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Piazza Grande

Home to one of Europe’s most picturesque outdoor cinemas, this town square is the cultural hub of Locarno.

Visit Locarno’s town center, Piazza Grande, a rambling 19th-century square that was once occupied by the waters of Lake Maggiore. Today, picturesque buildings and important landmarks line the historic square. Each August it is transformed into one of the world’s premier open-air cinemas during the Locarno Film Festival. A trip to Locarno isn’t complete without a day spent meandering across the cobbled surface of the enormous square. 

Follow the streets from Locarno’s Old Town to reach the Piazza Grande. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Swiss Alps, the piazza is one of the few spots in the heart of the city that offer you the space to really take in the scale of the mountains towering above you. Sit outside a restaurant or café to enjoy the view over a meal or drink. Even in the colder months, blankets outside the restaurants will allow you to stay warm.

Many of the buildings on the square predate its creation by centuries. Originally these buildings, including the Civic Tower and a number of historic houses, lined the banks of the lake. Admire the varied styles of architecture of the buildings and stroll through the landscaped gardens, designed by locally born architect Domenico Fontano. 

Come to Locarno in August to see the piazza transformed into an enormous open-air cinema and the headquarters of the Locarno Film Festival. Each night about 8,000 people converge on the square to watch the festival’s major films on one of the largest screens in Europe. Sit among the crowd and watch films with the stunning backdrop of Lake Maggiore. 

The Piazza Grande is located in the heart of Locarno and can easily be reached on foot from all central locations. Some street parking is available in the area. Buses pass the square regularly.


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Lodging Near Piazza Grande

See all 150 Hotels near Piazza Grande
$49
EasyRooms dell'Angelo

EasyRooms dell'Angelo

Piazza Grande, Locarno
3.6
of 5, from 216 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Locarno, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza Grande and Casino Locarno. Madonna del Sasso is 1 mi (1.6 km) away.

$96
La Barca Blu

La Barca Blu

Via Al Parco 2, Orselina
4.2
of 5, from 47 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Orselina, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Madonna del Sasso, Casino Locarno, and Piazza Grande. Verzasca Dam and Casa Ghisler are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$96
Seven Boutique Hotel

Seven Boutique Hotel

Piazza G. Motta 21 & 25, Ascona
4.4
of 5, from 32 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Ascona, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Piazza Grande, Casino Locarno, and Madonna del Sasso. Verzasca Dam and Casa Ghisler are also within 12 mi (20 km).

$105
ibis Locarno

ibis Locarno

Via Giuseppe Cattori 6, Locarno
4.2
of 5, from 278 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Locarno, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Casino Locarno and Piazza Grande. Madonna del Sasso is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away.

$185
Hotel Belvedere Locarno

Hotel Belvedere Locarno

Via ai Monti della Trinita 44, Locarno
4.5
of 5, from 125 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Locarno hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Piazza Grande and Casino Locarno. Madonna del Sasso is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away.

Hotel Garni Millennium

Hotel Garni Millennium

Via Dogana Nuova 2, Locarno
4.5
of 5, from 113 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Locarno, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Casino Locarno and Piazza Grande. Madonna del Sasso is 1 mi (1.7 km) away.

$55
Hotel dell'Angelo

Hotel dell'Angelo

Piazza Grande, Locarno
3.7
of 5, from 434 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Locarno, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza Grande and Casino Locarno. Madonna del Sasso is 1 mi (1.6 km) away.

$134
Hotel City Locarno, Design & Hospitality

Hotel City Locarno, Design & Hospitality

Via Giuseppe Cattori 4, Locarno
4.6
of 5, from 48 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Locarno, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Casino Locarno and Piazza Grande. Madonna del Sasso is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) away.