Why Visit Trento: 15 Best Things To Do In Trento Italy
Are you wondering if Trento is worth visiting?
Trento is absolutely worth visiting for the beautiful alpine scenery, imposing medieval structures, charming houses, and fascinating museums. Visitors in Trento enjoy Buonconsiglio Castle Museum, Museo Delle Scienze, and the beautiful natural attractions only minutes from Trento’s city center.
Sounds fun? Yes! Trento can be fun, especially if you love nature, discovering new things, and history. In this post, you’ll find the best things to do in Trento and the stunning attractions surrounding the town. Let’s go!
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As a mountain lover and history (and architecture) enthusiast, there’s no place in the world other than Europe I can always fantasize about. Honestly, it is! Particularly the Alps.
Trento is one of the cities in Europe that falls within the Venn diagram’s overlapping circles/lists of historical sites and scenic destinations. As a city in the Alps that dates back to antiquity and has preserved medieval buildings, Trento is definitely the place people like me are looking to visit.
You will not only find the best things to do in Trento in this post but also the visiting information on each landmark/tourist attraction. This post can be your guide in making an itinerary for a trip to Trento.
The links to the official websites of these places are also in this post. Through the links, you can quickly check if there are announcements (i.e., maintenance, change of schedule, and so on) and make a more successful trip to Trento.
Since Trento has many tourist attractions (within the city + nearby), expect this post to be packed with information and lengthy. Remember, you can use the table of contents to skip to topics.
But before anything, let me introduce Trento to you first.
Where is Trento, and what place is Trento?
Trento is the capital city of the province of Trentino in northern Italy, located approximately 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Verona and 59 kilometers (37 miles) south of Bolzano. It’s one of the cities closest to Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy and a lovely one.
Here’s the map of Trento:
On a regular map, Trento looks as if it’s an ordinary city tucked in the Italian Alps. But in reality, Trento has a reputation and is indeed a great and beautiful city.
In 2004, Trento was hailed as the Alpine Town of the Year. It is also called the Silicon Valley of the Alps and is one of the Roman Catholic Church’s historical places. On my list of 15 things to do in Trento, you’ll see how and why.
If you need a place to stay in Trento, you can find the best hotel deals in Trento here.
15 Best Things to Do in Trento
Thanks to its spectacular location in the Alps, Trento has attractions nowhere else to be found in almost all other Italian cities. The experiences you can have in Trento range from history to architecture, archeology, and, most especially, nature.
There are numerous experiences to have in Trento, but here are the 15 best and unmissable things to do in Trento I found:
- Admire Piazza Duomo of Trento
- Appreciate the Medieval Cattedrale di San Vigilio
- Visit Buonconsiglio Castle Museum
- Get amused in Trento in Gallerie di Piedicastello
- Uncover the history and lovely views in Doss Trento
- Stroll along River Adige in Trento (Parco delle Albere)
- Discover Trento’s Museo delle Scienze
- Take the cable car to Sardagna
- Explore Orrido di Ponte Alto near Trento
- Enjoy the views in Cima Paganella near Trento
- Be amazed by Terrazza delle Stelle
- Uncover tranquility in Castel Toblino
- Get to the impressive Arco Castle
- Visit Lake Garda from Trento
- Get fascinated by Arte Sella (An open-air museum)
These activities are arranged closest to farthest from the city center. You shall find it more convenient to make an itinerary using this list of things to do in Trento.
The 15 things to do in Trento listed above can be sorted into three groups:
Activities within Trento city center – these are the places you can visit on foot from one place to another in Trento.
- Piazza Duomo of Trento
- Cattedrale di San Vigilio
- Buonconsiglio Castle Museum
- La Gallerie di Piedicastello
- Doss Trento
- Parco delle Albere
- Museo delle Scienze
Optional things to do in Trento city center
- Cable car to Sardagna
- Orrido di Ponte Alto
Places to visit from Trento main city – these places need a ride on public transportation or car to get to, however.
- Cima Paganella
- Terrazza delle Stelle
- Castel Toblino
- Arco Castle
- Lake Garda
- Arte Sella Open Air Museum
You can find more things to do in Trento here.
Know that Trento has a city card that you can use to get a free ride on public transportation, and free access to museums, castles, and more. Learn more about the pass from VisitTrentino.
Now, Let’s discuss each of them one by one:
1. Admire Piazza Duomo of Trento
A 7-minute walk from the train station is the bustling heart of Trento, Piazza Duomo.
And if there’s a place best to start your trip to Trento – this is just the one, especially if you haven’t eaten your breakfast. Piazza Duomo has cafes and restaurants where you can refuel your body for a day of traveling.
It’s not only a place for eating, though. You’ll love wandering and sightseeing in Piazza Duomo. Visiting it is free, and there is a lot to see! Being the civic and religious center, In Piazza Duomo, you can find the most important and beautiful buildings in the town.
Swipe the 360-view image to see the entire Piazza Duomo:
Fountain of Neptune
In the middle of the Piazza Duomo, you will see the Fountain of Neptune.
It is a giant and impressive fountain, the square’s primary landmark. The fountain of Neptune is where most tourists take their photo souvenirs and selfies for a trip to Trento.
