Trentino-Alto Adige

Merano (Tyrol) - attractions, what to do, sightseeing in the area

Just 80 km north of Trent is located in Merano, a picturesque spa town where Italian culture blends with Austrian, creating the unique combination so characteristic of South Tyrol. What distinguishes Merano from Alpine resorts and what is worth seeing in this charming town?

Merano is not a large city - it covers 26 km² and has a daily population of 37,000. The city was first mentioned in the 9th century, and its thriving development began about 500 years later. Merano was not always Italian - the city was annexed to Italian territory only after the end of World War I, and it never really lost its Germanic influence. On the contrary - to this day, more than 50% of the population here speaks German on a daily basis. Most importantly, however, the city's bilingualism and Austrian-Italian cultural mix are not only not a source of conflict today, but make the region seem exceptionally eclectic and full of interesting contrasts.

Today, Merano is an important resort of South Tyrol - the city is known in Europe for its thermal baths and green gardens. The area is recommended for a visit, especially for tourists craving flamboyant views, a mild climate and mountain hiking.

What attractions are worth seeing in Merano?

Both the town and the entire area offer many tourist attractions that will satisfy the tastes of the most discriminating travelers - especially due to their great variety and beautiful location.

Merano (photo: Arno Senoner

Merano Thermal Baths

Among the most popular activities in the city are thermal baths - a complex of Terme Merano offers as much as 52,000 sqm of superbly landscaped space, which includes 15 indoor pools, 10 outdoor pools, saunas, a spa and fitness center. There are also restaurants and medical treatments. You can spend a whole day or even a weekend at the Merano Thermal Baths, which is encouraged by the themed packages offered by the facility.

The thermal baths are often referred to as the green heart of the city - they are located in the center of the city and are indeed surrounded by lush greenery. The complex is open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. This applies to the pools; other parts of the facility may have different operating hours. Admission prices for an adult start at €14 and for children at €10. The cost of a full-day stay in the thermal baths, with sauna admission, is €28 for an adult.

Merano's historic center

The oldest district of the city is also the one that is most lively - there are atmospheric cafes and pubs where both tourists and resort residents like to spend lazy afternoons. The most distinctive feature of the buildings here are the long medieval arcades dating back to the 13th century, which stretch from Piazza del Grano to the Gothic church of St. Nicholas. The cathedral was built in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, and is distinguished by its tall, 80-meter tower and massive Gothic façade with numerous ornaments.

The historic center of the city is a good direction to take for an after-dinner stroll, and is also famous for its regional wares - there are many small local stores that specialize in selling local products.

Botanical gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle

To visit the botanical gardens in Merano It is worth spending at least half a day. This attraction occupies a total of about 12 hectares of land of exceptional natural beauty. Thousands of plant species from all over the world have been gathered here, including flowers and exotic trees, which are a real treat not only for tourists, but also for professional botanists. The gardens are home to various species of birds, as well as fish that live in the local pond. The park is full of beautiful architecture, and is also located on a hill, which makes for an amazing view of the mountains and the resort. There is a modern viewing platform, with a canopy that resembles the shape of a binocular body.

The place is definitely worth a visit, especially for families with children - many parts of the garden can be reached with a baby stroller. The property is a 2.5 km walk from the Merano thermal baths, and can also be reached by public transportation in about 14 minutes.

Opening hours of the gardens:

  • From April 1 to October 15, the garden is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the latest you can enter at 5:30 p.m.
  • From October 16 to 31, the opening hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • From November 1 to 15, opening hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Fridays in June, July and August are days with extended opening hours - then the facility is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The garden is open to tourists 7 days a week

Ticket prices

15€ for an adult, the cost of a family ticket including admission for parents and children aged 6-17 is 32€, children under 6 can visit the garden for free.

Merano - botanical gardens
The botanical gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano (photo: Reiseuhu


Just 450 meters from Merano's thermal baths is the Wandelhalle, a popular meeting place for the local population. It is a long building, the construction of which was carried out in the mid-19th century - initially arousing opposition from locals, for whom this area of the city was used in those days for washing clothes. The mayor of the time, however, was adamant, and thanks to his efforts the Wandelhalle was built, one of the most important monuments of the Belle Epoque period, its walls decorated with works by 19th-century Tyrolean artists.

Nowadays, events and concerts are held here, and a flea market is held on the last Saturday of the month. It is also a popular place for strollers, especially in summer, when it offers shelter from the sun in the shade of the surrounding greenery.

Torre delle Polveri

Just over 1 km from Merano's thermal baths, on the other side of the Passer River, is the Torre delle Polveri tower, which offers one of the best views of the town and the surrounding area. Because of the modern viewing platform installed here and its interesting location, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Merano. The Gunpowder Tower is an old fortress, which is the remains of Ortenstein Castle, where gunpowder supplies once were stored, accumulated by the city during the Thirty Years' War.

