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 relaxing 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.

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

2. 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.

From Como: Lugano, Bellagio and Cruise Experience

3. From Como: Lugano, Bellagio and Cruise Experience

Explore the beautiful lakes and villages of Switzerland and Italy from Como with a guide. Marvel at the small village of Cadenabbia, enjoy a cruise to Bellagio, and soak in the panoramic views of Lake Como on a full-day tour. After departing from Como, travel in a comfortable coach to the Swiss town of Lugano where you will have some free time to visit the picturesque city center and taste some Swiss Chocolate. Purchase lunch at an extra cost, then head to the small village of Cadenabbia, where both Queen Victoria of England and Zar Nicholas of Russia were frequent visitors. From there, take a panoramic cruise to reach Bellagio, also known as the “Pearl of Lake Como”. Disembarking in Bellagio, enjoy some free time to soak up the laid-back atmosphere of this idyllic and relaxing place. Later, board a ferry boat and get the opportunity to see the incredible Lake Como from a different perspective. During the cruise, take your time to look around and see the harmony between nature and architecture as you drift past villas with their beauteous gardens amongst untouched nature.

From Como: Lugano & Bellagio Day Trip & Cruise

4. 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.

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 a scenic day trip from Milan. Admire panoramic views of Lake Como and stroll around its medieval streets. Take a boat trip to explore the charming shops of Bellagio and visit the quaint town of Lugano in Switzerland. Jump aboard a bus in Milan and drive toward Lake Como. Wander around medieval alleys on a guided walking tour and see the old villas. Discover the art, history, and local traditions of the area before seeing the impressive Gothic Cathedral. Hop back on the bus to make your way to Switzerland. Admire impressive views of The Alps as you drive by, then enjoy free time in Lugano to walk around and explore. Stop by Lake Lugano to take in its majesty. After your break, begin your drive to the small village of Cadenabbia. Board your ferry to Bellagio, where you can explore and shop at your own pace. Continue toward Mount Ghisallo and see the Sanctuary of Madonna del Ghisallo, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Finally, ride the bus back to Milan.

Lugano: Self-Guided Food Tour

6. 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.

Lugano: Photogenic City Walking Tour

7. 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

8. 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.

Lugano: Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide

9. Lugano: Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide

Discover the best of 2 cultures on this tour of Lugano, a Swiss city located on the Italian border. Immerse yourself in Lugano's booming creative and cultural scene on this private tour with a local guide and learn why thousands of art lovers from across the globe flock to the city each year. This tour is perfect for both first-time visitors to Lugano and returning tourists who want to go beneath the surface of the city. As you wander around the picturesque streets, admire impressive street art and learn more about the city’s many galleries and museums as well as hearing about several local artists such as Giuseppe Antonio Petrini. Don't miss the opportunity to discover the most significant cultural and historical details of this multi-faceted Swiss city while diving into its art and culture from a local perspective. At the end of the tour, you will understand why Lugano is the cultural capital of Ticino.

Lugano: 1-Hour Express Discovery Tour

10. Lugano: 1-Hour Express Discovery Tour

Fall in love with Lugano in just 1-hour on this express guided tour. After meeting your guide in front of the Museo Delle Culture, embark on a journey through the history, the local lifestyle, and the contemporary transformation of the city.  As you stroll through this Swiss city's picturesque streets, discover its parks, monuments, and historical architecture. Get the opportunity to get insider tips about the best cafes, restaurants, and bars to visit during your time in Lugano in order to make the most out of your visit.  Don't miss the opportunity to see Lugano through the eyes of a local, discover what daily life looks and soak up some of the city's characteristic ambience. This is the perfect experience for both those visiting for the first time and those returning to Lugano who wish to rediscover the city.

Top sights in Lugano

Other Sightseeing Options in Lugano

Want to discover all there is to do in Lugano? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lugano

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 654 reviews

Even though the weather was cloudy and rainy, we had a wonderful trip! Our guide was so informative and helpful! I would highly recommend taking time to do this tour. It's a great introduction to the northern lakes and the charming towns that surround them.

The trip was on time, the tour guide was knowledgeable, very professional always making sure that everybody is accounted for, I will for sure recommend this guided tour to all my friends,!! good job, I'm glad I signed up for this!!

Had a wonderful time and the tour guide was great. The bus always on time for departure and pick.everything was organized well.

It was really a great day in lake como. Loved Bellagio and Lugano

Amazing tour guide and experience. Exactly what I wanted.