The Fountain of Neptune has been in the heart of the square for two and a half centuries now. For centuries, the water in the fountain has stayed clean and fresh – thanks to the ordinance that is as old as the fountain that mandates everyone to keep it clean.
No washing of hands! 😉
Cathedral of Saint Vigilio
To the south of the fountain lies the Cathedral of Saint Vigilio, the place where one of the most significant events in the history of the Catholic Church took place.
The church looks impressive with its size. Aside from the Apse, the exterior design is just above average as its facade.
There is a separate discussion for the things you’ll see inside the cathedral of Saint Virgilio in the next section.
Palazzo Pretorio and Torre Civica
Beside the Cathedral of Saint Vigilio are the Palazzo Pretorio and Torre Civica. They were once the home of the city’s bishop princes and administrative tribunals. Today, it houses the Tridentine Diocesan Museum, which exhibits the artistic heritage of the Trento Diocese.
Outside, the most notable architectural feature of the building is the V-shaped merlons on top of the Palazzo Pretorio and Torre Civica. They are called Ghibelline or swallowtail battlements unique to northern Italy. You can find more of them in Verona.
Ghibelline allows archers to shoot enemies from the top while standing fully upright. Try to imagine them when you visit and be transported back into medieval times!
You’ll enjoy Tridentine Diocesan Museum the most, especially if you’re curious about the artistry and history of the church.
Inside are the artworks highlighting the iconography of the Council of Trento. A wide range of collections from different eras (12th to 19th century) await you in the museum.
The collections inside the Tridentine Diocesan Museum include items starting from liturgical vestments to remarkable tapestries. I find the cathedral’s illuminated manuscripts displayed in the museum most interesting. The early 16th-century tapestries of the Passion of Christ by Pieter Van Edinghen are worth a find too!
Planning to visit? I recommend that you check the official website of the museum. They have announcements and requirements to follow before you can enter. Entry is 7 EUR for adults; it’s free on the first Sunday of each month.
Tridentine Diocesan Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and Monday, from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. There’s a 1-hour lunch break at 1:00 pm. It is closed every January 1 and 6, June 26, November 1, December 25, and Easter Sunday.
Casa Cazuffi and Casa Rella
Last but not least, another attraction in Piazza Duomo is the two notable houses north of the square, near Torre Civica.
These houses are called Casa Cazuffi and Casa Rella – and they are admirable for their murals, similar to the Lüftlmalerei in Tyrol, Austria, and southern Germany.
2. Appreciate the Medieval Cattedrale di San Vigilio
The second thing to do in Trento is just right there in the city’s square, The Trento Cathedral or the Cathedral of Saint Vigilio.
Trento Cathedral’s construction took 5 centuries to finish, starting from the early 13th century. Initially, it was built in the Romanesque style. But some modifications were made apart from the original plan throughout its long decades of construction.
One of them is the statue of the Madonna degli Annegati (Madonna of the Drowned).
The Cathedral of Saint Vigilio may look outside just like an ordinary church in Italy. But the first impression could be wrong!
It has something for you new to discover. Nevertheless, most of the artworks of the cathedral were already transferred to the museum for better safekeeping.
What’s the most notable thing about Trento Cathedral?
In the mid-16th-century, the Cathedral of Saint Vigilio hosted the ecumenical Council of Trent of the catholic church. It was during that event that doctrinal challenges thrown by the Protestants were answered emphatically.
You can see the painting of the ecumenical council inside the cathedral to get an idea of what it was like during such an important event.
More religious artworks are inside the Cathedral of Saint Vigilio, though. There are frescoes and Byzantine-style murals inside, which are genuinely nostalgic to see. You must check out the side altars, staircase, and the cathedral’s crypt.
Explore the crypt here:
For me, the real deal of coming inside the Cathedral of Saint Vigilio lies in the crypt. It can get a bit creepy as you walk over tombs, but the relics, stone inscriptions, and art are fascinatingly intriguing.
Planning to visit the cathedral? Check out the announcements on the official website of Trento tourism. Opening hours are 6:30 am until 8:00 pm, with 2 hours lunch break from 12:00 pm. Crypt is open only during the afternoon.
3. Visit Buonconsiglio Castle Museum
Visiting Buonconsiglio Castle, for me and many others, is the best thing to do in Trento. This tourist attraction is a 5-minute walk away from the city center.
You can find its exact location in Google Maps from this link.
Like the Palazzo Pretorio, Buonconsiglio Castle served as the residence of prince-bishops. And now, it is also a museum containing many collections from different eras. Because of these and the castle’s appearance, Buonconsiglio Castle will make you feel like traveling back in time, back to medieval times.
Buonconsiglio Castle is only a single destination. But it has four primary parts, and each portion of the castle has a different theme. There are so many to discover from them. A visit takes 3 to 4 hours (half-day) to see everything inside the castle.
The four parts of Buonconsiglio Castle are:
- Old Castle (Castelvecchio)
- The towers
- Magno Palazzo
- Giunta Albertiana
All the visiting information can be found on Buonconsiglio Castle Museum’s website. I recommend visiting their site for updates/announcements and requirements before entering. Nevertheless, here are quick info on visiting the museum:
- Entry fee: 10 EUR
- Open from Tuesday to Sunday except for holidays (see website for more information)
- Opening hours vary by half an hour to an hour for different seasons. But you should find the museum open from around 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
The Old Castle, or Castelvecchio, was the first to be constructed among the parts of Buonconsiglio Castle.
