What is most enjoyable about this city is its phenomenal natural views, as it stands atop a glacial lake called, Lake Lugano. Furthermore, find to your delight ancient- and modern architecture, cuisine from both Italy and Switzerland (and often a mix of both), and stunning mountains.
The Best time to Visit Lugano
Fun Facts about Lugano
- International banking is the major source of revenue in Lugano, apart from tourism.
- Ticino, the canton containing Lugano, is the only Swiss Canton entirely situated in the south of the Alps.
- Italian is an official language in Lugano.
- In fact, the town was ‘taken’ from Milan by the Swiss in the 16th century.
- Though Ticino’s capital is Bellinzona, Lugano is its largest city.
Top 9 Attractions in Lugano
Piazza Bernardino Luini 6, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland
thcentury. Works here are primarily from the 19th and 20th century; it also has temporary exhibitions. Although small, this is a great place to see typical artworks from Ticino.
Via Borghetto 2, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland+41 91 921 49 45
Piazza Riforma, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland
The Top Activities in Lugano
- Watch a football match at the Cornaredo Stadium, home to the local FC Lugano.
- If you like a little gambling, visit the Casino Lugano with its luxurious and trendy ambience.
- Hang out at the Lido Comunale Di Lugano which is complete with four pools, a beach, kids play area, table tennis and some football.
- Plan a picnic with your family at Lugano’s Zoo Al Maglio, home to over a hundred species complete with a petting area.
- Book a hiking tour on the Olive Trail accessible from Castagnola. The path will show you ancient olive trees in the region.
- Watch an ice hockey match at the Pista La Resega ice hockey stadium.
- Go bike riding through the city which has the most picturesque biking routes.
- Take a free walking tour through the city center and important historic landmarks in Lugano.
- Take the Foxtrail tour in which participants indulge in a treasure hunt across the city.
- Take one of the many photo tours and take back unique DIY postcards.
Top Events in Lugano
- Lugano Festival takes place between April and June every year is devoted to classical music and other aspects of Ticino culture.
- Estival Jazz: Lugano’s most popular event with free open-air jazz concerts has been going strong for 37 years now. Annually in June or July.
- Festa d’Autunno or the Autumn Festival in October features a gastronomic fiesta with local delicacies, wines and regional produce.
- Blues to Bop: A music festival spanning three days on different genres at multiple stages in the center of Lugano. During August or September.
What to eat in Lugano
- Try vegan pizza at Natural Food: Eat good wholesome calzones, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas here. All food is made with fresh gluten-free produce. Best for vegans and Vegetarians.
- Best vegetarian food at Ristorante Il Radicchio: Find Lugano’s best vegetarian food here. Dishes to look out for are seitan gulash, mashed potatoes, black rice and lentils and some warm homemade carrot cake.
- Takeaway delicious food from Sapori Bio: This restaurant doesn’t have seating and is best if you are on-the-go and want to have a light vegetarian salad, some focaccia or pizza.
- Healthy vegetarian options at Pestalozzi Lugano: Their specialties include pumpkin cream soup, zucchini potato soup, ravioli with ricotta and spinach, cereal balls with tomato-herbs-sauce and a soufflé of grilled egg plants.
- Eat some good homemade pasta at Paste e Pesto: The best part is that they make fresh pasta every day and you can choose from a variety of vegetarian ingredients. Enjoy with wine!
Getting To Lugano
Getting Around-and-About In Lugano
Where To Stay In Lugano
List of Recommended Souvenirs
- The best souvenir to buy Swiss chocolate from Laderach Chocolaterie Suisse on via Pessina 17, with their own brand of chocolate. Every month has a new specialty.
- For magnets, postcards and the like there are many shops around tourist hotspots. There is one called Lungo-Lago Souvenirs, on the lakefront.
Top Tips for Travellers to Lugano
- Beware of pickpockets although the city is largely safe.
- Try booking tickets for most sights online so as to prevent standing in lines outside the attractions and get discounts.
- Carry enough currency and traveler’s cheques.
- Carry a physical map in case your phone’s GPS doesn’t work.
- Do not leave belongings unattended and keep an eye on them.
- Do not carry anything flashy so as to attract unwanted attention.
- Locals will appreciate it if you greet them in Italian.
Enjoying Lugano on a Budget
- Stay in hostels or budget hotels instead of in fancy ones. You’ll also meet interesting people.
- Use public transport like the bus and the local train instead of hiring an expensive taxi.
- Since Lugano is walk-friendly, walk to most attractions.
- Look out for inexpensive bars and street food.
- Buy small souvenirs instead of shopping for things you don’t need.
Day trips from Lugano
- You can take a train to Lucerne which will take you 2.5 hours by train. The city is known for its townscape, historic Chapel Bridge and shopping areas. Consider going on the William Tell Express train which will also include a steamboat cruise on Lake Lucerne.
- Those who love train journeys can go on a three-day self-guided rail tour on the Bernina Express that takes travelers through 55 tunnels and 196 bridges amongst the pristine Swiss landscape from Lugano to St. Moritz.
- Milan is so much more than home to Valentino, Gucci and Prada. From the tall spires of the Duomo di Milano to Da Vinci’s, Last Supper; from the Museo del Novecento to the Columns of San Lorenzo, Italy’s most populous metropolis seamlessly blends both culture and modernity. The capital of Italy’s Lombardy will not fail to impress the eager history geek or cool fashionista.
- Lake Como has been an inspiration for Hemingway and Dostoevsky, Twain and Mary Shelly, Ruskin and Stendhal. It piqued the interest of moviemakers. You can see the Lake in Casino Royal and A Month by the Lake. It takes you even beyond this planet in Star Wars Episode II. Let it become an inspiration for you as well.
Visitor Information & Useful Links
Emergency Contact Numbers
Piazza Riforma, 6900 Lugano+41 (0)58 866 82 50
Fire Department: 118
Police helpline: 117