The spa town of Merano

Mediterranean spa town with historical roots
Merano is a small but very fine spa town in the heart of South Tyrol. 40,000 inhabitants of German and Italian mother tongues live peacefully together here, providing a unique mix of cuisine, culture, languages and customs.
The medieval old town and surrounding districts are surrounded by medium and high mountains and characteristic valleys. For 200 years, Merano has been a well-known destination for vacationers and those seeking relaxation, known above all for its beautiful weather (300 days of sunshine a year!) its cuisine and the wide variety of activities it offers.

20 things you should know about Merano


Location and climate

Merano stretches in a wide, sunny basin at the foot of the 3 great mountains that reach an altitude of 3000 meters. The city is crossed by the Passer River, which separates the historic center from the other parts of the city. The climate is distinctly Mediterranean thanks to the many hours of sunshine (said 300 sunny days a year!) and thanks to the Texel Group (north of Merano) the city is protected from the wind and cold from the north. You reach Merano via the Brenner freeway, after the exit Bolzano South you take the 25 km long expressway MeBo to your destination. Alternatively, you can reach us via the Venosta Valley after crossing the Passo Resia.

The city of Merano

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The old town forms the city center of Merano. For 700 years, urban life has taken place here around the Merano Portici  and the Steinach quarter. These are located behind the old city walls, of which only very few remains are preserved today, in contrast to the city gates: three of them are still very well preserved today, the Bolzano, the Passiria and the Venosta gates still function as the main entrances if you want to get into the old town of Merano.
Around the city center there are several districts, whereby the district of Maia Alta as well as the slopes of Labers are absolutely worth seeing. The green villa district is best reached on foot via the Passer promenades and the Sissiweg, which leads past old residences, stately castles and modern villas, all with partly large parks, to Trauttmansdorff Castle. Just above it begins the district of Labers, which is characterized by gentle vineyards and leads from the little Valentine church near the botanical gardens up to the Fragsburg waterfall.

Things to see

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Look forward to the immense botanical gardens with their 80 garden worlds, the modern thermal baths of Merano with their 25 pools. Settle down on the park benches in the Wandelhalle and enjoy the gentle rush of the Passer River between countless blooming rose bushes. Discover the old quarters with their numerous witnesses of time like the historical city gates as well as the old arcades with their modern stores. Walk along the famous promenades and promenades, magnificent themed paths and visit unique resting and viewing places. These and many other unique sights with character are just waiting to be discovered by you!

The Portici

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The lively center of Merano, closed to traffic, clearly consists of its boulevard: the Merano Portici. For 400 meters, these arcades are lined up close together under the associated three-story apartment buildings, providing a view of the numerous stores, restaurants, and handicraft businesses. Merano's Portico are divided into the "upper" and "lower" arcades, due to the difference in altitude, and into the "mountain" and "water" arcades, the latter being due to their orientation towards the Küchelberg or the Passer river. Here, trade has been going on for centuries, old-established trading companies meet modern franchises. Likewise, the inhabitants of Merano, but also many guests and tourists meet here for coffee, for an aperitif, but also for lunch and dinner.

The Steinach Quarter

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Merano's oldest quarter looks back on the first settlement of Merano, traces and legacies have already been found here, which indicate a permanent settlement in Roman times. From the Merano parish church dating back to 1465, the Passeier Gasse leads past old buildings to the Passeier Tor, the best-preserved city gate, from where you again reach the promenades. The charm of this alley is created by the many old buildings, where you can see various names of stores and crafts from the past under crumbling layers of plaster. Back in the direction of the Portici leads the Hallergasse with its contemplative side streets, which is especially known for its old water canals. These "Ritschen" run in the middle of the streets and are easily recognizable by their covers of large stone blocks.

Die Meraner Promenaden

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The promenades were already built in the 19th century for the international and very often noble and illustrious guests, who stayed in Merano for spa treatments. Even today, the promenades have lost none of their charm and recreational factor. Starting from the Kurhaus, the promenades stretch with very little incline to the wild Gilfschlucht gorge on both sides of the Passer. Their course is accompanied by well-kept flower beds, ornamental shrubs, plant sculptures and many resting benches. Walkable at any time of the year, you can look forward to relaxing and varied short excursions into the greenery with many insights on these sophisticated walking paths!

