Fun and Best Things to do in Montreux, Switzerland

2 Days in Montreal and Vevey


If you are planning your Montreux itinerary, you are probably wondering about the best things to do in Montreux. If so, then this post is for you. Here is where to go, what to see, and many more travel tips (incl. where to stay, how to get around, and more) for your Montreux trip.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.


Montreux is so extremely pretty that you should add it to your Switzerland itinerary. Montreux probably has the most beautiful promenade in all of Switzerland, and there are many great things to do in Montreux!

Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Geneva, with the stunning Alps in the background, Montreux is one of Switzerland’s most charming places I have visited so far. And I have been to Switzerland regularly in the last 12 years, that is why you can find many more posts on Switzerland here.

If you have been to Montreux, then you probably agree with me. I am sure that the charm of this cute town (it actually is quite small) will make you fall head over heels in love. At least, I was smitten within the first two minutes.

I was close to skipping Montreux because I thought the accommodation prices were out of line. Luckily, I did not, and I ended up staying not one but two nights in the gorgeous region of Montreux-Vevey. I revisited Montreux again for a day in August 2021. And it was as pretty as I remembered.

Montreal Promenade What to see in Montreux in a weekend


Montreux Riviera stretches over 25km along the shores of Lake Geneva from Lutry to Villeneuve. Montreux itself is a town on the northeastern shores of Lake Geneva – close to Villeneuve.


How to Get to Montreux

Arriving in Montreux by train: I arrived by train and took the famous panorama train, “Golden Pass Line,“ from Lucerne via Interlaken, Zweisimmen to Montreux. This is probably one of the nicest ways to arrive, as you pass rolling hills, pristine lakes, and cute little Swiss towns before you come upon the vineyards of the region.

Arrive in Montreux by boat: Another beautiful way to arrive in Montreux would be by boat, either via Lausanne or Vevey. It is no less spectacular, and you´ll see that boat cruising is on the itinerary as well.

Arrive at Montreux by car: Montreux is not a car-free town, so driving there in your own car, or with a rented one, is also a good way to arrive. However, parking is always the trickiest part of driving in Switzerland. If your hotel does not have parking spaces and is located in the “town center,“ you might have to pay a little fortune for parking.

How to Get Around Montreux

Montreux itself is pretty small, so it is easy to get around by walking. Also, Montreux – as it is in most parts of Switzerland – has superb public transportation, which makes it easy to get from one place to another.

This includes trains, buses, and boats. You can easily get to places like Geneva, Lausanne, or Vevey by boat.

It might take a while (Lake Geneva is one of the biggest lakes in Europe), but it is also a great way to see places from another angle.

Swiss Travel Pass

If you use public transportation, I recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass. I visit Switzerland often, and most of the time I get one – even if it’s a road trip. It is only for non-Swiss residents though.

  • It allows you to use trains and buses without any extra costs.
  • You can also do boat cruises on Lake Geneva and many other lakes in Switzerland without additional costs.
  • It also gives you a 50% discount on most mountain rides (you can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price, and if you follow my tips, you will need it twice).
  • Also, you can visit Chateau de Chillon without any extra costs.

The initial prices for a Swiss Travel Pass are quite high – but it pays for itself if you get around via public transportation and are active in Switzerland for more than three or four days. So, check out prices for boats and trains and then calculate if it is a good option for you. 

For me, it usually makes sense as I am very active and use public transportation/mountain rides often (even if I road trip Switzerland). 

I also love boat rides – which means many, many boat cruises for me whenever I have a Swiss Travel Pass. Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass here.

Where to Stay in Montreux

Unfortunately, as mentioned in the beginning, you cannot expect to get a bargain sleeping in Montreux. I paid about 200€ for 4-star accommodation even though the Montreux Jazz Festival was over.

For jazz fans, the first two weeks of July might be the best time to visit; for anybody else, I would advise skipping these weeks. In 2022, it takes place from 1. July to 16.July 2022.

Here are a few well-rated hotels in Montreux:

  • Luxury Hotels in Montreux: For one of the most luxurious experiences in Montreux, check out Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. This 5-star hotel has a great location and is best known amongst those who like to indulge. From romantic hotels to design hotels, here are the most luxurious places.
  • Mid-Range Hotels in Montreux: As mentioned above, I stayed at the lovely 4-star hotel Eurotel which you can check out here – I was more than happy with my choice.
  • Budget Hotels in Montreux: Okay, there are not really budget-friendly hotels in Montreux. Accommodation around Lake Geneva is just pretty expensive. Find out about the best budget hotels in Montreux.

Whichever hotel you opt for, I would strongly suggest a hotel close to the promenade. Ideally, get a room with a lake view (admittedly, it is more expensive). You can find cheaper hotels close to Montreux.


Okay, let’s get started with the best activities in Montreux.

Montreux Promenade

I estimate that Montreux consists of 50% flowers and 40% promenade (I have neglected Lake Geneva in this calculation), and the rest of Montreux makes about 10%. Though this is probably exaggerated, it is not exaggerated to say that the Montreux promenade is full of flowers at a certain time of the year.

What to do in Montreux - things to do in Montreux Switzerland Strolling the promenade

Flowers, flowers, and more flowers are lined up along the promenade in all different shapes and colors. The clear water of Lake Geneva and the picturesque mountains make Montreux pretty perfect to me!

Since the promenade is so gorgeous, I recommend starting the day with a stroll along the promenade (though it is even more charming in the evening). Parks along the promenade in Montreux - Montreux things to do

  • Free to visit 
  • Open 24/7, all year round

Lake Geneva

The region of Montreux makes it pretty easy for people to swim in Lake Geneva. There are so many spots that allow you to jump into the lake. Sometimes there are even some loungers provided to the people for free. Plan for some time to rest, swim, and enjoy this lovely atmosphere.

Enough places to swim and rest - Switzerland Montreux attractions

  • Free to visit 
  • Open 24/7, all year round

Freddie Mercury Statue

Walking along the promenade will also lead you to some of Montreux´s points of interest. You´ll stumble upon the famous Freddie Mercury statue, which is located right next to the water.Montreux Switzerland things to do

Freddie Mercury was a British singer of the rock band Queen. He settled in Montreux because of its serenity and he acquired a recording studio, where he recorded six albums including his last album with Queen: “Made in Heaven”. 

Once a year, there is even a free event that takes place in Montreux around September 5th (the birthday of Freddie Mercury) celebrating the singer during the Freddie Celebration Day.

After all these years, he still seems to have loyal fans, as I saw fresh flowers by the statue that is standing there since 1996 (he died in 1991). 

There are even Freddie Mercury walking tours that allow you to follow in his footsteps. Prices start from around 29 CHF – you can find out more here.

Strolling along the promenade, you’ll find more interesting statues, so look at both sides of the promenade.

  • Free to visit 
  • Open 24/7, all year round

Chateau de Chillon

Once you have strolled and rested at the promenade, you can visit the lovely Chateau de Chillon. It is one of the most popular sights in Montreux (or actually very close to Montreux). - what to see in Montreux Chateau de Chilon what to see in Montreux Points of Interest

Chateau de Chillon is visible from the Montreux promenade, and there are plenty of signs to direct you.

You can walk or take the boat from the boat station (right next to the tourism office of Montreux). I seriously recommend walking, though. There are enough seating options and reasons to take photos along the way, so even though it is only about 3km, it took me more than an hour to get there.

The chateau was quite busy when I visited, which did not come as a surprise given its fame and the very good weather. Dogs are not allowed inside, so my dog and I just stayed outside.

If you plan to visit the castle, you might plan for about an hour to see it.

Right next to the castle is a pier from where boats bring you back to Montreux. But there are also buses and trains going back, or you can just walk back.Chateaux de Chilean on the shore of Lake Geneva - Montreux what to do

A castle with a view and a great Instagram spot in Montreux - things to see in Montreux Switzerland

  • Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Prices: Ticket prices 13.50 CHF, free with a Swiss Travel PassAudio Guide 6 CHF

Lake Geneva Boat Tour

Switzerland has so many gorgeous lakes, and without a doubt, Lake Geneva is the queen (to me). Not only, mist mostly because of its size. After all, it is one of the largest lakes in Europe, and its color never ceases to amaze me. A boat tour on Lake Geneva - Things to do in Montreuxl - a boat tour on Lake Geneva

So the fun part of getting to Vevey (which I will talk about in a minute) is to hop on a boat very “early” in the morning and, from there, see the vineyards and Vevey. Boats start operation around 9, or 10 am.

Vineyards – Lavaux UNESCO

Between Lausanne and Chateau de Chillon are several routes overlooking Lake Geneva and the vineyards at the same time. Lavaux – the land stretching from Lutry to Vevey – has been listed as a UNESCO cultural heritage site since 2007. This vineyard boasts 10,000 terraces, dotted with wine-producing villages and stunning views all along the way.

Vineyards in the Chexbres region - best places to visit in Montreux

I had only a few hours for the vineyards, so here is what I did: I arrived in Vevey by boat (but it is also easy to get there by train or bus). From Vevey boat station, I walked a few hundred meters to the train station and took a train to Chexbres, where I got out.

It depends on how much time you have and how much effort you want to put into it, but I highly recommend a visit.

I did not have too much time, so I decided to walk to the first viewing point, Dezaley. There are some signs along the way, though they are a bit irregular, so I was not the only one feeling a bit lost.

From the Chexbres train station, it takes about 20-30 minutes, and the views are amazing. 

There are enough seating options to enjoy the views (and free fountains with fresh drinking water). You could also go for a wine tasting. For that, ask at the tourism office in Montreux or Vevey (the tourist office in Chexbres was closed when I arrived in the afternoon).Vineyards of Montreux - what to do in montreux in 2 days

  • Free to visit 
  • Open 24/7, all year round but the vineyards 


From the vineyards in Chexbres, head back to Vevey by train. You could also walk down from Chexbres, which should take about 1.5 hours.

Vevey is a small village by Lake Geneva, and it offers some beautiful spots to rest, chill, or swim. So after visiting the vineyards, it is the perfect place to continue your Montreux sightseeing tour.Fevey Places to visit n 2 days - Vevey or Montreux ?

You´ll find enough restaurants/cafes to have lunch in Vevey. Vevey is a tiny town that can be discovered on foot in a short amount of time. It is worth spending about 1/2 day in Vevey (including some chilling time).

If you are with kids and it is warm, you will love the free pools for kids. Where else will you find free pools for kids right next to a lake that is so clear that you could swim there, too?

Vevey also has a beautiful, old town, which is worth checking out, and some other attractions as well.

I try to avoid Nestle products for several reasons, but Nestle has their main office here, which you could visit. However, though it is a kind of magnet for visitors, let´s focus on the positive sides of Switzerland.

The famous fork – Fork of Vevey – is also located in Vevey. What to do at Lake Geneva - Places to Visit in Montreux and Best Things to do in Montreux - Arzo Travels

  • Plan for at least half a day to see this cute town.

I took a boat back to Montreux (about 20 minutes) and recommend having dinner there because evenings in Montreux are just lovely. Or you also add a trip to the museum of Charlie Chaplin which is also in Vevey.

Charlie Chaplin Museum – Chaplin’s World by Grévin

Freddie Mercury was not the only prominent person in love with Montreux – Charlie Chaplin was another superstar who lived in Montreux/Vevey. 

If you are a Charlie Chaplin fan, you are probably interested in visiting Chaplin´s World, which you can check out here. Find out about his life in Montreux – he spent more than 25 years of his life here. 

Chaplin’s World by Grévin opened in 2016 at the former Chaplin family home, the Manoir de Ban, in Corsier-sur-Vevey. You can discover his personal belongings, learn about his childhood, enjoy the park of his ten-acre estate.

  • Opening hours: Open every day, April to October from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, November until 24th December from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (different opening hours between Christmas and New Year´s Eve).
  • Prices around: 25 CHF for adults

Montreux Biennale

Every two years, Montreux is home to a special art festival – the Biennale. In 2008, it took place for the first time and since then, it takes place every second year.

Montreux Biennale 2021

I actually stumbled upon it by accident when I visited Montreux for the second time and LOVED it. I am – normally – not much into art but this is a special art exhibition that even I enjoyed! You will find many art pieces along the shores of Lake Geneva – which is absolutely lovely!

Art pieces in Montreux

Since it is an open-air museum that lasts for 3 whole months, the pieces must be made of materials withstanding the sun, rain, and wind.

  • It is free to visit. 
  • Open 24/7 for three months every second year (now, it is still going until the 24. October 2021).

Rochers de Naye

If you have some more time, you could visit the famous Rochers de Naye – another popular Montreux tourist attraction in the region. It is a mountain overlooking Lake Geneva near Montreux and Villeneuve and stands at 2,042 meters above sea level.

On my last day in the region, the weather was lovely, but I could see the clouds up in the air. So I decided not to go up, though I am a fan of getting up the mountains.

The best part is that, for the lazier ones, Switzerland has ways to get up the mountain without hiking (a.k.a. there is a cogwheel that gets you up).

  • It takes about one hour via cogwheel to get to the summit of Rochers de Naye

Montreux Jazz Festival

Okay, this is an extra. Montreux is extremely famous for its Jazz festival. It is held annually in early July in Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline. It is actually the second-largest annual jazz festival in the world (just after Canada’s Montreal International Jazz Festival).

During that time, it gets jam-packed (and, of course, even more expensive), and it is probably the best thing to do in Montreux in summer. However, if you aren’t into jazz (like me), then you probably had never heard of it before.

Just keep that in mind when planning your Montreux trip!

  • It takes place from Friday 1. July to Saturday 16. July 2022
  • The average ticket price is around $1000

Christmas Market in Montreux

If you visit Montreux in December, you will get to experience the magical Christmas Market in Montreux. You have many stalls on the promenade, the Loggers’ Village, the Gourmet Space, the light show, Medieval Magic at Chillon Castle and Santa’s House at Les Rochers-de-Naye, and more – the Christmas Markets in Montreux is known as one of the best in Switzerland.

  • It takes place from 19 November to 24 December 2021


Though Montreux is not the first destination that comes to people’s minds when thinking about Switzerland, it is an absolutely amazing place. I hope you have gotten some travel inspiration for Montreux.

Whether you visit in summer, fall, or winter – Montreux is always a good idea and hopefully, this post has helped you find out about the best things to do in Montreux.



What to wear in Dubai as a female


Are you heading to this exciting city and are wondering about what to wear in Dubai? Then this post is for you – I share my experiences and knowledge about the dress code in Dubai for women and men.

Whether you are male or female, here is what you should know about what to wear in Dubai – a relatively modern yet still conservative and Islamic city (Emirate).How to Dress as Women in Dubai Clothes to wear in Dubai

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I might earn a small commission when you buy a product via my link (no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Women Dress Code in Dubai 

So, we start with what to wear in Dubai as a woman, which is a bit more tricky than answering the question of what to wear as a man.

