Excursions from Bolzano: the best day trips around Bolzano

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Bolzano is a small city, which can be visited in a few days, but nothing prevents you from staying there for a whole week and choosing it as starting point for exploring its surroundings, which we assure you are beautiful. The capital in fact has a rather privileged position in the middle of South Tyrol and this opens the doors to a lot of other attractions, natural and otherwise, in the vicinity.

The day trips that can be taken are truly endless and of various kinds, from villages to natural parks, from relaxing spas to challenging trekking, and even you can cross over to neighboring Austria. Find out here what they are the best day trips around Bolzano!


  1. 1 day excursion to the Dolomites
  2. Vipiteno and Merano
  3. Terme di Merano
  4. Brunico and Bressanone
  5. Trento
  6. Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park and Lake Braies
  7. Lake Tovel and Spormaggiore Wildlife Park
  8. Three peaks of Lavaredo
  9. Innsbruck
  10. Great Tour of the Yoke of the Cross
  11. User questions and comments

1 - 1 day excursion to the Dolomites

The first unmissable excursion is on the Dolomites to admire fantastic views and indescribable natural attractions.

Talking about the Dolomites is obviously too generic and a tourist who arrives in Bolzano for the first time would understandably not know which route to follow and which points of interest to visit. This is why we suggest this 1 day excursion from Bolzano which in a whole day leads to the discovery of different places around the city and arrives in the heart of the Dolomites. Given that the itinerary is completely customizable by paying a supplement, normally this type of tour includes the Val d'Ega with the Earth Pyramids and Lake Carezza, then the Catinaccio mountain group and finally Canazei and Sass Pordoi including walks between the local vineyards and various trips by cable car to let you admire fantastic natural views of the surrounding valleys and the 3 Cime di Lavaredo in the distance.

  • Range: 15 to 58 km
  • the meeting point of the tour is the train station, reachable in a few minutes on foot from the historic center or by city buses number 112, 201 and 202 to the stop of the same name - Get directions
  • the tour starts at 9:00 until 18:00
  • starting from € 125,00 per person
  • Dolomites: full-day excursion from Bolzano private full-day hike through the Dolomites Dolomites: Bolzano: Dolomites hiking tour

2 - Vipiteno and Merano

Vipiteno and Merano are respectively 50 and 30 minutes away from Bolzano and are two very characteristic and unmissable villages, usually visited together in one day even without participating in an organized tour.

Vipetano is in the ranking of the most beautiful villages in Italy, undisputed merit of its historic center rich in architecture dating back to the Austro-Hungarian period, visible for example in the Torre delle Dodici and in the Santo Spirito Church. Furthermore, strolling through its alleys, stop to taste an excellent and fresh yogurt, an undisputed local specialty!

At the end of the visit we continue towards Merano, a real town, second in South Tyrol by population. Here too the buildings have a great architectural influence of the Austro-Hungarian period and we recommend a visit to the Church of San Giorgio and the Church of San Nicolò, extending the tour to the nearby Trauttmansdorff Botanical Garden. We also remember that in winter, in both locations, there are the Christmas markets!

  • Range: Vipiteno 68,3 km / Merano 30 km
  • regional trains or buses from the Sasa Bus company, or by car following first the Statale 44 and then Via Merano; the train from Bolzano to Vipiteno takes 1 hour (€ 5,00), the bus from Vipiteno to Merano 1 h 40 min (€ 7,00), the bus from Merano to Bolzano 50 minutes (€ 6,50) - Get directions
  • Torre delle Dodici 8: 00-18: 00, Church of the Holy Spirit always open, Church of San Giorgio always open, Church of San Nicolò always open, Trauttmansdorff Botanical Garden 9: 00-19: 00
  • Tower of the Twelve € 4,00, Church of the Holy Spirit free, Church of San Giorgio free, Church of San Nicolò free, Trauttmansdorff Botanical Garden € 14,00

3 - Terme di Merano

We still propose Merano but this time its thermal baths, very famous throughout Italy. The Terme di Merano in fact requires an entire day, so you can choose whether to visit the town as described above or if devote the whole day to your relaxation and physical well-being.

Easily reachable in a short time from Bolzano, the Merano Thermal Baths await you with 25 swimming pools, including whirlpools, distributed among the thermal park and the internal area, different types of saunas, massage and treatment center, fitness area, relaxation area and inevitably a refreshment point. In short, you won't have to worry about anything, you just have to enjoy the day!

