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The Top 10 Attractions in Lugano

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Lugano, a city in Ticino province, is in the southern part of Switzerland. It is on the shores of the lake Ticino, surrounded by the Alps. The Alps, reflected in the lake’s waters, add to the beauty of the place.
The Italian architecture of the buildings, combined with amazing landscapes, makes Lugano one of the most picturesque cities in southern Switzerland.

The Piazza della Riforma

The Piazza della Riforma is Lugano’s main and biggest square. This place should be the starting point of every tourists' journey in Lugano. Beautiful, colored buildings with lovely architecture, surrounds the square. The town hall, located in this square and built in 1844, is a brilliant sample of neo-classical architecture. We can find all kinds of cafes and restaurants in the square.

Via Nassa

shop in lugano

(Photo Credit: PIRO4D)

Shopping enthusiasts and luxury amateurs can take a stroll on Via Nassa, Lugano’s main shopping street. This pedestrian-only street has a wide variety of Italian brands such as Armani, Gucci, Versace or Swiss luxury watches like Rolex and Patek Philippe.

Monte Bre

A warm glowing sunset over Monte Bre's summit, seen from a drone.  Lugano, Switzerland.

Sunset over Monte Bre's summit as seen from a drone. Lugano, Switzerland. (Photo Credit: Denis Bulichenko)

Monte Bre, located at the north of the city, can be reached by a narrow road, walking trails or by funicular. Monte Bre  is said to be Switzerlands’ sunniest spot and also offers one of the most scenic views. 

Monte San Salvatore

On top of the mountain there's a great observation area with 360 degrees view. Even more there's a small church of San Salvatore which dates back to 1414. During the summer time viewpoint on the roof of the church is open. On the photo there is the Monte Bre and Monte Boglia behind it and mostly Italian part of the lake Lugano.  Lugano, Switzerland.

On top of Monte San Salvatore. Lugano, Switzerland. (Photo Credit: Denis Bulichenko)

Located at the southern end of the city of Lugano, Monte San Salvatore offers yet another great scenic and panoramic view over the city and lake. The top of the mountain peak can be reached by funicular or walking trails from Paradiso. At the top of Monte San Salvatore, there’s a restaurant with a viewing terrace where you can enjoy a meal or beverage, while enjoying the view over the city and the lake below.

Parco Civico

Parco Civico

(Photo Credit: Robert Scarth)

One of the top tourist attractions on the lakes’ shore is, Parco Civico, also known as Parco Ciani. It is the largest park in Lugano with an area of 63.000 square meters and is also the most beautiful one. Located at a short distance from the city centre, this park is a wonderful place to relax next to green lawns and beautiful flowers. There are furthermore many beautiful buildings and palaces located nearby.

The Museum of Natural History

Parco Civico also hosts the Museum of Natural History or Museo Cantonale di Storia Naturale, a very interesting museum founded in 1853 by Louis Lavizzari. The museum has sections like: Mineralogy, Geopaleontology, Micology, Zoology and Botany.

Boat Trips On The Lake

A view over Lake Lugano. Lugano, Switzerland.

A view over Lake Lugano. Lugano, Switzerland. (Photo Credit: Denis Bulichenko)

One of the best ways to view the lake shores is to go on a boat trip on Lake Lugano. The most requested boat trip, is the one to Gandria, which is a 60-70 minutes round trip to Gandria and back. The view over the lake shore is simply spectacular and is worth every sent spent.

The Chiesa Santa Maria degli Angeli

The Chiesa Santa Maria degli Angeli in Lugano, Switzerland.

The Chiesa Santa Maria degli Angeli in Lugano, Switzerland. (Photo Credit: Francesco Piraneo.)

Located on the lakeside promenade is, Chiesa Santa Maria degli Angeli. It is one of the most beautiful churches within southern Switzerland. This church is famous for the impressive mural paintings made by Italian artist, Bernardino Luini, one of Leonardo’s disciples. The construction of the church began in 1499, and today, it is the most visited church in Lugano; also because of it’s lovely location.

The Cattedrale di San Lorenzo

The chapel of Madonna delle Grazie inside the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo. Lugano, Switzerland) - Wiki Images.

The chapel of Madonna delle Grazie inside the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo. Lugano, Switzerland) - Wiki Images. (Photo Credit: Francesco Piraneo G)

The oldest church in Lugano is the, Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, built in the 9th century. The church, built in Romanesque style, is still in a great condition, and can be visited by religious and church enthusiast alike.

Lugano is a Hikers Paradise

The Monte Lema - Monte Tamaro hike is perfect in Autumn when it is not very hot during daytime, cool refreshing winds let you feel the nature. Early in the morning there's usually clouds below in valleys and clear skies above in the mountains.

The Monte Lema - Monte Tamaro hike is perfect in Autumn when it is not very hot during daytime, cool refreshing winds let you feel the nature. Early in the morning there's usually clouds below in valleys and clear skies above in the mountains. Lugano, Switzerland. (Photo Credit: Denis Bulichenko)

Lugano and surrounds provide the best and most scenic views to hikers, cyclists or photographers. We highly recommend hiking Monte Bre, San Giorgio, Monte Lema & Monthe Tamaro, Monte San Salvatore and Monte Generosa, as well as exploring the Wild beach of Lugano.

Other Noteworthy Attractions in-and-around Lugano

Villa Ciani
Located in the Parco Civico, this palace is absolutely stunning. The palace was built by the Ciani brothers in the 1840’s, therefore was it named after the family who built it.
The Lugano Arte e Cultura
This magnificent museum is not only home to visual arts, but it functions as a cultural centre with devotion to various other areas such as the performing arts and music.  It is said the museum services as a cultural hub between Northern and Southern Europe. On offer are a variety of events and programs.  For more information, have a look at the LAC website here:
Casinò Lugano
Casinò Lugano, designed by Achille Sfondrini in 1804, (an Italian architect), was formerly known as the, Teatro Kursaal. It boasts a casino and theatre, and restaurant and café called Elementi Ristorante. (It was the first 'game room' and cafe to open its doors in the city of Lugano.)
Park Ticino (Tessin)
Provides travelers with some great views over the city. Perfect for an evening stroll or picnic.
The Park of Villa Florida
This park is considered one of Lugano's hidden gems, and is not so well known among tourists. Three terraces, in theirs logical sequence are featured within the garden, adding to the geometrical design and layout. It is evident that the gardens was thoughtfully constructed. Park Florida is perfect for an afternoon stroll, relaxation after a long day's walk and/or a picnic.
Opening Times:
Summer 07:00 - 23:00 / Winter 08:00 - 20:00
Visitors Info:
Entry to park: free.

Related Blogs in-and-around Lugano & Switzerland

Related Routes in-and-around Lugano & Switzerland

Monte BreMonte Brè (933 m) is a small mountain east of Lugano. It is an excellent observation point over Lake Lugano and the Alps. Also, it is a great starting point for numerous hike routes. A must-visit place for everybody visiting Lugano.

San Giorgio Hike
The mountain of Monte San Giorgio beside Lake Lugano is regarded as the best fossil record of marine life from the Triassic Period (~250 million years ago). It is a site of extreme historical, archaeological and scientific value. And the panorama from it's summit is exceptional. Do not miss this wonderful mountain walk.

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