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Best things to do in Lugano

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Switzerland  /  Swiss Alps  /  Canton of Ticino  /  Lugano

Top 15 things to do in Lugano

1. Parco Ciani

Take a stroll through Parco Ciani, Lugano's major green space. The park covers 6.3 hectares (15.6 acres), so you can explore extensively without retracing your steps. Discover paths lined with statues and fountains amidst the meticulously kept English lawn. The park is divided into two sections: one features Italian and English gardens, with manicured flower beds and tree species from around the world, while the other is more wild, with a forest of oak, lime, plane, and maple trees. This area also houses the natural history museum and a convention center.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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2. Monte San Salvatore

Stand on the top of Lugano at Monte San Salvatore for panoramic views of the city and the calm blue lake surrounding it. To reach the top, hike or hop on the funicular, which operates seasonally. Stop for a bite at the restaurant at the summit to take advantage of the impressive views from the veranda. You'll find the best vistas from the top of the church, but it's a significant climb. Information tablets identify the surrounding mountains, so you'll be able to tell when you're looking at the legendary Matterhorn. Open seasonally, please check website for up-to-date information and departure location.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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3. Lake Lugano

Protected by low mountain ranges, the glacial Lake Lugano features its own Mediterranean microclimate, warm enough to encourage the growth of citrus and palm trees. The lake sits on the border between northern Italy and southern Switzerland, an area rich in diverse plant life and fossils from prehistoric times. Lugano, a Swiss resort town with a decidedly Italian flavor, serves as a convenient base for sightseeing tours of the mountain-rimmed lake region. Get to know the area quickly by joining a guided boat ride along the lake's picturesque shores, or take the funicular to one of the surrounding mountaintops.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Monte Bre

Hike, drive, mountain bike, or take the cable car up to Monte Bre, considered one of the sunniest points in the country, with panoramic views of the nearby lake and surrounding mountains. If you drive to the summit, be prepared for many twists and curves, and be ready to stop for other cars, as the roads are very narrow. The cable car at the base of the mountain is accessible via local bus service. Be sure to check the website for the status of rail operations, since the cable cars can close in inclement weather.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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5. Piazza della Riforma

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Splash & Spa Tamaro, Rivera

Splash in the wave pool, cruise down the waterslide, relax in the heated outdoor pools, and pamper yourself in the saunas and steam baths at Splash & Spa Tamaro. Explore the adventurous side of this site, with waterslides and indoor and outdoor pools. You can store your belongings in on-site lockers and use the handy wristband to secure the locker and pay for food and drinks throughout the day. You'll receive a robe and towel upon entry, or you can bring your own (changing and restroom facilities are provided). Note that the spa areas are designated quiet zones and may not be appropriate for children. Nearby parking is available for a fee; be sure to check the spa's website for discounts and special package deals.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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9. Swissminiatur, Melide

Swissminiatur presents important Swiss buildings, monuments, and sites in miniature. Built in 1959, the mini open-air park sits on the shore of Lake Lugano in Switzerland's Italian-speaking region. Covering an area of 1.4 hectares (3.5 acres), over 120 models of Swiss sites are displayed at a scale of 1:25. The park features moving attractions, including a 3,560 m (11,680 ft) model railway with 18 miniature trains, several cable cars ascending mountains, boats on lakes, and moving cars on highways. The miniature buildings are interspersed throughout a green park that features 1,500 different species of plants and flowers.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Castelli di Bellinzona, Bellinzona

The Castles of Bellinzona celebrate their 20th anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

On the 30th November 2000 the Castles of Bellinzona, the wall and the city walls of the village of Bellinzona became part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Celebrate this important jubilee with us thanks to the numerous events and activities throughout the year and let yourself be intrigued by the temporary exhibitions in Castegrande and Sasso Corbaro!


Die Burgen von Bellinzona feiern ihr 20-jähriges Jubiläum als UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe!

Am 30. November 2000 wurden die Burgen von Bellinzona, die Mauer und die Stadtmauern von Bellinzona in das UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe aufgenommen.

Feiern Sie mit uns dieses wichtige Jubiläum mit den zahlreichen Veranstaltungen und Aktivitäten die im Laufe des Jahres organisiert werden und lassen Sie sich von den periodischen Ausstellungen in Castelgrande und Sasso Corbaro faszinieren!


I Castelli di Bellinzona celebrano il 20° anniversario quale Patrimonio Mondiale UNESCO!

Il 30 novembre 2000 i Castelli di Bellinzona, la murata e la cinta muraria del borgo di Bellinzona sono entrati a far parte del Patrimonio mondiale UNESCO.

Festeggia questo importante giubileo con noi grazie ai numerosi eventi ed attività durante tutto l’arco dell’anno e lasciati incuriosire dalle esposizioni temporanee a Castegrande e Sasso Corbaro!
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Parco Villa Florida

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Skatepark Lugano

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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15. Falconeria Locarno, Locarno

Learn more about the ancient art of falconry and watch live demonstrations at Falconeria Locarno. Originating 4,000 years ago on the Asian plains, this form of hunting was first brought to Europe by Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen after visiting Arabia. Watch falcons, eagles, owls, vultures, and other birds of prey take part in acrobatic flights right in front of and above you. Commentary on the characteristics of each species and the history of falconry are given during the show, but only in German and Italian. Between shows, checkout the aviaries, grab a snack, speak with the falconers, or walk the grounds. Check the website for more information and daily show times.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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