Top 15 Best Things to Do in Lugano, Switzerland

What are the top tourist spots in Lugano?

Lake Lugano photo via Pixabay

Lugano Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Lugano, Switzerland

In the south of Switzerland, Lugano is best accompanied by autumn with the pleasant brownish hue it gives is like living in a picture. The various trails will take you through picturesque Ticino villages to mountain refuges, traditional restaurants, and wine cellars. In Lugano’s region, you can admire the intense color and smell the fresh scents of nature to get another perspective on the landscape view. It offers a variety of villages and the Mediterranean lifestyle of the city. You can enjoy your travel with the delicious taste of their local food and sophisticated wines, as well as discover their local traditions.

Take a Cruise through Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano photo via Pixabay
Lake Lugano photo via Pixabay

Lake Lugano is a sparkling clear blue expanse located at Ticino’s southernmost top, best accompanied by a Mediterranean climate’s holiday favorite.

Be bewitched with trails wriggling across the shores, to the mountain peak, and from the deck of boats gliding along the waters. It’s best to take a boat ride to discover the region’s diversity.

Eat at Grand Café al Porto

Ristorante Grand Cafe al Porto
Ristorante Grand Cafe al Porto

Since 1803, Grand Café al Porto is already a popular visited salon by visitors and locals. Considered a jewel of the Grand Café Al Porto is the Florentine Cenacolo, once the dining hall of a medieval convent.

They boast of their wooden ceiling, original art of the 16th century imbued with frescoes painted by Carlo Bonafide. It’s an excellent venue for hanging out with friends and having a get-together or to get a drink while enjoying the various temptations of pastries and chocolate creations they offer. Take a bite of their Italian dishes with a touch of magic at any time of the day.

On another floor, bestowed upon by the heavens, are the elegant rooms assigned for events like banquets or even meetings. You can reserve 2- 40 persons or at evening events to accommodate 20-80 guests.

Admire the view atop Monte Brè

Scenic view of lake Lugano with Monte San Salvatore and Lugano town from Monte Bre, Ticino, Switzerland photo via Depositphotos
Scenic view of Lake Lugano with Monte San Salvatore and Lugano town from Monte Bre, Ticino, Switzerland photo via Depositphotos

Monte Rosa is a highly recommended place to visit as it offers a cable railway from Cassarate to Mount Bré. You can experience the big, well-equipped picnic area, where you can grill food, walks while admiring the scene, or even partake in a more challenging adventure of a mountain hike.

You can also visit restaurants and enjoy their terraces that offer a bird’s eye view of the Lake of Lugano.

Visit the Alprose Chocolate Museum

Alprose Chocolate Museum by Stefano Petroni via Flickr CC
Alprose Chocolate Museum by Stefano Petroni via Flickr CC

Representing the fantastic world of chocolate is the Alprose Chocolate Museum. You’ll gain another perspective of cholate from its history, from cacao’s first production plants up to today’s more modern ones of bar making. Get delighted by their remarkable wealth of documentation and the variety of items exhibited.

This museum also contributes to the famous tradition of Swiss chocolate, renowned for its excellent quality. If you want to have a fantastic experience of good memories from the past, don’t forget to visit the “Nostalgia” shop to be offered with their chocolate tasting.

You can buy a traditional bar of chocolate for the more precious packages. The prices are reasonable, which will make you have a great visit.

Shop at Via Nassa

Via Nassa in Lugano photo by Janusz Sliwinski via Flickr CC
Via Nassa in Lugano photo by Janusz Sliwinski via Flickr CC

You can walk this 270-meter long location to shop, accompanied by an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere.

Via Nassa is one of Lugano’s most historical streets embroidered with shops where you can get various jewelry, clothing, and antiquities.

Explore Old Town Lugano

Scenic cityscape of Lugano with Cathedral of Saint Lawrence bell tower and lake view and dramatic light in Lugano Switzerland photo via Depositphotos
Scenic cityscape of Lugano with Cathedral of Saint Lawrence bell tower and lake view and dramatic light in Lugano Switzerland photo via Depositphotos

The Old Town Lugano is considered the best place to start a tour in Lugano. You’ll be able to see Lugano Lake, mentioned on this list, as well as shopping and pedestrian streets for window shopping or actual shopping.

You can also go and visit the vast and busy square, surrounded by café terraces, to enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee.

Stop by Chiesa di Santa Aaria Degli Angeli Church

Santa Maria degli Angioli church in Lugano by Monster4711 via Wikipedia Cc
Santa Maria degli Angioli church in Lugano By Monster4711 – Own work, CC0, Cc

Santa Maria Degli Angeli, constructed in 1499 and restored in 1930, contains the famous Renaissance fresco of the Passion and the Crucifixion by the renowned Italian artist Bernardino Luini whos, whose works date way back to 1529.

