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Things to do in

Lugano

Our most recommended things to do in Lugano

From Milan: Lake Como, Bellagio, and Lugano Bus Day Trip

1. From Milan: Lake Como, Bellagio, and Lugano Bus Day Trip

Escape the hustle and bustle of Milan for a relaxing tour of the countryside of northern Italy and southern Switzerland, traveling in air-conditioned comfort. Relax as you take in Alpine views and see stunning lakes and villas. In less than an hour, you’ll pass the Italian border and arrive in Switzerland and take a scenic drive to the foot of the Alps. The first destination on your great escape is Lugano, featuring breathtaking panoramas and excellent shopping opportunities. If you are craving artistic culture, take a relaxing walk through town to Chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto church. For a spot of retail therapy, make your way over to the beautiful downtown shopping area, brimming with inviting shops, rich Swiss chocolate, and fine luxury goods. Next, reach the famous city of Bellagio, the "Pearl of Lake Como.” Once in Bellagio, enjoy free time to explore the town and do some shopping, or relax and eat some local food in the most nostalgic bars and restaurants. After taking some photos and enjoying the town’s charming atmosphere, continue to Lake Como by coach. Upon arrival, enjoy a 2-hour boat cruise along the lake for a unique opportunity to admire the breathtaking landscapes and see villas of the rich and famous. Lake Como is a famous holiday destination for stars and celebrities. During the cruise, your guide will point out George Clooney’s villa, plus villas that once hosted Star Wars and James Bond movie sets. After that, the bus will take you back to Milan’s city center in time for dinner.

From Como: Lugano & Bellagio Day Trip & Cruise

2. From Como: Lugano & Bellagio Day Trip & Cruise

Let yourself be enchanted by a wonderful panorama as you visit two countries and two lakes during this day trip experience from Como to Lugano, Cadenabbia, and Bellagio. Enjoy informative commentary and a cruise on Lake Como. Take a bus from Como and, after about a 1-hour drive, reach Lugano. Enjoy free time to visit the delightful city center and enjoy a romantic walk on the lake's shore. Transfer by bus to Cadenabbia, a small village on Lake Como’s shore and a popular holiday destination for many aristocrats such as Queen Victoria of England and Zar Nicholas of Russia. From Cadenabbia, board a cruise to reach the Bellagio, also known as the pearl of Lake Como. Spend some free time in this picturesque village. Later, marvel at the amazing landscape from the water as you take another boat ride on the lake. Admire the fascinating villas with their wonderful gardens as you head back to Como.

Swiss Travel Pass: Unlimited Travel on Train, Bus & Boat

3. Swiss Travel Pass: Unlimited Travel on Train, Bus & Boat

The Swiss Travel Pass is a must-have for any traveler to Switzerland. You can enjoy unlimited access by public train, bus, and boat to over 90 cities and towns and benefit from free entrance to 500+ museums, discounted city tours, and access to private and scenic trains with a pre-requisite seat reservation. There are two broad types of Swiss Travel Pass: Continuous and Flexi, with an option to choose from 3, 4, 8, and 15 days. Apart from it being an ‘all-in-one’ pass which allows a traveler to access all modes of public transportation within the country, it also offers numerous other benefits on the mountain excursions. So be it the adventurous, the avid or the leisure traveler, you will have the chance to make the most of your Switzerland Travel Pass.

Lugano: Self-Guided Food Tour

4. Lugano: Self-Guided Food Tour

Discover the local cuisine of Lugano in your own way with this self-guided tour. Immerse yourself in Lugano and visit some locations off the beaten track. Start your day at Grand Café Al Porto, which has been a local hub in the heart of the city since 1803. Choose a pastry creation to try along with a hot or cold drink. Stroll on to the next stop, Bernasconi Gastronomia, one of the milestones for gourmet lovers in Lugano and a 100-year-old establishment that continuously adapts itself to the wants and needs of an increasingly dynamic clientele. Try a traditional aperitif with local finger food accompanied by a glass of local prosecco. Next, taste a glass of local wine with local cheeses at your third stop, Bottegone del Vino. Soak in the ambiance of this friendly wine bar-restaurant situated in a buzzing pedestrian district is a small wine-restaurant in the center of Lugano's pedestrian area. Experience the grotto atmosphere of the Ticinese valleys captured in the city center at your fourth stop, Ristorante La Tinera. Taste truly authentic Ticinese cuisine by having a traditional hot dish accompanied by a tazzin (cup) of local red wine. Finish up your culinary journey at the final stop, Vanini, one of the city’s oldest cafes and located in Lugano’s famous Piazza Riforma. Continue exploring the city into the afternoon or evening, taking an ice cream for the road.

From Milan: Full-Day Trip to Como, Lugano and Bellagio

5. From Milan: Full-Day Trip to Como, Lugano and Bellagio

Discover two countries in one day on this unforgettable tour. See Lake Como and enjoy the scenic views. Explore Bellagio, known as the Pearl of Lake Como, and visit the town of Lugano. Start your trip from Milan, jump aboard a bus and drive to Lake Como. Stroll along the medieval alleys on this guided walking tour and see the old villas. Discover the art, history, and local traditions before seeing the impressive Gothic Cathedral. Next, go back on the bus and head to Switzerland. First, admire the views of The Alps as you drive by. Enjoy free time in Lugano to walk around and explore. Visit Lake Lugano and relax with a picnic by the lake. Afterward, drive to the small village of Cadenabbia. Then board a ferry to Bellagio. Once in Bellagio, you can walk around or go shopping, if you like. Continue to Mount Ghisallo and see the Sanctuary of Madonna del Ghisallo dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Return to Milan by bus.