It originally served as a military fortress guarding the entire city. That is why you will see it overlooking Trento towards the River Adige.
Castelvecchio’s ironclad Gothic doors, merlons, and defensive elements will make you feel that you’re in a fairytale. If you’re watching movies or series set in the middle ages, these things shall help you imagine you’re one of the characters in your favorite show.
Check out the open gallery in the courtyard to see sculptures, inscriptions, and awe-inspiring frescoes for a more insightful discovery of the castle.
What do you think is the best part of Castelvecchio? For me, it’s Venetian Loggia.
It may be just a slight opening you’ll see in the facade of the old castle, but the views you’ll see from it are spectacularly scenic.
From the Venetian Loggia of the Castelvecchio, you’ll see spires of the churches and medieval towers jutting on the skyline of Trento. Tranquil mountains of the Alps will be yours to see, as well!
The view shall make you feel that you own the city, similar to what the prince-bishops could have in the past.
Castelvecchio is the northernmost part and the medieval part of Buonconsiglio Castle Museum.
South and next to it is Giunta Albertiana, the smallest part of the entire structure that connects Castelvecchio to the renaissance part of the museum, which is Magno Palazzo.
Giunta Albertiana has two floors.
Beginning here, you will start to find more fascinating frescoes and stuccoes depicting stories of war, religion, and mythologies. The two notable artworks in Giunta Albertiana are the Triumph of the Christian Faith and Minerva banishing the Sins Back to Hell.
Most of the awe-inspiring artworks in Buonconsiglio Castle Museum are found in Magno Palazzo.
Almost every room in Magno Palazzo has stunning frescoes depicting many things, from myth to religion, fashionably touching every subject matter of human nature.
Magno Palazzo has numerous rooms showing the extravagant life of the bishops who stayed in the palace. There are frescoes to admire everywhere. Even in the narrow corridors!
Then, if Castelvecchio has Venetian Loggia, Magno Palazzo has Loggia del Romanino – and it’s truly one you’ll admire.
The Loggia del Romanino, though not having a view like the Venetian Loggia in Castelvecchio, will take your breath away. It’s the most picturesque part, I believe. The light from outside makes the scene in the loggia outstands the rest.
See the Loggia del Romanino in 360-view:
Frescoes are painted on every inch of Loggia del Romanino’s ceiling. Of course, the most notable is in the center of the loggia depicting Phaethon in the sun chariot.
The Trompe-l’oeil art technique is used in some frescoes, creating a 3-dimension optical illusion.
Torre del Falco and Torre Aquila
You will lose your head wandering in the frescoes in every room of Magno Palazzo, but the spectacle does not end there.
At the southmost part of Buonconsiglio Castle Museum lies the second and third tower of the castle, where more frescoes can be found. These towers are called Torre del Falco and Torre Aquila.
The frescoes in Torre del Falco and Torre Aquila depict the life of the noblemen in medieval times. You will see paintings of them exploring the wilds, hunting in beautiful landscapes and forests.
Mostly, it’s about the hunting activities and country life of these noblemen, though.
You shall like Torre Aquila more between the two. Though they both have the same theme, the frescoes in Torre Aquila tell more stories.
Torre Aquila houses the famous fresco, Cycle of the Months. The flow of time and the changing seasons are depicted in the artwork – simply fascinating to behold.
4. Get amused in Trento in Gallerie di Piedicastello
Another excellent museum/attraction/thing to do in Trento lies on the other side of the Adige River.
It is called Le Gallerie di Piedicastello or The Piedicastello Tunnel, situated directly west of Buonconsiglio Castle Museum.
Hop on buses #1 and #6 to get to the Piedicastello Tunnel from Buonconsiglio Castle Museum or Piazza Duomo more comfortably. However, these attractions are just within walking distance of each other. Walking should be preferable during sunny weather.
So what’s Le Gallerie di Piedicastello all about? It is a tunnel converted into a museum where some of the most incredible world wars photographs are archived. Here you will also find creative historical objects used for military purposes, such as weapons, tools, flags, etc.
Basically, Le Gallerie di Piedicastello is a museum for people who are intrigued or have a passion for the happenings in the first and second World Wars. Some old films and pictures surely are moving, but some are also disturbing.
Though there are no English explanations for each, the archives shall speak for themselves.
Le Gallerie di Piedicastello has two galleries, the black, and the white tunnel. They are 300-meters long and connected to each other.
The reason why you must visit this aside from the unique things you can discover? There is no entrance fee!
Le Gallerie di Piedicastello’s opening hours are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday. I recommend checking the website of Le Gallerie di Piedicastello before visiting to see if there are announcements and other requirements to enter.
Le Gallerie di Piedicastello actually goes under a hill called Doss Trento. Before you reach the gallery, you can see an intriguing white circular building above that hill. That place is called the National Historical Museum of the Alpine Troops, and it is the thing to do in Trento we’ll discuss next.
5. Uncover the history and lovely views in Doss Trento
The National Historical Museum of the Alpine Troops in Doss Trento seems like a complementary tourist attraction for Le Gallerie di Piedicastello and vice versa.
