Lugano’s location in the south of the country gives it a gorgeous climate that combines ideally with its stunning surroundings. Italian-speaking Lugano combines the sophistication and shopping of Milan or Florence with uniquely Swiss azure alpine lakes and lofty peaks.
Lugano’s palm-lined promenades and medieval piazzas give the city a Mediterranean flavour. The surroundings offer plenty of chances for adventure, including a day trip up the gondolas of Monte Tamaro, or across the lake to the enclave of Campioni di Italia.
The largest city in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino, Lugano is a centre of commerce as well as an ideal tourist retreat. The narrow, cobbled streets of its centre hum with activity, with no shortage of boutiques and restaurants to spend your time in. The city’s cultural offerings and boutiques are on full display along the pedestrianised Via Nassa and Piazza Bernardino, while the stunning Parco Ciani affords visitors gorgeous views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The Piazza della Riforma is the city’s true centre, with its bistros just a short walk from the lake’s edge.
Get the experience of la dolce vita and Swiss-style and book a flight from Menchester to Lugano now.* You can travel from Zurich to Lugano by train. Your train ticket for this connection is included.
When is the best time to visit Lugano?
Lugano’s peak period is between May and September, as its sunny Mediterranean climate invites locals and visitors alike to flock to its terraces and lakeshore. While the winters are by no means harsh, it should be noted that many attractions shut down for the off-season, so a winter trip will be a more muted affair.
What language is spoken in Lugano?
While Italian is the main language in Lugano, most visitors will find that they can get by with English, especially in the city centre.
What should my budget be on a trip to Lugano?
Though slightly less expensive than larger Swiss cities such as Geneva or Zurich, Lugano is hardly a budget destination. Including accommodation, a daily budget can add up to around GBP 150-200. As with any trip to Switzerland, planning ahead will pay off! So book your flight from Menchester to Lugano now!
Enjoy the beautiful landscape of Lugano and more
Lugano is a city that knows how to enjoy itself: summertime sees duelling fireworks displays with Campino d’Italia, across the lake from Lugano. Meanwhile, the city is host to several music festivals, such as the Lugano Festival, a classical music showcase, and Estival Jazz, where the city’s piazzas come alive with open-air concerts. The city also boasts a number of excellent art galleries and museums, including the Museum of Swiss-Italian Art, or MASI.
Of course, one of the main draws of Lugano is its picture-perfect surroundings. Take in the cityscape and the deep blue of the lake by riding one of the city’s two funiculars up to the adjoining mountains, Monte Brè or San Salvatore. If you’d rather head out on the lake, the city’s marina offers pedalos for rent to explore the immediate surroundings. Or make a day of it and head to the town of Rivera, where a gondola will be waiting to take you up to Monte Tamaro, an imposing 1,900 metre peak with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.
Lugano’s piazzas and natural surroundings make it an ideal urban getaway. Book your flight von Manchester to Lugano today!
Lugano’s most recommended attractions
A trip to Lugano showcases a sampling of everything the southern Swiss region of Ticino has to offer. It’s the kind of place where you may find yourself sipping wine or sampling fine chocolate one day and atop an alpine peak the next.
- Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angioli
- Museo del Cioccolato Alprose
- Monte Tamaro
- Campione d’Italia
Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angioli
The dominant feature of Lugano’s most important church is a pair of vivid frescoes from 1529, which show the Crucifixion in powerful, colourful scenes.
Museo del Cioccolato AlproseA delight for chocolate addicts, or a fun place to take the kids: see how chocolate is made and sample your fill of Alprose confections.
At 1,900 metres, it towers over Lugano and the surrounding countryside. The gondola terminus at Alpe Foppa leaves visitors near the Santa Maria degli Angeli church, an architectural marvel with a lookout over the valley below.
An Italian enclave in Switzerland that is famed for its casino, once Europe’s largest. Each July, the village puts on a fireworks display that can be seen from the Lugano shoreline.
Lugano is full of wonders: for even more to see and do, check out our travel guide about Lugano.
Lugano’s great taste
Lugano’s Swiss-Italian cuisine brings together the best of both cultures, but is also focused on local products and seasonal fares. The Lake Lugano is a source of freshwater fish, the alpine meadows and forests also contribute to the great tastes of Lugano.
Try the Ticino specialties
The Ticino area around Lugano is famous for several specialties, each a great reason to stay for another meal. The staple food of the region is polenta, usually made with a second famous food of the region, cheese. The cheese making has a long tradition and several Ticino cheeses are world famous, like Formagella or the goat cheese Capra Ticino. Another local food art is sausages in every form and function, whether long-living salami or freshly produced Luganighe, which are served with saffron risotto. The vegan options are Minestrone alla ticinese, a delicate vegetable soup, or the sweet dish Risotto ai mirtilli, risotto with blueberries. Yet another typical product are chestnuts, grown in wide variety in special forests. The wine of the area is predominantly Merlot, which thrives on the alpine soils.
Shopping in Lugano
Lugano’s main shopping street is the Via Nassa with fashion boutiques galore, but some say that the Via Pessina has even more style. In the Via Cattedrale, find the perfect souvenir. The Piazza della Riforma hosts a thrice-weekly market bursting with flowers and produce, as well as antiques and artisans on the weekend. An outlet center called Foxtown is near the city, another one called Centro Lugano Sud Shopping Centre is just a few minutes outside Lugano.
Our Explore page has even more suggestions for dining - visit our guide about eat and drink in Lugano.
Manchester - ZurichFlight duration: 02:00 hrs total, Frequency: 2 x daily
Departure ManchesterTerminal: 2Counter opening time: 1 h prior to departure
Transit Zurich (ZRH)Arrival: 11:40Transit time: 1h 06m