The famous fresco on the church’s dividing wall showcases several figures from the Passion of Christ. Take a look at The Last Supper fresco on the nave’s south wall and the refreshing Virgin Mary along with baby Jesus and St John, which are also the works of Luini, influenced by Leonardo.

Visit Cattedrale San Lorenzo

Lugano Cathedral by Chris J Wood via Wikipedia CC
Lugano Cathedral By Chris j wood – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,  CC

Visit this remarkable building with a Renaissance vibe. You’ll see many frescoes and valuable Baroque decorations. Its ancient frescoes can be stared on the inside of the facade.

You’ll see a majestic marble high altar at the choir’s entrance and a small temple decorated with cherubs built at the end of the 17th Century by Andrea Biffi. It is also richly decorated with columns and a marble altar.

Discover Yourself in the Village of Gandria

Village of Gandria in Lugano
Village of Gandria in Lugano

The Village of Gandria, considered a fishermen’s village is quite splendid. It is just below Mount Bre, which adds to its romantic atmosphere. You can reach this village either through land or by Lake Lugano.

We recommend enjoying the boat trip from Lugano and enjoying the walk back to Castagnola along the lakeshore. Free of traffic, enjoy the calmness and peace amidst its picturesque tiny streets and stairs that offer great views and gorgeous landscapes.

Explore the Hermann Hesse Museum

Hermann Hesse Museum
Hermann Hesse Museum

The Hermann Hesse Museum is a place of splendid history for travelers from all over the world. Inside this museum’s video room, a documentary is projected in different languages like Italian, German, and French. The museum displays precious evidence of Hermann Hesse’s last 43 years in Montagnola up until his death.

You can also see various books in different languages at the entrance and garden. You should never miss the “On the Herman Hesse’s Footsteps,” which is the route you can admire along with the unique landscape of the Golden Hill.

Take a stroll through the Olive Grove Trail.

Olive Grove Trail of Gandria by
Olive Grove Trail of Gandria by

The construction of the Olive Tree Trail is an idea by “Friends of the Olive Tree,” an association in collaboration with Scientific Research and University Studies. Here lie the ancient olive trees that wind between Castagnola and Gandria.

You can travel the trail identified with an olive logo, either from Castagnola or from Gandria, depending on where you’re at the nearest.

Explore the village of Vico Morcote

Vico Morcote Village in Lugano Switzerland photo via Depositphotos
Vico Morcote Village in Lugano Switzerland photo via Depositphotos

Vico Morcote Village is a jewel found in Lugano with its small village in the woods and vineyards. Everything has been well-preserved, including its streets, houses, and porticoes, since the 17th and 18th centuries.

The whole town represents a fantastic historical heritage is an ideal point for experiencing the lush Mediterranean flora. You can also visit Vico Morcote’s featured restaurants and luxury hotels for relaxation. Activities you can do is the Trail of the Senses,” which completes leisure-time possibilities.

View the miniatures at Swissminiatur


Admire the most important Swiss buildings and transportation in Switzerland inside the open-air museum Swissminiatur. Strolling around the park, you can admire the over 128 1:125 scale models of the various famous monuments located in Switzerland.

They showcase authentic models such as the castles of Rapperswil, Chillon, and Bellinzona, the Piazza Grande in Locarno, and the Federal Parliament in Bern. People of any age will indeed have fun at Swissminiatur.

Ride the cable railway to Mount San Salvatore

Funicolare Monte San Salvatore photo via Depositphotos
Funicolare Monte San Salvatore photo via Depositphotos

Experience the cable railway ride at 500 meters altitude from the Lugano-Sud motorway exit, just 5 minutes away from the Paradiso railroad station. Take a photo of the picturesque view of the horizon just a few steps away from the city. You can even enjoy the view at night when you visit it for an evening date.

You can indulge in various offered gourmets, sports, culture, and hikes to appreciate nature on the Monte San Salvatore when you reach your destination.

Another bonus is that you can dine while admiring the view of the panoramic terrace, which is a must-visit to sit down and relax during summer.

Eat some Piadina

Piadina photo via Depositphotos
Piadina photo via Depositphotos

If your stomach is churning, try this famous Lugano cuisine encapsulated by the Lugano-style piadine. You’ll have a very satisfying meal of Piadina, a delicious flatbread wrap that comes with almost anything you like.

It’s filled with a delightful combination of cold cuts, prawns or ham, different types of cheese, salad, and vegetables like aubergine, which you can order either fresh or grilled.

Lugano Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of cheap Lugano hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist attractions in Lugano, Switzerland? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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