On Holiday and Crossing the Border into Switzerland

On our third day in Como, we ate a breakfast of fruit and other snacks from the supermarket and got ready to cross the border from Italy into Switzerland.

My outfit for the day.

To get from Como San Giovanni train station in Italy to Lugano in Switzerland, the train only takes 40 minutes. We bought our tickets in advance and despite hunting for a good deal, it wasn’t super cheap. Most online sites charged around £70 for the two of us, but we managed to get tickets for £55.

When we arrived at Lugano train station, we bought tickets for the funicular that takes you from the train station into the centre of Lugano city.

Me on the funicular.

Of course our first stop had to be at some Swiss chocolate shops.

We tried Vanini first, which does some nice slabs of chocolate.

However, the chocolate shop I would very highly recommend is Laderach.

Their chocolates just melt in your mouth! Every single chocolate in the box we filled up was delicious, creamy and amazing.

After tasting some of Switzerlands sweeter offerings, we headed to Ristorante Manora for lunch.

Manora has the biggest variety of mostly healthy, buffet type foods, from fresh pasta and salads to risottos and much more. It gets super busy as Manora is a more affordable lunch spot. However, as it is Switzerland, expect to pay double what you would in Italy.

A slightly blurry shot of my (not so healthy) lunch.

After filling up on food, we browsed some of Luganos shops. Manor department store was my favourite, as it had a good range of beauty products and a really good, fresh food hall/supermarket section.

I only ended up buying one item in Lugano (which you’ll see in my haul soon), as shopping in Italy was better value.

After all the shopping and eating, we started to explore the beautiful city more.

As Lugano is close to the Italian border, it has a similar look and feel to Northern Italy. It’s situated in the Ticino region, where the sole spoken language is Italian and the food in the region is also mostly Italian.

As we was by the waterfront, we decided to buy tickets for an hour boat ride around Lake Lugano.

The further we got across the lake, the more I could see a mixture of Italian style houses and buildings and also more Swiss character.

After a fun boat ride, we stopped off for more food.

At McDonald’s we tried a quinoa and curry burger, which was great! Definitely a well thought out veggie option, unlike the awful burger I tried in the McDonald’s in Milan. We also got guacamole and salsa fries, which was good.

McDonald’s costs a lot more in Switzerland than anywhere else we’ve been, as our food cost around £14. So if you’re on a budget in Switzerland, McDonald’s isn’t the place to go!

After filling up on food, we visited the nearby Chiesa di San Rocco (church), with its stunning wall and ceiling paintings.

Before going on to admire Igor Mitorajs sculpture, Eros Bendato (Eros Bound).

There are several Eros Bound sculptures in different countries created by Igor. There’s been many interpretations about what they mean, but my favourite is that as Eros is the God of love, him being bound suggests that love is blind.

Just across the road from the sculpture is Parco Civico-Ciani. The park is beautifully situated next to Lake Lugano and is a peaceful, green area to relax in the city.

One of the little birds in the park.

In the park you can borrow books for free, as long as you return them before you leave. I love this idea!

The view from Parco Civico-Ciani.

We spent a while walking around the park, sitting under the trees for shade and taking in the scenery. It’s a truly beautiful park to sit and unwind in.

As it was reaching evening time, we stopped off at a restaurant in the centre of the city for dinner. I got a risotto and my partner got gnocchi.

The food was pretty good, but not quite up to Italian standards. 

After a lovely day in Lugano, it was time to head back. We waited for our train to Como, ready for our last full day away.