As its name implies, this museum has something to show you about the military in the alps.
From Le Gallerie di Piedicastello, hiking will not take more than 25 minutes to reach the top of Doss Trento, where the museum is. The hike is mainly stairs, however. With a car, it’s only going to take you 5 minutes to get to the site. There is small parking at the top of the hill.
If you’re already in Le Gallerie di Piedicastello, just follow the road turning away from the runabout or River Adige. Keep an eye for a turn/sign “to Doss Trento” at the right, and you must find the way up to the Doss Trento in no time.
The National Historical Museum of the Alpine Troops in Doss Trento is both a museum and a park.
It is a fantastic thing to do in Trento because of two things. Here, not only do you will find new discoveries, but you will get a panoramic view of the alps and the city of Trento, as well.
The museum is about the Alpini or the Italian Army specialist mountain infantry.
It’s a 1,400-square-meter-wide park or museum where you can find the troops’ armory, awards, uniforms, pictures, and paintings. You will get a deep insight into the troops’ life once you visit the museum.
I think this is just an unmissable place to be if you’re interested in mountain warfare. Or, if you want to see real stuff used in the war in the alps during the world wars.
I suggest watching the movie The Silent Mountain (2014) if you need the inspiration to visit the National Historical Museum of the Alpine Troops.
But even if you’re not really into this alpine warfare stuff, the scenery from the site should still make your site worth a while. At the top, you can see all of Trento to the snowy mountains beyond.
It’s one of the best places in Trento to view the Adige River, I believe.
Go around the park to see the cannons, statues of soldiers, and the picturesque mausoleum. The mausoleum is the white structure you can see from the road going to Doss Trento.
You can also find ruins of an old church, giant stone inscriptions, and pleasant nature to feed your wanderlust during your visit.
Similar to Le Gallerie di Piedicastello, Admission to the National Historical Museum of the Alpine Troops is free. Before you visit, check the museum’s official website for announcements or a complete opening hours schedule. But, at the time of this writing, the museum is:
- Open from Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays and during the Christmas season (see official website)
- Tuesday to Thursday’s opening hours is 9:00 am until 4:00 pm, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm lunch break.
- Friday opening hours are 9:00 am until 12:00 pm
- Saturday and Sunday’s opening hours are 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm lunch break.
It is best to visit Doss Trento (and other scenic spots around Trento) during the Golden Hour. It is the time of the day when the sun makes a good angle with the horizon and when sunlight is golden to orange in color. It commonly happens during sunrise and sunset, when the sky is clear.
It is also when most people aren’t willing to visit scenic spots. Thus, if you get so lucky, you can witness the spectacular view of Trento and the surrounding mountains all by yourself, without the noise of other tourists.
6. Stroll along River Adige in Trento (Parco delle Albere)
The bike and pedestrian lanes along Adige River are one of the best places in Trento to relax and simply enjoy nature.
The path is wide open, and the mountains around Trento are the scenery. For me, it is another lovely and free thing to do in Trento which everybody must try.
The path isn’t usually crowded, so you can find peace and quiet. The sound of the flowing river is relaxing too! But, the best part is the view of the mountains that just complete the tranquil package of the hiking activity.
The pedestrian path is located on the east bank of River Adige.
If you are coming from Doss Trento, you should cross the river first to get onto it. It has trees along with its length, so you won’t have to worry about too much exposure to the sun when it’s burning hot and sunny.
You will pass by the cable car station going up to Sardagna if you are going to the riverside pedestrian path coming from Doss Trento. There is a separate discussion on that in the following sections.
The whole pedestrian path on the east bank of River Adige in Trento extends up to nearly 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) in length.
But I suggest cutting the stroll along the river when you reach Parco delle Albere. That’s a one-kilometer (0.62 miles) walk or 15 minutes of simple lovely nature indulgence in Trento.
Parco delle Albere is a big park in Trento and a fantastic place best to have some rest. There’s a lot of space in the park, and it’s very green, especially during a clear blue sky in spring.
You can find children playing and adults hanging around and doing some exercise in some parts of the park.
Well, I brought you here to Parco delle Albere because it’s very close to the next best thing to do in Trento, which is MUSE. Also, there are shops and cafes in the park where you can eat and have refreshments.
7. Discover Trento’s Museo delle Scienze
What’s most surprising about Trento being a city in the alps is MUSE, an amusing high-tech interactive museum about science and natural history.
I expected Trento to be a medieval, historical and nature-focused only destination, but I was partly wrong.
MUSE or Museo delle Scienze is an expansive museum of about 19,000 square meters in floor area, containing countless new things to discover that are all about and focused on the relationship between man and nature.
MUSE is one of the best things to do in Trento for the unique and fascinating experiences inside. On Google Maps, it got an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 from nearly 16,000 visitors as of this writing.
In fact, if you’re planning to visit the Dolomites anytime sooner after Trento, MUSE shall orient you to the things you can expect to see in that spectacular place. MUSE has 6 floors, and each has different themes and topics.
You’ll learn so much about the alps on the second, third, and fourth floors of MUSE, I promise!
Actually, MUSE has 7 floors. But the highest of them is just a panoramic Terrace. Here’s what you can see for each level of MUSE:
- (-1) Basement – Evolution of life, worth 5 million years of discovery
- (0) Ground Floor – The interactive displays and exhibits about basic science
- (+1) First Floor – The prehistoric life of humans in the alpine region.
