Ticino guest cards and public transport Ticino

Last Updated on 11/09/2023

In this topic, Ticino guest cards and public transport Ticino with maps of bus lines. Be sure to check the schedule in advance: buses in the gorges do not run very often, sometimes only a few times a day. In addition, some buses run only during the summer.

Lake Lugano attractions map
Ticino attractions map. Locarno, Bellinzona and valleys
5 best viewpoints of Lake Lugano
Lake Lugano. 2. Lugano, Gandria, Melide, Carona
Lake Lugano. 3. Morcote, Caslano
Lake Maggiore. Locarno and Ascona
Verzasca Valley
Centovalli Railway
Maggia Valley
Lake Maggiore Attractions of Italian part

Ticino guest cards

All of the following Ticino guest cards are free of charge and issued by the host. If you are renting private accommodation, it may be that the host is not enrolled in the program and therefore you will not receive a guest card.

my Ascona-Locarno

It functions as an App that is activated using a QR code. The offer applies to those staying in the region.

Price: free
Advantage: attractions discounts

Holiday Card (Lugano)

Price: Free for those staying in the region
Advantage: attractions discounts

To see the discount, hover your cursor over the image of the attraction (for example, 20 percent on San Salvatore or 30 percent on Monte Generoso)

Guest Card Bellinzona

Price: free for overnight stays in the region
Advantage: attractions discounts. The most interesting discounts for cable cars.

Ticino ticket

Downloaded as an App or issued in paper form

Príce: Free for guests of hotels, hostels and campsites.
Advantage: free public transport and discounts (list on the website or as a brochure)

Public transport Ticino – maps

The numbers on the white background are bus numbers. The color matches the line.

Numbers without a white background – the numbering of attractions in the relevant topics.

Ticino attractions map. Locarno, Bellinzona and valleys
Lake Lugano attractions map

Black rectangles are railway stations. Lines are drawn schematically, railway stations in densely populated areas are marked only relevant to places of interest. The maps can be enlarged.

Public transport Ticino
enlarge Map data ©OpenTopoMap, ©OpenStreetMap
Public transport Ticino
enlarge Map data ©OpenTopoMap, ©OpenStreetMap

Transport sites

www.arcobaleno.ch – tariff association in Ticino
www.utpt-ticino.ch – public transport in Ticino, information in English and other languages
www.centovalli.ch – FART – public transport in Locarno and Ascona, Centovalli railway
www.tplsa.ch – transport of metropolis Lugano
www.arlsa.ch – regional buses in Lugano (Autolinee Regionali Luganesi (ARL))
www.flpsa.ch – train Lugano – Ponte Tresa
www.amsa.ch – several bus lines in Mendrisiotto (eg Capolago – Porte Ceresio)
www.asfautolinee.it – regional buses on Lake Como (and the Italian part of Lugano beyond Gandria)
www.seft-fm.ch – short tourist narrow-gauge railway Castione – Cama
https://gr-invia.ch – public transport in Graubünden
Italian part (between lakes Lugano and Maggiore)
https://www.ctpi.it/ – transport association Varese

Railway in Ticino

The main railway line runs from Zurich via Brunnen and the Gotthard Tunnel, Bellinzona and Lugano to Milan.

In Locarno, the station is a dead end, so direct trains from Zurich rarely come there. In most cases, you need a change in Bellinzona. You will also have to transfer to get from Locarno to Lugano.

FART trains from Locarno through the Centovalli Gorge to Domodossola leave from their own station. It is underground. You will find the stairs between the regular, surface railroad tracks and the car park. There was no ticket office downstairs, and the machine was not always friendly with credit cards. Therefore, it is recommended to take care of the ticket in advance (have coins for the machine or buy a ticket at the station).

Along Lake Maggiore, the train runs along the left bank (via Magadino and Luino). To get to it from Locarno, you need to take a train with a transfer or first use a boat to Magadino.

From Lugano you can take the train to Ponte Tresa, Melide and Capolago, to other cities – by bus or boat.


There are city buses in Locarno and Lugano (FART and TPL) and regional buses to other cities – Postbus. There are also several regional bus companies (see links above).

The lines are marked on the maps (checked for 2023).