In general, the Dubai dress code is not as strict as in some other cities/countries,e.g., Saudi Arabia. It isn’t even as strict as in Sharjah – a city/emirate next to Dubai. However, it is still not as westernized as some people might think after looking at pictures of “Influencers” in Dubai.

There are some things visitors should know.

  • In Dubai, most people are foreigners, so there are only a few Emiratis. These foreigners are tourists and people who work there, and they have had a great impact on the Dubai dress code.

I always read that you are not supposed to wear too revealing clothes, but actually, I have seen all of them.

  • Read this post for more information on What to pack for Dubai and buy, if necessary, some clothes/items before your trip.

Can Women Wear What They Want in Dubai?

Yes and no. Keep reading to find out.

P.S. The red Arabian dress I am wearing in the picture at the top was not compulsory. I just thought it was so pretty, and so I wore it.

Do I Have to Wear a Scarf in Dubai?

Though the United Arab Emirates are clearly Islamic, (foreign) women do not have to cover up and can wear more or less those clothes they feel comfortable in – to a certain extent.

So, no need to wear a scarf/cover your hair (exception for a few places I mention later):

What to Wear in Dubai at the Beach/Pool Area

What can women wear in Dubai at the beach? Dubai is a lot about beaches and pools, and thus, make sure to plan some time for your Dubai itinerary and pack the right clothes.

  • At the beach/hotel pool, women can wear bikinis or bathing suits. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are still quite liberal. Some other Emiratis aren’t.
  • However, being topless, of course, is not allowed.

Why is Dubai better

And here are some clothes to wear in Dubai. These items are great for your day at the beach and pool in Dubai:

  • I am in love with kaftans – a perfect item for the beach, and it is great if you go back to the hotel/restaurant, etc., as bikinis are not liked to be seen in the hotel itself.
  • A bikini, burkini, or any swimsuit should not be missing on your Dubai packing list for some lazy days at the beach (probably do not take the smallest bikini you have).
  • You can also take some shorts and tops you can wear if you leave the beach/pool area.

Itinerary Day Tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

What to Wear on Dubai´s Streets

Can I wear hot pants in Dubai? That is a question I have been asked many times.

When I left the hotel, I saw many people in the metro, cafes, and restaurants wearing hot pants, belly tops, skirts, and other such outfits – it is not forbidden. I assume that many won’t even care or look at you.

I felt uncomfortable showing too much skin when foreign workers, especially from countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan, were around. 

This was mostly the case in the metro (even though I normally am in the “women only compartment” or in Deira (the old part of Dubai). So, I recommend thinking about how to dress.

These items are definitely a great choice for strolls in the beautiful Marina, the Palm, or many other parts of Dubai but also in conservative areas like Dubai Deira.

  • Maxi Dresses and dresses that cover your knees – with or without sleeves.
  • Skirts – are good to wear, here you can go with long skirts or shorter ones, but I would not go for a mini skirt.
  • If the weather is not too hot, jeans are a great choice.
  • T-shirts and tank tops are fine for most places.
  • Shorts are okay. Hot pants not so much (even if you see many Instagrammers with hot pants, this is actually not always appropriate)

Dubai Dress Code for Dubai Malls/Restaurants etc.

There is a dress code if you go to Dubai Mall, saying that wearing too revealing outfits should be avoided. Ignoring it can lead to being asked to leave or change clothes. After speaking to some locals, they confirmed that security has gotten a bit stricter and have heard about troubles. However, many Europeans/foreigners don’t care. 

Arzo Travels dress code in Dubai

Of course, you don’t have to wear a headscarf or long pants. Most malls have a (well, not so strict) policy, and naked shoulders are not allowed, and skirts/shorts have to be knee-length.

Many people, even expats living in Dubai, claim that there is no dress code and they have never heard of it. I saw signs throughout the mall – also check out the official website of Dubai Mall and scroll down. There you will find some info on how to dress.

What to Wear in a Mosque in Dubai

The Dubai Dress Code in a mosque – actually in any mosque in the world – is strict. 

Picture taken at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi – dress code is the same for mosques in Dubai.

What do I have to wear in the mosque? Most mosques are not open to non-Muslims in Dubai. The Jumeirah Mosque can be visited and you might consider visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, which is, by the way, the most beautiful building I have ever seen.

  • At the Grand Mosque (also known as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque), they offer free dresses/scarfs for the duration of your visit.
  • You are exactly told what you can and what you cannot wear.
  • You need to be aware that, in case you actually visit any mosque, you have to wear long sleeves, cover your legs and have a scarf with you because you have to cover your head.

In this case, there is not much difference to churches, etc. – just a bit stricter. They take it very seriously, so there is no room for interpretation.

What to Wear in the Desert in Dubai

Dubai´s desert is an amazing destination, and though there is no strict dress code, I would like to mention a couple of things for visiting this part of Dubai.

The desert can get extremely hot in summer. And by extremely hot, I seriously mean extreme heat.

Once, I felt like ice in the sunshine – my feet were burning when I had the crazy idea to take off my sandals. It can get chillier in the evening, so take something to cover your shoulders (at least in fall, winter, and spring).

Abu Dhabi relax

So, if visiting the desert take

  • solid footwear
  • a (floppy) hat
  • a scarf and a cardigan (it can get chilly in the evening)
  • wear bright colors
  • wear loose clothing

Extra tip, for great pictures, choose clothes that really pop. A yellow or red maxi dress or any other bright color will make you look even more stunning in pictures.

Men Dubai Dress Code

Good news for men visiting Dubai: rules are not as strict for men as women. Bad news: You still can’t wear whatever you want – especially not wherever you want.

So, if you are wondering about the dress code for Dubai for men, this is what to know:

  • Men can wear western clothes, like jeans, sweatpants, and shorts. They can also wear singlets, flip-flops and summer clothes. However, if you want to be respectful and not attract negative attention (or worse), then avoid shorts that are very short (and end way higher than the knees), tops that hang too low, or any see-through shirts or pants.
  • At the mall, there might be strict rules, but signs will tell you. Wearing short sleeve shirts and shorts that cover your knees (or at least, almost) is surely fine.
  • In the mosque, you normally have to wear long pants. 
  • If you are at the beach, you can go top-less but leave your “top-less time” only for the beaches and no matter how hot it is, always wear two pieces (not sure about jumpers).
  • One exception would be to wear traditional Arab clothes. In Dubai, this means wearing an ankle-length, loose-fitting garment made of white cotton, known as a kandora or dishdasha. Actually, the white color and loose fighting are perfect for hot days.

Conclusion: What to Wear in Dubai

Although Dubai is Islamic, it’s still quite liberal.

However, keep in mind the heritage and do not “overdo” it if you do not want to cause any problems and put a bad light on the foreigners.

When you visit the country during the holy month of Ramadan you must be extremely careful – during that time, the dress code is strict, and you should re-think your visit if you do not want to stick to it.

Other than that, it is acceptable to wear skirts, shorts and show some skin. Remember to respect the tradition of every country. But with this post, you have a good understanding of what to wear and the dress code for Dubai.

If you want to find out more about traveling to Dubai as a solo female traveler, check out my Dubai Solo Travel Guide.

Important Travel Information for Dubai

So, there is a dress code for female and male visitors, and if you do not want to be a total jerk, try to adjust to it and respect the rules (which aren’t too strict, so it should not be too hard).

Enjoy!Safe Travels, Arzo


Create an Epic Bavaria Itinerary for 3-10 Days

3-10 days in Bavaria itinerary, Germany Arzo Travels


Bavaria is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful states/regions in Germany. Coming from the northern part of Germany (namely from the beautiful city of Bremen), I hate to admit that Bavaria is actually pretty. I mean, really pretty. Not like Switzerland pretty, but still beautiful.

Whether you want charming cities, towns, and villages or want to spend some time in nature, hiking, swimming, and doing other outdoor sports, Bavaria has it all.

This Bavaria itinerary is perfect to plan your trip and find out about the best things to do and see in Southern Germany.

Do you want to road trip or get around by public transportation? In this post, I share my ideal Bavaria itinerary for 3-10 days regardless of which mode of transportation you choose.

I have another post with the most beautiful places in Bavaria. However, visiting all these places would mean spending around 3 weeks in Bavaria – at least. I am aware that not all of us can spend so long in only this part of Germany.

So, whether you are in Bavaria for 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, or 10 days, this itinerary will help you find the best places to visit in Bavaria if you stay less than 3 weeks.


Let´s start with some basic travel tips for your Bavaria trip.


There are several airports in Bavaria. The Munich International Airport might be the most famous. If you fly into Bavaria, then you most likely will start your trip here.

This is actually my recommendation, though I know there are also airports that budget airlines fly into, like Nuremberg.

If you arrive via train or car, you can start from any destination that is the closest to your home country. 


Whether you opt for road tripping or getting around by public transportation – both allow you to experience Bavaria at its best.

Bavaria in 7 days to 10 days


  • Driving in Bavaria is a good way to get around. There are some very scenic routes, and there are no tolls for cars in Germany. Overall, the streets are well-paved and safe, and people drive well.
  • There are freeways without speed limits, but most roads have a speed limit that you should stick to (speed cams are spread throughout the country).
  • A parking disc might be useful in some places, but you will often have to pay cash for parking in cities, towns, or tourist attractions. Day tickets for attractions like Neuschwanstein cost around 6€; parking in Munich’s city center would be much higher.
  • Petrol in Bavaria is quite expensive. Diesel costs about $1.50, and petrol (gasoline) is about $1.60 (per liter), but it can get way more expensive at times. This is just an average, as prices vary greatly. In the morning prices are highest, and during the day, prices decrease. It gets the cheapest in the evening – apparently 7 pm is the best time to refuel your vehicle.
  • Most petrol stations (actually, all) are self-service, and you can pay cash or with a credit card at the cashier. In smaller villages, there might be machines you have to pay at directly.
  • Find out more about how to plan a perfect road trip here.


  • Getting around via trains and buses is actually quite easy.
  • While the Deutsche Bahn (the national train company) is not really my favorite company to travel with, they get you from one place to the other, and in Bavaria, they actually come in handy. It is not cheap and often not on time, but well, we can’t have it all. 
  • If you are in Bavaria, you can buy daily tickets and use them for all of Bavaria’s trains and buses. If you get “Bayern Tickets,” they are actually not expensive. They cost about 25€ for one person a day, each additional person (max of 5 people) costs 3-5€ extra.
  • You cannot use all trains with your Bayern Ticket (not the express trains, for example, so make sure to always sit on the right train). But you can use public transportation in the cities and towns – there might be some restrictions on private bus companies, etc.
  • Buy your ticket from the ticket machine to avoid paying fees (they are not high, just a few euros, but it can add up if you buy a ticket each day).


  • Summer in Europe can be crazy. Many places get really crowded. Personally, it spoils my trips, but not everyone is as sensitive as I am.
  • Since we cannot rely on seasons and how the weather is supposed to be at a certain time, I would advise visiting from September to early October or April to June. May and June are probably the best months in my opinion.
  • If you are into Christmas markets and winter activities, then Bavaria is also great to visit in the winter (December), and given its mountains, it is a popular skiing destination.


  • Prices in Bavaria for accommodations, fuel, and food are generally higher than in the rest of Germany.
  • However, compared to Switzerland or Austria, it is a bit more affordable.
  • Accommodation, in particular, can get very expensive (some cities/areas charge an additional city tax for each night). 
  • Munich and main tourist spots tend to be pricier. You can have a quick lunch in a regular restaurant for about 10€. Of course, prices vary greatly, and you can find much cheaper and more luxurious restaurants. 
  • Entry to castles like Neuschwanstein Castle is about 13€ per person, and to me, that‘s quite reasonable.


I visited Bavaria several times, and normally, Munich is my base from which I get around. However, this time I road tripped Bavaria for about two weeks and stayed at each place for no more than 5 nights. 

If you stay in Munich, you can do a lot of day trips. But if you drive and don’t mind changing hotels, I recommend staying in Rothenburg ob der Tauber and visit Würzburg, etc., from there.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also a great base because you can visit places like Eibsee, Zugspitze, and Schloss Neuschwanstein from there.

Berchtesgaden is a good base if you want to explore places like Königssee, Eagle´s Nest, and Salzburg.


There are different dialects spoken in Germany, and though everyone understands High German, not everyone speaks it perfectly. However, as someone who doesn’t understand any Bavarian dialect, I had no issues, and people tried to adjust.

Basic English is spoken in all touristy areas.


I think that it is safe to say that Bavaria is a safe place to visit. Bavaria´s crime rate is quite low. Just keep your eyes open and exercise common sense – especially in tourist areas. It is recommended to keep your belongings and your wallet close to you.

If you get around by car, don’t leave valuables on display, but I would not worry about being robbed overall.


Here are some more tips for your Bavaria itinerary.

  • Water: Yes to free water! Germans love their sparkling water, but we also enjoy free water (non-sparkling, of course). To enjoy fresh water, bring your reusable water bottle. In many parts of Bavaria, you can refill your bottle with fresh water from fountains. Shy away from it if it says, “KEIN TRINKWASSER”.
  • Tipping: Tipping in Germany is common, though not necessary. If you like the service you receive, feel free to leave a tip (around 10% in restaurants), and you can also tip taxi drivers (depending on the driving time, about 1-5€). 
  • Money: Credit and debit cards are accepted widely. However, in smaller shops and villages, that might not be the case, so always bring enough cash. American Express is, unfortunately, not accepted everywhere, and Visa and MasterCard are more common.


So, here are the best attractions to visit in Bavaria in 3 days.

  • Munich (1 day)
  • Schloss Neuschwanstein and Alpsee (1 day)
  • Zugspitze and Eibsee (1 day)


I recommend starting your Bavaria trip from Munich. If you fly into Europe, Munich is a good starting point – whether you do a road trip or discover Central Europe (or just Bavaria) by train.

Arrive in Munich and get settled. Tip: Stay in the city center and discover many places on foot. 

Munich Road tripping Bavaria, Germany, Munich

You have quite a bit to see in Munich, such as Marienplatz (market square), the old town, the view from the clock tower, Viktualienmarkt, the Residenz, and Englischer Garten.

Depending on your arrival time, I suggest staying around 1.5 days in Munich (and if you fly back home from Munich, you could spend another half day towards the end there). Click here to find the best accommodation in Munich for your stay.

  • If you stay only 3 days in Bavaria, then stay 1 day in Munich.

Schloss Neuschwanstein and Alpsee

Schloss Neuschwanstein, located in the southern part of Bavaria, is one of the most iconic castles in the world and a must-see to include on your 3-day itinerary. 

