The Swiss city of Lugano is magnificently located on the lake of the same name, surrounded by the Alps. Because of the wonderful microclimate, palm trees grow along the lake. The city is a great operating base for hikes through the mountains or boat trips on the lake. The (larger) Lake Como, in Italy, is only a 30-minute drive.
In 2004 the city was combined with several surrounding municipalities, making the number of inhabitants increase to almost 60,000. The inhabitants of Lugano speak Italian.
Lugano is located in the south of Switzerland, where the river Cassarate enters Lake Lugano. The river flows between two mountains: the Brè (925 meters) and the San Salvatore (912 meters). The Italian city of Como (on the lake of the same name) lies 30 kilometers southeast of Lugano.
The financial sector (banks and other financial services) plays the main role in local economy. Many people who work in Lugano are actually from Italy. Tourism is the other important source of income. Although Lake Lugano is smaller than other lakes nearby (Lake Maggiore and Lake Como) the city and surroundings exert great attraction on tourists.
The city's airport, Lugano Airport, is situated over 5 kilometers west of the center in a straight line. It's reachable by rental car in different ways. It's easiest to go to the train station and then take the Via Besso, followed by Via Bioggio and Via Lugano. Freeway A2 also runs along the airport. The way to the airport is clearly signposted.
The yellow 'Post' buses offer 5 city lines and over 60 lines to various destinations in the vicinity of Lugano. There are also funiculars to higher areas, like from the lake to the train station, and to Mount San Salvatore and Mount Brè. Ferries maintain connections with places along the shores of Lake Lugano. Part of the lake is located in Italy, so don't forget to bring your passport.
Lugano gets very busy in summer months and it may then be difficult to find a free parking place in the street for your rental car. Fortunately there are several parking garages in and around the center, of which the locations are clearly signposted. A rental car is an ideal means of transportation to discover the surroundings, for example for trips to Italy.
Lugano has a large choice of accommodations ranging from pleasant family hotels and bed & breakfasts to luxurious four-star hotels. If you want to visit Lugano during the summer you need to book your hotel room well in advance. The rest of the year it's usually fairly easy to find accommodation.
For more information about Lugano, we recommend Google and the following sources: