Ticino
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Ticino Culture & History

Bellinzona: 3-Castle Ticket including Villa dei Cedri

1. Bellinzona: 3-Castle Ticket including Villa dei Cedri

This Bellinzona pass is an entrance ticket to the three Castles of Bellinzona, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Following that, visit the Civic Museum Villa dei Cedri, which is open from Wednesday to Sunday. With a single ticket you can visit the three manors and the wall, the Museum of Castelgrande, the recently renovated Archaeological Museum of Montebello, the temporary exhibition at the Arsenal Hall of Castelgrande and the Villa dei Cedri. You are also free to decide in which order you are going to visit the attractions, with a suggested itinerary starting with a visit of Castelgrande and its temporary exhibition. From there, advance by foot to Montebello Hill to see the second castle. You then travel by bus to Sasso Corbaro Castle, which is the highest of the three. This location allows visitors to have amazing views over the city. Following the final castle, descend by bus for the last part of your tour to the Villa dei Cedri Art Museum.

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

2. 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: Full-Day Trip to Como, Lugano and Bellagio

3. From Milan: Full-Day Trip to Como, Lugano and Bellagio

Discover two countries in one day on this unforgettable tour. See Lake Como and enjoy the scenic views. Explore Bellagio, known as the Pearl of Lake Como, and visit the town of Lugano. Start your trip from Milan, jump aboard a bus and drive to Lake Como. Stroll along the medieval alleys on this guided walking tour and see the old villas. Discover the art, history, and local traditions before seeing the impressive Gothic Cathedral. Next, go back on the bus and head to Switzerland. First, admire the views of The Alps as you drive by. Enjoy free time in Lugano to walk around and explore. Visit Lake Lugano and relax with a picnic by the lake. Afterward, drive to the small village of Cadenabbia. Then board a ferry to Bellagio. Once in Bellagio, you can walk around or go shopping, if you like. Continue to Mount Ghisallo and see the Sanctuary of Madonna del Ghisallo dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Return to Milan by bus.

Lugano: 4.5-Hour Monte Bré Visit w/ Funicular Ride

4. 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.

Swissminiatur: Open-Air Miniature Park Entrance Ticket

5. Swissminiatur: Open-Air Miniature Park Entrance Ticket

Discover the whole of Switzerland in just 1 hour with a visit to the Swissminiatur park, a miniature version of the country which covers about 14,000 m². See over 128 models of the most famous buildings and monuments in Switzerland.  The detailed and authentic models include well-known sites such as the castles of Rapperswil, Chillon and Bellinzona, the Federal Parliament in Bern, and the Piazza Grande in Locarno. Moreover, a 3,560m long model railway with 18 trains runs through the park. It is fascinating to watch the variety of trains that run along the tracks, cross bridges and stop by at stations. Boats are in motion on the lakes, cable cars and funiculars go up and down the mountains, cars move on the highway. For garden lovers, the whole park is beautifully decorated with a selection of 1,500 different plants and over 15,000 flowers. The park is located in Melide, on the shore of Lake Lugano, in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. The park is surrounded by mountains like Monte Generoso, Monte San Salvatore, and Monte San Giorgio, which has been declared UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

Lugano: Photogenic City Walking Tour

6. Lugano: Photogenic City Walking Tour

Join your guide to discover the city of Lugano through your camera lens. Enjoy a short city walk which will provide you the unique opportunity to get to know the city from an insider’s point of view. Your walk will take you from LAC to the university, and as you use your camera to capture the beauty of Lugano you will also get to discover local spots and hidden gems that your typical tourist tour won’t show you. Prepare to discover an alternative side of Lugano which is full of history and unique beauty. Don't forget to book the experience at a suitable time to ensure the best light possible for the pictures. You simply cannot leave the city before taking a stroll on the shores of the lake and getting to know more about the history of Ticino.

Lugano: Taste my Swiss City Self-Guided Food Tour

7. Lugano: Taste my Swiss City 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: Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide

8. Lugano: Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide

Discover the best of 2 cultures on this tour of Lugano, a Swiss city located on the Italian border. Immerse yourself in Lugano's booming creative and cultural scene on this private tour with a local guide and learn why thousands of art lovers from across the globe flock to the city each year. This tour is perfect for both first-time visitors to Lugano and returning tourists who want to go beneath the surface of the city. As you wander around the picturesque streets, admire impressive street art and learn more about the city’s many galleries and museums as well as hearing about several local artists such as Giuseppe Antonio Petrini. Don't miss the opportunity to discover the most significant cultural and historical details of this multi-faceted Swiss city while diving into its art and culture from a local perspective. At the end of the tour, you will understand why Lugano is the cultural capital of Ticino.

Lugano: 1-Hour Express Discovery Tour

9. Lugano: 1-Hour Express Discovery Tour

Fall in love with Lugano in just 1-hour on this express guided tour. After meeting your guide in front of the Museo Delle Culture, embark on a journey through the history, the local lifestyle, and the contemporary transformation of the city.  As you stroll through this Swiss city's picturesque streets, discover its parks, monuments, and historical architecture. Get the opportunity to get insider tips about the best cafes, restaurants, and bars to visit during your time in Lugano in order to make the most out of your visit.  Don't miss the opportunity to see Lugano through the eyes of a local, discover what daily life looks and soak up some of the city's characteristic ambience. This is the perfect experience for both those visiting for the first time and those returning to Lugano who wish to rediscover the city.

Lugano: Guided Tour with Lunch

10. Lugano: Guided Tour with Lunch

After meeting your guide at your hotel, you’ll start the day with a walk through the historic centre of Lugano. Here, you’ll see the new conference centre, stroll through Lugano’s main shopping district, and see locals enjoying themselves in the many outdoor restaurants. A highlight will be going inside of the 15th-century church which is simply called "the church". Inside, you’ll see impressive mural paintings made by the Italian artist Bernardino Luini, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s disciples.   You’ll then take a bus to the start of the Gandria Olive Trail footpath where you’ll enjoy a leisurely one-hour walk on the paved historic “Olive Trail” along the lakeside. You’ll eventually reach the romantic village of Gandria, which is nestled along the banks of Lake Lugano.   Afterwards, you’ll board a public boat and cruise to your lunch stop at one of Lugano’s most scenic areas, where you’ll experience an outdoor grotto lunch of risotto. Local Ticino white or red wine will be served so you can focus on your lunch, and al the while, you’ll be overlooking beautiful Lake Lugano with its surrounding mountains and villages. Your stand-by chefs will help you with your risotto to make sure you enjoy an excellent tasting grotto lunch. Following your lunch experience, your boat will return you to the city.

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What people are saying about Ticino

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 8 reviews

Everything was a dream! The 2 guides (Simona and Oleg) were wonderful! It can be seen that what I do, I do dearly and that there is passion. Driver Dino is a professional driver and a real gentleman! Thank you for everything! You are the best!❤️

Highly recommend this tour. Our tour guide, Simona, was so knowledgeable and fun. she answered all our questions and recommended many incredible places to visit in Milan.

Well organized fun trip. Oleg shared many interesting facts about Lugano, Bellagio and Como. It was a great experience. Will do it again in the near future.

We really enjoyed this trip. The guides were informative and the time in each town was perfect.

Stefano was a great guide very informative and a great sense of humor!!