Things to do around Neuschwanstein Castle, Waterfall near Marienbrücke

At Neuschwanstein Castle, you will rub shoulders with a lot of other tourists because it is anything but a hidden gem.

You can do a guided tour of the castle if you‘d like to see the (apparently) stunning interior. I skipped the tour since I was with my dog. But even if you don’t do the tour, looking at this castle from a distance and hiking around it is well worth your time.

After seeing the castle, walk the beautiful Alpsee Lake! What a perfect way to end this day.

What to do in Neuschwanstein, hike Lake Alpsee

You will most likely not need a full day, but anything between 4 hours (if you don’t hike the lake) and 6-8 hours (including the hike of the lake and visiting the castle) should be enough. For more info, check out my detailed Neuschwanstein guide here.

Click here for the best hotels close to Neuschwanstein Castle

  • Then it is time to visit the next Bavarian pearl.

Eibsee & Zugspitze

Switzerland is my country for mountain lakes and mountain peaks, but there is a bit to see in Germany. After visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, head to Eibsee and the Zugspitze. They are located just next to each other and you can visit both attractions in a day.

One full day is enough to head to the Zugspitze – the highest mountain in Germany – and hike the lovely Eibsee, probably the most beautiful lake in Germany.

Tickets for the Zugspitze can be bought at the ticket center, but you can also book them in advance.

The day I visited Eibsee, it was very foggy, so I decided not to spend $60 for foggy views at Zugspitze summit. However, on a clear day, the views are probably well worth it.

Most beautiful place in Bavaria, Eibsee

Next to the Zugspitze is the pretty Eibsee. You can easily hike around it. I cannot remember how long it took me, but I guess around one hour and you will see the lakes from many different but beautiful angles. Click here to find the best rates for your stay near the Zugspitze/Eibsee.

  • If you stay more than 3 days in Southern Germany, here are more tips on how to spend them.


With 5 days in Bavaria, you can add two more places to your itinerary. My suggestion is to head south and visit a bigger city and the country’s most beautiful town.

  • Munich (1 day)
  • Schloss Neuschwanstein and Alpsee (1 day)
  • Zugspitze and Eibsee (1 day)
  • Würzburg or Nürnberg (1 day)
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber (1 day)

Würzburg or Nuremberg

I have two cities for you to see that are just beautiful. It’s up to you which is the loveliest and which one you want to visit (visiting both in 5 days in Bavaria might be problematic due to the lack of time).


Würzburg is a medieval city with several stunning castles and fortresses.

It is actually the starting point of the “Romantic Road,” which is a popular road trip, and you will pass several cute (and romantic) towns and villages along the way to Füssen and Neuschwanstein.

Castle in Wurzburg, Germany

The drive itself is not scenic (more on nice scenic drives in Germany a bit later), but along with Würzburg, you will discover more places to see.

  • I know that Würzburg is quite far away from Munich, and not everyone likes that long drive (around 300km).
  • If you want to minimize your driving time, I suggest skipping Würzburg and heading to the next town (which is still quite a long drive but still closer to Munich).
  • Click here to find out about the best accommodation for your stay in Wurzburg.
  • Find out more about how to spend a day in Wurzburg here.


Nuremberg is the second biggest city in Bavaria and also a gorgeous place to visit. The distance to Munich is much shorter (around 150km) and is a good alternative to Würzburg.

You can stroll the old town, visit the Johannisfriedhof (a medieval cemetery), enjoy the views from the St. Lorenz Church – to name a few attractions.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

From Würzburg (around 50km) or Nuremberg (also around 50km), you can get to Rothenburg ob der Tauber – the prettiest town in Germany. It is one of the most popular spots on the Romantic Road and one of the most famous.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Stroll the picturesque old town. Walk the town wall and relax in the Burggarten. Since the city is quite small, one day is enough to see almost everything. However, this did not stop me from revisiting Rothenburg on my second Bavaria road trip and spend another two nights there…

Rothenburg on a sunny day is just gorgeous – like a colorful fairytale town!


With one week in Bavaria, you can explore a few more gorgeous places. This also means that you have to add these new places mentioned now in between the other days.

  • Munich (2 days)
  • Schloss Neuschwanstein and Alpsee (1 day)
  • Zugspitze and Eibsee (1 day)
  • Würzburg or Nürnberg (1 day)
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber (1 day)
  • Königssee and Eagles´s Nest (1 day)

If you want to visit the above mentioned places and the attractions below, it makes the most sense to visit Munich, then head north to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Würzburg/Nuremberg, and then visit Neuschwanstein Castle and Eibsee, which are in the south of Bavaria. Because all mentioned places now are also in the southern part of Bavaria.

Königssee Lake

Germany’s cleanest lake is incredible, and a boat ride (on an electric boat to keep the water clean) is quite relaxing and interesting.

The best places in Bavaria, Germany, Königssee

You can get out at St. Bartholomä or go to the other end of Königssee Lake and hop off there to hike around the other lake (Obersee) that is just next to it.

There is no other way to see the end of the lake, as you cannot hike it all the way.

However, if you prefer not to hop on a boat (the cost is around 20€), go for a walk and do the 1 1/2-hour “Malerwinkel“ hike. I read so many positive reviews about this but was a bit disappointed because the hike was mostly through a forest with a few scenic views.

  • You might need around 4-10 hours for a day at Königssee Lake, and it is another place to see if you are in Bavaria for one week or longer.
  • I would not squeeze in other attractions for this day – it is nice to have some quieter days as well and do not underestimate the travel time.
  • Here are the best hotels to stay near Königssee. My base was in Bad Reichenhall, which is great, but so is Berchtesgaden. From these two places, you can get to some major Bavaria attractions quickly (if you do not want to change hotels each day),

Eagle´s Nest

Close to Königssee Lake is Eagle´s Nest.

The Kehlsteinhaus, in the area of Berchtesgaden, is known for two reasons: its great views and as a place where politicians of the NS regime met and political decisions were made.

Best mountain views in Bavaria, Germany, Kehlsteinhaus

After initially considering the destruction of the building after World War II, it was decided that it should remain. Now it has become a must-see on many itineraries.

You can either hike up or take a special bus up to learn about its history – and, of course, enjoy the view.

Kehlsteinhaus is actually closed during the winter time and only open from mid-May to mid-October.

If you do the “easy” hike (up and down), I suggest planning in a full day – with less than one week in Bavaria, I would probably skip it, but that is just my suggestion.

With these above-mentioned places, you have an amazing 7-day Bavaria itinerary. And if you have even more time to spend in Southern Germany I have the following suggestion.


Okay, this is really weird as I am talking about Southern Germany and then add Northern Austria. However, it is worth it to head to Salzburg.

  • Munich (2 days)
  • Schloss Neuschwanstein and Alpsee (1 day)
  • Zugspitze and Eibsee (1 day)
  • Würzburg or Nürnberg (1 day)
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber (1 day)
  • Königssee and Eagles´s Nest (2 days)
  • Salzburg (1,5 – 2 days)


Why did I add the Austrian city of Salzburg to this list? Well, this pretty city is very close to Eagle´s Nest, and if you stay in Berchtesgaden, then a trip to Salzburg is definitely a must (even if it isn’t located in Bavaria).View from Museum der Moderne in Salzburg the best views

I am in love with Salzburg. This gorgeous place knew how to amaze me – and all the other tourists. It takes about an hour (or even less) to get there from Bavaria. So, if you have a spare day, then Salzburg should be on your 10-day itinerary for Bavaria. 

Visit the beautiful Mirabell Garden and Palace, get to Hohensalzburg Fortress, explore the pretty old town, and much more.

To find out more about this beautiful city, check out my detailed Salzburg guide.


  • Hotel Radisson Blue Altstadt in the Old TownClick here to find out more and get the best price for this luxury hotel in the old town. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly hotel, you have to check out accommodations near the town center.
  • Ibis Budget Salzburg Airport: I stayed at the Ibis Hotel near the airport. It was good value for money (I also mostly booked it because I wanted to park my car for free). It takes more than ten minutes to the bus stop but from there, it does not take long to get to the town center. Public transportation is cheap and good. Click here for more info and the best rates.

If you plan a longer trip to Austria, read my 5-10 day Austria itinerary.


If you still have more time to explore this lovely area, head to my post about Bavaria’s most beautiful places and get some inspiration for more locations to see!

However, I am sure with this Bavaria itinerary. You are well set!

Here are a few of my favorite posts I have written for you:

Stay safe and enjoy!

Pin me For Later – Bavaria Itinerary for 3-10 Days

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3-10 days in Bavaria itinerary, Germany Arzo Travels

Safe Travels, Arzo



Places to see in Dubai


Dubai has so much to offer, and most people just do not realize that you can easily fill an itinerary for 7 days in Dubai, or even 14 days and more, with fun activities and places to see.

If you plan a trip to this exciting city, you might be wondering about a great 7-day Dubai itinerary so you can see the best it has to offer.

Some people might be surprised to hear that you can easily spend so much time in Dubai. After all, there are only skyscrapers and malls, right? Well, you will find out there is much more than that to see.

So, this 7-day itinerary for Dubai will take you to the main attractions of the city, and you will also get to see some less busy places, too. If you stay longer than one week in Dubai, this post will also give you recommendations for the best day trips to take in 7 days.

At the end of the itinerary, you´ll also find many travel tips that most likely will be useful for your trip – including information on how to get around, where to stay, and many more Dubai travel tips for 7 days in Dubai.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.


Okay, enough talking. Here are my ideas for 7 days in Dubai.


Before getting to the busiest place in the city, start with some beach time. You will have enough hustle and bustle in 7 days in Dubai – so why not start slowly? After arriving and settling in, it is time to visit La Mer.

Dubai La Mer

Spend your whole day and evening at La Mer.

If you stay 7 days in Dubai, this is a must-see place, and actually, I suggest starting your Dubai trip here. Whether you arrive in the morning, evening, or afternoon, my recommendation is to head to La Mer first. Restaurants at La Mer DubaiLa Mer has become one of the hotspots amongst locals and visitors and is located in the Jumeirah area. It is on the beach with many retail stores, stylish restaurants and cafes, the coolest bathhouses, and friendly and fun street art – and, of course, the beach!

It is a great way to get adjusted to Dubai. While you enjoy the nice views of Burj Khalifa, you can take it easy on the first day and hold off on getting into the crazy parts of Dubai. After all, you might still have a jetlag or just be tired from your flight.


  • With 7 days in Dubai, you can stay at La Mer for more than just 2-3 hours. 
  • There are free and very stylish showers, clean toilets, and you can either bring your own towels or book some sunbeds and umbrellas.
  • There are sooooo many restaurants that you will definitely find something for your tastes. 
  • A water park has opened – perfect for those who like to switch from a beach to a water park with pools.
  • Watching the sunset from here is a beautiful way to enjoy your first day in Dubai.  

La Mer is fun in the daytime, but it gets even better in the evening! So before leaving too early, make sure to end your day at La Mer and spend time even after sunset.

La Mer Beach Dubai

HOW TO GET TO LA MER: I admit, I am not the biggest fan of public transportation in Dubai. The bus connection is not great yet, but you can get there via RTA Buses 9 and 88. Taking a taxi/uber is another way to get here. If you arrive there by car, you have free underground parking. If you have a City Sightseeing hop-on and hop-off ticket, you can get off at Jumeirah Mosque and only have to walk two minutes to arrive at La Mer.

OPENING HOURS/PRICES: La Mer is open every day, all day, and there is no entrance fee. The shops are normally open between 10 am to 10, 11 or 12 pm.

Click here to read more about this fun part of Dubai.


After your first slow day in Dubai, it is time to dive into the craziest part of Dubai – Downtown Dubai. This will probably be one of the busiest places during the one week in Dubai. There are several main attractions in Downtown – so, plan a full day for this area.


Where to go in Dubai in 7 days

Dubai Mall

You can start your day in Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world with more than 1,200 fashion, food & entertainment options. Dubai Mall has its own aquarium, ice skating rink, and much more!  

Fashion Avenue at Dubai Mal

  • For the fanciest public restrooms and great photo opportunities, head to the Fashion Avenue area #IHaveaThingWithToilets. This posh place will probably overwhelm you and give you a good glimpse of the luxury in Dubai.
  • You´ll find cheaper lunch options in the food court, but you also have great restaurants that offer fine dining outside of the mall.
  • Even though Dubai Mall is big, it gets crowded. Especially on a Friday. Friday is the Sunday in the Islamic world, but shops are still open and if your second day in Dubai is a Friday, change the itinerary a bit.

HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MALL: You cannot miss Dubai Mall as it is located next to Burj Khalifa. And you cannot miss Burj Khalifa…Just because it is sooooo tall. You can get there by metro/bus. If you get off at “Dubai Mall Metro Station,” you can either take another bus that drops you off at the mall or you have to walk about one more kilometer from Dubai Mall Metro Station to get into Dubai Mall.

Dubai Mall is also a popular drop-off point for sightseeing buses.

The most convenient way to arrive at the mall is probably via taxi, though. 

OPENING HOURS DUBAI MALL / PRICES: Dubai Mall is open from 10 am to 1 am, restaurants and the food court are open to 2 am (!). There is no entrance fee for the mall itself, but you have to pay for the ice-skating rink and other activities.

Burj Khalifa

Afterward, it is time to head to Burj Khalifa. If you are not scared of heights, you can get to the “top of Burj Khalifa” and either visit level 124+125 or level 148Dubai seven days to see

  • Get your tickets in advance. If you buy tickets online, you still have to queue but it will save you some time.  The lines get crazy there, and you need to plan for the time spent waiting in line. If you do not buy tickets in advance, you might still be lucky and buy some at the ticket center.
  • If you want to get tickets for level 148 (which come with access to levels 124 and 125, too), you can skip the lines. 
  • The ticket prices depend on the time of your visit and the level of access you buy.
  • For a more romantic time, you can also book a ticket to see the sunset, or just head there around 4 pm and then stay a little longer.
  • Visiting Burj Khalifa might take several hours (2-4 hours). 
  • Before you get to the top of Burj Khalifa, take pictures of Burj Khalifa during daylight. Explore the area around the skyscraper – it looks nice especially from outside Dubai Mall, next to Dubai Fountain.

Click here to find out about the ticket prices for Burj Khalifa:

HOW TO GET TO BURJ KHALIFA: While you while seeing Burj Khalifa from everywhere, getting at the top is a bit more tricky. At least, that is how I felt. You have to go to Dubai Mall, and then you will see signs that leave you to “At the top of Burj Khalifa.” The ticket center/entrance is located in the Lower Ground Level of Dubai Mall. You cannot enter it from outside the mall as a regular guest.

