On this page we want to tell you what to see in Cortina d'Ampezzo on a trip of one day, or a vacation of more days, both in winter and summer. It's a small itinerary that will allow you to see all the main interesting places in Cortina, as if we were with you, to accompany you in the discovery of this wonderful town, where we are lucky enough to live all year round.
Let's start with an important premise: Cortina is a town that is greatly affected by seasonality. During the months of August and December, but also on other Italian holidays, it's a town full of life. The rest of the year, on the other hand, it's a fairly quiet place where relaxation and nature are the main attractions. There are, however, periods such as October, November, May and June when most shops, bars and restaurants are closed.
If you have decided to come to see Cortina during the low season, always check the actual opening of any attractions, restaurant and store you have decided to visit. The mountains and trails are not going anywhere, to be honest are way better if you can be in nature almost alone, but most activities close for many weeks during the year.
... it's recommended to make reservations early, or arrive before the crowds...
If you want to visit Cortina during peak season, it's highly recommended to make reservations well in advance, and try to be smart, by arriving before the crowds, so you can find parking, which we'll describe in the next chapter. You could also eat a little earlier than usual, to avoid finding the restaurants full and having to wait. For more detailed information, read the following article:
Parking in Cortina
When visiting a very touristy place, moving ahead of the crowds is essential. This advice is almost always valid. In Cortina, where parking is always a critical issue, and restaurants are often full, it's especially important.
... we suggest you park your car before 8AM...
If you have planned to do a very touristic trip, we recommend that you park your car before 8AM. We assure you that waking up early will be rewarded by the chance to see the panorama without too many other tourists, but above all it will allow you to avoid unnecessary headaches about where to leave the car.
Since we know the importance of this topic, we have written an article in which we describe the most known car parks, but we also tell you some "secret places" to leave the car, you can find it below:
What to see in a one day trip
Let's start with the premise that you got up early in the morning to start your day in Cortina d'Ampezzo. As a first step, we recommend that you park your car in a strategic spot, such as the parking lot of the bus station, or at another of the parking we described in the previous chapter.
... the bell tower is the usual starting point of any visit to Cortina...
Since we are assuming you have listened to our recommendation to wake up early you should find a spot without problems. Pay the ticket and move towards "Corso Italia", easily findable because of the bell tower, that should always be visible from everywhere you choose to park. This is the usual starting point of any visit to Cortina.
Cortina is a small mountain town, so most of the businesses and attractions are concentrated in the central area, and are easily reachable within walking distance. Along Corso Italia you would see trendy stores, art galleries, public buildings, and storefronts of major brands. To avoid expending ourselves too much, you can read the article below, in which we detail what to see in "Corso Italia".
Visiting the Corso might take up your whole morning, but if you don't like to look at stores too much, you might have some time left over for a nice walk before lunch.
Given that this chapter is dedicated to those staying only for a day, it is advisable not to walk too far from the center, to avoid finding yourself at lunchtime with no near destination where to go to eat.
... la ferrovia è una strada pedonale, pianeggiante per tutta la sua lunghezza...
one of the most classical walks you can do in Cortina is the one along the former railroad pedestrian area. It's a pedestrian route that passes through the entire town, with beautiful panoramic views, both northbound and southbound. It is built along the dismissed train route to Cortina, so it's always flat for its entire length. Google Maps places it here, a little north than the bus station, in any case you will not struggle to find it, because there are dozens of entrances all along the town.
... Cortina offers a valid series of choices suitable for all budgets...
Once lunchtime arrives, you have to decide what to eat. Whether it's a quick snack or lunch at a restaurant, Cortina offers a viable array of choices to suit all budgets. The cheapest solutions are a sandwich or a pizza, but if you want to eat well, there are also many alternatives. In order not to make an endless article, if you want to plan your lunch without improvising, we invite you to read our in-depth article:
Once your stomach is full, you should decide whether to continue your visit to the shops of Corso Italia, which is ideal if you are a shopping enthusiast, or you could visit one of Cortina's Museums of the "Regole". These are three museums: an art gallery, an ethnological museum and a museum about fossil finds in the Dolomites. If you find this topic interesting, you can read an in depth article below:
If you are a more active person, or the weather is so beautiful that it is almost considered heresy to lock yourself inside a building, the ideal solution is a walk. A few lines above we mentioned the walk on the former railroad, but if we can give you a recommendation there is another walk, relatively close to the center, that is way better.
... a gravel road that crosses the most beautiful meadows of central Cortina...
