Are you planning on living in Lugano, Switzerland and want to know the actual 2023 Cost Of Living in Lugano Switzerland? To see realistically how much money you will need for life in Ticino? We had the same question before moving to Switzerland, since Switzerland is after all considered one of the most expensive countries to live in.
So what is it really like? The real costs? We got inspired by a few others expats to share our actual costs of living in Lugano Switzerland. Are you curious to know this and want to consider moving to Lugano for yourself? Read on to see our specific chapters on rent, health care, groceries, eating out, pet care, car costs, transportation and local activities.
The information shared in this post is based on our personal 2023 costs that we experience on a monthly or yearly basis, based 2 people. Our situation is based on renting a 3.5 room apartment without parking, 10 minutes from the city centre of Lugano. We have a car and also additional costs for having 1 cute kitty.
We also both work full time at home, so no commuting costs are not included here. But you’ll see we have a higher, better internet subscription below for supporting the work from home situation.
So this is our overview on the cost of living in Lugano Switzerland based on these factors.
If you are interested in what its like to live in Switzerland before even moving here, we have wrote 2 reviews from our first 2 months in Locarno, then additionally a 3 month review of living in Switzerland when we moved to Lugano! We’ll have a 1 year review post shared soon when we reach that too!
Rent Costs In Lugano
Rent in Lugano is of course one of the biggest costs you will have to pay.
The rent, as per Numbeo, claim that the single monthly cost is 1,494.20 CHF without rent. With the following CHF amounts below based on being in the city centre or outside of the city centre:
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre
|avg. 1,638.89 CHF
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre
|avg. 1,250.00 CHF
Which we did see many in this price range as the average prices for accommodation in Lugano either inside or outside the city. So this seems pretty relevant for today’s prices. But since we moved house in February 2023 to a location closer to the city centre and to a much bigger apartment, this wasn’t comparable for us.
Our stay at Cadro Panoramica in Lugano was a bigger 3.5 room residence (1 bedroom, 1 living room, 1 kitchen and 0.5 for bathroom). This was for 2 people and 20minutes outside of the city centre. Our monthly costs were a one off rental fee of 1,900.00 CHF. This price was including water/electric, garbage utilities and internet.
For our home since February 2023 close to the city, we are paying a similar amount, but then this excludes the utilities (except electricity). See below some additional utilities we are spending on top of our rent.
The additional utility costs we now have include the following:
- Personal Insurance – 11 CHF per month
- Gas/Water – 150 – 300 CHF per year
- Home Internet – 40 CHF per month
- Mobile phone subscription – 25 CHF per month
- Garbage – around 150 CHF per year – though we are not 100% on this so ill update once we have confirmation and get this bill!
Health Care Insurance In Lugano
Health insurance in Switzerland is of course mandatory for every citizen, and there are lots of companies to choose from.
When we moved to Ticino, we actually did not do too much research into this, but used Comparis.ch to find the best/cheapest one. This then allowed us to set up a health insurance correctly for our first year to have the basics covered, since we are overall very healthy and do not need many additional coverages. We will look into it better for the future years when we want to update this or change companies.
For my personal health care insurance costs, I am paying 344.77 CHF for basic coverage and 26.80 CHF for some additional insurance with my chosen company.
So that makes it 371.50 CHF total per month
This can be cheaper, with Dawid’s having lower monthly costs than mine. He is with another company for his basic insurance so this also varies. However he still pays more than 300 CHF a month for basic health insurance with another company.
UPDATE 2024: The health insurances in Switzerland increased per 2024 for most people. As of January 2024, my personal health insurance is now 409.65 CHF
Groceries and Eating Out In Lugano
This chapter covers food in regards to shopping at the supermarkets as well as ordering food and eating out at local restaurants.
Take Away & Deliveries
For take away, which we don’t order very often, we can expect to spend around 40-45 CHF which would include delivery costs. It depends of course on where and what you would be ordering, but this is based on 2 delicious pizzas and a fizzy drink. However if you wish to order some sushi combos, you can expect to pay slightly more.
For eating out, this is where it can be more expensive. It depends where to dine, with some examples below from some places we have already experienced while living here:
- Our local favourite pizza restaurant in the city centre costs us usually around 45 CHF for 2 pizzas and a drink each.
- A mid range restaurant with a choice of a pasta dish and 1 glass of wine would be around 30 CHF, so then for 2 people around 60 CHF.
- For a high end restaurant with two courses, you can easily expect to pay more than 110-160 CHF for 2 people. This would be based on having soup as a starter, followed by either beef or fish as the main dish, combined with side vegetables or fries.
If you are a coffee lover like Dawid, you may be a little shocked to hear the prices for your favourite coffee combo. For example, an expresso in Lugano will cost you around 3 – 3.50 CHF, where as in Como and Northern Italy just across the border it can be around 1 EUR instead. So a third of the price even with the exchange rate!