- (+2) Second Floor – All about the Dolomites and how it was formed to how we can protect the mountains
- (+3) Third Floor – The beautiful biodiversity in the alps
- (+4) Fourth Floor – All about glaciers, peaks of the mountains, and the living organisms in them.
It’s best if you can join a tour in MUSE.
You get a good sequence, a story, of things you’ll discover in the museum. MUSE offer guided tours in English but not all the time. Check out the schedules and the topics from the official website of MUSE.
There will be a lot to see in MUSE. You will be given 3 hours to see everything inside the museum. Expect to see impressive exhibits, from a dinosaur’s skeletal system to a replica of a prehistoric kid holding a platypus (not sure what animal that is, haha!).
Before you visit, be sure to check for announcements/requirements posted on the visiting information page of MUSE Trento. As of this writing, admission is only permitted with tickets purchased online. Here is a list of quick information:
- Full price ticket: 11 EUR
- Open Mondays to Sundays (see the holiday schedule on their website)
- Entry to Discover Maxi Ooh! needs a separate ticket.
8. Take the cable car to Sardagna.
One reason to visit Trento is the overlooking panoramic views of the city from the nearby hills and cliffs. One of the places you can have it is in Doss Trento, which we discussed a while ago.
Another is in Sardagna, a small village situated above the rocky outcrop west of Trento city center.
Suppose you’re the type of person like me who never leaves a city without seeing a spectacular view. In that case, hopping on a cable car to Sardagna is your must thing to do in Trento.
However, this can be an optional activity, especially if you have already been to the Doss Trento.
Up there in Sardagna, an observation deck awaits you. A splendid view of Trento will be all yours to see there.
Comparing the view from Doss Trento? It will be just slightly higher. However, you will be able to see the mountains to the north in Doss Trento, whereas in Sardagna, it’s just the city and the mountains to the east.
What’s great about going to the observation deck Sardagna over Doss Trento?
The cafe near the observation deck. And, of course, with the cable car, you can get to the spot without effort! It’s just perfect for relaxin’ and chillin’ with somebody.
A gondola ride costs 5 EUR per person. You can check if the gondola is operational, or you find the operating hours of the gondola on the official website of Trentino Transport.
However, as of this writing, the gondola operates from 7:25 am to 10:25 pm on weekdays. Then, 11:30 am to 8:10 pm during holidays. There is a bus service substitute if the cable car isn’t operational. Check the link I previously mentioned for more information.
9. Explore Orrido di Ponte Alto near Trento
Being in the Alps, Trento is blessed with a beautiful landscape. That is true, even in the locations you could not easily see from above.
Such places are called gorges, and Trento has one you can visit. The gorge in Trento is called Orrido di Ponte Alto, which is also one of the best things to do in Trento.
Orrido di Ponte Alto is a beautiful masterpiece of both man and nature.
It was formed by the Fersina stream that carved the rocks in the canyon for thousands of years. Then, it was modified by residents of Trento because the water needed to be controlled to prevent terrible flooding during severe rains.
The result? Two 40-meter spectacular waterfalls, both forming water curtains across the meandering gap between the rocks.
Together with these waterfalls are the awe-inspiring erosion patterns on the gorge’s wall that make the visit so worthwhile. In Orrido di Ponte Alto is a view you just can’t resist taking photos of.
Getting to Orrido di Ponte Alto is easy. Though it is 4 kilometers away from the city, it can easily be reached with just a bus ride. You can follow my instructions below or just navigate with a Google Map route I provide using this link.
- From Trento train station, hop on bus #9 and drop by Cognola Grezoni.
- From Cognola Grezoni station, proceed to Via Grezoni. You shall find road signs directing you to Via Grezoni once you alight the bus.
- When you reach the end of Via Grezoni, you arrive at Via Ponte Alto and turn left.
- Walk along with Via Ponte Alto without turning to any other streets.
- Continue walking for about 10 to 12 minutes, and you shall find an old restaurant with “CASCATA di PONTE ALTO” written on its facade. The restaurant is also called La Gnoccata.
- Beside La Gnoccata is the entrance to the Orrido di Ponte Alto.
There is a parking lot beside La Gnoccata and the sports complex along with Via Ponte Alto. However, I recommend that you visit using the trains to avoid the hassle of finding a parking space.
Entry to the gorge is 5 EUR for adults and 3 EUR for kids 6 to 12 years old; younger than that will have free admission. You can only explore the gorge with a guide.
Each guided tour only occurs on Saturday and Sunday, and it starts hourly, from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. Before visiting, I strongly recommend checking the announcement page to see updates and know if the gorge is open or not. Check it from this link.
Weather and other factors may affect the operation of the tours inside the gorge. It can be closed when you visit. This is why I mentioned Orrido di Ponte Alto as an optional activity in the beginning.
At this point on the list of things to do in Trento, we have tackled everything worth doing in Trento. Now we proceed to the discussion of activities/places you can do/visit right away when you’re in Trento:
10. Enjoy the views in Cima Paganella near Trento
Paganella is one of the famous and most visited peaks most people travel to from Trento. Paganella, having a height of 2,124 meters (6,969 ft) in the heart of Trentino, lets you see a 360-degree view over the entire region. Going to the top of Paganella is so worth it to do from Trento.
