Top things to do

Top Choice Castle in Bellinzona

Castelgrande

Rising dramatically above the Old Town, this medieval stronghold is Bellinzona’s most visible icon. Head up Salita San Michele from Piazza Collegiata, or take the lift, buried deep in the rocky hill in an extraordin…
Top Choice Castle in Bellinzona

Castello di Montebello

On cloudless days, you can see Lake Maggiore from this 13th-century hilltop fortification. The fortress is one of Bellinzona’s most impressive with its drawbridges, ramparts and small museum catapulting you back to …
Top Choice Castle in Bellinzona

Castello di Sasso Corbaro

From central Bellinzona, it’s a 3.5km hike south to the Castello di Sasso Corbaro. Perched high on a wooded hillside, the castle has an austere beauty with its impenetrable walls and sturdy towers.
Italian in Bellinzona

Trattoria Cantinin dal Gatt

Slip up a cobblestone side street to find this cracking little trattoria, brimming with warmth and bonhomie. The brick-vaulted interior is an inviting spot for digging into big Italian flavours courtesy of Tuscan ch…
Italian in Bellinzona

Locanda Orico

Seasonality is the name of the game at this Michelin-starred temple to good food, housed in a slickly converted palazzo in the old town. Creations such as pumpkin gnocchi in jugged chamois meat, and wild turbot with…
Italian in Bellinzona

Osteria Mistral

Luca Braghelli takes pride in local sourcing and makes the most of whatever is in season at this smart, intimate osteria. Be it homemade pasta or autumn venison, everything is cooked to a T and expertly matched with…
Brewery in Bellinzona

Il Fermento

For one of the top craft beers in town, swing across to this hip new urban microbrewery. Sip hoppy amber ales, zesty IPAs and malty bitters in the industro-cool interior or out on the pavement terrace if the sun's o…
Carnival in Bellinzona

Rabadan

Costumed parades, street theatre, jangling jesters and marching bands infuse Bellinzona with carnival fever seven-and-a-half weeks before Easter Sunday.
Church in Bellinzona

Chiesa di San Biagio

This 14th-century church is one of Bellinzona’s most evocative with its original frescoes of the medieval Lombard-Siena school.
Museum in Bellinzona

Museo di Castelgrande

This museum has a modest collection of finds from Castelgrande's hill dating to prehistoric times. More engaging are the 15th-century ceiling decorations of a former noble house in central Bellinzona. The pictures r…