Nightlife in Locarno may not impress you, as it's a lot quieter here than in larger, and more extroverted, Ticino cities such as Lugano. So either haul yourself off to Lugano for the night, or drag out your dinner and then have a nightcap in the bar at your hotel. If this idea doesn't particularly appeal to you, you may opt for a stroll along the lakefront, stopping perhaps at the Café Debarcadero, Lungolago G. Motta (tel. 091/751-05-55), which stays open every night till midnight. Debarcadero also offers pizzas and pastas for 15F to 20F. Another option is the cozy bar in the Hotel Arcadia, Lungolago G. Motta (tel. 091/756-18-18), where potted palms, rattan furniture, and black-and-pink marble flooring evoke a Caribbean hideaway. Piano music sometimes accompanies the liquor.
There's a congenial bar tucked away next to the dining room of the also-recommended Ristorante La Carbonara (tel. 091/743-67-14).
One of the best piano bars is the Palm'Arte at the Hotel La Palma au Lac, viale Verbano 29, Locarno-Muralto (tel. 091/735-36-36).
If you're intrigued with gambling, you may decide to spin the small-stakes wheel of fortune at the town's obscure and rather dull casino, the Kursaal Locarno, largo Zorzi (tel. 091/756-30-30; www.casinolocarno.ch). Open every day of the year but Christmas from noon to 3am Monday to Thursday and noon to 4am Friday to Sunday, it offers a small bar area, lots of noisy slot machines, and croupiers at blackjack and roulette tables.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.