10 Best & Fun Things to Do in Locarno, Switzerland (2021)

Locarno is a vibrant Swiss town located at the north end of the famous Lake Maggiore. In this article we’ve found the 10 best things to do in Locarno, and there’s something for everyone!

Known for its huge dam which was used in Goldeneye, Locarno offers both cultural experiences along with action in the surrounding mountains.

The official language is Italian and you might be tempted to believe that you are in Italy due to the gracious climate, but like many places in Switzerland, you’ll find English as well.

Let’s have a look at the 10 most fun things to do in Locarno, based upon tourist reviews and ratings.

10. Locarno-Madonna del Sasso Furnicular

Do you want to experience something fun? If so, then visit the Locarno-Madonna del Sasso Furnicular. This is a funicular railway that connects the pilgrim church, Madonna del Sasso, with Orselina. Opened in 1906, the train line has four stations and takes you around some of the best spots that offer spectacular views.

Originally, the trains had wooden bodies. But today, they are all metal. About seventy people can fit into this train and run throughout the day every fifteen minutes. If you want to have a unique experience in Switzerland, then you should definitely make it a point to sit on this ride.

9. Parco giochi Al Burbaglio, Muralto

Parco giochi Al Burbaglio, Muralto
Parco giochi Al Burbaglio, Muralto (Luigi Chiesa/Wikimedia)

Located in Viale Verbano, Muralto, the Parco giochi Al Burbaglio is a playground that is suitable for kids and families. It’s a great place to visit if you want to relax and have a nice time. The park has lots of slides, swings, and other amenities for children. If you visit Switzerland with your kids, visiting this place is a great idea.

Since the park is in close proximity to the lake, it offers a magnificent view of the scenery and lake Maggiore. Tourists can also come to enjoy the sunsets here. It’s spectactular. This park is also a great place to go on walks alone or with friends. Before visiting, do give a look at the timings as different seasons have different opening and closing hours.

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8. Cardada Panoramic View Point

Who does not want to take in the beauty of the Swiss mountains? If you want an unobstructed view of the Swiss mountains, then make a visit to the Cardada Panoramic observation point. This is an observation platform that is 1671 meters above sea level. It overlooks the beautiful sight of Lake Maggiore as well.

If you visit this place, you are going to get a 360-degree view of the entire area. You will even see the linea insubrica, which is the line that divides the northern and southern Alps. You can take a cable car to reach this viewpoint. The view will totally be worth it.

7. Ghisla Art Collection

Ghisla Art Collection
Ghisla Art Collection (Source: ghisla-art.ch)

In 2014, the Ghisla Art Collection was established in Locarno, Switzerland. The main goal of this collection is to bring art lovers from all over the world under one roof. All of the art gets stored in a futuristic-looking building designed by Moro & Moro brothers. Here, visitors and tourists will find art pieces from all over the world.

When you get your tickets to see this exhibition, you will also get a guided tour. Don’t worry! You will have several languages to choose from, including German, English, French, and even Italian. You will find contemporary as well as classic artworks here, including works by Picasso, Basquiat, and even Lichtenstein.

Official website: www.ghisla-art.ch

6. Visconteo Castle

Castello Visconteo
Castello Visconteo (Chris ALC/Wikimedia)

The Visconteo Castle is a famous Swiss heritage site. Built sometime during the 12th-13th centuries, this castle is open to the public and tourists. Today, the castle is a museum, and only the foundation is what remains from the original castle. Most parts of the castle are gone, and only one-fifth of the castle belongs to the original structure.

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If you ever visit Locarno, remember to come and pay a visit to this castle. If you are someone who loves history and architecture, this place is going to be perfect for you! You will get to see towers, courtyards, large chimneys, arcades, and even halls.

5. Verzasca Dam and River (Contra Dam)

Verzasca Dam and River
Verzasca Dam and River (Martin Abegglen/Wikimedia)

One of the most popular sites in Verzasca is the river and the dam. The Verzasca Dam, also known as the Contra or Locarno Dam, is one of the most popular sites to visit in Switzerland. This is an arch dam that generates electricity and was constructed between the years 1961-1965.

The dam is also a popular site for people to come and partake in bungee jumping. The place became famous for bungee jumping after several movies, including James Bond, shot clips of stuntmen jumping from this dam. If you’re planning to visit this, a bright and sunny day is the perfect day.

4. Falconeria Locarno

If you’re someone who loves outdoor activities, then visiting the Falconeria in Locarno is a perfect idea. Here, visitors and tourists will get to see birds of prey and even interact with them. Birds such as eagles, volts, owls, and even hawks are some of the birds you’ll get to see here.

The Falconeria in Locarno is a good place for bird photographers to comes and visit as well. The entire place is animal friendly, and all the birds are free. They are not caged birds. TImings to visit this place is different for different seasons. Make sure you check them out before paying a visit. All in all, it’s going to be a wonderful experience.

3. Piazza Grande

Piazza Grande
Piazza Grande (Riessdo/Wikimedia)

When you’re in Locarno, Switzerland, it is criminal not to visit the Piazza Grande. This is one of the most famous squares in the region. It is also one of the biggest public squares in the whole of Switzerland. Various arcades are present here, and taking a stroll will allow you to come across each and every single one of them.

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This place is good to visit on a lazy day. You can visit the several shops present there. You can find coffee, lunch items and even visit the Thursday market. This square is the heart of the town where all kinds of cultural activities take place. The square dates back to the medieval period and has many sites of attraction as well.

2. Lido Locarno

If you’re looking for a fun time when you’re in Locarno, try visiting the Lido Locarno. This place will truly change your definition of fun and relaxation. This is a beautiful man-made oasis that is good to just relax, have fun, and spend some time playing. There are pools, waterslides, and even outdoor games.

One of the best things about this oasis is the fact that people can still enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountains while they are here. It even has a heated pool. Architects Moro & Moro are the ones responsible for the construction of this place. It’s a great place for families that have children.

Official website: www.lidolocarno.ch

1. Madonna del Sasso

Madonna del Sasso
Madonna del Sasso (Micha L. Rieser/Wikimedia)

Located in Orselina, the Madonna del Sasso is a beautiful pilgrimage church. If you ever find yourself in Locarno, you should definitely pay a visit to this sanctuary. Tourists and visitors can get a splendid view of the surrounding water, the mountains, as well as the city from the platform of this church.

The history of this church dates back to a vision of the Virgin Mary experienced by brother Bartolomeo in 1480. If you visit this place today, you can enjoy the extravagant interiors, which are decorated lavishly. This place is, by far, one of the most striking places in Locarno, and hence, it is a popular site for tourists and pilgrims from all over the world.