Swissminiatur: Open-Air Miniature Park Entrance Ticket

6. Swissminiatur: Open-Air Miniature Park Entrance Ticket

Discover the whole of Switzerland in just 1 hour with a visit to the Swissminiatur park, a miniature version of the country which covers about 14,000 m². See over 128 models of the most famous buildings and monuments in Switzerland.  The detailed and authentic models include well-known sites such as the castles of Rapperswil, Chillon and Bellinzona, the Federal Parliament in Bern, and the Piazza Grande in Locarno. Moreover, a 3,560m long model railway with 18 trains runs through the park. It is fascinating to watch the variety of trains that run along the tracks, cross bridges and stop by at stations. Boats are in motion on the lakes, cable cars and funiculars go up and down the mountains, cars move on the highway. For garden lovers, the whole park is beautifully decorated with a selection of 1,500 different plants and over 15,000 flowers. The park is located in Melide, on the shore of Lake Lugano, in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. The park is surrounded by mountains like Monte Generoso, Monte San Salvatore, and Monte San Giorgio, which has been declared UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

Lugano: 4.5-Hour Monte Bré Visit w/ Funicular Ride

7. Lugano: 4.5-Hour Monte Bré Visit w/ Funicular Ride

Your guide will lead you through the city, to Cassarate, up to Monte Bré and back down to the bottom of the mountain. Meet your guide at the Lugano Region tourist office in Piazza Riforma. Start at the city’s heart with a boat ride to the little harbor of Cassarate.  Then, after getting on the funicular, enjoy the splendid views of the city center at your feet as you reach Lugano’s most uncontaminated summit. You will also get the chance to admire the fantastic panoramic view, which, on clear days, stretches all the way to Mount Rosa. Take a stroll and explore the small village of Brè, where life runs at a slow pace, while taking a look at the typical Ticinese houses, the church and the works of art.  Explore Monte Bré at your own pace, soak in the stunning views over Lake Lugano, the city and nearby mountain tops. The return ticket on the funicular, to get back down to Cassarate is included in your tour, from there you can arrange your individual return to Lugano.

Lugano: 3-Hour Monte San Salvatore Tour with Funicular Ride

8. Lugano: 3-Hour Monte San Salvatore Tour with Funicular Ride

Your guided excursion begins on the lakeshore, where you can take a look at some cultural and artistic sites, such as the LAC Lugano Arte Cultura and the Santa Maria degli Angeli Church. Then, make your way toward the funicular. The Gulf of Lugano is special for having 2 mountains that demarcate its borders: Monte Brè and Monte San Salvatore.  After reaching the top with the funicular, take in the breathtaking views. Enjoy some free time to explore and have a picnic before it’s time to ride the cable car back down, concluding the tour. During your time on the mountain, benefit from a discount at the panoramic restaurant and check out all of Monte San Salvatore's activities, sure to please gourmets, sports enthusiasts, and lovers of culture and nature. Head off on a variety of hiking trails, which provide the opportunity to discover truly unspoiled nature, or try your hand at climbing on the “Via Ferrata”. On Monte San Salvatore, there is even space for culture; the Museum San Salvatore is home to a precious collection of rare religious art. It also features an exhibition dedicated to rocks, minerals, and fossils, in addition to rooms that illustrate the history of the confraternity over centuries and the history of the lightning-research center, which sheds light on the historical significance of storms for the region.

Lugano: Photogenic City Walking Tour

9. Lugano: Photogenic City Walking Tour

Join your guide to discover the city of Lugano through your camera lens. Enjoy a short city walk which will provide you the unique opportunity to get to know the city from an insider’s point of view. Your walk will take you from LAC to the university, and as you use your camera to capture the beauty of Lugano you will also get to discover local spots and hidden gems that your typical tourist tour won’t show you. Prepare to discover an alternative side of Lugano which is full of history and unique beauty. Don't forget to book the experience at a suitable time to ensure the best light possible for the pictures. You simply cannot leave the city before taking a stroll on the shores of the lake and getting to know more about the history of Ticino.

Swiss Travel Pass Flex:All-in-One travel pass-train,bus,boat

10. Swiss Travel Pass Flex:All-in-One travel pass-train,bus,boat

Experience Switzerland fully and travel flexibly with a Swiss Travel Pass Flex, valid on the train network, buses, and public boats all over the country. Choose between a 3, 4, 6, 8 or 15 flexible day pass. Journey on the renowned Glacier Express, Golden Pass Line, and Bernina Express to see Switzerland's epic mountains and sprawling views up close. Traveling at your leisure, visit over 500 museums across the country as part of the pass to learn more about Switzerland. Activate and deactivate your pass easily online as per your individual travel needs within its month-long validity. Enjoy unlimited and hassle-free movement throughout the country within the valid month of travel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Lugano

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What people are saying about Lugano

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 654 reviews

The trip was a once in a lifetime experience and worth every penny! Oleg was a very resourceful and knowledgeable tour guide who knew a lot of facts about each area we visited. The tour was very well organised and very on time at each location we went to. If any questions were asked they were always answered! Just make sure to arrive on time, if you are running late by 5mins or so when arriving then you may miss the tour!

It was well worth it. Our guide Valentina was very informative and knew a lot about the places we visited. Learnt so much and seen alot in 1 day. Lovely experience. Tour is on time and precise.

We saved money with the Swiss Pass as we went to too many places!.. also we took advantages of the 50% discounts at some attractions like the cable cable car at mount titlis.

It was an excellent experience and Lake Como is really pretty. It is a long and tiring day, but definitely worth it.

Great day, guide provided great information. Scenery was spectacular!