Switzerland or Suisse in french is an independent country in Europe known for its richness, high cost of living and for its incredible landscapes and climates, has more than 1,500 lakes, it has several of the largest bodies of fresh water in central and western europe including the largest Lake Geneva, in terms of climate it has two distinguish whether, from Alps mountaintop or northern part is mostly glacial conditions which lead to often suffers no sun appearance for weeks like most of the european countries do and on the other hand southern part receives the mediterranean climate, with palm trees, sunny humid and rainfall.
People are here are called “Swiss” they speak quite a lot of languages including German from the frontier part of Germany, French from the frontier part of France, Italian and Romansh from the frontier part of Italy.
Lugano City is known for its Marvelous Lake Lugano a glacial lake located in between the border of southern part of Switzerland and Northern part of Italy. There are two other lakes situated not far from away these are Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.
To start of my adventure, I know you would ask why I chose Lugano Lake from other lakes of Switzerland, apart from visiting the largest Lake Geneva last time but with a short limited time only, apparently Lugano has its own ideal and perfect panorama view furthermore it has its own unique Monte Bré from the east and Monte San Salvatore from west side which encompasses the whole magnificent view of Lake Lugano. though Geneva has Mont Blanc however for summer destinations it’s not really an ideal spot.
The Distance from Brussels Belgium to Lugano City is more or less 836 kilometers taking us more than 8 hours of drive from home until our destination, which led us to stop 3-4 times on the road for to eat and other necessarily needs to be done.
The difference from the gasoline price between Belgium and France are not that much but when it comes to Switzerland it’s more higher, the solution was to gas up in Luxembourg before entering France and Switzerland, note that Luxembourg has the cheapest among of them all, cheaper than in Belgium.
Along the way I have seen a lot of fantastic view from the border side of Luxembourg and France especially in Metz and Strasbourg, We have also drive through the holder of the longest tunnel during 1980 and now currently in its 4th place longest is Gothard Road Tunnel with almost 16.9 km of length.
We started our road trip early 4 o’clock in the morning, had some traffic when it comes to crossing the frontier from Switzerland to Italy. We headed first to our hotel located at the northern part of Milan one of the hotels from IHG booked for one night only with free parking, breakfast and wi-fi, primary purpose is to have enough time to visit Lugano City and also pass by for a shopping in Milan near Malpensa Airport.
The moment we arrived at the hotel around 12:30 pm, we arranged our baggage from car to the room then search for to eat, at that time we haven’t eaten lunch yet so we went to the hotel’s restaurant and waited and waited a lot. There were only 2 employees working that time and the restaurant is full of people ending up on searching online some restaurants nearby.
Kilometer away from the hotel is a simple yet cheap restaurant, shockingly cheap only 8 euros a menu per person including main course and drinks, well considering that we’re in Italy its kinda a bit cheap compare to northern side of europe.
At 2 o’clock in the afternoon we arrived at the main city, the weather is not on our favor again, the sky is starting to be grey but still lucky that It didn’t rain yet. We went to search for a parking space then search for a bank to exchange euros to franc swiss, astonishing banks are everywhere from commercial to privates.
Inside the bank, the receptionist told us that in the city they also accept euros, reminder that euros is just some cent bigger than CHF in terms of monetary value its around 1 euro for 1,07 up to 1,10.
Finally walking in the streets of Lugano City the most awaited part is to see Lake Lugano, minutes walk from the parking lot, we made a desert stop at Macdonald’s my favourite sundae delight.
In front of us is the stunning view of the lake, with the sparking gaze of the fresh water, the yellowish color of the sky was impressive, the rare forms of mountains on the other side of the lake are pretty cool, you will definitely fall in love with its water and mountain creation.
I was absolutely blown away from this wonderful place, the more I zoom with my camera the more I’m amazed by its natural formation.
The journey didn’t end there, I have seen various aerial view of this lake displayed from all over the stores that we have passed the next plan was to get to the hilltop of the city in Monte Bré minutes drive from the city center.
As we go on our way I suddenly spot this perfect view which led me to stop the car and take some pictures of it. What can you say? isn’t it fantastic? who else won’t adore this kind of view.