OPENING HOURS/  TICKETS: “At the Top of Burj Khalifa” – opens around 10 am, and the last admission is at 9 or 10 pm (depending on the day).

Dubai Fountain

After your time at “The Top” and a lot of time indoors, it is time to get out of Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa and spend time in the fresh air. By the way, the Dubai Fountain spot is also the perfect place to end your day.

Water Fountain Show in front of Dubai Mall @shutterstock
  • From 6 pm, the famous dancing water show goes on. Each show takes a few minutes, and it happens every half hour.
  • It gets crazy there. Unless you visit in the summer, this place will be one of the busiest in Dubai.
  • If your second day is on a Friday, I recommend avoiding this place! Dubai Mall is nuts on a Friday, and it gets so crowded that it can be hard to walk – even after 9 pm.
  • The water dance is fun to watch and is free.
  • You can also book an abra ride and enjoy the water show without all the crowds.
  • There are some nice restaurants with a view of the fountain, like the Mediterraneo of Armani Hotel, but make sure you reserve a table beforehand.

WATER FOUNTAIN SHOW SCHEDULE / PRICES: Evening shows 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM every 30 minutes

HOW TO GET TO DUBAI FOUNTAIN: There is a metro station (Dubai Mall station), and many buses go there. You could reach the fountain even without entering Dubai Mall (e.g., coming from Dubai Opera), but if you are at Dubai Mall, you will see signs that lead you to the fountain as well.


The third day is all about “traditional” Dubai and some more amazing views. Today it is about:

  • Dubai Frame
  • Zabeel Park
  • Gold and Spice Souk
  • Al Seef

Dubai Frame

You could start your day with a visit to one of the newer attractions: Dubai Frame. It is located in Zabeel Park, one of the biggest and lushest parks in Dubai. The Frame Dubai and more places to visit
Views from Dubai Frame  

  • There are some cool views of Burj Khalifa, and you can walk on see-through glass 100 meters from the ground. 
  • You can buy your ticket right at the ticket counter there or book a guided tour in advance.
  • If you get up there and take a walk, you will probably need one hour.
  • I recommend starting here around 9:30 or 10 am when the crowds are not there yet.

HOW TO GET TO THE FRAME: By metro: get out at the Al Jafiliya metro stop and then take a bus or walk for the last 2-3 km.

OPENING HOURS / PRICES: Open every day from 9:00 am to 09:00 pm. Tickets are around 12€ for adults.

Zabeel Park

If you need to rest, you could chill at Zabeel Park. The park is very neat, clean, and lush, and if you are visiting with kids, they will love this break, as there are some playgrounds. It is also not crowded and thus a perfect place after the craziness of Dubai Downtown.

HOW TO GET TO ZABEEL PARK: There are several entrances. If you come from Dubai Frame, you will see an entrance close by and can just walk.

OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: From Sunday to Wednesday from 8 am to 10 pm, from Thursdays to Saturdays and public holidays from 8 am to 11 pm, during Ramadan from noon to 11 pm. Ticket prices are about 1,20€ (payment via RTA-issued Nol Card), kids under the age of 2 do not have to pay.

Dubai Gold and Spice Souks

Afterward, jump into a taxi/bus and get to the Gold Souk of Dubai. What to do in Dubai in 1 dayThe Gold and Spice Souks are fun places to visit. If you are looking for places with a more authentic touch, you will especially love it here (though the shop owners are mostly from other Asian countries). 

Where to buy cheap things in Dubai

  • Souvenirs and Arabian clothes (and gold and spices) are much cheaper than in any other part of Dubai, so if you are hunting for souvenirs, make sure you do not buy them in one of the expensive malls. 
  • From there, you can take a ride on a dhow, which is a traditional wooden boat. For less than 15€, you can go on a 1-hour cruise.
  • You can also hop on abraswater taxis that cost only about 0,25€ for a short cruise.
  • The Gold and Spice Souks are quite intense places – especially for female solo travelers. Staring and cat-calling are common. I suggest dressing moderately.
  • However, even after all, I always felt safe and did not worry. It is just loud and hectic at times but not a place I would love strolling after sunset on my own.

HOW TO GET TO THE GOLD/SPICE SOUK: From Zabeel Park – ADCB Metro Station 1-  you have to catch a metro and get to Burjuman, then change metro lines and get to Al Ras, and then you just have to walk for a few minutes.

You can also take a taxi/Uber or use the hop-on and hop-off sightseeing buses, which drop you off at the souks.

OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: It is free to visit the souks and you could visit at any time. However, most shops are open every day from around 9:30-10 am to 9:30 pm. On Fridays, the shops open after 4 pm and are open until around 9:30 pm.

EXTRA TIP: DUBAI MUSEUM If you want to learn more about Dubai and its history, I recommend visiting Dubai Museum.

  • It is an interesting but often crowded museum in Deira that illustrates Dubai’s history in an engaging way.
  • Entrance fees are just about 1€, and it is probably the best museum in Dubai.
  • From the souks, it is just an abra ride away.

Dubai Al Seef

To end the day, I recommend visiting Al Seef. Al Seef is a lovely new area with many restaurants. Some are in a new modern style and others in the traditional Arabic style (though the buildings are all new). 

Al Seef What to do and see in Dubai in 10 days

  • You will have plenty of options for dining, with nice views of Dubai Creek.
  • Also, there are all kinds of restaurants – from Arabic cuisine to Mediterranean or Asian food. Also, there are some quite fancy restaurants as well as more budget-friendly places to eat.
  • Also, there is a Museum of Illusions, some street art, you can do some boat cruises and more.

HOW TO GET TO AL SEEF: From the Gold/Spice Souk, take the abra (water taxi) to get to the other side of Dubai Creek. Then you can walk for 10-15 minutes, and you are in Al Seef.

OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: There is no entrance fee for Al Seef itself. It is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Thursday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight.


Day 3 was all about traditional Dubai, so day 4 will focus on Dubai’s new, modern side.

Spend Your Day and Evening in the Jumeirah Area.

  • Wild Wadi Waterpark
  • Jumeirah Beach / Kite Beach
  • Madinat Jumeirah

Wild Wadi Water Park

If you are into waterparks, you can/should head to Wild Wadi Waterpark, where you will find some cool slides and fun water activities. Wild Wali park with kids in Dubai

  • The water park belongs to the Jumeirah Group. As a guest of any Jumeirah hotel in Dubai, you will have free access (which actually was a reason for me to book a night at a Jumeirah hotel once).
  • Ticket prices start from around 25€ for adults. 
  • It would be easy to spend a full day there.
  • You will have great views of the Burj al-Arab from the waterpark, one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai. 
  • The food there is overpriced and not that great – so bring your own snacks.
  •  You can read my full review here.

HOW TO GET TO WILD WADI WATERPARK: It is just right next to Burj al-Arab’s entrance (which is not open to the public, though). There is no metro station close by. The closest metro station is the “Mall of Emirates” – from there, take a taxi or bus to get there. Some buses stop close by (e.g., bus line 81).

OPENING HOURS: Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays. 

Kite Beach

If you are looking for a cheaper option to spend time in the water, go to Kite Beach – a beach with nice views of Burj al Arab, where you can cool off there.  Why is Dubai better

  • The beaches in Dubai are, in general, not very crowded (not to our European standard).
  • The beaches are clean and safe.
  • Always keep an eye on your valuables, but in general, I did not feel I have to watch my belongings like a paranoid (that I am sometimes).
  • I am not a person who spends endless hours at the beach, but water rats can have a fun day here without breaking the bank.
  • You can do all kinds of watersports – and rent equipment at the beach. 
  • Bring your own food and towels with you.

OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: The beach is open from Sunday to Wednesday, from 10 am to 12 midnight, and on Thursday to Saturday: 10 am to 1 am. Shops and entertainment are normally open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (restaurants might be open longer).  There is no entrance fee for the beach.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah

In the afternoon/evening, I recommend visiting Madinat Jumeirah. What to do in Dubai on a layover

Madinat Jumeirah is so pretty and picturesque – you should plan for a few hours (if you dine there) to check out the area. 

  • It has its own souk and many restaurants and cafes with a view of Burj al Arab.
  • You could also do an abra ride here (though they are way more expensive than in Dubai Deira, the Gold and Spice Souk area) and just get lost for a few hours.
  • It is not far from the public part of Jumeirah Beach (and just a stone’s throw from Wild Wadi), and though the area is not huge, it is the perfect place to end your day.
  • It is free to visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

HOW TO GET TO MADINAT JUMEIRAH: From Kite Beach to Madinat Jumeirah, you can take a bus. From Wild Wadi, it is shorter, and you could walk (about 2km) or take a bus. Sightseeing buses also stop here.

OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: Shops are open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, and restaurants are open from 08:00 am to 02:00 am. There is no entrance fee to visit Madinat Jumeirah.


Now, it is time to leave Dubai for a day and plan a day trip to Abu Dhabi (you can also stay overnight in Abu Dhabi).

  • Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates is definitely a beautiful place and worth more than a one-day trip. Still, since Dubai also has a lot to offer, one day should be enough to see the most important places in Abu Dhabi.Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi Emirates

  • It takes about 1-2 hours to get to Abu Dhabi from Dubai.
  • You can do guided tours, rent a car and drive yourself, get there by taxi, or – quite complicated – by public transportation.
  • The beautiful Grand Zayed Mosque is reason enough to visit Abu Dhabi, but there is more to see.
  • You can read more about a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi here and which sights you should visit. 
  • While Dubai is fun and all that, Abu Dhabi is special. I enjoy Dubai more, but my sister, whom I recently took on a Dubai trip with me, liked Abu Dhabi better.
  • If you are in the UAE for 14 days, I would stay in Abu Dhabi for three days.
  • If you want to do a guided tour, book one of the best-rated day trip tours from Dubai. Click here to find out about prices for a day trip.


If you stay one week in Dubai, you have to do a desert tour. 

  • Dubai Desert

Dubai Desert Safari

A desert safari is a must! Spending half a day in the desert, going on an adventurous 4×4 wheel drive, dining under the stars, and stargazing is like a dream coming true in the desert. What to do in 7 days in Dubai Every time I did a desert adventure (and I did a few), it became a highlight of my Dubai trip. These memories will last a lifetime.

  • There are several tours available – all fun and a bit different.
  • I recommend doing one with a BBQ (btw: as a vegetarian, I was pleased to find out that there were enough vegetarian options).
  • Normally, the tours – whether you do them in the morning or afternoon – take about 6-10 hours.
  • Most of the tours will include pick-up service from your hotel.
  • Click here to find the best prices for a desert safari tour


If you have one week in Dubai, this will be one great option to spend your day.

  • JBR Walk (The Beach)
  • Dubai Marina

JBR Walk – The Beach 

If you would like to have a beach day, head to JBR Walk and “The Beach.” But there is more than just a beach – it is an experience! Places to see in Dubai in 7 days This area is popular during the day (and in the evenings, too), with many activities you can do. It is a fun place for kids and adults alike, so it’s probably a nice way to soak in some Vitamin D before heading back home. 

  • There is no entrance fee for JBR – The Walk.
  • You have free beach access here.
  • Ride the “Flying Cup,” where you have a great bird’s-eye view of the beach and JBR Walk. With your Citysightseeing bus tour ticket, you also have a ticket included for Flying Cups – to enjoy great views of the beach and skyline. If you buy tickets separately, they cost about 15 € (adults).
  • You can rent equipment for all kinds of water sports.
  • It is also great to have good food – there are so many restaurants and cafes that you will be happy to have a wonderful lunch in a lovely place.

HOW TO GET TO JBR: Take the metro – JLT Metro Station or Dubai Marina Metro Station are the closest metro stations. From there, either walk or take the tram to get to JBR.

OPENING HOURS / PRICES: It is open 24/7, but shops and restaurants normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants usually close later. 

Dubai Marina

I actually recommend heading to Dubai Marina for the afternoon/evening. It is one of the best places to visit in Dubai and should be on any Dubai itinerary.

This area is full of skyscrapers and one of the best places to take in the awe-inspiring progress Dubai has made in the last few decades. Dubai accommodation in Dubai Marina IC Dubai MarinaMost of the crazy skyscrapers are along the few kilometers stretch of Dubai Marina, and this is one of the best places to end your Dubai trip.

  • There is no entrance fee for Dubai Marina.
  • Stroll along Dubai Marina and keep looking up to enjoy the grandiose views.
  • Let your kids rent go-kart bicycles.
  • You can eat in one of the numerous restaurants there.  Pier 7 has a handful of good restaurants that offer some of the best views of Dubai Marina.
  • For cheaper options, look for restaurants on the side streets or buy something from one of the supermarkets and sit on the bench, enjoying the illuminated buildings.
  • For a special dinner location, you can book a dhow dinner. You can do a few boat tours that you can check out:
  • Find out about prices for a speedboat tour in Marina
  • Find the best prices for a Marina sunset cruise, including dinner
  • The truth is, I love this area and think it is a great place to end a Dubai trip!

HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MARINA: Take the metro – Dubai Marina Metro Station is the closest metro station. 

OPENING HOURS / PRICES: It is open 24/7, but shops and restaurants normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants normally close later. 


If you have more than one week in Dubai, I suggest visiting above mentioned places, and then here are a few more suggestions for the next few days.

Dubai Miracle Garden

Miracle Garden is quite Instafamous – the flower park located a bit further from the other popular tourist attractions. Arzo Travels Miracle Garden Dubai

You will see flowers – a lot of flowers, designed and decorated in a lot of interesting shapes and designs. It is Dubai, so of course, it is the biggest flower park in the world.

  • The tickets are about 12€.
  • Seeing all pieces should take about two hours.
  • However, it is only open in the winter months.
  • Check out their website for more info.

Global Village

Afterward, you could head to Global Village. You have a theme park with roller coasters and displays from many different countries in the world.

  • The tickets are about 5€.
  • Riding the roller coasters cost extra, but depending on how many rides you take, it is still a cheaper option than a theme park.

It is a fun place to visit for a day – especially in combination with Miracle Garden, as they are close to each other.

Dubai City Walk 

Though I have not specifically mentioned it on your 7-day Dubai itinerary, I also strongly suggest visiting City Walk. This newly created area is perfect for strolls and shopping, but you will also find some murals and interesting details here. City Walk in Dubai with Arzo Travels-4

  • City Walk is also a great place for families because of many child-friendly activities.
  • It is also good for adults to visit the shops, restaurants, and murals.
  • I enjoy it in the evening more (but that goes for almost all places in Dubai).
  • In general, City Walks is a bit less crowded than other places.


Sharjah is the smallest emirate and located right next to Dubai. And while Sharjah is so close to Dubai, it is totally different. Sharjah Places to visit - Palm OasisYes, you have a few skyscrapers, but Sharjah is much quieter, more relaxed, and very green.