The museums

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There are five museums in Merano and really all of them are worth a visit, not only on rainy days. Three of Merano's museums are located directly in the historic old town, just a few steps away from each other. Above all, you should visit the new City Museum here, where already the magnificent building, even without its exhibits and unique pieces is worth a visit. In addition to a visit to the women's museum at the lower end of the Meraner Lauben, you should also catch a glimpse of medieval life: This awaits you in the provincial castle, known as Landesfuerstliche Burg, where a small castle acts as a time capsule. In the green quarter of Maia Alta, the Villa Freischütz recently opened its doors to visitors, and the museum circuit in the city of Merano ends in the botanical gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, where the Touriseum is located. There you can learn a lot of interesting facts about the history of tourism during a visit to the gardens.


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A colorful potpourri of events accompanies you throughout the year in Merano. Especially the hot season is accompanied by countless concerts of internationally renowned artists on the squares in the city center, in the magnificent Merano Kurhaus, but also at the water lily pond in the botanical gardens. A lot of fun and entertainment is offered by the long Tuesday evenings, but above all by the street artists' festival Asfaltart in June. In addition, there are seasonal highlights such as the Flower Festival in spring, the Grape Festival and the Merano Wine Festival in autumn and the Christmas Market in winter.

The markets

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The long tradition of trade and markets is continued by the Merano markets. Especially don't miss a visit to the big Friday market: big, colorful, full of tastes, colors and aromas thanks to its variety of products from local areas, but also from Italy! Every Saturday, in the upper Freiheits Street, there is a pleasure market with local products for freshness lovers. Bargain hunters always get their money's worth on the last Saturday of the month: the Merano flea market takes place on the promenade near the Wandelhalle.


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Thanks to the presence of two cultures, which are known for their gastronomic diversity, the signs for a stay with many culinary pleasures and taste experiences are extraordinarily good! Typical taverns, fine restaurants, fast pizzerias await you. Here you will get the best of two worlds on your table: whether in the traditional inn from the Merane Portici, the Italian trattoria, on the farm on the sunny slopes of Merano, but also on the many alpine pastures. Visit also the private wineries, there you can taste the wines of the region directly from the producer.

The curiosities

In 700 years a lot of curiosities come together, of course! You can visit places that breathe (often a dark) history, such as the original executioner's room, but also admire artifacts and contemporary witnesses from the Middle Ages to modern times, which still arouse amazement today. Find out why Merano's church tower has 7 clocks, or where and how an attempt was made in Merano to plunge the Kingdom of England into recession with a perfidious plan.

Unique accommodations

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With 200 years of tradition in tourism, you can expect a lot - and you will be offered a lot! Here you will find a list of hotels in Merano, personally edited and with a direct link to the websites of the individual establishments.

Read more

Middle Ages, Belle Epoque & Modern Architecture

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The legacies of the golden imperial and royal era have not mutated into mere sights here, but the opposite is the case! All the great works of this period have been exemplary preserved and maintained, and even today to fulfill their intended purpose. So you can stroll along streets, alleys and promenades steeped in history, just like in the days of the Kaiser. New, modern buildings such as the Merano Thermal Baths, but also the addition of the Merano City Museum are architectural masterpieces, which are carefully integrated into the cityscape and bear witness to the innovative strength, but also the love of history of the people of Merano. Palm trees, oleanders, cacti, but also numerous flower beds adorn the city and the many parks and give the city, together with consistently southern temperatures, its Mediterranean flair.

The activities

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Combine your vacation with the many activities that this region offers you. Many things, such as a visit to the old town or the thermal baths remain unchanged throughout the year, some things change with the change of seasons. But in the forefront are the Merano mountains with all their excursion and hiking possibilities, which range from easy walks to the alpine pastures to challenging summit tours in the warm summer season.

Our town with its surroundings is an ideal destination for all those who want to be active during their vacation. It is the mountains around Merano, which offer countless opportunities to relax in grandiose surroundings and get in shape while hiking, biking, skiing. Each of these sports you can experience here in all facets. A simple hike to one of the many alpine huts is not enough for you? For example, you can do the "Heini Holzer" Via ferrata, which leads to the Finger, Merano's local mountain. If you prefer to explore the area on 2 wheels, the range extends from gentle bike paths along the Passer into the Passeier Valley to relaxed e-bike tours on the numerous forest paths. For skiing you can reach Merano 2000 in just a few minutes with the new, large cable car.

