The parts I knew best about Switzerland were that of the stunning Swiss Alps and those made famous by a popular 90’s Bollywood movie called Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ). Haha!
When we planned our trip to Switzerland, it was to only explore Zurich and Lucerne. By some stroke of luck, we had an additional day to spare and had absolutely no clue what to do. Remember, Switzerland
can will make your wallets feel lighter and last-minute train tickets don’t come cheap. Our friend recommended Lugano and it fit our schedule + budget to the dot. To be completely honest, I had never heard of Lugano until the night before *stupid me!* . We started off with our daily morning Swiss ritual of running to the train station! Trains here are ridiculously punctual and for someone who, like me, is almost always late this was…. let’s say difficult.
My very first glimpse of Lugano and I knew it was going to be a wonderful day. The mountains, the turquoise blue waters and the beautiful buildings – it was dream like. We went with absolutely no expectations and absolutely no plans whatsoever. The visitor center is right by the train station and they will go above and beyond to help plan your day. Being the picturesque town that it is, we decided to skip the train and walked down the long winding road towards Lake Lugano. This is how we spent our day:
- Cattedrale di San Lorenzo : We made a quick stop here. It was amazing to see the almost life-like paintings inside the cathedral. Considering it was painted many, many years ago, they were remarkable. The view from the square at the cathedral is breathtaking. It was post card perfect.
- We then walked to where we thought was the city center and it was lined with beautiful little boutiques and cute stores that sold trinkets. I love cobble stone streets, they always add an old world charm. I loved walking around this pretty little city.
- Ristorante Tango : By far the best-est seafood Risotto I’ve ever had. The food was cooked to perfection. Oh and I highly recommend this drink called “Summer in Lugano” – it tasted as it good as it sounds! *I think i need to write this on a full stomach. Thinking about it is making me hungry!* All in all, the food was totally worth it! Don’t be swayed by the price, they make it worth your while.
- Monte San Salvatore : Post a delicious lunch, we walked along the beautiful Lake Lugano to the base of Monte San Salvatore where we took the funicular to the top. The timetable and fares for the funicular can be found here . The panoramic views are absolutely breathtaking – what with the mountains, the lake and the pretty city of Lugano! It is postcard perfect! There’s a restaurant atop Monte San Salvatore if you want to get something to eat/drink. We did not have anything so I can’t speak for how the food was. But all in all, this is a must do when you find yourself in Lugano. An absolutely delightful place to spend the day.
- Parco Ciani : We then headed back downtown and had some amazing gelato from a gelato truck (?!) and made our way to Parco Ciani. Set in the city center, it boasts of all the flower beds making this park picturesque. The flower beds on the banks of the turquoise blue lake with Monte San Salvatore across the lake – oh my – it was a treat for the eyes. We took a stroll in the park where we found some statues and even gym equipment. Our guess was that it has a bit for everyone who enters!
We didn’t have the opportunity to witness the sun going down on this charming little city. We quickly grabbed a pizza to go and took the tram back to the train station. There was no way we would’ve been able to walk uphill after all the strolling we did in the city. *Phew* Lugano was such a treat in so many ways – a city that will draw you in and make you fall in love, a culinary treat and most of all – one that left us with many, many beautiful memories! *and pictures 😉* We would definitely recommend spending at the very least a day in Lugano! Happy travels, lovely people!
Lots of Love,