Getting around in Lugano: info, costs and advice

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Lugano, a city in southern Switzerland located in the Ticino region, is easily reachable thanks to the motorway, railway and airport network. Also, if you have little desire to walk, the city has really efficient public transport thanks to which you can comfortably move inside to visit the different attractions.

If you are considering traveling to this destination, here is everything you need to know about how to move in Lugano: info, costs and advice.


  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Lugano
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. How to get around by bicycle
  5. Con i mezzi pubblici
  6. By car
  7. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

The best way to get around Lugano is on foot as the main attractions are located within walking distance of each other. For a first approach to the city, we recommend that you take part in a guided walking tour with a local guide! Instead if you are just passing through the city and have little time, then we recommend the one hour express tour!

If you intend to take public transport, we advise you to buy the rainbow card, which allows you to use both buses and the funicular with a single ticket. Available both day tickets and weekly, monthly or annual passes. To choose the most suitable solution, you can consult the official website of TPLSA (Trasporti Pubblici Luganesi SA), or alternatively download the TPL App, available for both android and IOS systems.

Traveling by taxi is not recommended, especially for the high prices of the races. Instead, renting a car only makes sense if you intend to move around, but for the city center it is highly discouraged, because the attractions are concentrated in the pedestrian areas. If you stay in the city for several days, Lugano Card recommended!

  • Recommended solutions and means: bus, cable car, bike sharing to the center
  • Solutions and means not recommended: car (in the city), taxi, scooter
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: Lugano Card (from 12,00 CHF / € 11,10 -), transport day pass (from 4,60 CHF / € 4,22); multi-journey card (from 11,50 CHF / € 10,55)

How to get from the airport to the center of Lugano

The reference airport is theLugano-Agno Airport, which is located south of the Alps, between Zurich and Milan and is the only airport in the Canton of Ticino. Here Etihad, Swiss Kissfly and Darwin flights arrive and depart, connecting the city daily with Geneva, Bolzano and Zurich, while in summer they also reach Olbia, Cagliari, Pantelleria, Crotone and Rimini.

Furthermore, the center of the city of Lugano is also well connected to the Italian airport of Milan Malpensa, which is about 80 km away and allows various solutions to get to your destination, including train and bus.

Lugano-Agno Airport

  • Distance from the center: 7 km / travel time: 18 min;
  • By train: line S60 of the Lugano-Ponte Tresa railway (FLP) / ticket cost: 4,60 CHF (€ 4,30)
  • By taxi: average cost CHF 40,00 (€ 38,00) / travel time: 20 min
  • By bus: average cost 8,00 CHF (€ 7,34) / shuttle bus to the city center

Milan Malpensa

  • Distance from the center: 80 km / travel time: 1 h;
  • By train: S50 lines from Malpensa Terminal 1 to Lugano Station / ticket cost: from € 20,50
  • By taxi: average cost 220,00 CHF (€ 200,00) / travel time: 1 h
  • By bus: average cost € 18,00 / Flixbus line

How to get around on foot

Lugano is one small town that can be easily explored on foot, since the main attractions and the different things to see are very close together.

To go from one part of the center to the other it takes a maximum of 10 minutes, therefore even the laziest will have no difficulty; for example, Parco Ciani is about 12 minutes on foot from the Cathedral of San Lorenzo.

For a first approach to the city, we advise you to take part in a walk to discover the past and present with a local guide, to know all the secrets of Lugano! Self you are more interested in the cultural aspect, we can recommend the art and culture tour and the photo walking tour of the city!

How to get around by bicycle

Excellent and ecological solution is the h24 rental service of a practical bicycle to move comfortably from one point of the city to another. There are about 44 stations and 400 bicycles, of which 200 traditional and another 200 electric.

For the rental you will have to register on the site PubliBike or download the free PubliBike App. For mechanical bicycles, you will pay CHF 3,00 (€ 2,80) / first 30 min, for each additional minute CHF 0,05 (€ 0,04); for the electric bicycle 4,50 CHF (€ 4,18) / first 30 min, for each additional minute 0,10 CHF (€ 0,09).

Con i mezzi pubblici

The Luganese region has a excellent public transport service which includes buses, trains and ferries. To move in the city center we suggest buses and the cable car, managed by the company TPLSA (Trasporti Pubblici Luganesi SA).

