Lugano is the most important city in Southern Switzerland and part of the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. A meandering Lake of Lugano and uncountable hills and mountains are surrounding this attractive city. Know for centuries to artists, writers and poets for its exceptionally mild climate, its wonderful views and its colorful vegetation, Lugano also has the reputation as a cultural and business center. Its typical Mediterranean atmosphere, Italian culture and creativity skillfully combined with Swiss organization and efficiency will certainly satisfy all your expectations. Lugano is also the third financial place in Switzerland after Zurich and Geneva and a holiday destination for many Swiss since the end of 1800's. Along the lake you see lots of Venetian-type villages, showing of the closeness of its neighbor Italy. Words and pictures cannot describe its beauty.
The area around Lake Lugano is the perfect place for any occasion - we present you a wide variety of attractions and activities in Lugano for all seasons!
Lugano has two directions: up and down. The train station sits high above the city with the lake promonade below. Between them are winding cobblestone streets, large piazzas and great shopping areas. The only transportation you need are your feet. There is a cog-wheel tram that will take you between the train station and the lower city for a very small fee, but you will miss some very interesting views. Most of the surrounding villages on Lake Lugano can be reached by car, train or bus. Probably the most picturesque village is Gandria.
Lugano: Attractions and Activities
Lugano excursions: Board one of the lake steamers on Lake Lugano to Gandria and enjoy an excellent meal "lakeside" at one of the famous Grotto's in Gandria. After lunch walk back along the promenade to Lugano. Or visit Swiss Miniature in Melide, a sort of outdoor museum with miniatures of the most picturesque places in Switzerland.
Excursions in Lugano
The unusual shape of Lake Lugano makes it appear to extend arms in every direction and its banks, in part left untouched and in part adorned by picturesque villages, are particularly inviting and have interesting boat trips to offer.
Take the aerial cableway from Cassarate up to the summit of Monte Bre (Bus No. 1 from the Center of Lugano to Cassarate).
A unique opportunity not only to enjoy the magnificent vista far beyond the national border, but to see the entire city of Lugano and its environs lying at your feet. On the summit there are several restaurants with magnificent vantage points on their terraces. A short walk leads down to the village of Bre, which has preserved its old, typical Ticinese village center and even enriched it by adding works of art. Here you can view frescoes by Joseph Birò and Luigi Taddei, sculptures by Pasquale Gilardi and the Museum of Wilhelm Schmid.
Mte. San Salvatore
An aerial cable-car whisks you to the summit. The new panorama car takes tourists in 10 minutes to the peak of San Salvatore. The trains run every half hour from March to November. In the summer the last mountain train to the valley leaves at 11 p.m. From the roof of the church you can enjoy the unique 360 panoramic view. From the peak you can descend along the panorama trail to Ciona (Carona) or hike the loop which - by way of two didactic trails - leads through a nature park, where you are constantly surrounded by the regional flora and fauna.
City Excursions in Lugano
Summer Sports in Lugano
Winter Sports in Lugano
Entertainment in Lugano
Shopping in Lugano
Via Nassa is one of Lugano’s historical streets - its particular and sophisticated shops make for a great shopping experience. Shops are generally open from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm.
The Lugano market offers the typical food products of small farmers that sell their flowers, fruit and vegetables directly. It takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:00 to 12:00 am on Piazza della Riforma.
Events in Lugano
April - June. Featuring great classical music with evening concerts and the participation of world famous soloists and directors: it is an important pole of cultural attraction to which the Martha Argerich Project is also associated. www.luganofestival.ch
Jazz Festival Lugano
June - July. Free, open-air jazz concerts: featuring the best of contemporary music in its different expressions with world famous artists and groups. This event is not to be missed and not only by jazz fans. www.estivaljazz.ch
Museums in Lugano
Swiss Customs Museum, Cantine di Gandria
The museum in the former frontier guards' house, which can be reached only by ship, shows something of the history of smuggling, the way of life and work of customs men in the past and modern forms of crime prevention. Attractive exhibits, modern presentation methods and special exhibitions on subjects of current interest make the museum a popular destination.
How to get to Lugano
Lugano has its own airport that offers daily connections with Zurich and Geneva. Lugano is located in Southern Switzerland, 220 km (137 miles) from Zurich, the most important airport of Switzerland. Travel time from Zurich is 3 hours by car and 3 hours by train. The resort is 445 km (277 miles) from Geneva and 278 km (173 miles) from Berne.
By train, take international train connections to Lugano.
Lugano Hotels by MagicSwitzerland
Lugano has plenty of accommodation for all budgets. Part of a temperate micro-climate, Lugano offers palm-trees, picturesque boulevards and stunning views of the lake and Alps. It also makes a good base for visiting other cities and sites in the area. The following links will get you to a detailed page of each hotel that includes pricing and room options:
The 4-star Hotel Lugano Dante is located in the town of Lugano and within the city's financial and shopping district, in a fascinating pedestrian area rich in history, boutiques and urban lifestyle. This hotel is an intimate and relaxing option to enjoy a few vacation days in the sunny canton of Ticino. read more
The 4-star Hotel Parco Paradiso offers 65 large rooms and a wonderful view of Lake Lugano. Located in a very quiet residential area and only 15 minutes walking distance from the center of Lugano it features the only Japanese restaurant in Ticino. It is located 15 minutes walking distance to the center of Lugano and the railway station which are both easily accessible by public bus. The Hotel Parco Paradiso is situated on the foot of Mt. San Salvatore offering a quiet atmosphere and numerous possibilities for recreational activities. read more
The Hotel De La Paix is close to Lake Lugano in Paradiso - a luxurious 4-star hotel where Swiss quality meets Italian hospitality. The hotels 131 rooms and suites offer a unique combination of modern comfort and luxurious elegance. The Hotel is located near Lake Lugano and within approx. 10 minutes walking distance to the city center and the railway station. read more
The 3-star Hotel International au Lac is situated in close proximity to Lake Lugano in the center of Lugano. This hotel has a 100-year family tradition and offers a restaurant, a bar, a lovely little garden with a swimming pool, a modern conference room with large windows which provide abundant natural day-light, an Internet workstation free of charge, and free wireless Internet connection in the bar and lounge area. read more
The Hotel Colorado is a 3-star family hotel located in the center of sunny Lugano and close from the railway station. The hotel provides individual and personal service to all its guests - the family of the owner runs the hotel! The hotel also has a large terrace where guests can enjoy breakfast and in the evening, the grill-restaurant with exclusive menus and a fireplace is ideal for family dinners or festive occasions. read more
The Hotel Albatro is a 3-star hotel close to the railway station and the center of Lugano, canton of Ticino. It provides traveler with a combination of leisure and comfort at a reasonable price! The Hotel Albatro is fully air-conditioned and offers individual service, modern and elegant rooms with all comforts, a Italian restaurant with bar and a garden with an outdoor swimming pool. read more