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Top 5 Things to Do in Lugano, Switzerland

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Lugano is a small town of 50,000 inhabitants in the southern part of Switzerland. As it borders Italy it is predominantly Italian speaking.
Its summers benefit from this geography making them long and warm. As a result it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Switzerland. For all these reasons the rich and famous flock there garnering it the nickname the “Monte Carlo of Switzerland.”

1. Lake Lugano


The centerpiece of the city’s life is the fact that it is located on the edge of the romantic Lake Lugano. The lake is around 50 square kilometers in size so there is plenty of fun to be had doing whatever a water baby’s heart desires. There are many water taxis and boat rental possibilities as well as a great deal of hotels and restaurants to simply pull in and dock at for a long and lazy shore side meal.

2. Monte Brè


If you haven’t guessed, Lugano’s strong appeal is that it’s all about nature and outdoor activities. If the lake’s scenic views weren’t enough Lugano is surrounded by plush mountains. These mountains afford the largest network of mountain bike trails in the country as well as incredible scenic views and amazing hiking opportunities. One of these mountains is actually Switzerland’s sunniest spot. Monte Brè is tiny traditional village with only 300 inhabitants and well worth a visit. While here if artistically inclined you can visit Wilhem Schmidt Museum and see many examples of the famous Swiss Painter’s work.

3. The Alprose Chocolate Museum


If you have a sweet tooth then you’ve come to the right place. The Alprose Chocolate Museum follows the historical development of chocolate from its creation to present day. Of course, the highlight is the Swiss tradition of chocolate making and don’t worry there are plenty of chances to sample as you study!

4. Hermann Hesse Museum


After all the sun, music and chocolate you can handle why not have a bit of culture for dessert. The Hermann Hesse Museum is located just south off Lugano in Montagnola. The Noble Prize winning author lived half his life here, how could he not be inspired.

5. Summer Festivals


There are music festivals running all through the summer. The Lugano Festival is mainly dedicated to classical music and runs during April and May. It features over a dozen concerts with world renowned orchestras and soloist performing. The second part of the Festival focuses on the Argentinian pianist " Progetto Martha Argerich" in June. This where young and old guest musicians of the international music scene come together to play. Estival Jazz arrives in July and is the premiere Jazz event of Southern Switzerland. Everyone from Miles Davis to Dizzy Gillespie have played at this wonderful event. And if Jazz or Classical music isn’t your style, no worries, because the Blues-to-Bop Festival rolls into town in late August and early September turning the city into a bustling frenzy as thousands crowd the streets and piazzas for more free open-air concerts.


All in all Lugano is the ideal balance between northern Europe and the Mediterranean. It’s the perfect Swiss city with a dash of Mediterranean flair.


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