When purchasing tickets, it is important to know that they can have a different duration and that the city is divided into several tariff zones. The center, where the most important attractions are located, is located approximately in zone 1 and 2, while the suburbs start from zone 3. You can find in detail all the information on the duration of the ticket and on the official website of public transport.


The buses that allow you to move within the urban area include 12 lines. Tickets and season tickets have a cost that differs according to the area of ​​travel and the duration of the ticket itself, while the times of the last journey vary according to the lines (consult the official website).

  • Downloadable map: public-transport-lugano
  • by 6: 00 24 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from 2,30 CHF (€ 2,11)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: day pass from CHF 4,60 (€ 4,22), multi-journey pass from CHF 11,50 (€ 10,55)

Park and Ride

It is 4 special lines that connect the neighboring car parks to the city, where you can leave your cars, in the center of Lugano. Much used by commuters and by those who do not want to arrive by car in the center. The areas served are: P&R Cornaredo Resega, P&R Cornaredo Termica, P&R Cornaredo Stadio Est and P + R Fornaci.

To use the service you need to buy the rainbow card, which costs CHF 65,00 per month (€ 59,65) or CHF 650,00 per year (€ 596,50), while for those residing in the municipality of Lugano the price is lower. In the case of occasional use of this service, the cost will obviously be different: CHF 4,60 (cost of the day pass, € 4,22) + CHF 1,00 per hour (approximately € 0,92).

  • Downloadable map: public-transport-lugano
  • always open
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 4,60 CHF (€ 4,22) + 1,00 CHF per hour (approximately € 0,92)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: monthly 65,00 CHF (€ 59,65), annual 650,00 CHF (€ 596,50)


The funicular connects the SBB station with the city center, more precisely with Piazza Cioccaro, with guaranteed and continuous runs every day lasting 1 minute and a half.
The ticket office is open from Monday to Friday from 7:00 to 19:00, while on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays the station ticket office is open from 8:00 to 16:00, that of Piazza Cioccare from 11:00 to 19 : 00.

  • Downloadable map: public-transport-lugano
  • by 5: 00 24 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: CHF 1,30 (€ 1,00)

By car

If you plan to arrive by car in Lugano, the the city has been promoting the use of public transport for several years with the aim of improving the lives of citizens, making traffic more fluid and smooth and improving air quality.

Motorists they can leave their car at Park & ​​Ride, for example, located in the various suburban districts, from there you can use the 4 lines available to move, easily reaching the limited traffic and pedestrian areas which are more and more extensive and numerous.


In Lugano the pedestrian area includes Via Nassa, Piazza della Riforma, the Cathedral, Piazza Dante, the Maghetti district and the immediate surroundings. L'access is only possible to some specific vehicles and in regulated cases, or to those who are in possession of regular authorization. This area is therefore reserved for pedestrians and all users of vehicles similar to vehicles such as roller skates, inline skates, scooters or children's bicycles.

In the event that you find yourself staying in a hotel located in one of the aforementioned areas, and therefore you will have to enter it as a hotel client, theaccess will be allowed only for loading and unloading luggage or to access the hotel car park, therefore without requiring any specific authorization. For more information, visit the official website.

Stops and parking

In Lugano they are several options are available to park your car, both in municipal parking lots with barrier or car parks, and in municipal parking areas with parking meters; you can pay via Parkingpay or via smartphone with TWINT. I'm several private car parks are also available provided by BettyDo, San Giuseppe, SBB Posteggio Sud, Migros, each of which has its own tariff.

The use of Park & ​​Ride is recommended, convenient parking spaces located in the outer districts of Lugano (Resega, Fornaci, Cornaredo Termica, Cornaredo Stadio Est) which allow easily reach the city center by public transport. Costs: public transport day pass 4,60 CHF + 1,00 CHF / h (€ 0,92) for parking.

Within the so-called blue stripes can park only residents in the area, provided that they have requested the relative authorization, therefore tourists who are guests of resident citizens who have authorization, can request day passes to leave their car parked there. In via Tassino, there is also the paid parking for campers and caravans where you can stop for a maximum of 48 hours.

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