The viewing platform on the tower is suspended 20 meters above the ground - if you look in the right direction you can see the remains of the old city walls. A comfortable, wide outdoor staircase leads to the viewing platform. The place is open from early morning until late evening. The tower is especially recommended for tourists with cameras, as well as those who like attractive vantage points.


While on this side of the river, it is worth walking an additional 1,300 meters northwest of the Powder Tower to reach Dr. Tappeiner's Promenade, a route that has graced the area with its recreational amenities for 150 years. The Promenade takes its name from the spa doctor who spearheaded its creation.

The place is considered one of the most magnificent high promenades in Europe - Tappeinerweg winds along the slope of Monte di Merano, above the roofs of the city buildings. It is a route characterized by a low level of difficulty, making it suitable even for tourists of lesser fitness, as well as parents with a baby stroller. The walking path is an excellent vantage point for viewing the surroundings - in many places there is an extensive panorama of the city. The length of the route is about 3 km.

Panoramalift chairlift

History chairlift connecting Merano to Tyrol dates back to the 1940s. The lift underwent a major overhaul in the 1980s, but the contractor made sure to preserve the historic appearance of the structure, which nowadays delights tourists coming to the resort.

It's worth taking the lift to explore the nearby Tyrol, especially since the price of a ticket allowing a round trip by lift is only slightly higher than the cost of one-way transportation.

  • Ticket price for an adult is €4 (or €5.50 round trip)
  • Ticket price for a child is €1.50 (or €2.50 round-trip)

During the period from April 1 to October 31, the lift is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except for the period from July 1 to September 15, when the lift's operating hours are extended to 7:00 p.m.

How to get to Merano? Directions

There are no airports close to the city with flights from Poland. The best option is to take a flight with a low-cost airline (Ryanair, Wizzair) to Milan-Bergamo airport. The distance that separates this airport from the resort of Merano is just over 250 kilometers - you can get here aboard a train, and there are two connecting flights along the way, in Verona and Bolzano. Train travel time on the Bergamo-Merano route is less than 5h. The biggest advantage of this solution is the large selection of connections - flights to Bergamo They take place from many cities in Poland, including Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan, Cracow and Gdansk, and tickets cost several dozen zlotys one way. The entire trip, including the cost of train tickets, is much more affordable than traveling by car.

Weather in Merano

The climate in Merano and the surrounding area can be described as temperate - cold. The region is known for its high amount of precipitation, which even in the summer season far exceeds the Italian average. The average annual temperature in the city is only 4.4 degrees Celsius, which, of course, does not mean that in Merano you can not count on a beautiful summer. Quite the contrary - the holiday season provides pleasant temperatures, without the tiring heat so characteristic of the more southern parts of Italy. In July and August, the daytime temperature here is about 18-19 degrees, while at night it drops to about 9 degrees. It must be said, however, that the holiday season is associated in Merano with frequent rainfall - half of July and August days in the city are rainy. This should be taken into account when coming to South Tyrol during the summer season.

Merano is a delectable place to visit in December, January and February, especially for winter sports enthusiasts - the resort is then frequented by tourists who relax here during a break from the madness on the Tyrolean slopes.

Kitchen in Merano

Regional food is a combination of Italian and Tyrolean influences, resulting in a uniquely delicious fusion of flavors. South Tyrol is especially known for its delicious cheeses, such as Bela Badia, made from cow's milk, which is a ripened cheese with an intense, creamy flavor. The cheese is named after the Badia Valley, where it is originally produced. W region It is common to grill this cheese and serve it with a glass of local wine.

A popular local dish is mezzelune, which can be translated from Italian to Polish as "crescents." The dish is somewhat reminiscent of ravioli - it consists of pasta dough filled with a tasty stuffing - there are many regional ideas of what to fill the mezzelune with - the most popular toppings include cheese, mushrooms, potatoes and spinach.

The area is also famous for its red wine production - many vineyards are located on the hillsides surrounding Bolzano, from where comes the popular St. Magdalener wine, with a deep ruby color and juicy flavor, in which one can smell fruit with a hint of almond. A grape variety called Schiava is most often used to make the local wine, as well as local red grape varieties.

Accommodation in Merano

This popular Tyrolean resort has an extensive accommodation base, consisting mainly of hotels, apartments and guest houses. Accommodation in the resort is, unfortunately, quite expensive - prices start at about €90 for an overnight stay for two people in a room with a double bed, 2 km from the center. An overnight stay for two people in a four-star hotel is an expense of at least 112€. The prices quoted are for a stay in Merano during the summer season, although it should be mentioned that the cost of staying in winter is not significantly different from that of summer. What does differ, however, is the amount of available free accommodation - much less in winter than in summer. Wanting to spend the winter holidays in Merano, it is advisable to book accommodation very far in advance.

Below you will find a map of accommodations from

I visit Italy every year, sometimes even several times. I even happened to live in this beautiful country for almost a year. I regularly publish articles about Italy on my blog.

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