And more importantly, for a warm day you may fancy an aperol spritz. This will cost you between 8 – 10.50 CHF depending on where you are in Lugano. In Italy this is of course much cheaper for 4 – 6 EUR.
There are many supermarkets we shop at and what we can look into for the cost of living in Lugano Switzerland, which include Coop, Lidl and Migros as the top three. Lidl is of course lower range with cheaper non branded goods, Coop I would say is average with a range of products of their own to top brands. Followed by Migros being the most expensive in general, even with their own brands available.
For supermarket shopping with similar items each time, we are spending around 300-350 CHF per month. This amount does not include alcohol or any items that we buy additionally, such as extra treats when there is a Swiss festival or events.
Specific items, as shared on Numbeo, claim the average costs for these are:
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)
|Rice (white), (1kg)
|Eggs (regular) (12)
|Local Cheese (1kg)
|Chicken Fillets (1kg)
|Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)
But when I look at this, I know I can get these some of these items much cheaper if you shop around and look for a good deal. For example Lidl has plenty of bread loafs and buns below 2.84CHF and their rice is definitely cheaper than 3.62 CHF.
We own a healthy playful cat, but we are not required to have the mandatory insurance like those who have a dog in Switzerland. However our kitty still incures costs that we must take into consideration to keep her happy and healthy.
The following costs is what we’ve come up with based on our first year in Switzerland;
- Yearly Vaccine & Deworming Tablets – 140 CHF (this was the 1st time at the vet)
- Wet Food (Gourmet brand) – 25-35 CHF per month depending on how much she eats
- Dry Biscuits 1 bag of 10kg (Royal Canin brand) – 63 CHF which lasts 3-5 months
- Little Toys – from 0 to 65 CHF per year
This is of course one of our cost of living in Lugano Switzerland that we could not live without. Our kitty is basically our baby!
Car Ownership In Lugano
So for 2023 we also invested in a car, since we had one before from when we relocated to Lugano, but had sold it in the Netherlands.
We now have a cute little red Abarth 595 which we use often for our grocery shopping, exploring and daily chores.
In Ticino, since we do not have direct parking at our home, it costs us around 400 CHF per year to park it in the special blue parking area nearby. This is paid up front and we have the parking permit inside our front window.
For insurances, this is paid every half a year. We could choose this when setting up when we would want to pay, such as monthly, half a year or yearly.
For MOT, in Switzerland this is done every 2 years. Since our cute little car is 2nd hand, our first MOT is actually due end of March. But we hear that it will cost us around 40-50 CHF to get this one. However it is usually advised to have pre-check appointment before the actual MOT appointment, so we may have additional costs from this to get something fixed first.
Lastly for fuel, we are spending around 60 CHF to fill up completely with petrol. So it depends on how much driving we are doing to how much we use each full tank.
Transportation In Lugano
Since we moved here, we have been in possession of a SBB SwissPass Travel Card, allowing us 50% off for train, bus, boat and a few funicular transportation trips. So before we bought our Swiss car, this half-price travel card helped us save money when exploring.
The initial cost for this Half-price travel card is 185 CHF for 1 year for an adult. When we reach the 2nd year and want to renew this, it will be cheaper. You end up saving money very quickly, especially when we are travelling longer dsitances like from Lugano to Zurich, Lucerne and Zermatt without the car.
You can also use this discount to save money on the special train tickets, like the GoldenPass Panoramic Train we recently enjoyed.
Attractions In Lugano
There are of course lots of enjoyable activities in Lugano, which for us is classed as additional costs for when we want to do something fun or new. This can include a museum trip, renting a pedal boat, joining an event and more.
Some examples of attraction costs in Lugano include:
- A boat trip to Gandria or Morcote – 12 CHF one way (I had SwissPass discount too)
- Swiss Miniature Museum – 21 CHF per adult
- Lugano pedal boat on the lake – 12 CHF per half hour (for 2)
- Cinestar cinema – 10 CHF per person
- Swimming Lido Riva Caccia – 11 CHF per person
- Lugano Museum of Culture – 15 CHF per person
- Touristic Train (40 minute ride) – 9 CHF per person
Since we moved to Lugano, we have not yet signed up to any gyms or classes for spots. However with such good weather most of the year, we usually get out and about exploring the nature with hiking. Some lovely spots include hiking at Monte Bre, Monte Tamaro and more!
Overall Summary Cost of Living In Lugano Switzerland
So we have personally quite a few costs based on our accommodation, owning a car and a kitty. However everything is doable as long as you track what you spend and don’t go over any budget when it comes to food and activities.
Of course there will be other costs to consider based on your own situation, such as if you have children or more animals, or if you buy a house instead of renting.
But we hope this 2023 personal cost of living in Lugano Switzerland overview helps give you a rough idea based on our situation.