  • It takes about 15 minutes by taxi to Sharjah from the eastern part of Dubai.
  • Sharjah is way more conservative than Dubai in terms of dress codes.
  • You are not allowed to drink alcohol.
  • I still loved it and recommend it as a day trip from Dubai.
  • Check out my more detailed guide about Sharjah


So far, I have only made it to Oman for one day – visiting the Musandam Peninsula as a day trip from Dubai. And to be very honest, I have mixed feelings about it. Dubai in 7 days -14 days

  • Somehow I totally enjoyed it – getting my very first glimpse of Oman was great. 
  • However, the water was not really clean. It was full of oil. Maybe there was an accident, or maybe the water is just dirty.
  • It can take quite some time to arrive in Oman (it will still take about 2 or 3 hours – one way)
  • So, if you are in Dubai for one week or a bit longer, you should book a day trip to Musandam. However, keep in mind that everything can get delayed, and you might arrive at the hotel quite late. So plan some relaxing activities for the day after, and do NOT book this activity on the day of your departure.
  • Check out my detailed post with more information.
  • Check out the guided tour that I took for a day trip to Dubai.

Theme Parks

Dubai is home to some fun theme parks, however, I haven’t visited any theme parks in Dubai. Since I know how popular they are, I have added them as suggestions:

Dubai Helicopter Ride

If you are into something more adventurous, why not take a helicopter ride? It is a perfect activity for those who would like to see Dubai – once again – from above, so add this to your itinerary. Arzo Travels Buy online tickets for helicopter tour

  • This is definitely an amazing way to get great views of Dubai. Seeing Burj Khalifa, the Palm, Burj al Arab, etc., is something you will probably always cherish.
  • I admit I did the shortest ride because prices aren’t low, but it was worth it, and I wish I had done a longer helicopter flight.
  • If you would like to read my review of my helicopter tour, click here.
  • Click here to find out about the prices for a helicopter ride in Dubai.

Dubai Dinner in the Sky

For a unique dinner, you can book a “Dinner in the Sky” experience – a very unique and fun way to enjoy dinner 50 meters up in the air. Dinner in the Sky Dubai with Arzo Travels

  • Dinner in the Sky – Dubai is located at the end of Dubai Marina (or the beginning?), so it would be best to schedule it when you are at the Marina if you plan to do it. 
  • It is not for the faint-hearted but after a few minutes in the sky, your feet hanging around, you will get used to it and can have a quiet relaxing lunch/afternoon tea/dinner.
  • Read my full review here or check out prices for the Dinner in the Sky experience.

So, what do you think? Does this sound like a boring week in Dubai?


I think this Dubai one-week itinerary is very diverse, and you´ll get to see so many different sides of Dubai that you will not have time to get bored. On the other hand, you also get some rest and have some time to chill and enjoy Dubai more slowly. 

So, here are some tips for your 7 days in Dubai itinerary.

One Week in Dubai – How to Get to Dubai 

  • Dubai has two airports: Al Makhtoum International and Dubai International Airport. Most likely, you will fly into Dubai International Airport (DXB International). From there, it takes about 10-15 minutes (taxi) to get to the old town of Dubai and about 20 minutes to get to Burj Khalifa. Don’t be surprised to be stuck in traffic even at night – Dubai is always busy.
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the second biggest airport in the United Arab Emirates. It is about an hour’s drive to Dubai (about 50-60€ taxi fare).

How to Get Around in 7 Days in Dubai

  • Rent a CarIf you are in Dubai for one week, you could actually rent a car. But you should know that driving there, from my perspective, is a bit crazy. You should have nerves of steel if you decide to drive, particularly around Downtown Dubai. 
  • Public Transportation: I recommend getting a NOL card for public transportation. There is a one-time fee for it, but you can then recharge it; public transpiration fees are cheaper this way than if you buy single tickets each time. Plus, it is valid for several years so that you can use it for your next Dubai trip. A ticket costs a bit more than 1€ with the NOL card (about 1.6€ without).
  • However, when it comes to public transportation, I am a bit skeptical because a) the metro stations do not have enough stops, so each stop is rather far from the last, and b) the buses are not always well connected for us travelers, so it is not easy to get from one popular station to another.
  • I mostly take the metro for long distances (especially downtown, where there is a lot of traffic and getting around by cab can mean that you are stuck in a taxi forever) and then jump into a taxi for the shorter rides, if there is no direct connection.
  • Sightseeing Buses: Hop-on and hop-off buses are a great way to get from one popular tourist attraction to another – at least for some places (the ones I tested). They will not stop at each stop, but at most attractions, and so I only used them as a means of transportation once in a while, as I had a 7-day pass.  The pass also includes a few cool attractions, so it saves money in addition to getting you from Point A to Point B – e.g., the Flying Cup, which I will talk about later (and I even did two boat cruises that were included).
  • During one of my other stays, I bought a five-day ticket from the other tour company – both have similar services and stops.
  • Uber is available in Dubai. Prices are similar (it is not cheaper), and since we can trust taxi drivers in Dubai, I do not see a real reason to use Uber.
  • Using a taxi in Dubai is great. There is no haggling. The taximeter shows the price, driven kilometers, and more. It is absolutely safe. There are also a few pinkish taxis – for female passengers, but the regular ones are just fine. Drivers know famous attractions and main streets, but not necessarily smaller hotels or streets – so, if you stay at a place less known, have an app to show him the address/way or take screenshots of Google maps, etc. There are the regular taxis (which a yellowish color and taxi is written on them), but there are also the black Lexus taxis, which are more expensive.

Money and Credit Cards

  • The local currency is the United Arab Emirates dirham. Though I always mentioned € in my post, you actually pay in dirham. You can also pay in $ – but normally, it gets more expensive. I recommend exchanging some money and have dirhams with you.
  • Most places also accept credit cards – I would not rely on it though. Smaller shops might refuse credit card payments. If you pay with your credit card, you might get asked, whether you want to pay in dirham or your currency. I always choose the local currency (dirham in this case), because I get the better exchange rates if “my bank at home” does it.  


The official language is Arabic but people speak English throughout Dubai and the UAE. Most people, living in Dubai, are actually expats from all around the world and do not even speak Arabic themselves.

In restaurants and shops, you can definitely get around with speaking English only. With taxi drivers, I had some really long converstaions in English while some only spoke a few words.

If you speak English, you will be fine. Two of the most important words in Arabic are probably:

  • Salam OR marḥaba – hallo
  • Shukran – thank you

Accommodations for 7 Days in Dubai

Accommodations in Dubai are not cheap, but the standard is quite high. Many 5-star hotels are mind-blowing, but 4- or 3-star hotels in Dubai are fine.

If you are looking for my personal recommendations for all budgets and areas, click here. There you will also find my tips for the best neighborhoods to stay in Dubai.


I have visited Dubai numerous times. I have spent many weeks in Dubai – I have not gotten bored yet. One week in Dubai will pass quickly. I wish you a wonderful time in the city, and I hope that your 7 days in Dubai will be amazing! 

Read more:

Safe Travels, Arzo


Create An Epic 3-Day Chicago Itinerary

Best things to do in Chicago in 3 days, itinerary


If you are looking for the best things to do in 3 days in Chicago, where to go & what to see, this 3-day Chicago itinerary will help. Here you will get all the tips you will need for an epic trip to Chicago.

Chicago – one of the US’s largest cities – is full of interesting architecture and art, skyscrapers, parks, and even beaches. This city is a great place to visit for families, couples, and solo travelers who want to see what the “Windy City” offers.

Though it might not be as famous as New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, it surely is one of the most exciting cities in the US, with many beautiful places to visit and things to do.

The post was written by Rebecca

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.


But first, here are some travel tips for your 3-day trip to Chicago to make your stay smoother.

How to Get to Chicago 

  • If you fly into Chicago, you will most likely come in via O’Hare International Airport, the busiest and third largest airport in the US. You might also come to Chicago Midway International Airport.
  • Once you arrive at the airport, you can either take a taxi or Uber to your hotel (costs about $30-40) or take the Blue Line.
  • The Blue Line ‘L’ Train leaves out of Terminals 1, 2, and 3 (follow the signs) and will take you from the airport to downtown in about 45 minutes. It costs about $5 ($2.50 if you are coming from Midway Airport). 
  • If you are driving, you can take Interstate 90 whether you are coming from the south or north.

Weather in Chicago

  • Chicago has nice summers but cold winters.
  • Summer temperatures are between 70ºF and 82ºF, while winter temperatures are between 22ºF and 32ºF.
  • The rainy season runs from June to August, and you will see the most snow in February.
  • Summer is the best time to visit for outdoor activities, like beaches, rooftop bars, etc., but keep in mind the humidity is about 70% so it will probably feel a bit sticky. 
  • It is also one of the great spring and fall destinations to visit in the US.

What to Pack for a Your 3-Day Chicago Itinerary

  • Chicago weather is a little erratic, so the best way to dress is in layers.
  • This is also called the Windy City because the wind off Lake Michigan is common. 
  • Make sure you pack a jacket with your shorts and t-shirts for a summer trip because storms can come in quickly and drop the temps dramatically. 
  • For winter, pack a warm jacket, gloves, scarves, and boots. You might want to bring thermals to keep you warm under your clothes.
  • And always bring comfortable walking shoes because you will probably do a lot of that here.

Where to Stay for 3 Days in Chicago 

Here are some places that are good options for your 3-day stay in Chicago.

  • For a luxury option, try The Peninsula Chicago Hotel, which provides great amenities, comfort, and location. Check out rates here.
  • For a mid-range option, I would suggest the Kinzie Hotel. It’s close to the Magnificent Mile (which is Chicago’s premier commercial district) and offers a continental breakfast. Here you can find the rates.
  • For budget accommodation, check out the Gateway Inn located in the Loop. It has nice clean rooms and isn’t far from some popular landmarks. Check out room rates here.

3 Days in Chicago – How to Get Around


  • The best way to get around Chicago is to use public transportation.
  • The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses and trains are fast, cheap, and reliable. The trains are called the “L” because some of them are elevated (although some are underground, too). 
  • Download the Transit app. If you’re using public transportation, this is an easy way to track routes and timetables for trains and buses. It even tells you when your stop is approaching so you don’t miss it.
  • There’s also a free trolley that runs about every 30-45 minutes, but it can get pretty crowded, and you may have to wait for one that is empty enough for you to get on.
  • Even when using public transportation, you might still experience some delays, so keep that in mind as you plan your days.
  • Get a CTA pass. If you plan to spend 3 days in Chicago and see multiple landmarks and take public transportation throughout the city, you will save yourself time and money by getting the pass. A 3-day pass costs $20 for unlimited rides over 72 hours.


  • If you decide to rent a car, keep in mind that parking is expensive and hard to come by.
  • Traffic is pretty bad here, so make sure that you give yourself enough time to get places. 


  • If you want to get around via sightseeing buses in Chicago, check out this option.
  • In general, these sightseeing bus tours are a great way to experience a city in a short amount of time.
  • You can hop off at many stations and explore it on your own path and then continue your bus ride.
Chicago city downtown urban skyline

More Travel Tips For Your 3-Day Chicago

  • Chicago is set up in a grid, which makes it easier to navigate than other cities. State Street and Madison Street meet in the Loop center in the middle of the grid, and street numbers fan out from there, going north/south and east/west. Keep this in mind when you are trying to figure out your routes. Also, every 8 blocks equal about a mile.
  • Tipping is a normal practice in Chicago, as in any American city, but a little higher than most. The standard is 20% of the bill. If you are getting drinks, then leave $1 per drink.
  • If you are going to smaller venues or street festivals, make sure you’ve got the cash. Not all of them take credit cards, so cash is necessary at these places.
  • Being a large metropolitan city means higher security. Expect to get your bags searched at larger venues, and sometimes large bags are not permitted at all. Check the website of the places, to avoid being turned away at the door if they don’t have lockers for you to use. Or travel light when you’re sightseeing.
  • Chicago, like any city, has its good and bad neighborhoods. Use caution or avoid the sketchier areas and always keep an eye on your belongings. This is a safe city when you use common sense.


Let´s get started with your 3-day Chicago itinerary.


For our first day in Chicago, we will start with a bus tour. But not just any bus tour… 

The Untouchables Tour

The Untouchables tour celebrates Chicago’s infamous gangster past, and I highly suggest adding this tour to your Chicago itinerary.

This exciting 2-hour tour covers all the famed locations and gives an account of Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s, including well-known mobsters like Al Capone. Check out tours here.

  • When the tour is over, head over to Chicago Riverwalk to stretch your legs and take in the sights.
  • It should take about 10 minutes by train.

Chicago Riverwalk

Located along the Chicago River, you can kayak here in the warmer months or take a bike ride.

Northern Chicago River Riverwalk on North Branch Chicago River in Chicago, Illinois

There are also plenty of restaurants, benches for relaxing, and museums, like the Chicago River Museum. This is a good spot to stop for lunch or even enjoy a picnic if you get your food to go, and it is a must-see place which should be on any Chicago itinerary.

  • Plan in about 2 hours for this spot before heading to the next destination.
  • This is about a 15-minute train ride north.

875 North Michigan Avenue / 360 Chicago Observation Deck

Located in the city center in the touristy Magnificent Mile, 875 North Michigan Avenue is the address of a supertall skyscraper that offers amazing views over Chicago.

City skyline from 360 Chicago observation deck. is one of the best things to see in 3 days

At 1,128 feet tall and 100 stories, this building’s upper floors put you in a unique perspective. Head up to the 94th floor for the 360 Chicago Observation Deck to enjoy the panoramic scenery.

You’ll be able to see many of the city’s neighborhoods, as well as Lake Michigan. If you feel like a thrill, then try Tilt – a moving platform that literally tilts you out over the street from the 94th floor! For the less adventurous, there is a very nice bar and café that you can stop at.

  • This will take about an hour or so.
  • Let´s continue with this Chicago itinerary – take the train over to Navy Pier (about 15 minutes) or walk there (about 20 minutes). 

Navy Pier

This 3,300-foot-long Navy Pier juts out onto Lake Michigan and provides many entertaining options for the last stop of your day. 

Navy Pier and skyline is a must on any 3-day Chicago itinerary

You may want to stop at the Chicago Children’s Museum for some kid-centered fun if you have kids. Or, if you feel like some exercise, rent a bike and explore on two wheels. 

Another fun thing to do is take a lake cruise – there are an architecture cruise and a classic lake tour that you can choose from. There are also dinner cruises if you prefer. Most last about 2 hours.

The Centennial Wheel is another must-stop on any 3-day Chicago itinerary. If you haven’t gotten your fill of rides and views, then try this 200-foot Ferris wheel that offers 360-degree views. Each ride lasts about 12-15 minutes.

