Our most recommended things to do in Lugano

From Milan: Como, Lugano and Bellagio Full-Day Tour

1. From Milan: Como, Lugano and Bellagio Full-Day Tour

Immerse yourself in the best of Swiss and Italian culture on this full-day tour. Departing from Milan, enjoy an informative commentary on the historical landmarks and the spectacular landscape along the way. Firstly you will reach the Swiss town of Lugano where you will have some free time to visit the city center and taste some Swiss Chocolate. 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 15 minutes cruise to reach Bellagio, also known as the “Pearl of Lake Como”. Enjoy some free time to soak up the laid-back atmosphere of this idyllic and relaxing place, and you will have time to have lunch. Hop aboard a ferry boat and you have to chance to see this lake Como from a different perspective. During the panoramic cruise, take your time to look around and see the harmony between nature and architecture. Glide past villas with their beauteous gardens and amongst untouched nature. Your last stop will be the picturesque and ever-popular city of Como. Once off the ferry, enjoy a walking tour of the city and reach the gothic cathedral, accompanied by a professional tour leader who will help you to discover the art and history of this charming city.

From Como: Lugano & Bellagio Day Trip with Lake Como Cruise

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

Explore the beautiful lakes and villages of Switzerland and Italy from Como with a tour leader. Marvel at the small village of Cadenabbia, enjoy a cruise from 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. The next stop will be the small village of Cadenabbia, where both Queen Victoria of England and Zar Nicholas of Russia were frequent visitors. From there by boat, you will 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, take a panoramic cruise 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 & Private Boat Cruise

3. From Como: Lugano & Bellagio Day Trip & Private Boat 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.

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

4. 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.

From Milan: Lake Como, Bellagio, Lugano Day Trip with Cruise

5. From Milan: Lake Como, Bellagio, Lugano Day Trip with Cruise

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 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

6. 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. Trips up to Stoos, Brunni, Klewenalp, Stanserhorn and Rigi are included in the Pass. A 50% reduction is offered on most other mountain and cableways (Gornergrat, Titlis, etc). Enjoy free entrance to museums like the the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich, the National History Museum of Bern, the Paul Klee Center in Bern, and the Natural history museum in Geneva. Explore with access to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Château de Chillon, and the Ballenberg Swiss Open-Air Museum. 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

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

8. 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.

From Milan: Lake Como, Swiss Alps, and Lugano Group Day Trip

9. From Milan: Lake Como, Swiss Alps, and Lugano Group Day Trip

Jump on the Swiss Express train in Milan and discover the magical atmosphere of Lake Como, the Swiss Alps, and Lake Lugano in just one day without worrying about traffic jams. Your experienced, English-speaking guide will share their extensive knowledge about the areas you visit. Discover why actors and celebrities frequent Lake Como during the summer. See the famous Lake Como villas from the movie "Ocean's Twelve" and luxury wedding venues that attract world superstars. Learn about the history of the Como Lake region dating back to the Roman Empire from an experienced, English-speaking guide. See monuments dedicated to historical celebrities from Como. Admire the majestic beauty of the Swiss Alps. Enjoy the picturesque town of Lugano, located on the Swiss Riviera, with its beautiful lake and charming Swiss atmosphere. Try the taste of the world's best chocolate from Switzerland.

From Milan:Day Trip to Lugano & Bellagio Private Boat Cruise

10. From Milan:Day Trip to Lugano & Bellagio Private Boat Cruise

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.

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What people are saying about Lugano

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,130 reviews

The tour was well organised and the guide- Olga was very informative and professional. We were 14 guests in the group, the van was clean and comfortable and the driver Constantine was very good. Despite the cold and foggy conditions I still enjoyed the experience and the scenery. I realise that in the summer everything would have had a different perspective but I still thoroughly enjoyed the commentary and the history of the places we visited.

We made use of the Swiss Travel Pass. It was amazing. The ticket arrived right and fast. And great value. I recommend

Lovely day trip. Quite varied and lots of information about the areas visited. Definitely recommended.

Worth a 2-week journey as we used the trains a lot. Also it works as a museum pass as well.

This was a wonderful tour. We loved each stop. Do buy some chocolate from Laderach.