1. Beyond beautiful
Lugano is a lakeside town surrounded by beautiful lush mountains straight out of a postcard. The landscape is similar to the famous Lake Como area but even more dynamic. You may be short on cute as a button Italian villages but Lugano is plenty pretty and nature takes the cake here.
2. Super friendly locals
The Swiss in this part of the country are super friendly. I felt like I got embraced by complete strangers. No one will hassle you on the street and the tourist presence is minimal but if you need anything you can stop anybody on the street and they will try their best to help you.
3. Scenic hiking heaven
While the mountains surrounding Lugano will not provide you with a week-long wilderness hike, the views from the top are stunning. To make it better, the scenic viewpoints are available to people of all fitness levels due to cable cars going up to the top of Monte Bre and Monte San Salvatore. You can hike up and down, take the cable car up and hike down or if hiking ain’t your thing you can just take the cable car return and take gorgeous selfies at 900+ meters above sea level and soak in the view.
Switzerland is famous for being safe and you can definitely feel it in Lugano. I was never uneasy even walking back to my hotel late at night on my own. I could leave my e-reader and phone on the shore when I went swimming (which I never do when on my own). Even train stations close to midnight were totally safe without any unsavoury characters! It’s a perfect place for anyone considering solo travel but feeling a bit scared of the idea.
5. Swimming swimming swimming
Let’s be honest, I’m a water baby. Put me in a boat, a kayak or just dump me into the sea off a cliff and I’m perfectly content. And my affair with water began in a lake when I was 9. Well actually, it was more like 2 but I sank like a stone until 9. Lugano is perfect for swimming with pebbly beaches and clean, warm water. It’s also okay for sailing and boating on a windier day. The lake also has some waves due to the sheer size of it. And due to the town being so safe you can take a swim late in the evening without being worried.
6. The food
Lugano is a border town and so the food served in most restaurants is a fusion of Italian, Swiss and Argentinian. I have no clue where that last one came from but Lugano has a thing for chimichurri sauce and it’s fabulous.
The Swiss rail network is a wonder and it’s no secret I LOVE trains, especially after living in Belgium for a while. Lugano is 2 hours by train to Zurich, a little over an hour to Milan and about the same (or less) to Como. It’s a great location if you want to add on an exciting day trip to your holiday!
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