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Lugano - Sightseeing and hiking

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Monte Brè restaurant

The restaurant at the top of Monte Brè is situated high above the Lago di Lugano (Lake Lugano). The entire region south of Lugano can be seen from here.

Sightseeing tips for a stay in Lugano

You'll find our recommended day trips below.

SIGHTSEEING IN AND AROUND LUGANO

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Bernina Express

Wonderful scenic train ride from the old town of Chur across the Bernina Pass via Italy to Lugano.

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Gotthard Panorama Express

An impressive train and boat journey across the famous Gotthard route.

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Boat trip Lake Lugano

Enjoy southern Switzerland from the water. A boat trip is a relaxed way to see the green mountains and picturesque villages in the Lake Lugano region.

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  • Attraction type: natural site, lake;
    scenic trip, by boat
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lake Lugano (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Monte San Salvatore

Monte San Salvatore is one of the two easy to reach panoramic viewing points in Lugano. It offers views of the city, most of the lake, and mountains such as Monte Brè and Monte Generoso.

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  • Attraction type: natural site, mountain top, by funicular
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lugano (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Monte Brè

Monte Brè is one of the two easy to reach panoramic viewing points in Lugano. It offers views of most of the city and the lake, almost as far as Porto Ceresio in Italy, at the south-most tip of the lake.

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  • Attraction type: natural site, mountain top, by funicular
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lugano (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Swissminiatur

The miniature version of Switzerland. You can see many of its highlights in a few hours.

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  • Attraction type: culture, museum
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lake Lugano (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

The Ticino region in one day

Don't have much time, or looking for an introduction to the Ticino region? This one day trip to Lugano and Locarno makes sure you won't miss the best spots.

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  • Attraction type: natural site, mountain top, by funicular;
    natural site, mountain top, by cable car;
    natural site, lake;
    culture, monument;
    city tour;
    scenic trip, by train;
    scenic trip, by boat
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lake Maggiore (Ticino), Lake Lugano (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Monte Tamaro

Gondola ride to a hiking area, viewing point and the famous Santa Maria degli Angeli church.

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Monte Generoso

Scenic ride with the cogwheel train to the highest peak in the Lake Lugano region. Spectacular 360° views all the way from Milan to the Gotthard massif.

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  • Attraction type: natural site, mountain top, by train
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lake Lugano (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less
Free cancellationAt least one (usually all) retailers listed here offer free cancellation for this activity

Self-guided restaurant tour in Lugano

Try the local food in no less than 6 restaurants in the beautiful city center of Lugano. You'll walk from one restaurant to the other in minutes. All small dishes combined are a full diner.

Details & prices
  • Attraction type: culinary tour
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lugano (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less
  • Details & booking: Viator.com
Free cancellationAt least one (usually all) retailers listed here offer free cancellation for this activity

Guided tour through Lugano with a local

One hour guided tour through the city center of Lugano. You'll walk along the monuments, the lake, and get tips about where to eat too!

Details & prices
  • Attraction type: city tour
  • Escort: guide
  • Region: Lugano (Ticino)
  • Duration: 1 day or less
  • Details & booking: Viator.com

Bernina Express tours 2 to 3 days

Choose from various independent tour packages to enjoy the Bernina Express. Book 1 night to see the highlights, or 2 nights to see the whole route, including Lugano. You can add more nights to explore the towns (recommended).

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6 days of Swiss Panoramic Trains

Enjoy the Gornergrat cogwheel train, the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and wonderful alpine views while traveling across the Swiss Alps.

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REGIONAL HIKING SUGGESTIONS

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Castagnola - Gandria

An easy short hike along Lake Lugano via the Olive Tree Path to the picturesque town of Gandria.

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  • Hiking time: 0h45
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Elevation: 275 - 342 m
  • Distance: 2.6 km
  • Terrain: town, along lake
  • Region: Lake Lugano (Ticino)

City walk Lugano

This city walk is a very nice way to get to know beautiful Lugano. Easy to combine with a boat trip or funicular ride.

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  • Hiking time: 1h20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Elevation: 271 - 356 m
  • Distance: 5.1 km
  • Terrain: town, along lake
  • Region: Lake Lugano (Ticino)

Lugano - Gandria

A pleasant hike across Lugano, along Lake Lugano via the Olive Tree Path to the picturesque town of Gandria.

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  • Hiking time: 1h40
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Elevation: 272 - 361 m
  • Distance: 5.5 km
  • Terrain: town, along lake
  • Region: Lake Lugano (Ticino)
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