Brissago Islands, Ticino
E Pescantini

Unmissable sights to visit in Ticino

Don’t leave Ticino without experiencing these landmark attractions

Written by Time Out. Paid for in partnership with Switzerland Tourism and Ticino Tourism.

It’s no secret that there’s a lot to see in Ticino. The region’s many aesthetic wonders have made it a haven for those looking to escape the city for a while and lose themselves in a place that’s rich with culture, history, scenery and beautiful countryside.

Navigating Ticino’s many highlights and knowing where to begin can be challenging, so we’ve mapped-out the sights that you simply can’t afford to miss.

If that’s got you in the mood for sightseeing, head to for more inspiration about where to see the most incredible sights and attractions across the whole of Switzerland.

Ticino’s unmissable sights

Hit the Med without leaving Switzerland by heading to this lively and cosmopolitan town. The perfect place to enjoy the sun (especially thanks to its warm climate that sets it apart from the rest of the country), Ascona’s harbour overlooking the ever-lovely Lake Maggiore is always a delightful place to spend a few hours, though you’ll probably want to extend that to a few days once you arrive and lay eyes on the rows of colourful houses, fishing boats and cosmopolitan cafes lining the streets.

2020 marks 20 years since Bellinzona’s three magnificent castles were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so there’s never been a better time to visit these unique landmarks. Each of the castles – Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro – has its own distinct strategic importance and fascinating architectural features, but visiting all three in succession is a great way to venture back into Medieval times.

Widely known as Ticino’s botanical gardens, this group of islands may look small as you approach by boat, but once you disembark you’ll instantly feel like you’ve discovered a hidden, tropical paradise – which you essentially have. Over 1,700 species of plant flourish here, including flora from as far away as Chile, South Africa, Australia and California, creating a seriously exotic and eye-catching environment that demands to be explored – and photographed, of course.

There are many pretty villages in Ticino, but Gandria has a little more magic than most. Found at the foot of Monte Brè, this beautiful, peaceful village is the perfect place to lose yourself for a while, particularly if you visit on a daytrip from Lugano, where you can travel to Gandria by boat. Make sure you walk back on the famous and wonderfully scenic Olive Path, but not before you’ve explored Gandria’s charms, including the 16th century Baroque church of San Vigilio. For a culture fix, head to the Museum of Cultures or the Museum of Swiss Customs in Cantine di Gandria, reachable by boat across the lake opposite Gandria.

See even more of Ticino

The sights above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to soaking up Ticino’s attractions. Start booking and keep exploring by visiting

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