  • Range: 29,5 km
  • by car via the A22 motorway, or by bus 201 from the Sasa Bus company from the Piazza dei Domenicani stop to the Terme stop in 50 minutes (€ 6,50) - Get directions
  • every day 9:00 - 22:00
  • starting from € 14,00 for two hours; variable rates based on the season, the length of stay and the package chosen. For detailed info consult the official website

4 - Brunico and Bressanone

Brunico and Bressanone, two other pearls of South Tyrol that can be visit on the same day to spend a day out of town. Given that these two places can also be visited independently, we suggest leaving in the morning for Brunico, one hour from Bolzano, and on returning to the city stop in Bressanone, 45 minutes away.

Brunico is the capital of the Val Pusteria, a medieval village full of Gothic-style buildings, including the Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Castle of Brunico, with a lively and dynamic historic center and the old town accessible from the so-called gates, all set between the surrounding walls and the splendid frame of the Dolomites.

Bressanone instead is located in the Isarco Valley and has a past that is more religious than historical, in fact for years it was the residence of the Prince Bishops of which the Palazzo Vescovile with the Giardini dei Signori can still be visited, obviously without missing a visit to the beautiful Cathedral.

  • Range: Brunico 74 km / Bressanone 33 km
  • travel between the various locations with regional trains or buses from the Sasa Bus company, or by car via the A22 motorway, continuing on the E66 road; the train from Bolzano to Brunico takes 1:20 min (€ 5,00); the bus from Brunico and Bressanone 50 min (€ 4,00); the bus from Bressanone to Bolzano 40 min (€ 5,00) - Get directions
  • Church of Santa Maria Assunta 8: 00-18: 00; Brunico Castle 10: 00-18: 00; Palazzo Vescovile and Giardini dei Signori 10: 00-18: 30; Bressanone Cathedral 6: 00-18: 00
  • Free church of Santa Maria Assunta; Brunico Castle € 9,00; Palazzo Vescovile and Giardini dei Signori € 10,00; Bressanone Cathedral for free

5 - Trento

So far we have proposed some trips to South Tyrol, but now we want to take you to Trentino too! In fact, the other is less than an hour from Bolzano regional capital, Trento, a small and pretty, colorful and characteristic city, ideal for one-day visits and in total autonomy, without the need to resort to organized tours.

For a city, the historic center is very modest in size so forget your car and wander around walk through its alleys rich in Roman and medieval history, surrounded by frescoed buildings, Renaissance palaces and houses that alternate bright colors. The tour can only start from Piazza Duomo and the Cathedral of San Vigilio, then passing through Sass (an underground museum) and MUSE (museum of natural sciences), stopping for lunch in one of the many typical restaurants and to do a little of shopping in the historic shops of local products.

  • Range: 55,5 km
  • by car via the A22 motorway or by regional train in 50 minutes (€ 6,00) or Flixbus in an hour (€ 5,00) - Get directions
  • Cathedral of San Vigilio 9: 45-18: 00; Sass 9: 00-17: 30; MUSE 10: 00-18: 00
  • Cathedral of San Vigilio € 1,50; Sass € 2,50; MUSE € 11,00

6 - Fanes-Senes-Braies and Lake Braies Natural Park

Being in Bolzano, an unmissable place is the famous and super photographed Lake Braies and while you want to take a full day trip, why not also include a trek in the Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park?

The Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park is a large protected area of ​​25.400 hectares, one of the largest in South Tyrol, is located an hour and a half from Bolzano and includes the localities of Braies di Fuori, Braies di Dentro, San Vito and Ferrara. To enter the park we recommend the route that starts from the village of San Vigilio and leads directly to Lake Braies, a walk of about 2 hours and several kilometers but with a rather low difficulty.

Walk through the paths in the woods admiring the surrounding nature and the image of the Dolomites always present on the horizon until you reach the lake whose enchanting scenery will repay every effort. A stretch of water awaits you in which the trees, mountains and sky are reflected, crystal clear to leave everyone breathless! We recommend that you bring a packed lunch to be consumed by the lake before retracing the road in reverse and reaching San Vigilio again to return to Bolzano.

