In this article I will tell a little about the Swiss city of Lugano, which is located very close to the Italian border. How to get from Italy, what to see in 1 day and where to stay for the night, what prices in Lugano – this will be discussed.

Catastrophically little time was allotted to Switzerland – only 1.5 days, and during this time it was necessary to see everything planned. Why so little time? This is all due to Swiss prices, which, unfortunately, are currently high for us, but I really wanted to see the country with just one eye. In Lugano, we jumped literally for 1.5 hours, but even during this time we managed to feel what SWITZERLAND is! More about this later. In the meantime

How to get to Lugano


You may be interested in the article “Car rental in Italy: where to rent and what I recommend paying attention to”


From Lake Como

how to get to lugano
The road from Italy to Switzerland
como lugano how to get
Scenic views on the road to Switzerland

We traveled to Lugano from Lake Como ( from Varenna ) – first by the ferry Varenna-Mennadzhio (15,50 € for Skoda Fabia with driver and passenger), and then along the free road, crossing the border. Here, at the border (right in the office), you can buy a Swiss vignette for driving on toll roads. (many people write on the Internet what you can buy at gas stations in Italy, but we asked at gas stations and tobacco shops, and everywhere the answer was one – ” Dogana ” (Italian for “customs”). The cost of the vignette is 40 francs (this is about 40 $, or 37 €). The vignette is valid for a calendar year, or rather, even 14 months (from December 1 of the previous year to January 31 of the next), but there are no shorter vignettes.

border italy switzerland
On the border of Italy and Switzerland there is a border point, in some cases they can check documents, but as a rule, cars pass without stopping.
vignette switzerland where to buy
At the border checkpoint you can buy a Swiss vignette for traveling on the autobahns. You can pay by card. The cost of 40 francs for 1 month.

You can also get from Mennaggio to Lugano by bus C12, see the schedule and ticket prices on the carrier’s website (the schedule has not been updated since 2016) –

From the city of Como, in addition to cars (I usually rent through this site ) it is convenient to get by train. It takes about 40 minutes, ticket price from 20 €, check at


como lugano how to get there by train


There is still at least 2 bus options: Infobus for 6 € (travel time about 30 minutes) and a certain Caputo Bus for 6 €. You can view the schedule and buy tickets through :


como lugano how to get


Taxi from Como to Lugano will cost from 133 €


taxi como lugano

Milan-Lugano and Bergamo-Lugano

The distance from Milan to Lugano is about 80 km, of course, it is most convenient and quickest to overcome it by car ( rent a car ) – in just 1 hour 20 minutes.

During the same time, you can get there by train – trains leave for Milano Centrale about once an hour in Lugano. Price from 24 €

Between the cities there are buses – eurolines and flixbus. Here are the options I found on


Milan lugano how to get


From 147 € you can also get from Milan to Lugano by taxi ( book here )

The distance between Bergamo and Lugano is about 120 km and if you are not by car, then in any case you will have to travel with a transfer in Milan – either by train or by bus. You can read how to get from Bergamo to Milan here .

Zurich – Lugano

If you need to get to Lugano not from Italy, but from Switzerland, for example, from Zurich, you can use the train (from 2 hours and 16 francs, the schedule is at ). With buses, it’s a bit more complicated, I couldn’t find any information.

What to see in Lugano in one day

Probably the most beautiful sights in Switzerland are natural attractions – mountains and lakes. So, in the vicinity of Lugano you can climb the mountains of San Salvatore and Monte Bre. In addition, in the city and the surrounding area you can see:

  • 15th Century San Rocco Church (Chiesa di San Rocco, Piazza San Rocco)
  • Civico Park with Palazzo dei Congressi, Villa Ciani, as well as the Natural History Museum (Museo Cantonale di storia naturale)
  • City Museum of Fine Arts
  • Amusement park “Switzerland in miniature” (Swissminiatur) in Melide (park website
  • The Alprose Chocolate Museum in Caslano (museum website
  • And of course, the Lungolato pedestrian area along Lake Lugano
what to see in lugano
Lungolato pedestrian zone – a place for walks by both locals and tourists

Lugano map with landmarks

Of the few Lugano maps presented on the Internet, perhaps this is the most understandable (click on the picture to see full size):

Lugano map with landmarks

Lugano Hotels

Lugano hotels

On average, the cost of hotels in Lugano starts from 100 € per night for a double room. All that is cheaper – with a rating of less than 8.0 by Bucking (and such hotels, as a rule, I avoid). The cheapest accommodation with a rating of more than 8 points is ibis Lugano Paradiso 2 *, 1.5 km from the center, but, again, only 200m from the lake. Room rates from 91 €.