Cable cars and chair lifts

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You can get away from the city very quickly and, above all, easily to get to the mountains. Eight cable cars and chair lifts are located in the immediate vicinity and bring you stress-free and effortlessly to the heights. The chairlift Merano - Dorf Tirol is ideal for a short trip, as it takes you directly from the city center up to Tirolo. From there, wonderful walking paths lead back to Merano. With the other cable cars and chair lifts you can go higher, no matter if you take the Retro chair and gondola lift from Lagundo up to the Meraner Höhenweg or the cable car Hochmuth up to the entrance of the Texelgruppe.

The Tappeiner Promenade

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Don't forget to pay a visit to the Tappeinerweg, which has been leading directly over the roofs of the city for 150 years! This probably most beautiful walking path in the Alps was designed and laid out by the famous spa doctor Dr. Franz Tappeiner to enable the healthiest possible exercise that is easy on the joints. What was true then is still true today: a walk along the Tappeinerweg with its Mediterranean planting is one of the highlights of any stay in Merano.

The Merano Thermal Baths

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For many certainly THE main attractions in Merano. The Terme Merano Thermal Baths have a total of 25 pools. In the stylish design glass cube, which is open all year round, there are 15 of them in the indoor bathing world. In the warm season, the large thermal park with 10 outdoor pools and many lounging options and the new Relax Lounges is added. After an extensive redesign of the sauna area, you can choose between six different sauna experiences with indoor and outdoor areas and rest in the new, large relaxation rooms. The spa's offer is completed with the Therme SPA, where personalized treatments and detox with South Tyrolean products are offered. The Terme Merano can be visited already with advantageous 2 hours tickets.

The botanical gardens of Merano

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The famous botanical gardens of Merano, the botanical Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, are located where Empress Sissi once resided during her stays in Merano. 80 garden worlds, divided into several thematic areas, line up around the castle, which functions as a museum and houses the Touriseum. In addition to a myriad of different plants of local and international origin, an aviary, a garden for lovers, various viewpoints, a rock cave, but also a white palm beach await you, to name just a few highlights. Plan at least half a day if you want to visit the gardens, or visit them on a Friday in summer, when they are often open longer, and aperitifs are served to music around the lily pond as part of the "Trauttmansdorff after work" event series.

Hiking and skiing area Merano 2000

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The local recreation area for all Merano residents and their guests par excellence is located east of Merano, above Hafling, and is best reached by cable car. The infrastructures and thus also the accessibility of the hiking and skiing area Merano 2000 have been massively improved and expanded in recent years. In all seasons you can hike here to your heart's content, no matter whether you are aiming for one of the alpine pastures and refuges, or want to climb the peaks of the Ifinger, Mittager or Plattenspitze. Cyclists use Merano 2000 as a starting point for extended tours to the "stoanernen Mandeln" or into the Sarntal, but also over the steep and challenging single trails back to Merano. In winter there are 40 km of slopes and 5 ski lifts, as well as a children's world for families, who also get their money's worth in summer thanks to the large outdoor playground with petting zoo.

The wineries

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Are you a wine lover who likes to see for yourself where the fine drops come from? In and around Merano you can get to know several wineries whose wines grow directly around the house. Here, friendly and competent winemakers await you, who will gladly introduce you to their wines during a tasting and open their partly ultra-modern cellars for you.

Your stay in Merano will be great!

Whether you want to spend a short weekend in Merano as a couple or a longer vacation with the family: look forward to a relaxing and at the same time varied time! In addition to the numerous sights, the lively hustle and bustle in the old town, which contrasts with the promenades and walks that can be reached directly from the center and offer peace and relaxation and deceleration at the same time. In addition, there are constant events and activities that provide entertainment and culturally enrich your vacation in Merano. Also around Merano - in the surrounding villages and in the mountains you can expect real highlights: Experiences in the great outdoors such as hikes and tours in the Merano mountains (from easy to difficult), unforgettable summit tours, cozy alpine pastures and quiet mountain lakes.