Panorama View from Monte Bré
Monte Bré is actually a small mountain compare to Mount San Salvatore , you can access here via car but you must be a good driver cause the road is narrow and its a one way road but 2 vehicles can pass at the same time or via Monte Bré funicular its 20-30 minutes drive from city center to the hilltop, from here you can see the view of Lugano, Pennines Alps and Bernese Alps.
There are two more Funicular that you can take also if you’re visiting here, this mountains are must to visit. The first other one is Monte San Salvatore Funicular and Lugano Citta-Stazione Funicular.
After taking spending some time with the mountains, the nature, and the aerial view, I guess the sky didn’t like us to stay longer, it began to turn dark and commence its excessive heavy rain then thunder and lightning. I was kinda intimidated by the fact that we have to cross this tiny road again to drive down back to the city but with more difficulties.
Successfully surpassed all the vehicles in our way back to the city, the rain didn’t stop still after waiting some minutes more finally we headed back to the hotel.
Monte San Salvatore Funicular
On the next day we went back to Lugano and took the Monte San Salvatore Funicular, the price per person was a higher than expected as usual its was 30 euros person back and forth, if you are travelling with a group It’ll be 26 per person. Its open from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on normal days and summer up to 11:00 pm.
But it will guarantee you a 360 degrees view of the city, Lake Lugano, Monte Generoso, and the italian enclave of Campione. It’s absolutely splendid and priceless, I won’t recommend you this if you are afraid of heights or aerial views are not your on list of preferences, if you prefer City Site seeing it would good for you.
Monte San Salvatore and its View
Monte San Salvatore is a mountain situated in the Lepontine Alps above Lake Lugano its as high as 912 meters, arriving at the summit on that day, I can’t barely see the city cause of fogs all over it wasn’t raining but there were some droplets in fog.
After taking to funicular car we arrive at the spot were you can take pictures of the panorama view between Lugano City and the italian enclave of Campione, though I can feel some raindrops falling it didn’t bothers me at all.
The rain started and we didn’t have a choice but to stay at the restaurant nearby and ate our lunch.
We continued to climb up to the top of the hill, there is a cathedral that is found at the topmost part of this site and climbed the stairs inside until we arrive at the topmost part of the cathedral.
The view is spectacular, I lost my words and just take a deep breath and enjoyed the moment but suddenly something terrible happened to me.
As I was busy taking some photos I suddenly suffer from pain of stomach (suffering from dysmenorrhea), due to it we directly rested inside this small cathedral but the pain was still there I was about to cry and I kept on praying, and at last miracle happens after almost 30 minutes of baring the pain I was able to overcome and walk down untill the funicular car.
We drive back at the hotel and there I rested, took some medicine and when I was feeling a bit better we checked out from and directly went to Malpensa Shopping Mall.
It’s actually my second time there, the first time was visiting Milan 2014 which made me discovered this shopping mall with cheaper prices especially in Sales period.
Shopping was done so its time to bid goodbye to our Italian friends and Swiss friends I will miss this adventure though I had gone through some bad situation, however there’s always a brighter side. I’ll surely come back again to make sure to do all the activities that I’ve missed, and maybe shopping again why not.
First I would say that this adventure was amazing, despite of what had happened to me or even due to the weather and even if we didn’t have the opportunity to visit the city that much, I can still say that our tour was successful. Probably one of the most expensive city trip that you want to do, well for me 2nd cause I have been to Geneva too for a day and it is really expensive.
You have to take note that when eating out at the restaurants here prices are from 30 euros per person (not a menu only main course) so if you wanna be thrifty you must pack homemade sandwiches with your or buy from groceries stores, Italy is not far away so it was an advantage to buy some food in Milan and bring it with you in Lugano.
Always check the weather of the City, but yeah sometimes when bad weather comes we cannot do anything against it.
Toll fees crossing Italy are not too expensive 2-3 euros only, and eating out is cheaper than Lugano of course, I recommend you to take a buffet breakfast included in your hotel stay, you can save more.
Which is cheaper to Lugano via Car or Plane? Car will be more cheaper but you need to be more resistant in terms of driving and it’ll take time. 8 hours is a lot for novice drivers it inquires 3-4 stops on the road, however if there’s some sales on flight tickets don’t hesitate to grab it. The flights are pricey from 250 euros and above so if you prefer quick travel then plane is your solution.
Verdict : 7,5/10