End the night with dinner on the pier at one of its many lakeside restaurants, some even with rooftop decks (perfect for a warm summer’s night).

  • Navy Pier should take about 3-4 hours, depending on what you choose to do.
  • Then, head back to the hotel for a busy Day 2.


Today, we are going to be doing a bit more city-wide traveling. But let’s start this Chicago itinerary for day 2 at one of the nicest parks in the city. So, head there after breakfast.

Millennial Park

Located in downtown Chicago, Millennial Park is full of things to do.

Crown Fountain in Millennial Park top place to see in 3 days
The Bean is a must for any Chicago itinerary
Pic: f11photo /

In the morning, I advise stopping at Lurie Garden for a bit of nature amid the urban environment. This garden is actually 2.5 acres, so there’s plenty to experience with its assortment of plants and flowers. 

This park also sports some interesting sculptures, like “the Bean,” a rock climbing wall, an open-air pavilion where you can catch live shows in good weather, and restaurants. This is a lot of fun for families, couples, and/or solo travelers who want to spend some time enjoying the outdoors in the middle of a metropolis.

  • While you could easily spend all day here, I would suggest keeping it to 3 hours so that you can see some more great attractions during your 3 days in Chicago.
  • Grab the train from the park to Buckingham Fountain (about 10 minutes away).

Buckingham Fountain

The beautiful Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest in the world. It was built in 1927 and inspired by one at the Palace of Versailles.

Buckingham fountain and Chicago itinerary

The wedding cake tiers of cascading water are beautiful and will make a great souvenir photo to bring home (or post on Instagram). 

  • Located in Grant Park, you can enjoy a stroll and relax in the sunshine for an hour before moving on to the next stop.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago is just a five-minute walk across Grant Park.

The Art Institute of Chicago

If you enjoy art, then take an hour or two to explore the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the country’s largest and oldest art museums.

Art Institute of Chicago on a 3-day itinerary for Chicago

Popular among visitors and locals, there are lots of exhibits to look over. And if you are visiting in the winter, this will be a beautiful place to warm up from the snowy chill.

  • But if you are not a huge art lover, then you can skip this stop (and the $25 ticket fee) and head to our next Chicago landmark.
  • The train ride should only take about 10 minutes (15 if you walk).

Skydeck Chicago

The building was originally called the Sears Tower but is now Willis Towers.

Willis Tower Skydeck fun activity in 3 days

And up on the 103rd floor, you will find an amazing observation deck. As high up as it is, and with a 360-degree view, you can actually see four different states from this vantage point. 

If you happen to wait until later in the afternoon, you will be rewarded with a really spectacular sunset from here. 

  • Depending on lines (you can get a Fast Pass if you want to skip them), you will probably be here a little over an hour.
  • Then, grab the train for a half-hour trek north of the downtown area.
  • Check out ticket prices for the Skydeck here.

North Avenue Beach

If you are visiting in the summer, this is a great place to stop. Favored by Chicagoans, you can enjoy some sand and sun, maybe even a swim or some water sports, during your afternoon here. 

Chicago downtown skyline

This is also a great place to grab a bite to eat, with casual eateries along the beach. There are stores if you want to do a little souvenir shopping while you’re here, too.

  • Plan for about 2 hours at this spot. Then, let’s head to a Chicago historical landmark that’s also a lot of fun.
  • The train will get you there in about half an hour.

Wrigley Field

There’s nothing more American than baseball, and Chicago takes their baseball seriously.

Wrigley Field in Chicago a must see place

Wrigley Field was built in 1914 and is home to the Chicago Cubs. Restaurants, bars, and stores surround the field, so there’s something for even those who aren’t baseball fans. 

If you are curious about what a Major League park looks like on the inside, you can take a 60-90-minute guided tour and check out the dugouts where the players hang out the bleachers and more. This is a fun visit for adults and children alike.

  • This whole stop takes less than 2 hours.
  • Now, we are onto our last stop of the night, but only for the adults (sorry, kids). Take the train about 10 minutes north.

Green Mill

This lounge plays jazz and blues into the late night and is the perfect way to cap off your night.

The ambiance will remind you of the 1930s and 1940s, and you’ll love the energy here. Fair warning, though, there is a cover charge, and the bar only takes cash. So, plan and visit an ATM before stopping here for your nightcap.


For the last day of this 3-day itinerary in Chicago, we will start with a tour.

Chicago Trolley Tour

While we have definitely touched on many of Chicago’s best landmarks, it would be impossible to do it all in 3 days with a city this size.

Chicago Trolley at Chicago downtown best tips for 3 days

But the Chicago Trolley tour is a great way to see a few more spots before you leave town. 

This hop-on hop-off trolley will take you throughout different city areas, from the Magnificent Mile to the Chicago Theater to the Water Tower. And if you are visiting during the holidays, there are also holiday light tours, which are a lot of fun at night.

  • Depending on how much you hop off, this tour takes about 2 hours.
  • When you’re done, we have a few more stops of our own. 

Lakefront Trail

After sitting on the trolley, you may welcome the chance to walk, bike, or jog down this beautiful coastal pathway. It’s a trendy spot for enjoying the water and fresh air, as well as some outdoor activities, and so I think it should be on your 3-day Chicago itinerary.

Michigan Lakefront Trail in Chicago city, Illinois, USA

You’ll pass a lot of the city’s landmarks as you stroll along the path, but probably not all of it since it’s 19 miles long, and it is your last day!

  • Enjoy the views for an hour. 
  • And then let’s head to our next destination.

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is perfect for the space lover in you. The oldest one in the world, you can see exhibits and projections of the stars in a dome-shaped night sky.

Adler Planetarium in Chicago what to do in Chicago in 3 days
  • You will probably spend about 2 hours here.
  • Our next stop is 30 minutes away by train.

The Garden of the Phoenix

This Japanese-style garden – the Garden of the Phoenix – is located on Jackson Park’s Wooded Island.


It’s a lovely place to slow down after a busy morning and afternoon seeing the sights of this bustling city. If you visit in May, you are in for a treat as the cherry blossom trees will be in bloom by then. The waterfall and footbridges are also favorite things to see.

  • You may spend an hour or two here.
  • When you are ready, let’s head to the last location of this itinerary. The train ride should take about 20 minutes.

Promontory Point

This is our last stop on your Chicago itinerary. Plan to arrive in time to watch the sunset from Promontory Point Park.

I’d suggest getting dinner to go and picnicking here, where you can enjoy the city skyline as it reflects the setting sun and the changing colors of the sky.

Located in Burnham Park, it is a man-made peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. You’ll get great views of the city and the lake from here. This is a perfect spot to say goodbye to Chicago.


I hope this 3-day Chicago itinerary will help you plan your own trip to Windy City. If you were wondering what to do in 3 days, this list should help you find the best places to visit whether as a solo traveler, a family, a couple, or with friends.

Chicago surely is one of the best places to visit in the US and always worth a trip.

About the Author:

This post was written by Rebecca, who runs her own blog at The Journey at Home – where she writes about her life as a mother of 5 with everything that comes along with it. She lived in New York for a long time before she moved to Las Vegas. She also works as a freelancer for Arzo Travels.

Safe Travels, Arzo


Categories USA

Best Things to do in Lugano in 2 Days +

Things to do in Lugano, Switzerland Arzo Travels


Lugano is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland – the beautiful, lively, and fun city is the perfect place to visit for a few days. Whether you are an outdoors lover, art enthusiast, or just enjoy the city life, Lugano has something for everyone.


And if you are now wondering about the best things to do in Lugano – its best attractions – and are looking for more travel tips, this Lugano itinerary is for you. I tried to create an itinerary and cluster the activities that you can combine easily. However, you do not have to follow/use it as a 2-day itinerary (or longer), and can just get some inspiration for what to do in Lugano.

Lugano Facts

Lugano is the biggest city in Ticino (with about 67,000 inhabitants) and Switzerland’s third largest financial center (which also means it is quite expensive).

However, Lugano actually feels rather small (not comparable to Zurich or Geneva). 

Visiting Lugano feels like you are visiting a beautiful town in Italy, with many buildings done in the Lombardy style. But no, I have to remind myself that I am in Switzerland – the abundance of Swiss flags everywhere definitely helps.

Lugano’s history dates back to the 10th century and was the object of ongoing ducal disputes (Como and Milan) until it became a Swiss dominion in 1513. It became part of the Swiss Confederation in the 18th century.

Lugano is located about 273 meters above sea level – Lake Lugano sits a few meters below it.

Parco Ciani in Lugano is a must-see

Best Time to Visit Lugano

Lugano, and Ticino in general, can be visited at any time of the year. Due to its southern location, you have milder temperatures in fall, winter, and spring compared to the rest of Switzerland. So, there is theoretically no bad time to visit. However, we can never 100% rely on the weather in Switzerland. Also, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip.

  • While it gets colder in the winter months, it usually does not snow at low altitudes, and you can explore Ticino off-season. However, it also means it might be too chilly to spend long hours at the promenade or spend a day at the beach (or the lake, in this case). In the winter months, hiking is also impossible if you are not equipped with special winter hiking gear.
  • I have one rule for Europe: Avoid the summer months of July and August.
  • If possible, visit in May/June or September and early October because it will be, as far as we can rely on the climate these days, still warm yet not hot, and hotel prices should drop in expensive Switzerland. Since I am a teacher and am stuck to my school holidays, I envy the people who can visit in the shoulder season and do not have to visit in the hot summer months.
  • Even though many Swiss visitors come in these off-season months, it is still less crowded than in the busy summer months, when it can also get quite hot.

Which Language is Spoken in Lugano

In Switzerland, there are four official languages.

  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Romansh (a minority language)

In Ticino – and thus Lugano – Italian is the main language. Many people also speak German, and in the tourism sector, basic English is widely spoken.

Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano – a glacier lake – lies in southern Switzerland and Northern Italy. Most of the lake (63%) is located in Switzerland though. It lies about 271 meters above sea level. Locals often refer to the lakes as “Lake Ceresio.” 

Fun Fact: Once upon a time, it was connected to Lake Como. 

Views along Olive Grove Trail

And while Lake Lugano looks absolutely clean and clear, it was once one of the most polluted lakes in Switzerland. People were forbidden to swim in the lake in the 1960s and 1970s.

It has gotten much better now, but it remains unclear whether it will be totally healthy anytime soon.

In Lugano, there are several options for swimming – I will tell you more about it later, but bring your bathing suit if the weather allows it.

Swiss Travel Pass

If you use public transportation, I recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass. I visit Switzerland often, and most of the time I get one – even if it’s a road trip. It is only for non-Swiss residents though.

  • It allows you to use trains and buses without any extra costs.
  • You can also do boat cruises without additional costs – and you can cruise Lake Lugano with the regular boats to get around.
  • It also gives you a 50% discount on most mountain rides (you can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price, and if you follow my tips, you will need it twice).

The initial prices for a Swiss Travel Pass are quite high – but it pays for itself if you get around via public transportation and are active in Switzerland for more than three or four days. So, check out prices for boats and trains and then calculate if it is a good option for you. 

For me, it usually makes sense as I am very active and use public transportation/mountain rides often (even if I road trip Switzerland). 

I also love boat rides – which means many, many boat cruises for me whenever I have a Swiss Travel Pass. Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass here.

How to Get to Lugano

Lugano is, unfortunately, a bit remote. However, it is still easy to get to Lugano thanks to an extensive rail network and great roads.

  • BY PLANE: Lugano does not have an airport. You could fly into Zurich or Geneva or Milan (Bergamo) and then get to Lugano by train.
  • BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Its remote location makes getting to Lugano a bit more time-consuming, but within 2-4 hours, you are normally in Lugano from most places in Switzerland.
  • BY CAR: Driving in Ticino is my least favorite part of driving in Switzerland. The drivers here drive like… Italians. Also, it can get busy during rush hour. However, there are paid parking spots and you can stay longer than a few hours but they are not in an abundance. 

How to Get Around Lugano 

  • Many activities mentioned here can be visited on foot. You can walk to most attractions if you are semi-fit.
  • For this Lugano itinerary, you could get around by car. However, I do not recommend it. I parked my car outside the city center (when I visited this summer, I left my van in a camping site and just got around via public transportation). The city center is quite busy and parking spots are rare. Also, parking in the small villages is not a fun task. Plus, you will be faster with public transportation most of the time. 
  • You can rely on good, extensive, and punctual buses and trains if you need public transportation. I used buses within Lugano several times, and I will let you know when I felt the need to hop on a bus for this itinerary.
  • Also, there is a funicular from the train station to the old town. It is just a short ride – it might be tempting to use to get back to the train station after a long day of walking and exploring.
  • My favorite mode of transportation is – and probably will always be – boats. I used boats several times (sometimes just for fun) and had the most scenic rides. Lake Lugano is a beauty, and boat cruises are a great way to get around.

How to Save Money on Your Lugano Trip

Besides the Swiss Travel Pass, you can save money by bringing a water bottle with you. There are some water fountains spread throughout Lugano where you can refill your bottle with fresh water. It is better for your wallet and better for the environment – and in Switzerland, you will be happy about every $ you can save (yes, Ticino, and especially Lugano, are very expensive).

More Travel Tips

If you are looking for more – general – tips for Switzerland, check out my posts.

Top Things to Do in Lugano

So, without further ado, here are my tips for the city of Lugano, as well as the stunning surroundings of Lake Lugano.

Chiesa di Santa Maria Immacolata

One of the first sights in Lugano awaits you right in front of the train station. The train station stands at 335 meters above sea level, and Lake Lugano is at 280 meters. This means that from the train station, you are already getting spoiled with some lovely views.

Lugano church one of the sights in Lugano

Once you step out of the train and the station or drive past the train station by car, you will have a lovely view of Lake Lugano, the city, and the scenery! And of the church Chiesa di Santa Maria Immacolata.

Walk down the steps and head to the church – it looks as beautiful from the inside as it does from the outside, though it is not as spectacular when compared with “other Italian churches.” But it is on your way to the old town, so it will not even take up much of your time.

  • You can visit it for free!

Old Town of Lugano

After visiting the church, head towards the old town. It is just a few meters below the church and an easy walk, even though it is on a slight downhill. You will pass some colorful buildings, and there you have the typical narrow streets that characterize many Swiss/Italian old towns.

Old town of Lugano

You will also find little shops selling souvenirs, food, and more, plus bars and restaurants.

I would be lying if I said that Lugano’s old town is stunning, but it is worth visiting, and strolling around should not take too much time.

  • One of the free things to do in Lugano

Piazza delle Riforma/Piazza Manzoni

The town center of Lugano is relatively small, so it won’t be long before you reach the two main squares. They are both located next to each other and just in front of the promenade.