27 thoughts on “On Holiday and Crossing the Border into Switzerland

  1. 14 euros for a mcdonalds!! Crazy. The boat ride sounds fun and that Eros Bendato sculpture is so cool, I like the meaning too. Such a cute idea to have books to borrow in the park, how lovely on a sunny day 🙂 Your pictures are beautiful and I love your phone case. xx

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    • You pay in Swiss Francs so it works out as 14 pound which is more than 14 euros eek! The meat options were even more, so a Big Mac meal could be closer to £20! I love taking boat rides around a lake or a new place. It has a nice meaning the sculpture. I like that the artist has put them in a few cities. It is a really lovely idea. There was an inside library area with more books and a cafe. I loved that the park had that😊💕 Aaw thanks hun xx

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      • Oh that’s mad!! Why is it so expensive seriously McDonalds is supposed to be cheap 😂 Yeah boat rides are amazing!yeah the meaning is cute! How nice, that’s such a lovely idea! We need places like that here! You’re welcome xx

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      • Haha I know! We read that Switzerland’s Mcds were the most expensive and I think they’re right! We do. It’s a shame our parks don’t do cute little things like loan books out for free😊 x

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  2. McDonalds costs that much here too and it’s so weird! It’s always talked about as “cheap junk” but i could honestly get a decent meal for way less! I guess it helps with choosing healthy food more often. x

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    • That’s a lot! In the UK my veggie meal costs under £5, but a healthy meal would cost more. Which is why it’s so easy to go for junk food. There’s not one healthy place to eat near me either annoyingly. Xx

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  3. It’s so amazing that it took only 40 mins to get to Switzerland. In 40 mins here we can get from downtown Toronto to the outskirts of the suburbs… same province! 😆
    Chocolate would also be my first stop in Switzerland! Ha!
    It makes sense that it would be similar to Italy – I mean, a border is just a political thing, not necessarily a cultural border!
    OMG I love trying the local McDonald’s when we travel! People think we’re weird but they offer such different items on the menus. A quinoa and curry burger sounds very interesting!
    I bet it’s expensive everywhere in Switzerland…
    The book idea in the park is so great!
    What a nice little getaway to Switzerland!

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    • Haha the same here. It takes me an hour to get from East London to Central or West of the city😂 Haha of course. I had to test whether Swiss or Belgian chocolate is best😋😊 That’s true. Switzerland is influenced a lot by the countries around it. Some parts are German or more Austrian, the Ticino region is very Italian as it’s the area bordering Italy. Haha my partner said you’re not going to put we tried McDonald’s are you?! I was like why not? We eat a lot of local food when we’re away, so I don’t feel bad trying a McDonald’s out haha. The burger was really good. Super tasty😊 Oh yeah it’s definitely the priciest place we’ve been. A boat ride on the lake was nearly double the Italian prices on Lake Como. I bought a box of plasters as I had a blister and it was around £8. The currency is strong so it was pretty much 1 Swiss Franc to a Pound. I love that idea too! It’s nice on a sunny day to have books you can borrow. It was really nice. I’d like to see more of Switzerland☺ x

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  4. The buildings look amazing and those chocolates look absolutely delicious!! I love the idea of borrowing books in a park, I wish we had something like that where I live because I tend to buy a book and then finished reading it in a couple of days and am left with nothing new to read. Oh, and that bird was cute! It looks like you had a wonderful time in Switzerland!

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    • The chocolates were so nice😊 It’s a great idea to have free books to borrow. It’s nice if you don’t have a book on you and you want to sit in the park and gives you the chance to read something new☺ It was cute. Thank you, I had a really great time there xx

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  5. Lugano sounds like a dream! It just went on my bucket list! Your pictures are stunning! I have to say McDonalds is MUCH better in Europe! They would never EVER serve a curry burger here 😦 I am glad you had os much fun! Seriously enjoying your recaps! ❤

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  6. Wow McDonalds overseas amazes me….their menu options are so unlike what we have here but woah are those prices a taddd expensive for McDonalds. The boat ride sounds like a perfect little activity, I’d love that for sure. The view of the houses in Switzerland along the water, they are totally pinterest worthy photos!! But you’re right very Italian-ish with some Switz flair. Disappointing that the food wasn’t as good as expected, could’ve fooled me because that risotto and gnocchi look delicious!!!

    xo, JJ

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    • The menus are always so different☺ Switzerland’s the most expensive country in Europe, so everything costs more even McDonald’s. It was a lovely little boat ride and those houses were stunning! The food was good but it’s always hard to compete with real Italian food as it’s so good😊 xx

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