Hi loves, I hope everyone is having a lovely summer break and traveling somewhere far far away from Dubai’s heat. If not, we wish our posts can help you plan your next travel vacay 🙂
Every year around the same time we make it a point to travel somewhere we have never been to, check those cities off our bucket list and often visit the places we miss from our previous travels and just cant help but go back to. This time around I really wanted to make sure we document all our travels on the blog and not just on the gram since so many of you wanted us to share detailed posts about these places. So here we are!
Lugano is a city in southern Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Ticino region. Mount San Salvatore and Mount Brè flank the city and provide stunning wooded backdrops that cradle charming mountaintop villages. Switzerland is known for its beautiful scenery, yet many visitors are yet to discover Lugano, one of the country’s most charming towns. Nestled at the base of the Swiss Alps and overlooking Lake Lugano. We’re sharing some of the best places to visit with 24 hours in Lugano, Switzerland to help you make the most of your trip.
Where we stayed
We stayed in hotel Novotel located in Paradiso.Overlooking the magnificent Lake Lugano, the four-star Novotel Lugano Paradiso resides in the beautiful part of Switzerland. Notable landmarks nearby include the Museum of Modern Art, the Piazza della Riforma, and San Lorenzo Cathedral. It is located at the centre, all the bus stations are very accessible by walk. There also have underground parking spaces for anyone who has their own car. We did so it was very convenient to leave our vehicle here in a safe underground parking space.
Of all the things to do in Lugano, Lake Lugano is a definite highlight and at nearly 50 square kilometers it can rival nearby lakes Como and Maggiore. In fact 37% of the lake is in Italy, and 63% in Switzerland. We took a stroll through this beautiful lakefront. I absolutely loved the color of the water here, it is this beautiful emerald green/ turquoise crystal clear water. An interesting fact about this is that the emerald-green sub-alpine lake was created by glaciers during the last Ice Age, and reaches the astounding depth of 279 metres!
Piazza della Riforma
The Piazza della Riforma Locarno’s Piazza Grande role of Ticino’s most beautiful square. It’s considered the city’s elegant “living room” surrounded by old buildings. It is the city centre of Lugano with lots of stand alone luxury boutiques, restaurants and cafes. We strolled through these streets and stopped by a cafe to grab some lunch. Nassa cafe was a cute little cafe situated in the midst of the town and we tried some of the best Risotto and Lasagne I have had in the longest time. It was so good that we actually ate our lunch next day in the same cafe as well.
Later we spent our day shopping in the streets, they have some amazing boutiques. including local brands, I always love shopping from local brands and have something to take from the places I visit. We stopped by a local bakery to grab some croissant and it was divine. Try the strawberry jam croissant from Miinger!
The best part about being in Switzerland is you can drink tap water from any place. In fact It is best in places where you get mountain water which is where we are and tap water is essentially mineral water better than what you buy in bottles. We did make it a point to drink or take in as much Swiss water we can in our system.
We then continued our itinerary and were off to explore the beautiful Mont Brè. The summit of Monte Brè (933 meters) is accessible by the funicular railway leaving from Lugano-Cassarate. We took the funicular up and were amazed by the breathtaking panoramic views. At the top there are two restaurants located at the top of Monte Bre, each with a sun terrace that welcome you to amazing views of the surrounding area. We sat here with our beers and enjoyed the beautiful panormic views of the Alps. Also optional you can go visit the little village of Brè. We had 24 hours so we really would not want to miss out the little village of Gandria.
After spending some time at Mont Brè, it was time to check out the unspoiled picturesque lakeside village at the foot of Monte Brè. My favorite part was taking a boat from the Lugano to Gandria. It is such a beautiful boat ride with breathtaking views of the little villages surrounding lake Lugano. It took us about 10 minutes to reach Gandria which sits perched on the edge of Lake Lugano.
Upon reaching the Gandria, we were almost transported back in time. The small alleys, stepped streets and sleepy houses all just take you back in time. These alleys truly managed to hold on to its authentic old world charm. No wonder it is one of Ticino’s most beautiful lakeside towns. The buildings, tightly aligned, can be reached via stairways and alleyways. Infact, some of the houses date back to the 16th and 17th centuries and are embellished with frescoes and stucco decorations. Gandria is not very far from the Switzerland – Italy border; it almost felt like we were in Italy. This village, I am told hasn’t changed noticeably in the last 100 years. I love how the whole village is a car-free zone. The only possible way you can commute here is by walking and which we dint mind. You could aimlessly be walking and getting lost in these alleys without realizing the time. Guys you have to visit this place if you are in Lugano!
Leaving you with some interesting writing from 1913 by writer Giorgio Simona:
“Gandria is a corner of the world, untouched by noise, located in sweet solitude on the steep mountainside, overlooking the deep lake in which it is reflected. The wave of human misery does not beat upon its shore, the spirit can move freely in ideal skies and the soul finds itself in the ecstasy of contemplation”.
A hundred years down, we felt the same in Gandria!