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Top things to do in Lugano

#insiderTips 8 - Novotel Lugano Paradiso Hotel

Tucked into the southernmost corner of Switzerland, Lugano’s ideal location between the northern Alps and sparkling blue lakes of the south make it an appealing destination. Girum, Devis, Tina, Fabio and Mario, our team at the Novotel Lugano, showed us why the city, with just over 50,000 inhabitants, is so famous worldwide and got us ready to explore Lugano as insiders.

#insiderTips 8 - Discover Lugano with the Novotel Lugano Paradiso Hotel team - Novotel Lugano Paradiso Hotel

Lugano treasure

What is your city’s treasure?
Lugano’s biggest treasure is in the sky! The Ristorante Vetta, on Monte Brè, Lugano’s mountain, is a symbol of the city. Get to the restaurant by cable car or one of the many hiking trails. At the top, the view of Lake Lugano, the Alps, and of course the city is extraordinary. On a clear day, you can even see the Monte Rosa and the Bern and Valais mountains.

beautiful buildings Lugano

What monument or building holds a special place in your heart?
The historic district offers an endless array of beautiful buildings, but one of the nicest places in Lugano is the Parco Ciani, a green oasis on the lake shore.  There, you can admire colorful and luxuriant Mediterranean greenery and centuries-old trees, or relax on the grass and enjoy the sun sparkling on the water. Parco is part of the ‘Gardens of Switzerland’ network, and is one of the country’s prettiest gardens. Tourist enjoy visiting it for a break from city bustle.
Any local celebrities?
Lugano offers a healthy climate and has attracted a long list of famous visitors and patients. Friedrich Nietzsche stayed in Lugano, as did Bertolt Brecht,  Paul Klee, Franz Kafka and many other figures from the world of art and literature. The famous Italian singer Mina settled down in Lugano, and it’s said that Casanova himself had several adventures here. Celebrities born in Lugano include German actor Hardy Krüger Jr and the Swiss skier Lara Gut. 

 The LongLake Festival

A not-to-be-missed event?
Lugano hosts several wonderful events. The LongLake Festival, for example, is a big outdoor festival held every summer over an entire month, with music, theater performances and art events, which draws many visitors. For five days in July, the Estival Jazz Festival, dedicated to every kind of jazz, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors as well as big names in music.
What should visitors definitely take home?
Boccalino, a small, traditional wine pitcher made in Ticino, is a perfect souvenir. Pitchers are decorated with colorful Ticino motifs or with bunches of grapes. Add a few bottles of Ticino wine to bring the region’s excellent living and sunshine home with you!

sachertorte lugano

Where can one find your favorite (sweet or savory) treat?
Though originally from Austria, the sachertorte at the Pasticceria Münger in Lugano is exceptional and definitely worthy of a taste test. The other pastries on offer here, and even the bread, are excellent, and shouldn't be missed.
What other specialties is the city famous for?
The Luganighetta, a Ticino sausage, is a famous feature of the canton’s culinary traditions. It has a unique taste and original, snail shell shape, and is a classic on menus in most restaurants, as well as at barbecues, festivals and carnivals.
What’s the most incredible thing you’ve seen in the city?
The ‘Vedetta 1908’ on Lake Lugano: Switzerland’s first electric boat. The boat was renovated and equipped with cutting-edge technology. People can take the boat for a one-of-a-kind visit on the lake, enjoy the view of the city and beautiful landscapes, in perfect harmony with the magical natural surroundings of Lugano.
What languages are spoken in Zurich, and what common words should visitors know?
The official language is Italian. But people also easily speak German, Swiss German and French; English is naturally heard in tourist areas. It’s always helpful for visitors to learn a few local words, such as how to say hello to residents: “Ciao”, “bondi” and “salve”.

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