Explore Lugano on a Budget
Prefer not to spend too much? Not to worry, as both in Lugano and the wider Ticino region, there are plenty of things to explore on a budget. We've highlighted a few recommendations below. For a full overview of activities, have a look at the Lugano Tourism website and the Ticino Tourism site.
Get Yourself a Ticino Ticket
Lugano's stunning lake, Ticino's numerous mountains, baroque or medieval churches and unspoiled nature, is just a bit of what you can discover in and around Lugano. The best (and cheapest!) way to do it, is with a Ticino Ticket. Anyone staying as a guest in a hotel, youth hostel or camping site is eligible for this ticket, that allows you to travel for free!
The Ticino ticket offers free public transport to every corner of the southernmost Canton, valid from Chiasso to Airolo, enabling you to get from urban settings such as the cities of Lugano and Locarno to the more remote valleys. In addition to public transport, you also will receive discounts on cable cars, navigation and main tourist attractions.
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Guided Tours for Every Day of the Week*
- A free city tour of Lugano, with a personal guide, takes place every Monday from 10.00 until 12.00. The free ''Unexpected Classic Tour'' is hosted by charming actors that allow you to travel in time. It's the perfect tour for those who want to discover Lugano's many, multi-faceted characteristics and some of the city's most meaningful places.
- Every Tuesday, you can walk with a guide to Gandria, stroll up and down the village streets, after which, a boat will await you for the return trip to Lugano.
- On Wednesday, go to the top of the Monte San Salvatore by cable car, and enjoy a truly breath-taking view.
- Thursday's are for architectural lovers. Enjoy a tour that includes 20th and 21st century architecture highlights where you'll discover the most interesting buildings from a different perspective, all of this only for 10 CHF (Swiss Franc)
- On Friday's, guided excursions to the Lugano-Monte Bré take you from the heart of the city to Lugano's uncontaminated summit, reaching the top with a cable car!
*All tours are CHF 10.- (except for Monday's free city tour) and require a reservation.
Which attraction suits you?
- Tour the city aboard the Lugano Tourist Train "La freccia rossa" (the red arrow), for only CHF 9.-. In September, the train leaves every 30 minutes between 10.00 and 17.00.
- Rent a paddle boat! Prices are from CHF 9.- and available every day.
- Visit the Bellinzona Medioeval Castles, a UNESCO World Heritage site. With the Ticino ticket, you can take a free train there, and enjoy the castles site for free, however, please note that the museum charges an entry fee.
- Are you a chocolate lover? Well you are in luck as the Alprose Chocolat Museum in Caslano is open daily and the entrance is only CHF 3.-.
- For a complete overview of Switzerland, visit the miniature park! Swissminiatur is open daily, and the entrance fee is CHF 19.- or pay less with your Ticino Ticket, CHF 14.-.
- There is a huge variety of amazing and free public parks and theme paths in the region, waiting for you to explore and use your moments away from the Congress for relaxing.
- The Art Museum, offers free guided tours on Sunday (tours and museum entrance to the permanent collection are free, entrance to temporary exhibitions is CHF 15.-)
- Check out the free Lugano Holiday Card, which offers discount on many services and attractions.