Different parts of the Italian alps await you in Paganella. From Lake Garda to Brenta Dolomites, Adige Valley, Pale di San Martino, and more!
It’s a view you won’t regret seeing – the Dolomites’ rugged peaks are such a spectacle!
Paganella isn’t all about the view, though. The slopes on this mountain are just perfect for both skiing and hiking. Thus, regardless of the season, it’s a place you can visit. Kids, adults, and experts will have outdoor fun, absolutely!
By the way, you can find a cafe or lodge in Paganella.
Have beers or beautifully prepared bread on a plate while you enjoy the stunning view of the surroundings. Eyes and tummy shall be satisfied.
You do not have to hike just to get to the top of Paganella. From its nearest town or village, Andalo, you can hop on a cable car that will bring you directly to the top of the mountain.
You can reach Andalo from Trento by riding on bus #B611 at the train terminal (1 hour and 9 minutes travel time). Discover more routes on the Trentino Transport website.
There is an amusement park, a mountain park, and an aqua park in Andalo. You can check them before proceeding to Cima Paganella, especially if you plan to bring your kids. The kids will love Andalo Life amusement park, for sure!
11. Be amazed by Terrazza delle Stelle
It is in the mountains that it is best to observe the stars and the galaxies beyond ours. The remote location, away from the cities, is pure from light pollution. You can see the stars shining brightly more than anywhere else you can be.
It is why MUSE has extended its facilities away from the city center to a Viote basin near the summit of Monte Bondone. The facility they built is an astronomical observatory. They called it Terrazza Delle Stelle or Terrace of the Stars in English.
Terrazza Delle Stelle is equipped with powerful telescopes (80 cm diameter Newtonian reflector). Visitors are guided by experts in using telescopes.
You can explore the stars beyond our galaxy at night with your naked eye. During the day, our sun becomes the primary subject – thanks to the special filters in their telescopes, visitors can look into the sun safely.
At the observatory, you can find a polished steel dome where a panoramic view of the surroundings and of the sky can be seen at one glance. The steel dome shall amuse you with an incredible reflection – regardless of when you look at it by day or night! It’s like a blob of Mercury dropped on top of an elevated valley.
Admission to the site is free. You can visit anytime, the best time is at night when you can stargaze. The activities have a fee, however. It’s 3 EUR for adults and 2.50 for discounted individuals.
The instruments are available to the public only when there are events or when you make an appointment. You must contact MUSE from their website or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Events are announced on their Facebook page.
Though Terrazza Delle Stelle is located in the mountains, you can quickly come to it with just one bus ride. Bus #B202 services the astronomical observatory. So, from Trento train station, ride that bus, and drop by Viote. Check the schedule and availability of the bus from the Trentino Transport website.
As a nature lover, Terrazza Delle Stelle is a thing to do in Trento worth the time.
Visiting the site is even more worthwhile when you see the botanical garden and the small amusement center near the observatory. There is also a cafe near Terrazza Delle Stelle if you need some refreshments.
12. Uncover tranquility in Castel Toblino
Castel Toblino is probably one of the dreamiest destinations to visit from Trento.
It is a place so magical and has a lot of fairytale vibes. Why? Two reasons: its history and location. If you’re one of the people who love to wander and take photographs, this is the place to be!
The history of Castel Toblino dates back to the 16th century, the time that fortress was constructed on the promontory in Lake Toblino. But legends and myths have been in place for more than 2000 years now. Some say fairies lived in the lake, and the temple that the castle replaced was dedicated to them.
But do you know what really makes Castel Toblino so worth visiting?
The breathtaking mountains and the serene lake that surrounds it. Come to its viewpoint (link to Google Maps) to see the awe-inspiring scenery of the castle with an inverted image of the lake and a skyscraping mountain in the background.
Castel Toblino, being a famous castle in Trento, does not look appealing only from the outside.
Come inside, and you’ll see frescoes, paintings of musical instruments in the music hall, and different things used during medieval times.
It may not look so extravagant inside compared to other castles in Italy. But, it shall give you an indescribably slight nostalgic feel. That is when you see the armored statues, iron doors, inscriptions, carpets, and more.
If you get hungry, you can eat at the castle’s restaurant.
It is a little expensive, though. The spectacular views/ambiance from or of the restaurant justifies the price. They serve refreshments good to have during the hot sunny days.
The castle does not accept walk-in visitors as of this writing. You need to make an appointment and reserve a date and time to get inside.
Email the castle’s administrator for more information (email@example.com) or check their website for new announcements or opening hours.
However, you can always visit and hike around Lake Toblino and admire the castle from afar anytime you want. The lake has absolutely scenic hiking trails. A big part of the path is paved, but you can also find boardwalks (the Instagrammable part).
Going to Lake and Castel Toblino isn’t hard.
It’s only one bus ride away from Trento. From the train station, hop on bus #B201 and drop off at Castel Toblino bus stop (30 minutes travel time). Will you be coming from a different place other than the train station? The following buses also pass by Castel Toblino: #B204, #B205, and #B215.
13. Get to the impressive Arco Castle
Aside from Castel Toblino, there is another castle you can visit from Trento.
