Ascona & Locarno Travel Guide

Ascona Switzerland

Highlights and top attractions in Ascona & Locarno

Located in Ticino – Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region – the twin towns of Ascona and Locarno are on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Visitors head to Ascona and Locarno for the mild Mediterranean climate, Italian lifestyle and cuisine, and the surrounding landscape of rolling valleys, dotted with attractive villages, glaciers and lakeside towns.

Whether you’d rather relax in a Locarno cafe with a coffee, watching life unfold in the Piazza Grande, sample Italian style dishes in Ascona or take a boat trip to the Brissago Isles, these scenic, palm-lined twin towns offer the chance to Live La Dolce Vita while in Switzerland.

Major events in Ascona & Locarno

Jazz Ascona

As the temperature rises, Ascona starts summer with a music festival featuring a range of Swiss and International artists. Jazz Ancona takes place during late June.


Locarno’s Piazza Grande comes alive every July when the Moon&Stars music festival takes place over ten days.  Featuring some of the world’s most famous pop, rock and rap performers, there are up to three concerts per night in the magnificent open-air setting.

How to get to Ascona & Locarno

These twin towns are so close together that you can walk from one to the other in around 40 minutes. Or hop on a local bus, and the journey takes around 10 minutes. By car or local taxi, you can get between them in just 3 minutes.

The train trip from Zurich takes around 3 hours and 20 minutes, 3 hours 30 minutes from Lucerne or 4 hours from Bern.

If you prefer to drive to Ascona and Locarno, you can be there in about 3 hours from Bern, 2 hours and 20 minutes from Zurich or 2 hours from Lucerne.

It’s wise to fly from Geneva, as the trips by road and train take around 4 hours or 5 hours and 20 minutes respectively.

Ascona & Locarno Info

Population: 15,000 (Locarno)

Canton: Ticino

Average high temperatures: January – 6.8C / 44F; April – 16C / 61F; July – 27C / 81F; October – 16C / 61F.

Christmas market dates: 8 December (More info here)

Read all our guides to Ascona and Locarno by clicking the links below