Lugano is a city in the south part of Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. the city is famous with its Mild, almost Mediterranean climate, a big lake which feels like a sea and distinguished architecture.
Getting to Lugano from Zurich by train is even easier now. After Gotthard Base Tunnel was opened the road takes only 2 hours. Don’t forget to check sbb.ch, you might find discounts up to 50% for the train tickets.
Where to stay in Lugano depends on purpose of traveling. Below you may find my experience in some of the hotels with different history and locations.
HOTELS IN LUGANO
Villa Sassa is a four stars hotel in the heart of Lugano. It’s a perfect hotel for a business trip or travelers who want to be in the city. The Villa stays a bit up on the hill not far from the train station and has outstanding view over the city and Lugano Lake.
Good to know:
- Guests can enjoy Fitness Centre and SPA area with in- and outdoor swimming pools. By the way, one of the best Swiss cosmetic Cellcosmet and Cellmen is used for the SPA treatments here.
- There is a beautiful small park with an outstanding view over the city and the lake.
- Restaurant Ai Giardini di Sassa offers amazing food and has 14 Gault & Millau points (an influential French restaurant guide) as a proof of excellent quality.
- The rooms are not so much new as classical. The general atmosphere is very warm and cozy.
- All the hotel guests benefit from the Ticino ticket – a ticket for the public transportation for the whole Ticino canton. You can explore Lugano, mountains around as well as amazing towns, Alps, lakes and bridges of sunny Ticino canton.
Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & Spa
Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & Spa is a historical hotel above Lugano with a breathtaking 360 ˚C view over Lugano Lake and the city. The hotel has been hosting guests for the wellness relaxation and health rehabilitation for over a century. The history of the hotel goes back to 1914, when the German care house was found. It was a first place where doctors provided alternative natural treatments. Today, Kurhaus Cademario is still one of the leading hotels for the wellness, recovery and relaxation in Switzerland.
Good to know:
- Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & Spa is only twelve kilometers from Lugano at the altitude 850 meters above sea level.
- There are 82 rooms and suites in the hotel.
- Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & Spa was completely renovated 3 years ago.
- Wellness zone and SPA occupies an area over 2200 SQM and includes in- and outdoors heated swimming pools with rain cascade, hydromassage, pools with salty water, sauna, hamam, Turkish steam bath and Salt Tepidarium.
- SPA treatments are performed using the Cellcosmet and Cellmen cosmetic.
- The Gourmet Restaurant “La Cucina” has 14 Gault & Millau points. The fabulous view and delicious cuisine make the restaurant a perfect place for the healthy dinners.
- You have a unique opportunity to taste some delicious White Merlot from the local wineries.
- Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & Spa also provides the Ticino ticket, which allows all hotel guests use the public transportation in the Ticino canton for free.
Villa Principe Leopoldo
Villa Principe Leopoldo is a historical house and a five stars hotel located on the Golden Hill of Lugano. The villa was the home of German Emperor Wilhelm’s brother in law. If you are looking for a place with gorgeous scenery, feeling of elegance and exceptional gourmet food, Villa Principe Leopoldo is the place.
Good to know:
- Villa Principe Leopoldo has 37 specious suits.
- All the rooms are facing the lake.
- The restaurant of the hotel is famous far beyond Lugano. Well-known Chef Dario Ranza, who has been working at the restaurant for over 27 years, creates food art for guests. His exceptional culinary skills give the restaurant 17 Gault & Millau points.
- Hotel has its own winery and produces some very nice red wine.
- There is an outdoor swimming pool and SPA zone with exclusive products like Cellcosmet and Cellmen, Natura Bisse’, Marius Fabre and OPI for the SPA treatments.
- Villa Principe Leopoldo also provides the Ticino ticket for guests. Enjoy free traveling around the Ticino canton.
Walking in Lugano
The Town Hall (Palazzo Civico) is located on the Piazza della Riforma, that is a beautiful main square in the middle of the old town. The tourism office is located there. That was my starting point for exploring the city. If you stand in front of the Town Hall facing the Lake, on the right hand you will find the old town with its charming small streets, Lugano Art Centre (LAC) and San Salvatore mountain. On the left hand from the Town Hall will be the Villa Ciani, the Civico Park and the mountain Monte Bre.
I walked all the way from the Town Hall through the old town until the funicular to the San Salvatore mountain. On the way passing the monument of Carlo Battaglini, the Church of Saint Maria degli Angioli, LAC (Lugano Art Centre), Villa Malpensata and of course stunning view over the lake.
Good to know about Monte San Salvatore:
- To reach San Salvatore mountain from the city centre is possible by bus: Bus #2 from the bus stop “Lugano Centro” to the Paradiso direction until the stop “Funicular S.Salvatore”.
- Funicular departures every 30 minutes.
- Prices for the funicular:
Adults: One way – 23 CHF; Round trip – 30 CHF;
Holders of 1/2 price or GA FFS/SBB: One way – 11,50 CHF; Round trip – 15 CHF.
- Journey time approximately 12 minutes with a change of the funicular in the middle.
- Working hours: 9:00 – 18:00 (in summer until 23:00)
More information about timetables and the prices on the official website.
On top of the mountain you may find several breathtaking panoramic view points, a nice restaurant and the San Salvatore museum. There is also an old chapel which has a terrace on the top with a panoramic view over the city, the lake and Alps.
Good to know about Monte Bre:
- It’s easy to go from the San Salvatore to another side of the city to the mountain Monte Bre. Bus #2 from the bus stop “Funicular S.Salvatore” to the Castagnola direction until the bus stop “Cassarate M.Bre”. The journey will take around 25 minutes.
- Funicular prices:
Adults: One way – 16 CHF; Round trip – 25 CHF;
Holders of 1/2 price or GA FFS/SBB: One way – 8 CHF, Round trip – 12,50 CHF.
- Journey time approximately 30 minutes with a change of the funicular at the Ruvigliana.
- Working hours: 9:00 – 18:00 (in summer until 23:00).
On the way back from Monte Bre you can take the bus #2 until the stop “Palazzo Congressi” and walk through a beautiful park – Parco Civico. The park ends at the lake shore, that leads back to the starting point – the Town Hall on Piazza della Riforma. There are plenty of restaurants there. After a long, interesting and emotional journey around the city you can enjoy some delicious food. By the way, food is incredible here. Mostly, Italian cuisine – simple, but undoubtedly tasty and nutritious.
If you use your Ticino ticket to go a little bit outside of Lugano, you can find a very nice hiking path in Bellinzona, which leads to the suspension bridge with a thrilling view. You may find more information about the bridge in the article -> TIBETAN BRIDGE “CARASC”
Enjoy discovering sunny and beautiful Lugano and the Ticino canton.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me -> GET IN TOUCH