This castle is not situated near a lake or in a bustling city center but on a hilltop. People call it Castel Arco in Arco, a town that’s an hour away from Trento.
Castel Arco is incredibly scenic both from afar and from within. It is already in ruins, though. But I think it’s what makes the unique experience!
By visiting a ruined castle perched on a spectacular spur, you’ll get a lot of dramatic views that your wanderlust self would be satisfied to see.
The crumbling walls, arches, stairways – the scenery from Castel Arco are straight out of a movie.
From the top, in the windows of the old castle, you see an overlooking view of the town of Arco and the surrounding fields and mountains. Lake Garda is visible from the top.
It’s not all about the view!
Some parts of the castle may have been ruined already, but the tower, venerable halls/room, and the prison were preserved. Arco Castle has frescoes worth seeing too. They’re about knights, court ladies, aristocratic men, and Saint George killing a dragon.
For me, Arco Castle is absolutely an unmissable thing to do from Trento.
If you plan to visit, I recommend that you check the visitor’s information page of Arco Castle for announcements, updates, or requirements. It is written in Italian, however. So, here’s the short version in English:
- Adults: 3.5 EUR
- Children/Teens (12 to 18) and Senior (60+): 2 EUR
- Below 12: Free
- Summer opening hours (from April to September): 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
- March and October: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Winter opening hours (November to February): 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
- January (after Epiphany) and February: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Saturday and Sunday only!)
- Come 1 hour before closing time
- Closed from November 1, December 25 to 26, January 1
- Closed on December 24 and December 31 afternoon
The fastest way to get to Arco Castle from Trento is through a bus ride (#B205) from Trento Train Station to Arco P. Foro Boario (one hour travel time). After dropping off at Arco P. Foro Boario, continue walking in the direction of the hill where Arco Castle is. The hike is 17 minutes long.
You can find bus schedules and more routes on the Trentino Transport website. Lastly, there are many restaurants below Arco Castle. If you get tired or hungry, you have many options for refreshments.
14. Visit Lake Garda from Trento
The northern shore of Lake Garda is a near-paradise destination we can consider.
It has a beach, spectacular views, scenic hikes, picturesque landmarks, and romantic restaurants. Because of these, a visit to Lake Garda can technically be the ultimate thing to do from Trento.
It’s best to visit Lake Garda during summer, and if you plan to, don’t forget to bring swimsuits!
Lake Garda has absolutely stunning beaches and epic views. The towering limestone mountains rising from the glittering surface of the lake will take your breath away. So captivating!
Fun activities and water sports like canoeing, kayaking, boating, and more are available on the beach. You won’t be disappointed if you’re into photography, at least during sunny weather.
From the Instagrammable docks to the cute little ducks, there will always be something to capture with your lens in every direction.
Know that Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake. It is 370 square kilometers or 143 square miles wide, and there’s just a lot to explore from all sides of it. You can get boat ride tours to see more beautiful places in Lake Garda.
There are two towns on the northernmost shore of Lake Garda. They are Riva del Garda and Nago–Torbole. If you’ve made it already to Arco Castle, you’re now just 15 to 20 minutes away from these towns:
- Bus #B863 – Arco to Riva del Garda
- Bus #484 – Riva del Garda to Torbole
Going to Lake Garda straight from Trento? Hop on bus #B205 or #B301 from the Trento station and drop by Riva Del G. Autostaz. It’s an hour and 30 minutes of travel time. You can check the bus schedule and alternative routes from the Trentino Transport website.
READ: Lake Garda Italy: 10 Reasons Why Lake Garda Is Worth a Visit, Lake Garda Itinerary: How to Spend 1,2,3 Days in Lake Garda (Click to open in a new tab)
15. Get fascinated by Arte Sella (An open-air museum)
The last but still worthy thing to do from Trento is an open-air art museum called Arte Sella.
It showcases remarkable contemporary artworks made from natural materials. Arte Sella’s exhibits look incredibly magical and charming – you’ll love to photograph most of the masterpieces you’ll see.
It’s hard to describe each artwork you’ll find in Art Sella. So I’ll just leave a video down below to give you a glimpse of the fascinating things waiting for you in Art Sella:
Art Sella is located in the town of Borgo Valsugana, located east 40 kilometers east of Trento.
As of this writing, there is no public transportation that services Arte Sella. You can only visit the park using a car. From Trento, the travel time is approximately one hour. See the “How to Reach Us” page of Art Sella for more information, including car parks, taxi services, bicycle rental, and more.
Entry to Art Sella is 8 EUR for adults and 4 EUR for kids 11 to 16 years old.
The garden has two routes, Malga Costa and Villa Strobele Garden. They have different opening hours, though, but they should be open all year from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Opening hours are up to 7:00 pm during summer.
You must come one hour before the closing time. Ultimately, before you visit, make sure to check Art Sella’s Rates and Schedules and their announcements or requirements (Green Pass, etc.)
Map of Things to Do in Trento
Below are the locations of each destination in the list of best things to do in Trento mentioned in the previous section.
See more things to do in Trento from this link.
How long should I visit Trento?
Staying in Trento for 3 to 4 days is recommended. You can easily spend 1 to 2 days in the city and its museums and castles. Visiting Paganella as well as Lake Garda shall also take 2 days.
