Things to see and do if based in Bellinzona in southern Switzerland

Bellinzona - Sightseeing and hiking

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View from Montebello castle in Bellinzona to the Sasso Corbaro castle further up the hill.

Sightseeing tips for Bellinzona

You'll find our recommended day trips below.

SIGHTSEEING IN AND AROUND BELLINZONA

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Gotthard Panorama Express

An impressive train and boat journey across the famous Gotthard route.

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The Ticino region in one day

Don't have much time, or looking for an introduction to the Ticino region? This one day trip to Lugano and Locarno makes sure you won't miss the best spots.

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  • Attraction type: natural site, mountain top, by funicular;
    natural site, mountain top, by cable car;
    natural site, lake;
    culture, monument;
    city tour;
    scenic trip, by train;
    scenic trip, by boat
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino), Lake Lugano (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Cardada-Cimetta

A pleasant trip from Locarno along the famous Madonna del Sasso church up to Cardada and finally Cimetta. A wide view of Locarno, Ascona and Lake Maggiore awaits you here.

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  • Attraction type: natural site, mountain top, by cable car;
    natural site, mountain top, by funicular
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Locarno (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Castles of Bellinzona

Explore the three castles of Bellinzona, a UNESCO World Heritage site from the Middle Ages.

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  • Attraction type: culture, museum;
    culture, monument;
    city tour
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Bellinzona (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Centovalli railway

The Centovalli railway offers a unique train journey across remote valleys in northern Italy and southern Switzerland.

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Madonna del Sasso

The Madonna del Sasso is a historical church on a sacred mountain just outside Locarno. The church, the walk to get there and the view from the top are definitely worth a visit.

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  • Attraction type: culture, monument;
    natural site, mountain top, by funicular
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Locarno (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Boat trip Lake Maggiore

Explore southern Switzerland and northern Italy by boat. Enjoy the green mountains, palm trees, wonderful villages and pleasant Mediterranean climate.

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  • Attraction type: natural site, lake;
    scenic trip, by boat
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Brissago Islands

Take a boat to a unique island with a subtropic climate and wonderful gardens.

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  • Attraction type: scenic trip, by boat;
    natural site, lake
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Monte Tamaro

Gondola ride to a hiking area, viewing point and the famous Santa Maria degli Angeli church.

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Self guided restaurant tour in Locarno

Try the local food during this walk along 5 restaurants in the pretty town center of Locarno. All small dishes combined are a full diner.

Details & prices
  • Attraction type: culinary tour
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Locarno (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less
  • Details & booking: Viator.com

REGIONAL HIKING SUGGESTIONS

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Town walk Ascona

The town center of Ascona is tiny but stunningly beautiful. This self-guided walk leads you through all the pretty streets and to the lakefront.

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  • Hiking time: 0h35
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Elevation: 200 - 235 m
  • Distance: 2.5 km
  • Terrain: along lake, town
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)

Town walk Bellinzona with one castle

Explore the best streets of Bellinzona and the castle in the center of town.

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  • Hiking time: 0h40
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Elevation: 223 - 278 m
  • Distance: 2.3 km
  • Terrain: town
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)

City walk Locarno

A pleasant walk along the lakefront and the historical town center of Locarno, including the pretty Piazza Grande.

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  • Hiking time: 1h00
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Elevation: 200 - 225 m
  • Distance: 4.1 km
  • Terrain: along lake, town
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)

Lavertezzo - Ganne

A pleasant hike along the Verzasca river, starting at the famous Ponte dei Salti, a 17th century stone bridge over crystal clear water.

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  • Hiking time: 1h45
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Elevation: 535 - 685 m
  • Distance: 4.7 km
  • Terrain: forest, along river
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)

Town walk Bellinzona with three castles

Get to know the small town of Bellinzona and it's three famous castles.

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  • Hiking time: 2h00
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Elevation: 223 - 464 m
  • Distance: 5.6 km
  • Terrain: town
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)

Brissago - Madonna del Sacro Monte - Brissago

A walk in the lakeside town of Brissago, and to the Madonna del Sacro Monte church on the slopes of Mount Gridone.

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  • Hiking time: 1h00
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Elevation: 200 - 327 m
  • Distance: 2.5 km
  • Terrain: forest, town, along lake
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)

City walk Locarno and Camellia Park

A pleasant walk along the lakefront, the historical town center of Locarno, and the Camellia Park.

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  • Hiking time: 1h30
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Elevation: 200 - 225 m
  • Distance: 6.1 km
  • Terrain: town, along lake
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)

Tenero - Locarno

An easy walk along the northern tip of Lake Maggiore, even pleasant on a cloudy day.

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  • Hiking time: 1h00
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Elevation: 200 - 206 m
  • Distance: 4.4 km
  • Terrain: town, along lake
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino)
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