We have 3 nights in Locarno in late Sept/early October.
Could anyone suggest any must see or do in Locarno please?
Will you have a car rental? Do you like architecture?
Take the gondola up to Madonna del Sasso; go to the "old city" & visit Castello Visconteo, a 12th century gem.
Take a drive to Bellinzona - there are 3 very old castles or a drive through the centovalli - outstanding scenery; crystal clear waters; wonderful little grottos along the way to eat & drink...don't even know where to begin, it is a beautiful area!
To illustrate the proposals of Jacqueline B, and many others, can be useful to check the website:
No we won't have a car rental so will be relying on trains.
Without a car you'll be quite limited, but trains & buses do run in a timely manner. Do go to Ascona - beautiful town a stones throw away with public transport; if you are in Locarno on a Thursday, go to Piazza Grande when the market is open; if you like to shop, go to Foxtown in Mendrisio where you will find designer labels at a fraction of the normal cost (open noon - 7) & as above, if you like to hike you may do so in lieu of the gondola to Madonna del Sasso; go to the "old city" & visit Castello Visconteo.
Ignore the above - we have a superb public transport system and you will find that trains, boats and post buses will get you anywhere you want to go. A striking example is actually from Locarno. There is a wonderful route from there to Domodossola in Italy which, if you drive is madness. Bad traffic, dangerous road etc. but if you take the train you can sit back and admire the views with no stress at all.
And you cannot drive on lago Maggiore... Plus if you do drive you then have to park you car (if you can find a car park). Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing... You have made the right decision to take public transport! Have a great time in my country.
Yes, the public transport is fantastic in Switzerland, however, when on vacation I prefer not to have to be bound by time schedules which is why I prefer renting an auto. I have done both public transport, as well as driving, and since the past 2 decades have basically gone the auto renting route, providing the freedom of not worrying about missing the last train when out in the evening.
The drive from Domodossola through the Centovalli region is one I have done many, many times (as recently as this past July)...however, as per the suggestion above, if you are not an experienced driver of such roads, it is dangerous, so as magnificent as it is, be warned.
I lived in Switzerland for a time, and intend to divide my time (once retired in 8-9 years) between Florida, USA & Switzerland.
Since you will be relying on public transport, you may want to look into a Swiss rail pass. Just be aware certain trips will still require a reservation, even with a pass, and some with a surcharge on top of that. Once adding up the costs of the pass (and and any surcharges) per/person, a car may be far more economical, depending upon how many people are in your party.Edited: 5:06 pm, September 22, 2013
If this lady wants to come and live here she had better learn about our transport system. However. That is not the issue at hand. For most visitors to our country travelling by public transport is a wonderful experience. Sitting in traffic jams or looking for parking places or paying over USD 8 per gallon for petrol is not.
It looks like the weather is going to be a bit rainy when I am there early next week :(
Can you suggest anything to do indoors to as a back up plan?
I am planning to spend to nights in Lugano but I am on a small budget. Where should I stay. I will be using public transport - coming in by train from zurich