In the center of Lugano from budget hotels I can mention the guest house San Carlo Garni (from 100 €) and Hotel Nassa Garni 3 * (from 138 € with breakfast).

Of the good hotels – Hotel Splendide Royal 5 * (from 250 € with breakfast, which is not so expensive for a hotel of this level, and even in Switzerland)


In order to save your money, if you are on a car, you can go to Italy for the night. On the Italian part of Lake Lugano (focus on the city of Porlezza) from 53 € per day you can rent from an apartment to a chalet for 4 people. Look at airbnb, when registering via my link , you get $ 25 for the first reservation.

apartments and houses on lake lugano

Ferries and walks on Lake Lugano

ferries lugano
Interesting barbecue boats

The promenade has information on tours of Lake Lugano and ferries. The schedule for the summer season, the current one can also be found in info points or at Also on this site there is a schedule of various events.

Ferries and tours Lake Lugano

Here are the tours that were offered in 2017. (click on the picture to see better)

lugano cruises

Prices in Lugano

If we talk about prices in Lugano, then this is something between prices in Italy and prices in Switzerland. That is, more expensive than in Italy, but somewhat cheaper than, for example, in Zurich.


I also recommend my article about prices in Switzerland.


Parking costs, like the average in Italy, 2 francs (you can pay in euros 1: 1) per hour.

parking in switzerland
Such advanced parking meters in Switzerland – choose your parking space number and pay. All information in the parking meter (no ticket). The policeman patrols his station and if the paid time is up (a black rectangle appears on the display), he will immediately write a fine. At the same time, we came across a responsive policewoman who not only checked whether we paid correctly, but also said whether we glued the vignette correctly 🙂

To understand the prices in the cafe, I took a picture of the Burger King price tag:

prices in luganoburger king prices in switzerland  drinks lugano prices

A little more about prices in Switzerland: Magnet 7 francs Parking 5 francs / hour Sandwich 5 francs Tomatoes 4.60 francs / kg Big King 9.90 francs 9 pieces of nuggets just 7.90 francs 1 francs = 0.87 €, that is, almost 1 to 1. In general, as we understood, the numbers in Switzerland start at 5 🙂 Since we only visited 1.5 days in Switzerland, we did not change the money. Calculated by card. On the border with Italy (for example, in Lugano) you can pay in European currency at the rate of 1/1.

Gasoline prices in Switzerland are € 1.49 (95), which is slightly lower than in Italy.

Prices for rental catamarans and other boats in Lugano from 8 CHF for 30 minutes:

boat prices lugano

Ice cream on the promenade – from 3CHF

prices in lugano switzerland

Prices for souvenirs in Lugano:

suverirs in lugano
Souvenirs in Lugano (click on the picture)

Prices for Swiss knives from 19 CHF:

swiss knives prices

Well, now my photos of Lugano:

lake lugano switzerland
“Plush” mountains and blue lake – view of Lugano on the border with Italy
lugano switzerland
Lake Lugano in the morning sun
city ​​lugano switzerland
We arrived in Lugano – cleanliness, order, fresh air and mountains …
casino in lugano vezaria
Casino Lugano
roads and parking in lugano
Streets of Lugano
quay of lugano
Serenity and tranquility look like this

sights of lugano lugano switzerland sights on your own

Lugano what to see in 1 day
Contemporary art on the streets of Lugano

Perhaps this is all I can tell about Lugano. Our next destination was the Devil’s Bridge and the Monument to Suvorov (did you know that among the Swiss Alps there is territory of Russia?).

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