Difference between revisions of "Merano"
Revision as of 15:01, 11 March 2009
Meran (Italian: Merano)  is the second largest town in South Tyrol with a population of about 35,000 (63,000 including the metropolitan area). A slight majority (51.5%) of the population is German-speaking, while the others are Italian-speaking. Merano, with its delightfully mild climate, lovely surroundings and rich, varied vegetation, is a famous health spa resort. It is protected from the winds and bad weather by high mountains to the north, east and west and lies in a valley open towards the sunny south. 324 mts. above sea-level, Merano attracts holiday-makers, mainly Germans, throughout the year, with local hotels having 4.739 rooms and known for their high standards of comfort, service and good food. There are 52 romantic, old castles in and around the town, some used as hotels or museums while others are still private residences.
Merano is located outside of the Brenner line and whether you want to reach the town by plane, by train, by bus or by car you have likely to reach before Bolzano and from this point Meran. Meran is located 33 km (20 miles) north-west from Bolzano.
The nearest airport is located in Bolzano.
Getting to/from the airport
Many hotels offer a transfer from Bolzano airport, especially if you book through a travel agency (in this case you probably have the possibility to have a transfer from other major airports). In the airport you will find some rent-a-car agencies. http://www.taxidriver-tirol.at/
In order to get in Merano by train you have to arrive in Bolzano first and from here you can take the train to Merano (every 40 minutes). When you buy the ticket at the departure station you can have the ticket from Bolzano to Merano included, saying that your destination is Merano. The Merano Central Rail Station is closed to the town centre.
Some German, Austrian and Swiss travel agencies offer direct bus connection to Merano. Normally international bus lines stop in Bolzano and from here you can take the bus Bolzano-Merano at the Bolzano Bus Station or other stops inside Bolzano (like Dominikanerplatz). Buses are run by SASA , which uses the same orange buses you can find inside cities, and SAD's , with grey-coloured buses (they operate on the same line). There is a departure every hour. A fare from Bolzano to Merano costs EUR 4 (only 2.61 with value card).
You have to exit at Bolzano South on motorway A22 and taking the modern freeway. In Merano there are three exits: Sinich/Meran Süd, Meran Zentrum and Algund (freeway end). If you are coming from Landeck in Austria or Engadin, Switzerland, you can follow the signs along the road. 22.214.171.124 15:49, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
The best way in order to discover Merano is by foot, but it's covered by an excellent public transport system, which is composed by buses and a chair lift to the village of Tirol.
In Merano there are 9 bus lines (generally 6 am - 9 pm) run by SASA  and 1 of this have also a night service (9 pm - 1 am). Buses pass frequently (every 15-25 minutes). Buses run always on time.
Stamp your ticket at the start of its first use (there are green - on new buses yellow - stamping machines). You have to buy another ticket if you stop and you catch a bus after 45 minutes after the printing (only with single trip ticket or spent value card). Payment is by the honor system and inspectors check for valid tickets. If you don't have one, it's an instant EUR 25 fine (plus the fare you were supposed to have paid). All timetables and bus maps you can find free in the tourist offices or in the bus station.
All urban buses stops are request stops (exept end of the line): If you want to get off press the red (in some blue) button, while if you want to get on a bus you have to wave your hand.
Merano is connected with the village of Tirol - located on a hill above the town - by a chair lift, which is in service between April and November.
Taxis are only on call available. Merano's taxi service is powered by Radio Taxi 24h24 calling 0473 21 20 13.
Merano has a good bike trail system - but not so developed as in Bolzano, though - but around the town it's excellent. Maps are available in tourist offices and online .
Rentals are available in the following places:
The service is available from April until mid of October (M-Sa 9AM-7PM) and it's free. You only have to pay a EUR 5 bail - which is returned if the bike has not been damaged.
The public transportation or your own feet should be enough in order to travel inside Merano. Finding a parking in the town centre can be complicated.
In winter (from November to March) the whole city is forbidden for the EURO 0 cars in order to prevent from air pollution. In cases of high concentration of polluted substances the streets are forbidden also for EURO 1 cars.
Museums, Galleries, and Memorials