Piazza della Riforma, also known as Riforma Square, is the main square of the city.


You will find beautiful buildings here, like the Town Hall (Palazzo Civico), which dates back to the 19th century. Look out for the five statues between the court and entrance.

Often you will find events, especially in the summer months. And on Saturdays from 8 am – 5 pm, there is a market of antiques and handicrafts in the Canova and Maghetti areas.

The big fountain at Monzani Square is pretty unique, and there are several fountains you can get water from.

PIAZZA MANZONI with water fountain and Lake Lugano

When you are at the water fountain, you are already at the stunning Lake Lugano!

  • These are free activities in Lugano

Lake Lugano Promenade

The promenade of Lugano is a loooong promenade, and you might not be able to stroll all the way. However, if you come from the old town, you are already at the boat station. 

There are several piers, and you could take a boat cruise (more on that below). Next to the boat station, you will also find the “I <3 Lugano” sign. 

With Lake Lugano in the background, this is a pretty Instagrammable place in Lugano.

This part of the promenade, around the boat station, is nice, but not the nicest part. Later, you will get to see more of it.

  • Another free thing to do in Lugano

Boat Tour Lake Lugano

Okay, there are different options on how to continue your day. One of my suggestions is to do a boat tour. I already talked a bit about Lake Lugano earlier, but as the official lake expert that I am, I can assure you that Lake Lugano is a gem.

Lake Lugano boat tour

Cruising Lake Lugano is scenic! The water color and the small villages on the shores of the lake make cruising a pretty pleasant experience.

If you want to take it more slowly and not do many sporty activities, I recommend getting from Lugano to Gandria. You normally have indoor and outdoor seats on the boats which makes boat cruising enjoyable regardless of the weather.

This boat ride takes – unfortunately – only about 30 minutes. However, here is some good news: there are more opportunities to do boat trips. 

  • With your Swiss Travel Pass, you can do the cruises on the Swiss side of the lake for free.


Gandria is a small, cute former fishing village – perched at the bottom of Monte Bre – that is quite popular amongst visitors. Many people hike from Monte Bre to Gandria. However, you can also get to Gandria by boat if you are not up for the 2-3 hour downhill hike.

Boat tour on Lake Lugano-2

There are not many attractions in Gandria. What you can do is walk the narrow or enjoy a meal/drink at one of the grottos with terraces.

I recommend walking from Gandria to Castagnola – and walk the Olive Grove Trail.

Olive Grove Trail

One of the top things to do in/around Lugano is walking/hiking the Olive Grove Trail from Gandria to Castagnola. It is an easy walk/hike, about 3 kilometers long, through the countryside.

Olive Grove Train in Lugano

You can start in Gandria and just follow the signs – you will find many ancient olive trees where several olive groves have recently been planted. Along the way, you will also find a lot of information about olives and their production in Lugano. Parts of the hikes were along trees that spend shadow, but not all of the walk, so bring sunscreen. You will also find water fountains (1 or 2 if I remember correctly) and a toilet along the way.

The walk (I do not consider it a hike as it is mostly a flat path and does not include much downhill or uphill hiking) is beautiful. You have great views of Lake Lugano basically throughout the whole duration of the hike.

If you want, you can continue the walk back to Lugano – or take a bus from Castagnola and get out at Lido di Lugano. 

  • The Olive Grove Trail is free and open 24/7.

Lido di Lugano

You might want to spend some time in the water now – if you want, visit the lido in Lugano. It is an open-air pool complex with a sandy beach and green areas, popular in the summer months. There are several pools – perfect if you need to cool down.

  • There is an entrance fee for the lido, and if you plan a visit, do not forget your swimsuits and towels.

If you just want to rest, skip the lido and keep walking for another 2-3 minutes to get to this park.

Parco Ciani

If you get out at the bus stop at Lido di Lugano, you can either spend some time at the lido or rest at this beautiful park. It was probably one – if not THE – most favorite part in Lugano.

Parco Ciani is one of the most beautiful places in Lugano

Parco Ciani in Lugano

Parco Ciani is considered the green heart of Lugano, with a size of 63,000 square meters. It is one of the most beautiful parts of Lugano.

This part of the promenade is also really stunning! It is located right at the shores of Lake Lugano – thus, the park comes with great views! Also, this is the place to rest and chill – the meadow is really inviting! You have plenty of flowers and small art installations, which makes it fun to walk around.

  • There is no entrance fee, and it is open 24/7.

Monte Bre

So, if you are a hiker, I suggest heading to Monte Bre peak first. Then you can continue the itinerary by hiking down Gandria and walking the Olive Grove Trail.

Monte Bre, Switzerland Arzo Travels

However, if you do not want to do too much physical activity (there is a hike for day 2 in Lugano), then get up Monte Bre via funicular. Monte Bre is one of the most popular trips from Lugano. It sits at 933 meters above sea level and offers fantastic views of the Alps, Lake Lugano, and Lugano.

Up there, you can do (more) activities like cycling or hiking – or just enjoy the beautiful views!

  • Return tickets for Monte Bre funicular are around 25CHF (discount with a Swiss Travel Pass)


A few meters below Monte Bre, you will find a small village named Bre.

Explore this place that is scattered with art testimonials – Bre was home to several artists like Wilhelm Schmid. You will also find the Wilhelm Schmid Museum, which houses his art and his library.

  • Tip: If you are on a budget and do not want to spend money on the funicular to get up Monte Bre, you can also take the bus up to Bre. From there, you have to do a 15-20 minute hike up to get to the summit of Monte Bre.

Now, let’s talk about day 2 in Lugano. I suggest starting with a(nother) mountain trip. This time, it is about Monte San Salvatore, also known as the “Pan di Zucchero,” as it looks like the Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil.

Monte San Salvatore

If you plan to visit a mountain peak in Lugano, then it could (should) be Monte San Salvatore. Standing at 912 meters above sea level, it is easily accessible by funicular.

Monte San SalvatoreThe views from Monte San Salvatore are splendid – Lake Lugano is without a doubt a beauty, and here it presents itself from its best side! You will also find a church, a restaurant, and a small museum at the top.

You can then hike down to Morcote – I highly recommend doing the hike. It is a very steep downhill hike! It took me about 5 hours, with stops along the way. 

However, if you have problems with your knees, do not have proper hiking boots, or if it rains, I advise you to skip the hike.

How to get there: From Lugano, go to Paradise station by boat or bus. Then, take the funicular to go up. You could also hike up and then take the funicular to get down.

  • You might want to use a funicular to get up Monte San Salvatore which does cost about 20€ one way – 50% off with the Swiss Travel Pass

If you opt for the hike, you will see the following villages- mentioned below – along the way. If you decide not to hike, you can add these places to your itinerary and get there by bus!


Hiking down to Morcote will make you pass picturesque Carona – it is a small yet charming village with lots of sculptures and other art gems, like a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.

Carona when hiking down to Morcote

You can also visit Parco San Grato in Carona, where you will find – amongst others – camellias and rhododendrons.

Those who enjoy swings will be happy to hear that one of the “famous” swings is also at the park. However, you have to do more uphill walking (add another 20 minutes for the detour) to get to the swing, but it is probably well worth it.

Vico Morcote

Then continue your hike and have a last stop before you arrive in Morcote. Above Morcote, you will find Vico Morcote nestled amongst vineyards and woods. It is a very small area, yet very charming.

Vico Morcote in Ticino

The church in Vico Morcote looks beautiful from the outside, and walking the streets of Vico Morcote was also lovely! This is a small gem, and if you hike down Monte San Salvadore to Morcote, you will pass it along the way.

If you get to Morcote via boat/bus, and do not enjoy uphill walking, hen you can take a bus to get to Vico Morcote.


When in Lugano… you have to visit Morcote! Morcote was named the most beautiful village in Switzerland in 2016 – and I can assure you, that title was well deserved.

What to do and see in Morcote, Ticino, travel guide

It is an extraordinarily pretty village on the shores of Lake Lugano.

There are several ways to arrive in Morcote, which is just 10 km south of Lugano. 

  • You can hike down from San Salvatore to Morcote – this hike is quite popular and it would be your last stop. And what a stop.
  • If you do not want to hike, you can get to Morcote by boat. Either way, do not skip this village.

Whether you enjoy the views of the famous church with Lake Lugano as a backdrop, try one of the “Swing the World“ swings, stroll the promenade and the old town, or visit Scherrer Garden, you will not regret visiting Morcote.

Then you could head back to Lugano by boat, or if it is still “early,“ you could get on a boat and then stop in Melide.


Between Lugano and Morcote, you will find Switzerland’s largest open-air museum – Swissminiatur – in the village of Melide.

There are128 mini-models of houses, castles, and monuments distributed throughout the 14,000 square meter park, including well-known sites such as the Heidi Village, the castles of Burgdorf and Chillon, and the Federal Parliament in Bern.

And there are 18 model trains traveling between the buildings on approximately 3.5 kilometers of tracks, as well as operating rack railways, cable cars, suspension railways, and ships.

  • Entrance fee for adults – around 19CHF 
  • 10% discount if you buy tickets online, 50% off with a Swiss Travel Pass

More Activities in Lugano

Here are a few more activities in Lugano you might be interested in.


With a pretty lake like Lake Lugano, you can expect quite a few water sport activities. Swimming, kayaking, diving, SUP, windsurfing, sailing, boarding, and water-skiing – there are lots of options.

Mountain Biking

There are almost 400 km of trails for mountain bikers in the region of Lugano. I still cannot wrap my head around how people ride their bikes in these crazy mountains, but if you are a mountain biker, you might love riding these “streets.“


Lugano is a beautiful city. I enjoy it every single time I visit and always find new places and attractions. It is lively and lovely, and the scenery and outdoor activities are impressive.

Then there are the pretty, pretty villages along the shores of the lake. There are many reasons to visit here, and hopefully, this post has helped you figure out what to do in Lugano for your own trip.

Safe Travels, Arzo

Amazing Things to Do in Schaffhausen, Switzerland


Schaffhausen, in the northern part of Switzerland, is a great place to visit even though it is not very well-known. And if you are wondering about the best things to do in Schaffhausen in one day (or longer) then this post is for you!

Schaffhausen is often overlooked in favor of cities like Zurich, Lucerne, or Interlaken. However, this town is a good place to visit, and if you plan your Schaffhausen itinerary, this post will help you find out about the top places to visit, and more travel tips.

I have visited the famous Rhine Falls – which is just around the corner – a couple of times so far but it took me some time to finally visit Schaffhausen.

Must See Places in Schaffhausen in 24 Hours

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.


Schaffhausen is mostly known for the Rhine Falls, but it also attracts many tourists because of the medieval town center. Schaffhausen is a canton (state), and its capital is…Schaffhausen.

It was mentioned in the document for the first time in the 11th century, and today Schaffhausen is one of the best-preserved cities/towns dating back to the Middle Ages and one of the most charming towns in Switzerland.


Schaffhausen is located on the Upper Rhine between the Black Forest (Germany) and Lake Constance (which is located in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) and is surrounded by vineyards. Though it might not be so famous amongst non-Swiss, it is a busy town – especially in the summer months.


I normally suggest visiting during the off-peak season, but since Schaffhausen is not the main tourist destination in Switzerland, summer is a good time to visit.

Still, even the winter months seem great (with all the Christmas Markets around), and so are fall and spring.


  • Schaffhausen´s old town is car-free. However, you will not need a car in Schaffhausen.
  • Getting around Schaffhausen is quite easy.  You can walk to most of the attractions in Schaffhausen.
  • For my last recommendation, you will have to hop on a train or bus. But, of course, you could also drive yourself to the last stop.
  • If you road trip Switzerland, check out my guide on driving in Switzerland.


Accommodation prices in Schaffhausen are lower at the weekend – normally.

  • So, if you are on a budget, visit at the weekends instead of during the week.
  • There are no luxury hotels in Schaffhausen.
  • I recommend staying at Sorell Hotel Rüden. The location is central, and it is a more traditional Swiss hotel. I stayed here for a night (dogs allowed), and it had everything I needed for one night. You can find out more about rates and get more information here.
  • If you visit Schaffhausen as a day trips from Zurich, check out my guide on places to stay in Zurich.


Okay, let´s start with the top things to do in Schaffhausen (good news: most of them are free!).


  • Free Thing to do in Schaffhausen

The old town of Schaffhausen is home to beautiful old and colorful houses and is considered one of Switzerland’s best remaining medievals towns.

Schaffhausen is also called the city of Erker (oriel bay windows) as many old houses have these oriel bay windows. Make sure also to look up while strolling through the streets – you will find 171 of them.

Schaffhausen, Old Town

Schaffhausen, city of Erker (oriel bay windows)

The most famous and most unique building in the old town is probably Haus zum Ritter (House of the Knight)

Schaffhausen´s most stunning facade
Haus zum Ritter (House of the Knight)

The original exterior dates back to the Renaissance but they were removed in 1935 for preservation. The façade you see today is a recreation and the original is the All Saints Museum.

As usual, I do not give a certain itinerary for exploring a town and, say, get lost and stroll through the old town streets and find some nice places. Keep looking up so you do not miss the beautiful facades.

Many fine guild houses and merchant’s houses you will see during your stroll date from Gothic and Baroque times.

Schaffhausen´s City Center @shutterstock
Fronwagplatz @shutterstock

Also, visit the Fronwagplatz, a central square with cafes and shops around that are perfect to have a coffee and sit down. Then head to the High Gothic St. Johann church with its remarkable acoustics.


  • Free Activity in Schaffhausen

Munot – This impressive fortress, from the 16th century, offers the best views of the old town as it is built on a hill.

Things to do in Schaffhausen, Switzerland Arzo Travels

The ring-shaped stronghold was built between 1564 and 1589 to a design by Albrecht Dürer. Steps lead up through vineyards to this fortress. 

View from Munot over the Rhine river and parts of Schaffhausen

Things to do in Schaffhausen in one day, Arzo Travels

You will find a small vineyard and a moat surrounding the Munot. In the moat, you will find some deers (watch closely in the picture below).

Munot Fortress in Schaffhausen

Inside the Munot in Schaffhausen

Inside the Munot in Schaffhausen

You can walk inside the fortress and learn about the history, and the view is just a gorgeous extra. However, you cannot see much within the fortress, and there is not much on display, but it is still worth it.

Every evening at 9 pm, the Munot guard, who lives in the tower, rings the Munot bell. Back then, it was a sign that the town gates and inns close.

You will also find a little rose garden with approximately 170 species of roses surrounded by hedges and trees there.

  • It is free to visit the Munot and the garden!


  • Another Free Thing to do in Schaffhausen

Münster Allerheiligen (Saints Abbey) should also be on your list. The cathedral also has a herb garden inside, which you should check out. Make sure to take your time as there are some lovely places hidden in that area.

