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Lugano is an international city and the crossroads and melting pot of European culture. It is not only the Ticino's most important city, and Switzerland's third most important financial center (after Zurich and Geneva), but also a town of parks and flowers, villas and sacred buildings, and it has been a holiday destination for many Swiss since the end of the 1800's. With its Mediterranean flair, Lugano offers all the advantages of a world-class city, combined with the cachet of a small town, and in addition, a beautiful lake and uncountable hills and mountains surrounding the area.
Lugano is boasting an almost Mediterranean microclimate and along the lake lots of Venetian-type villages are showing its closeness to neighboring Italy. The traffic-free historic town center, the numerous buildings in Italianate Lombardy style, the mountains, the lake, numerous sights and activities, and a packed calendar of events all invite visitors to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the "Dolce Far Niente". Thanks to its mild climate, Lugano is a popular tourist destination especially in the spring when the camellias are in boom. Lugano's mountains, the Monte San Salvatore and the Monte Brè provide for an outstanding panorama of the town, Lake Lugano and the Alpine scenery. Other popular excursions are to the fishing villages of Gandria or Morcote, up the Monte San Giorgio or the Monte Generoso, or to the Lilliput world of Switzerland in Miniature at Melide. More attractions and activities in Lugano and the Ticino
Lugano is located in Southern Switzerland, in the Italian speaking Canton of Ticino; it is situated at an elevation of 273 m (896 ft) above sea level on the northern shores of Lake Lugano where the river Cassarate enters the lake between the Monte Brè and the Monte San Salvatore.
City Map of Lugano
Distances to other popular Swiss Destinations:
Getting to Lugano:
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Lugano has its own airport with some international flights and with daily connections to Zurich-Kloten and Geneva-Cointrin. The Lugano-Agno airport is easily reached within 20 minutes from Lugano by car, taxi or shuttle bus. Zurich-Kloten is the closest Swiss international airport (approx. 3 hours by train; 2.5 hours by car); and visitors to Lugano might want to consider flying to/from the Milano-Malpensa airport in Italy, which is less than 90 minutes away by car (approx. 2.5 hours by train). There's also a shuttle bus Lugano - Malpensa with several deprtures daily.
The Lugano railway station, which is on the international north-south axis of the St. Gotthard (Milan-Chiasso-Zurich), offers fast and easy connections to all major destinations in Switzerland and neighboring countries. Travelers to/from Lucerne want to consider the scenic train William Tell Express
which also includes a scenic steamboat ride on Lake Lucerne. Travelers to/from Graubunden (Chur, Davos, St. Moritz) enjoy the scenic train (and bus) Bernina Express
via Tirano, Italy, and the Bernina Pass to St. Moritz, Davos and Chur; or the scenic bus-ride on the Palm Express
via Chiavenna, Italy and the Maloja Pass to St. Moritz.
Lugano is linked to the Swiss and the international network of motorways
with the A2 motorway, the north-south axis that directly connects northern Europe to the Mediterranean, allowing travelers to/from Lugano fast and easy access through the St. Gotthard Tunnel. Experienced drivers not looking for the fastest route, might want to consider one of the following scenic drives from northern Switzerland via the Alps to Lugano:
San Bernardino Pass:
Chur - Thusis - San Bernardino - Lugano
Chur - Reichenau - Flims - Disentis - Lukmanier - Lugano
Oberalp and St. Gotthard Pass:
Chur - Reichenau - Flims - Disentis - Oberalp - St. Gotthard - Lugano
Grimsel and Nufenen Pass:
Thun - Interlaken - Grimsel - Ulrichen - Nufenen - Lugano
Lötschberg Tunnel - Simplon Pass - Centovalli Valley:
Thun - Lötschberg (Car Transporter Train through the tunnel) - Brig - Simplon - Domodossola (Italy) - Centovalli - Locarno - Lugano
Grimsel, Furka and St. Gotthard Pass:
Thun - Interlaken - Grimsel - Oberwald - Furka - Andermatt - St. Gotthard - Lugano
Gr. St. Bernard Pass - Piemonte - Lago Maggiore:
Lausanne - Martigny - Gr. St. Bernard - Aosta (Italy) - Piemonte (Italy) - Lago Maggiore - Lugano