Sunday May 10, 2009 at 8:08 PM | 3 Comments
My San Francisco post was fortunate to be featured in National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog. Since then, I’ve decided to offer my favorite tips and locations for first-time visitors to select regions.
Here are my recommendations for a trip to Lugano, Switzerland in the canton of Ticino. The first place you’ll want to visit is downtown Lugano and the Parco Ciani.
To jump into nature in Lugano, go hike a nearby mountain.
If you love books, you’ll want to visit the Canton Library.
If you come to Lugano, get your picture taken at the top of a mountain.
Food in Lugano, Switzerland
Are you anxious to try the local food of Switzerland? Go to Grotto Ticinese in Cureglia, five minutes by car; or Grotto Rossi in Castelrotto in the Malcantone region west of Lugano or visit the Mendrisotto region south of Lugano to find easy paths among many vinyeards in Ticino where grottos as Grotto Fossati in Tremona offer traditional, affordable meals.
If you have to select one thing off the menu at Restaurant Olimpia in Plazza Riforma, order the steak tartar.
For a great breakfast treat or espresso, go to the Grand Cafe Al Porto.
Lugano is one of the best places for shopping. Items are cheaper to buy here than in Italy. In Lugano there are chocolate shops, watches, of course, and fashionable clothes. Via Pessina is the gourmet street. Check out the five specialty shops of Lino Gabbani.
When watching your dining dollars, stretch them further at Migros or the Coop department store for food and clothes. For a huge splurge, I go to Cristallo Ristorante.
The Pearl Casino is the spot for late night dining, but be warned, Lugano is not the place to grab a meal after midnight.
Just outside of Lugano you can visit Morcote, Switzerland, have lunch at the Grotto del Parco and visit the Scherrer Garden.
Things to do in Lugano, Switzerland
Photo opportunities in Lugano include Lake Lugano and Mount San Salvatore.
The best vantage points are taken by riding a finicular to the top of Mount San Salvatore and going on the roof of the San Salvatore church.
If you want to join in with the locals, the most random thing about Lugano is the swim race in mid-August in the lake.
In Lugano, an active day outdoors involves walking, hiking or biking. A favorite jogging or walking route is the Lugano Gandria Olive Tree Path.
Lugano’s best museum is the Museum of Cultures.
For a night of dancing, go to Madai Disco, Tito’s Place, Laroy or Al Lido.
To find out what’s going on at night or on weekends, read Corriere Del Ticino, but only if you can read Italian.
You can tell a lot about Lugano from visiting the rural valley like Monte Bre.
In the spring you’ll enjoy walking Lugano with all of the flowers in bloom.
In the summer you might like to experience August 1, it’s like our Fourth of July Independence celebration in the United States.
In the fall you might like the local harvest festivals. While in the winter time you should go to Piu Gusto in December.
An undiscovered gem in Lugano is Grotto Flora. And if you are traveling with children, you won’t want to miss Swiss Miniatur.
Where are your favorite places to visit in Lugano, Switzerland?
Thank you to Guide Marco Mastelli and Ticino Turismo for assistance with this post.
Photos and YouTube video by Nancy D. Brown