Münster Allerheiligen in Schaffhausen

Münster Allerheiligen in Schaffhausen, the inside

Discovering Münster Allerheiligen in Schaffhausen in Puppygak

Pretty pink doors and facades in Schaffhausen

In the backyard, you will also find the Schiller Bell (Schillerglocke) on display. The bell was used in Allerheiligen Cathedral until 1895 – it weighs 4.5 tons! 

Münster Allerheiligen in Schaffhausen
Münster Allerheiligen in Schaffhausen


  • Walking Along the River is Free 
  • Boat Cruise Tickets Can be Bought on Spot

Also, I recommend a nice walk along the Rhine River. There are some cafes or restaurants but not that many. However, you can just sit down on a bench and enjoy the views.

Schaffhausen Points of interest

The weather was not my best friend when I visited, but it was still fun to walk along the Rhine, which definitely looks much better in this part of the world than in other parts. For the best view of the Munot get to the other side of the Rhine and enjoy the views.

You can also do Rhine cruises – apparently, they are very scenic. I have not done any myself but that is something you may want to enjoy!


  • You Can See the Rhine Falls for Free
  • Getting on the Viewing Platform Cost About 5 CHF

And of course, you should visit the Rhine Falls, the biggest waterfalls in Europe. How to get there and what to expect is in this post here.

Schaffhausen, Neuhausen Rhine Falls A Must-See Place in Switzerland

Rhine Falls Switzerland Best places to see in Switzerland


Schaffhausen is a beautiful town – it has everything a town needs. Interesting architecture, a lot of cultural sights, you can enjoy nice views and you also have some great outdoor places nearby.

Also, most main Schaffhausen activities are free – in an expensive country like Switzerland, this is great news, right!?

Schaffhausen is a gem that should be on your Switzerland itinerary because it is well worth to visit and if you do a Switzerland road trip, you should stop here for sure.


Safe Travels, Arzo



Morcote cover picture with Arzo Travels


In this post, you will find out about a beautiful village named Morcote. Wait, did I say A beautiful village? I actually meant THE most beautiful village in Switzerland. Here is more about the best things to do in Morcote, how to get there, and many more travel tips.

Morcote – a small village located in the canton of Ticino in southern Switzerland – was named the most beautiful village in Switzerland in 2016. Each year, the Swiss public chooses the most beautiful village with less than 3000 inhabitants (Morcote has less than 1000 inhabitants actually), and Morcote beat more than 100 competitors.

But is it really that beautiful? Well, I chase gorgeous places in Switzerland – I am a huge fan of this small country and am always on the hunt for stunning locations. 

And I have found many pretty, charming, breathtaking spots like Interlaken, Valposchiavo, or Montreux. However,  I can say that Morcote is indeed the most beautiful village in Switzerland, I have visited so far.

Once you visit, you will quickly understand why. Morcote is just the perfect mix of Switzerland and Italy, and you just have to love it!

It is an exceptionally pretty place – Morcote, I have fallen in love with you!



And if you plan to visit Morcote – and also fall in love – here, you will find my travel guide for Morcote. Find out what makes the place extraordinarily beautiful, where to go, and what to see, plus more travel tips.

Morcote is located in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino – at the southern shores of beautiful Lake Lugano. It is one of the most southern areas in all of Switzerland, but just 10 km south of Lugano.

Best Time to Visit Morcote 

Morcote, and Ticino (like Locarno) in general, can be visited at any time of the year. Thanks to its southern location and its climate, you have milder temperatures in fall, winter, and spring compared to the rest of the country.

  • While it gets colder in the winter months, it normally does not snow at low altitudes, and you can explore Ticino off-season. 
  • I normally suggest for Europe: Avoid the months of (late) June, July, and August. If possible, visit in May/June or September and early October because it will be – as far as we can rely on the climate these days – still warm yet not hot, and hotel prices should drop in expensive Switzerland.
  • Even though quite a lot of Swiss visitors come in these off-season months, it is still less crowded than in the busy summer months, when it can get also quite hot.


In Switzerland, there are four official languages.

  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Romansh (a small minor language)

In Ticino, Italian is the main language, but many people also speak German and in the tourism sector, basic English is also widely spoken.

Lake Lugano

While Morcote is located at 272 meters above sea level, Lake Lugano is around the same. Keep that in mind, when you read about altitudes.

Lake Lugano from San Salvatore

Also, it is interesting to know that Lake Lugano – a glacier lake – lies in southern Switzerland and Northern Italy. Most of the lake (63%) is located in Switzerland though.

And while Lake Lugano looks absolutely clean and clear, it had actually been one of the most polluted lakes in Switzerland, and people were forbidden to swim in the lake in the 1960s and 1970s.

It has become much better now – but it remains unclear whether it will be totally healthy anytime soon.

Swiss Travel Pass

If you use public transportation, I recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass.

  • It allows you to use trains and buses without any extra costs.
  • You can also do boat cruises without additional costs – and cruise Lake Lugano with the regular boats to get around.
  • It also gives you a 50% discount on most mountain rides (you can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price).

The prices are quite high – but I have bought them myself, and it pays off if you get around via public transportation and are active. If you just plan to visit Morcote and stay there for a few days, it might not make sense financially. 

So, check out prices for boats and trains and then calculate if it is a good option for you. For me, it usually makes sense as I am very active and use public transportation/ mountain rides often (even if I road trip Switzerland). 

I also love boat rides – which means many, many boat cruises for me.

How to Get to Morcote

Morcote is a bit remote, so getting there might be time-consuming. However, it can be quite a scenic way to arrive to Morcote – and it is worth it!

  • BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: If you are in Lugano, you can take a public bus to get to Morcote. It takes about 30 minutes. Buses run quite frequently (but not very often), and if you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you can use the bus for free.
  • BY BOAT: The most scenic way to get to Morcote is undoubtedly by boat. From Lugano – and other villages at the shores of Lake Lugano – you can hop on a boat and get an impressive first glimpse of Morcote from the water. Boats run frequently – check out the times here. The timetable might look a bit messy and confusing at first, but once you have figured out from which village/city you want to start, it is easy to navigate through. Also, pay attention on which days the cruises are.
  • HIKING TO MORCOTE: There are several hiking trails – you can just walk from Lugano to Morcote. However, the most scenic and popular way to hike to Morcote is from Monte San Salvatore to Morcote. The hike takes a couple of hours and includes some steep downhill hiking, but it is worth it. The views you get along the hike are top-notch.
  • BY CAR: You can also get to Morcote by car from Lugano or Italy. However, it is a small village, and parking might be difficult – especially during peak season.

Save Money in Morcote

Besides the Swiss Travel Pass, you can save money by bringing a water bottle with you. There are some water fountains spread throughout Morcote where you can refill your bottle with fresh water. It is better for your wallet and better for the environment – and in Switzerland, you will be happy about every $ you can save (yes, Ticino is also very expensive).



Okay, let´s talk about the places/things to do in Morcote. As mentioned, it is a tiny village so there might not be tons of activities, but these attractions are pretty great!

Visit the Church Santa Maria del Sasso

  • Free activity in Morcote
  • Address: Sentee da la Gesa, 6922 Morcote,

One of the most outstanding attractions in Morcote – if not in all of Ticino – is the Santa Maria del Sasso Church. It might look like any other church in Ticino, but its location makes it very special.


If you hike down from San Salvatore, you will be pleased to hear that you do not have to climb the 404 steps to get to the church. You can just walk your way to the church on your hike down.

However, if you come from the promenade or the old town, you will have to do some serious stair climbing if you want to visit the church and get that epic view with the lake in the background. 


Nonetheless, it is worth it! It was – is – one of the most charming and Italian-like places I have seen in Switzerland. Every single step was worth it.


Also, you will find the Sant’Abate Church and a small square in front of it, where you can take a rest, and you can, of course, also visit the church. 


Next to it is also the cemetery that might be worth checking out.

Swing the Swing

  • Free attraction in Morcote
  • Geo location:  45.92374, 8.91415

Okay, once you are at the church, you are almost at “the“ swing. Do not give up yet, but continue going up. You will find small signs pointing you to the direct location.

The Swing Sign in Ticino

After another 5 minutes or so you will see THE swing – it offers excellent views of the village and is fun. Especially after all the steps, swinging also gives you a fresh breeze.


You are wondering which swing I am talking about? “Swing the World“ is a project by two young people from Ticino with a goal in mind: encouraging people to spend more time outdoors. The homemade swings are in unique spots around Ticino (and now also outside in the beautiful area of Valposchiavo).

You will find more swings, e.g., in Ascona and also when you hike down from Monte San Salvatore to Morcote.

Stroll the Promenade of Morcote

  • Another free activity

Of course, you have views of the fantastic Lake Lugano when strolling the promenade. But you will also find historic buildings along the promenade from the 17th and 18th centuries. The buildings have been restored and belonged to royals – you might see coats of arms on the houses that tell you about the owners.


Here, you will also find the boat station, restaurants, and small little shops selling unique products and souvenirs.

Discover the Town

  • Free thing to do in Morcote

The small medieval village center of Morcote has cute narrow streets with charming old buildings. Pay attention to the small details – like the facades. This is what makes the old town cute and special.


You will also find the small San Rocco church which is dedicated to the patron saint of plague victims. It was built between 1548 and 1553 by Morcote’s villagers.

However, as cute as the old town is, it surely is not the highlight of Morcote. It is really small and I think, you will be “done” in less than 30 minutes. However, make sure to also road some other parts of Morcote without having a fixed route but just take your time to walk along.


Scherrer Garden / Parco Scherrer

  • No entrance fee for the garden
  • Closed in the winter months
  • Opening hours: 15 March to 08 November from 10 am to 5 pm – in July and August from 10 am to 6 pm

The beautiful Scherrer Garden gives Italian vibes! Known as the “Garden of Wonders“, Anton Scherrer built the park.

He bought the land in 1930 and created this little place on Earth – a veritable Garden of Eden covering more than 15,000m².

The statues, the design, the architecture – here you will find Italy at its best. It seems that quite some people skip the park and just go for the Santa Maria del Sasso church and the views – this, my dear friends, would be a huge mistake. Scherrer Garden is pretty and does not have an entrance fee! I mean, enough reasons to visit, or?


It is about 500 meters from the boat station, and there is some step climbing in the park, but nothing major. Also, this is another perfect place to rest.

Hiking to/from Morcote to Monte San Salvatore  

  • Free/cheapish thing to do 
  • You might want to use a funicular to get up Monte San Salvatore which does cost about 20€ one way – 50% off with the Swiss Travel Pass

As mentioned before, hiking around Morcote is a wonderful way to explore this region. One of the most popular hikes is from Monte San Salvatore (912 meters above sea level) to Morcote at about 272 meters above sea level.

You can get to Paradiso station from Lugano and then take the funicular to get up beautiful San Salvatore.

From there, hike down to the cute village of Carona Vico Morcote and then continue your downhill hike to Morcote – you can also do it the other way around and hike from Morcote to San Salvatore.

If you plan to do this, schedule in about 3-6 hours at least.


Lake Lugano Boat Trip

  • Free with a Swiss Travel Pass

One great way to see Morcote from a different angle – but also other beautiful villages at the shores of Lake Lugano – is by doing a boat cruise. 

I have visited Morcote twice. The second time I was in Lugano and had some spare time. And boat cruises on Lake Lugano are really scenic and fun. Also, some fresh breeze seemed to be a great idea on hot days.

Lake Lugano has a gorgeous water color, and cruising is so much fun! Also, you can reach places like Lugano quite easily by boat.


The cruises on the Swiss part of the lake are covered with your Swiss Travel Pass. The boats do not run very often but several times a day, so check the times.

Swimming in/Around Morcote

  • Free activity in Morcote

Lake Lugano is one of my favorite lakes in the country – it has a stunning color that shimmers nicely on a sunny day.

And though I am not so much a (lake) swimmer, Lake Lugano is one of the best places to hop into the water. You are not allowed to just hop into the water at the boat station of Morcote.

If you want to dip your feet into the lake, you can do it near the boat station. However, If you plan to take a day off and swim in the lake, you can do so at several places in Morcote e.g., either near the Garavello multi-story car park (towards Figino) or at the lakeshore at San Bartholomee.

Visit Vico Morcote

  • Things to do Near Morcote for Free

Above Morcote sits the beautiful town/village of Vico Morcote, at 442 meters above sea level. The church looks pretty stunning, and when I hiked down from Monte San Salvatore, I got confused and thought it was the church in Morcote, but that is another one.


However, the streets here look very Mediterranean and were beautiful with all the flowers. 


If you do not plan to do any hiking, take the bus up there and just stroll the streets and enjoy the views.

Visit Lugano

Of course, Lugano is a must-see place if you are in Morcote. You might do a day trip from Lugano to Morcote – but if you make Morcote your base, make sure to add this beautiful and lively city to your Morcote itinerary.

It is much bigger than Morcote so it is great if you are looking to have more action, then head to Lugano for a day or a few hours.

Whether you get there by car, bus or train – Lugano is worth a visit. Check out my Lugano post for more information.

Morcote Castle

If you stay one full day – or longer – in Lugano, you can also visit Morcote Castle (Castello di Morcote), which sits at 475 meters above sea level. It was built on the ruins of a Lombard Tower around the year 1100.

It was gifted to the Paleari family in the 16th century, who had previously bravely refused to support the Dukes by sending troops – which ended in the victory of the Confederate forces. Two underground corridors connected the fortress with the village.

I did visit it myself – just saw it from a distance – but that is the info I got from a leaflet from the tourism office in Lugano. If you plan a visit, I recommend asking the tourism office for more details.


  • Entrance fee for adults – around 19CHF 
  • 10% discount if you buy tickets online, 50% off with a Swiss Travel Pass

Between Lugano and Mercote you will find a small village named Melide – here you will find Switzerland’s largest open-air museum- SwissMiniature.

There are 128 models of houses, castles, and monuments distributed throughout the 14,000 square meter park – including well-known sites such as the Heidi Village, the castles of Burgdorf and Chillon, or the Federal Parliament in Bern.

18 model trains travel between the buildings on approximately 3.5 kilometers of tracks. There are also operating rack-railways, cable cars, suspension railways, and ships.

This place is – like many places I have mentioned here in my Mercote travel guide – the perfect place for families and people of all ages.

You can get there from Morcote by boat, bus, or car.


Morcote was rightfully – if I may say so – named as the most beautiful village in Switzerland.

It ticks all the boxes of a charming and pretty village – it is medieval, colorful, lively & lovely, offers great views as well as many options to rest and relax. 

Morcote, I am sure I will be back, and in the meantime, enjoy your time in Morcote!

Safe Travels, Arzo

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