This is the road of "the former powder magazine" also known as the "convent". Imagine a pedestrian only gravel road that crosses the most beautiful meadows of central Cortina, with no houses within hundreds of meters. Amazing.
It is generally accessible even in winter, if the snow cleaning vehicles have had time to clean it, but you will need to be equipped to walk on the snow because, for a short part, the slope is quite steep and there may be ice.
We have written a page about a longer walk that, as an initial section, runs along this road. You can read only the first part, to know everything you need to know regarding the "convent" road, below:
If you prefer to take your car, the most advisable choice is to head to high altitudes in Dolomite Pass, where it's possible to see breathtaking views without even having to walk.
Definitely our recommendation is to head west, through the Falzarego pass, or you could also take the Giau Pass, both are extremely panoramic and will leave you enchanted.
If you have never tackled a Dolomite pass, be prepared for several hairpin turns. Try to avoid these routes in bad weather or snow. In addition to taking unnecessary risks, the clouds would probably hide anything you might see.
... we would choose the Giau Pass...
If we were accompanying you, we would choose the Giau Pass, as the views are better and, once you reach the top, it's easier to park, to take a stroll and have a cappuccino in the bar at the top. If you manage to reach the pass at sunset time, we can guarantee that you'll see something you will remember for the rest of your life.
Once your day is over, you can decide to take one last look at the stores or, perhaps, drink a Spritz Aperol, an almost mandatory alcoholic drink when you visit a bar in Veneto. It's the orange glass that you will see in many hands every evening. Prosecco is also a very typical drink. The places where you can drink something are many, almost all concentrated along Corso Italia. All you have to do is choose one in tune with your style and enter. If you want to explore the topic further, we invite you to to read the following article, where we discuss it in depth:
As the day comes to an end, you should be satisfied having seen the main attractions Cortina has to offer. Of course there could be different things to do. Even if you plan to stay for one day only, you might continue with the reading of the article, maybe you'll find some other interesting ideas to customize your visit to Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Few days visit Cortina
If you plan to stay in Cortina for a longer vacation, at least two or three days, you'll certainly have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the area. Your alternatives will be conditioned by the season in which you are staying in Cortina, but I personally recommend that you devote yourself to naturalistic activities. When you are in a mountain location, staying in contact with nature is the best thing you can do. Even if you jumped here, we suggest you read the paragraph above, because you will find more inspirations.
... hiking is one of the most beautiful activities to do in the mountains...
In summer, spring and maybe also in fall, hiking is always a good idea. This is one of the most beautiful activities to do in the mountains, as it allows you to get completely in touch with nature. You can choose easy walks in the middle of greenery, or more challenging hikes. The bravest can also go via ferrata or practice climbing.
If you are looking for an adrenalinic experience, we suggest you reach the professionals of the mountains, the alpine guide, that have their office in the center of the town.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for hikes that are suitable for everyone, we recommend reading our article below, where we have explored the topic in depth:
If you prefer to have a good hike but also satisfy your stomach, you might consider a trek with a mountain lodge as your destination. This way you can combine the pleasure of a hike with good food, indulging in a few treats without feeling too guilty. For more on this topic, we leave you with our article on the subject.
For those who come to visit Cortina in winter, the two main alternatives to strolling and shopping in the center are skiing and winter hiking. As always, we have covered the topics in two in-depth articles, which you'll find below:
If you are interested in hiking on groomed snow trails, we have written an article where we collect some tips and suggestions for walking on the snowy streets of Cortina, as well as our favorite routes:
Obviously this is just a selection of some ideas, we recommend that you browse the various sections of our website, if you are looking for more inspirations and tips.
Alternatively, you could go and ask for some suggestions at the info center in the center of the town who will surely be able to assist you with any question that has not been answered in these pages.
Long vacations in Cortina
For nature lovers, spending a long time in Cortina will never be a problem. There are an endless number of places to visit and paths to walk. On the other hand, you may want to explore the surrounding valleys, to discover other interesting places to see near Cortina.
There are many places to explore: from some charming villages in Cadore, such as Cibiana, to the splendid Dolomite lakes of Misurina and Braies. Since we assume that you've read the previous paragraphs. The topic is too wide to be written here, so we prefer to invite you to visit the specific page below, where we have collected the most beautiful things to see around Cortina:
Staying for an extended period of time increases the chances of running into bad weather. In case you have been unlucky, we can only recommend that you read the page below, where you can find some suggestions if you have to deal with bad weather.
We hope you liked this page on what you have to see in Cortina. Before saying goodbye, we would suggest you read all the articles we wrote about Cortina d'Ampezzo by clicking here.
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