The tariff association includes almost all transport companies of the canton, with the exception of funiculars, cable cars, ships, and the Castione-Cama tourist railway.

The calculation is carried out by zones. At the tourist office you can take a booklet with a map of the zones (or download it from the transport site). But in most cases, you won’t have to count the zones – there is a tariff calculator on the Arcobaleno website. In vending machines, you can enter the point of departure and the point of destination.

  • Ascona and Locarno are part of the same zone
  • Locarno – Vogorno – 3 zones
  • Locarno – Lavertezzo (Brione) – 4 zones
  • Locarno – Cavergno – 5 zones
  • Locarno – Bellinzona – 4 zones
  • Locarno – Lugano – 7 zones
  • Locarno – Camedo – 4 zones
  • Lugano – Morcote – 3 zones
  • Lugano – Melide – 2 zones.

Ticket types

In Switzerland

biglietto singolo – regular one-way ticket (from 2.30 to 19 euros)

carta per più corse – 6 tickets for the price of 5

biglietti transfrontalieri – tickets for crossing the border of the region:
Biglietti di sola andata ADULTI – one-way adult
Biglietti di sola andata RAGAZZI – one-way children up to 16 years old
andata e ritorno – round-trip ticket
The price can be found from the table on the site

carta giornaliera – a day pass costs as much as a round trip for the corresponding number of zones.

6 day cards for the price of 5 are called multi carta giornaliera and are bought at the box office.

biglietto per gruppo – for groups of 10 people

bicicletta – bike ticket

In Italy

Biglietto corsa semplice – regular one-way ticket

Settimanale 5 gg – weekly for 5 days without weekends

Water transport

www.navigazionelaghi.it – navigation on Lake Maggiore
www.lakelugano.ch – navigation on Lake Lugano
www.lagomaggioreexpress.com – Lake Maggiore – Express

Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore is not small at all. The mountains and villages surrounding it, for the most part, do not have a bright individuality. Therefore, I personally do not consider it reasonable to use ships from beginning to end, unless you are in no hurry at all, you have a lot of free time, and in general you relax and a long boat trip gives you only pleasure.

The most beautiful parts of the lake are combined with a lot of attractions – the Swiss part of the lake and the Borromean Gulf. Accordingly, there are more short ships routes.

The full route from Arona to Locarno is passed a couple of times a day and takes from 2 (express, seat reservation is required, they charge an additional fee) to more than 4 hours.
From Stresa to Locarno – from one and a half to 3.15 hours.

As you can see, going back and forth on an excursion is quite tiring, it is easier to get to Milan. And this does not make a deep sense, since only one or two places can be seen, and the rest can be undeservedly overlooked.

Therefore, it seems to me that it is most correct to divide the northern and southern parts of the lake into two trips and see them separately.


I will not indicate the cost here, since there are many destinations and routes. Moreover, on the Swiss side they will demand francs (in some cash desks they take euros at an unfavorable rate and credit cards), and on the Italian side – euros.

For active travelers, there are day tickets that cover one or another part of the lake. On the Swiss part, Swiss travel passes are taken into account.

As a general rule, you need to buy a ticket at the box office on the shore. If you did not have time to buy a ticket on the shore or want to change your route, then on the ship you will be charged an additional fee (1 franc). Also, an additional fee will be charged for a high-speed ship (5.70 francs / 4.10 euros).

Advertised “Lake Maggiore – Express” – a ticket that allows you to boat through the entire lake, ride the Centovalli railway and return to the point of departure by rail from Domodosolla. Link
Cost: 30 euros without Stresa – Domodossola train

On Lake Lugano

On Lake Lugano, ships go most regularly along the route Lugano – Melide – Gandria.
In the other direction, in Morcote, Capolago and Ponte Tresa, they go only a few times a day, and they get to Capolago and Ponte Tresa only once or twice a day, and in Morcote a little more often.

Therefore, do not expect to see the lake in one day from the water (as hop on hop off) – you need to combine it with other public transport. Please also note that during the off-season and winter season, the number of ships is reduced to a minimum (and in winter they do not swim through the dam at all). In addition, some routes may be canceled due to bad weather. If you’re going up San Giorgio and you’re getting to Brusino by boat, check your timetable to see if this stop is an on-demand stop.

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