  • Range: 84 km
  • by car following the Statale 244 to Brunico, then Strada Framacia to San Vigilio, or by train to Brunico (1 h 20 min, € 5,50) and then by bus to San Vigilio (30 min, € 3,00 , ) changing at Longega - Get directions
  • park always accessible
  • free entry

7 - Lake Tovel and Spormaggiore Wildlife Park

This day trip also includes a lake and a park but this time we move to Val di Non. Lake Tovel is less famous than the previous one but still very beautiful and with a particularity, while the park is a real area to reintegrate and safeguard the alpine fauna.

The tour starts from the lake, located in Ville d'Anaunia, whose particular sign lies in the color, or rather it was. It was in fact a red lake, a phenomenon due to an alga whose concentration today is minimal and not sufficient to obtain the same shade as before, but it remains a beautiful body of clear water. Leave your car in the parking lot and enjoy a walk through the woods until you reach it, then we recommend a packed lunch in total relaxation before leave for the park of Spormaggiore, 45 minutes from the lake and 50 from Bolzano. Here you can spot roe deer, lynxes, eagle owls, wolves, foxes and the brown bear in complete safety. For each of them, in fact, their own area has been created equal to that in which it should be found in nature with beeches, firs, larches etc. There is also a food court and a gift shop!

  • Range: Lake Tovel 76 km / 51 km
  • not all sections of this route are served by public transport and in some places you should take a taxi, spending too much. It is therefore advisable to move by car. Statale 42 to the lake, Statale 421 to the park, Statale 43 to Bolzano - Get directions
  • Lake Tovel always accessible; Timetables of the Wildlife Park vary according to the season, for detailed info consult the official website
  • Free Lake Tovel; Wildlife Park full price € 8,00 - reduced € 7,00

8 - Three Peaks of Lavaredo

We always stay on the subject of nature and offer you a another unmissable trek, this time, however, at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 2 hours and 10 from Bolzano in the Tre Cime Natural Park of the same name.

It is about most famous peaks of the Dolomites, also declared a World Heritage Site, three peaks close to each other of 2.857, 2.973 and 2.999 meters high. The park offers several possibilities to reach them, from the simplest to the most difficult paths, you just need to get to the village of San Candido, leave your car and start one of these paths!

  • Range: 126 km
  • by car following the Statale 244 to Brunico, then the Statale 49 to San Candido, or by train to Brunico (1 h 20 min, € 5,50) and then another train to San Candido (40 min, € 5,00) - Get directions
  • park always accessible
  • free entry

9 - Innsbruck

From Bolzano you are not far from Austria and in particular from Innsbruck, so why not think about a day abroad! Just over 2 hours by train or bus you will find this small Austrian jewel with typical architecture and from the historic center full of beauties where you cannot miss for example the Golden Roof, the Cathedral, the Hofkirche, the Arc del Trionfo and the characteristic Via Maria-Theresien-Straße, just to mention some of the main points of interest.

Getting there is simple and you can do it yourself using public transport, then once you reach your destination you can choose whether to proceed independently or opt for a private tour of the city. The latter are spoiled for choice, from tours of the historic center to gastronomic ones.

  • Range: 125 km
  • by car via the A22 motorway and then the Austrian A13 motorway, or by Flixbus in 1 hour and 50 minutes (€ 9,90), or by train in 2 hours and 20 minutes (from € 17,00) - Get directions
  • Golden Roof always open; Duomo 10: 00-18: 30; Hofkirche 9: 00-17: 00; Arco del Trionfo always open
  • city ​​tour starting from € 30,00; Golden Roof € 5,00; Duomo free; Hofkirche € 7,00; Triumphal Arch for free
  • Innsbruck: Private Tour with Local City Card Guide by Public Transport including Innsbruck Food Tour

10 - Great Tour of the Yoke of the Cross

As a last day trip, finding ourselves in the beautiful mountains of South Tyrol, we want offer you a trek, precisely the Great Tour of the Giogo della Croce. An excursion that can be done safely independently but which will probably not be feasible for everyone as it is classified as difficult and with an average duration of 7 hours. However, the landscaping is gorgeous, so it's worth a try!

Trekking starts from Sarentino, 25 minutes from Bolzano, and between flat stretches and others uphill, it makes a complete loop that leads back to the starting point, crossing woods located at different heights up to 2.000 meters in height. Along the way there are various refuges and mountain huts where you can stop for rest and refreshment, and there is no shortage of panoramic views of the Merano ski area and the Sarentino Valley.

  • Range: 20 km
  • by car via the Statale 508 to the "Sarentino" car park or by bus 150 from the Sasa Bus company in 25 minutes (€ 2,00) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

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