If you need a place to stay in Trento, you can find the best accommodation deals here. The link will send you to a hotel browser with a map feature. It can help you find the hotel located at the most convenient/accessible location in Trento.
Where To Go After Trento?
If you’re currently in Trento, you’re literally only hours away from one of the most spectacular places on earth—the Italian Dolomites.
The beautiful villages, mountains, and lakes in the Dolomites are undoubtedly the best place to go after you visit Trento. You can go straight to Cortina d’Ampezzo (the heart of the Dolomites) or have a stop in Bolzano, the gateway to the Dolomites.
Learn more about the mentioned places from these links:
- Bolzano (10 Reasons To Visit Bolzano, Italy – Is It Worth Visiting?)
- Cortina d’Ampezzo (10 Beautiful Places Around Cortina d’Ampezzo Italy To Visit)
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that I like historical sites and breathtaking destinations. For northern Italy (Is Northern Italy Worth Visiting? 10 Reasons Why Must Visit), I have these articles you can use to discover a new place to visit after Trento:
- Historical Sites
- Venice — is a living remnant of the mighty Venetian Republic. See its greatest architectural feats here: 10 Most Beautiful Buildings in Venice.
- Verona — is a romantic city, home of Romeo and Juliet. Learn more: 12 Good Reasons Why Verona Is Worth a Visit | Verona Itinerary: How to Spend 1, 2, 3 Days in Verona Italy.
- Bergamo — is a medieval city with scenic views. It has a Venetian Wall, a UNESCO heritage site untouched by any wars and conflicts. Discover: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Bergamo.
- Milan — is a city that’s more than just a fashion capital. See: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Milan.
- Florence — is the birthplace of the Renaissance. This city is filled with art and stunning buildings. Check them out: Is Florence Worth Visiting: 10 Beautiful Places In Florence.
- Rome — come here to discover 2000+ years of history. You must see: 10 Beautiful Landmarks That Make Rome a Beautiful City.
- Scenic Places
- Lake Garda — is the largest lake in Italy. It has scenic spots, hiking trails, castles, and picturesque towns. See it here: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lake Garda Italy | Lake Garda Itinerary
- Lake Como — is a heavenly place. This lake has villas that are straight out of a fairytale! Learn more: 10 Best Places To Visit In Lake Como—Is It Worth Visiting?
- Cinque Terre—is the most scenic coast of northern Italy. See its 5 picturesque colorful towns here: 10 Spots With The Best Views of Cinque Terre
If you like visiting beautiful alpine towns and villages like Trento, I suggest you also see the following destinations in Europe:
Bavarian Alps in southern Germany — they have beautiful streets with houses painted with Lüftlmalerei, vibrant Bavarian culture, and Germany’s most spectacular natural wonders:
- Berchtesgaden — has a historic salt mine, scenic views from WWII historical sites, beautiful lakes, and picturesque chapels. Learn more:
- Mittenwald — here you can find the longest ski route in Germany. Check it out here: 10 Worthy Things to Do In Mittenwald
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen — is the town closest to Germany’s highest peak and one of the most picturesque alpine lakes. Discover: 10 Reasons Why Garmisch-Partenkirchen Is Worth Visiting
- Oberammergau — the village famous for its legendary Passion Play. See it here: 7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Oberammergau
Towns/Villages in the Swiss Alps — rustic villages perched on breathtaking locations:
- Interlaken — The gateway to the Jungfrau region. Learn more:
- Lauterbrunnen — it is Switzerland’s heaven on earth valley. See it here:
- Zermatt — it is the village where you can see the Matterhorn, one of the world’s most famous mountains. Learn more:
- Grindelwald — it’s where family-friendly and most epic adventures in Switzerland are! Discover: 10 Best Things To Do In Grindelwald
- Kandersteg — it is the closest village to Oeschinensee, one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in the Swiss Alps. See it here: 10 Best Things To Do In Kandersteg & How To Visit
Cities near the Swiss Alps — They are a strategic home base for visiting different attractions in the Swiss Alps. Come to have a mixed experience: medieval architecture, adventure, wines, scenic views, and more. I recommend you don’t miss:
Lucerne — it has impressive unique landmarks, a charming historic town center, a scenic lake, and is minutes away from Mount Rigi/Mount Pilatus. Discover:
- 15 Reasons to visit Lucerne
- How many days to spend in Lucerne (1 to 3-day sample Lucerne itinerary)
- Montreux — It is unmissable during the Jazz festival! You can visit a fairytale castle, a beautiful vineyard and drink unique wines from here. Learn more: 10 Best Reasons Why Montreux Switzerland Is Worth Visiting
- Lucerne — it has impressive unique landmarks, a charming historic town center, a scenic lake, and is minutes away from Mount Rigi/Mount Pilatus. Discover:
Destinations in the French Alps:
- Chamonix — the village/town closest to Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. You can go inside a glacier, see mirror-like alpine lakes, and more. Check it out: 10 Best Reasons Why You Should Visit Chamonix
- Annecy — it is the Venice of the Alps. You can find romantic spots here, with a view of the lake, mountains, and a picturesque canal. Discover it here: 10 Best Reasons Why Annecy Is Worth Visiting
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