry.
- Max's way (old town). Aperitifs lounge music.
- Vanilla Club. Disco in Riazzino, expensive, good house music.
- Campsite Lago Maggiore, Via Lido 4 (In the neighboring village of Tenero), ☎ +41 91 745 18 48, e-mail: email@example.com. Family-friendly campsite at the shore of Lake Maggiore. Reservation possible.
- YHA Locarno, Palagiovani, Via Varenna 18 (15 minutes walk from the central station), ☎ +41 91 756 15 00. Budget travellers hostel, single and multi person rooms, clean and modern.
- Pensione Olanda, Via ai Monti 139a. Bed-and-breakfast-style pensione; beautiful breakfast terrace with views of the lake; wonderful innkeeper Irmgard Balbina, very helpful.
- Kon Tiki B&B, Via Fiorina 1 (Two minutes walk from Piazza Grande), ☎ +41 79 325 55 46, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 49CHF per person.
- Hotel Casa DaVinci, Via Bartolomeo Rusca 6 (in the old town), ☎ +41 91 751 30 64, e-mail: email@example.com. Beautiful historical building. From double rooms to 6 bed flats, well suited for families. Lift, free WLAN, bike rental outlet are all there.
- Hotel du Lac, Via Ramogna 3 (Near the shore of Lake Maggiore).
- Hotel Dell'angelo, Piazza Grande. 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 Piazza Grande).
- Castello Schloss-Hotel, Via B. Rusca 9 / S. Francesco 7a. (min. 3 nights).
- Hotel Alexandra, Via San Gottardo 43, 6602 Muralto, ☎ +41 917 432 523, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 150,- CHF for a room without shower.
- Mirafiori, Via al Parco 25, fax: +41 91 743 77 39, e-mail: email@example.com. Three star hotel. Small, on the south hill of Locarno, 2km from the city center and from the railway station. Double room from 240CHF (season of April 2009).