If you are searching for a wintery destination to somewhere less known, Winter in Lugano is the festive place to be this year. Lugano in Winter is a warm, pleasant location that occasionally has a sweet white, snow topped mountains. Something you’d enjoy? Then your reading the right post!
We’re sharing our personal recommended things to do, including some snowy mountainous viewpoints and local Christmas events. We will also keep this updated with new things to do in Winter!
Is Lugano worth visiting in winter?
Since we are locals, we would 100% say yes. Lugano is great for some Winter sunshine, surrounded by palm trees, a beautiful lake and snow topped mountains.
We love that you can get out and about exploring Lugano and the surrounding areas also in Winter. Most mornings would be fresh and chilly, but overall the days turn out great for a lovely day.
What is the winter temperature in Lugano?
The weather in Lugano is as expected, cold and possible white, fluffy snow for the winter period. The average temperature is 12°C, so it’s not as cold as a few other Swiss locations.
The average snowfall for Lugano between the end of November to the beginning of March is around 1 inch. But if you wish to visit early January in winter, the average snowfall is then 3 inches. However you never know what to expect for your stay, as you could also be treated with a snowy day vs a sunny day – since the canton of Ticino is where you can find the most sunshine in Switzerland.
Winter In Lugano: Cosy, Warm and Festive Activities
Lugano is a great place for winter, with fun activities as well as many events in the year, with many of these festive events throughout the winter period. If you can, try and visit Lugano during Christmas, but the whole winter period is pretty.
Visit A Local Museum
There are many museums in Lugano that are great to visit. It all depends on your interests, so you need to check each one out. But here’s a list of a few museums to consider:
- LAC Lugano Arts and Culture
- Museum of Cultures
- Cantonal Museum of Natural History
- MASI Lugano Art museum
- Customs Museum (great to combine when visiting Gandria)
Visit Monte San Salvatore
Just like Monte Brè in Lugano, you can visit Monte San Salvatore by taking the funicular from the bottom to top. It will take you to the top with gorgeous wintery views looking North towards Monte Brè. During winter times the restaurant is closed at the top, but it’s still worth going up for the view. Keep in mind the funicular has a winter timetable. If its not going when you visit, you can also decided to hike up!
Viewpoint Punto Panoramico
This is pretty view point between the last bus stop (Brè, Paese) to the top of Monte Bré, looking down to the village of Bre. You can get there by car too. From this viewpoint you have a gorgeous wintery view towards the mountains following the lake. It’s spectacular!
Visit San Lorenzo Cathedral
The Lugano Cathedral San Lorenzo is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint Lawrence. It was founded in the Middle Ages but rebuilt in the late 15th century, with the façade completed in 1517. It is the seat of the Bishop of Lugano.
It’s a famous cathedral based on its stunning location between Lugano city center and the train station, with everyone taking a photo of two of the view together with the cathedral. We suggest you take a respectful visit inside.
Festive Christmas markets
If you are visiting during December of the winter period, Lugano will have all the pretty festive wooden stands for the local Christmas market. It’s lovely to see during this time, where you can buy local goods, souvenirs, warm drinks and of course warm festive food options. There is often also festive music, either from a speaker or lively played. You can find the Lugano Christmas market mainly at Piazza della Riforma.
❅ Looking for a pretty Lugano-themed gift? ❅ESTY SHOP: ZAZOOLKA
Check our Etsy shop for our self designed 3D printed decoration!
Shop Till You drop
There are some lovely little boutiques in Lugano for some wintery shopping. As well as boutiques, there are also some higher end stores to shop at on the ancient streets of Lugano. Spend time walking along each street and side alleyway to discover something you might be interested in. The city is not that big, so it’s easy to explore most within a day or less.
We personally love also the 2nd hand vintage stores in Lugano – check them all out here!
Visit A Spa
There are a few spa locations in Lugano you can consider visiting during Winter. We have tried a few and LOVED them. We don’t have any separate posts for our Spa visits yet, but here are a few you should consider if you want a spa visit
- Hotel Kurhaus Cademario – Built in 1914 and located 850 meters above sea level, Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & DOT Spa has massage, relaxation and steam rooms. It features indoor and outdoor heated pools with water features.
- Resort Collina d’Oro – Collina d’Oro’s 1,000 m² spa area includes various wellness facilities, as well as a fitness room. A wide range of massages and beauty programmes, as well as hydrotherapy are available.
- Hotel Splendide Royal – The on-site Splendide Lifestyle Spa includes a pool, a sun terrace, a gym, as well as various saunas and steam baths. Beauty and cosmetic treatments can be booked.
- The View Spa Lugano – The wellness area comprises a sauna, a hammam, an indoor swimming pool, and a fitness area. Massages can be organized on request too!
Eat The Most Delicious Pizza
Fancy pizza? Well search no further! We can highly recommend stopping at Spaghetti Pomodoro for your mandatory dose of Italian pizza (or pasta if you prefer!). Here they offer so many choices, and each one is cooked to the ultimate perfection. My personal recommendation is the diavola pizza topped with delicious spicy salami.
TIP: For more pizzerias in Lugano, check our specific post for pizza lovers!
Alternatively for more general restaurant recommendations in Lugano, check these best Lugano restaurants of the places we’ve tried and tested!
Walk In The Parco Ciani Gardens
Not far from the city centre (max 10 mins walking) you can enjoy some pretty, romantic gardens. These are located at Parco Ciani, a tranquil place home also to the Library and Lugano Convention Centre. The garden is very well looked after, even during winter in Lugano.
The park is absolutely stunning all year round, but winter is extra special!
Walk Along To The Beach
Being right on Lake Lugano’s water edge from the gardens, walk further along the pathway of trees and red benches until you end up at the small beach area. Is it close to all the boats docked in the bay. It’s a lovely little spot to stop and enjoy the view of Monte San Salvatore and the city, even in Winter. There are some play areas also for children and a wooden path used often for locals to run along, used mostly in warmer weather.
The Views At Monte Bré
Make your way to the top of Monte Bré, whether by the bus and hiking a little or taking the funicular (also with a Winter timetable). From the top on a clear day you will be pleased to see the most amazing skyline. It’s a great vantage point of seeing Lugano from above. From here you are also looking South towards Monte San Salvatore, Monte San Giorgio and Monte Generoso.
Where To Stay In Lugano during Winter time?
If you are looking for a romantic, fun or unique place to stay when visiting Lugano in Winter, kindly check our focused post of hotels and B&Bs that we recommend. The list includes luxury to affordable locations, for solo, couples and families!
We have a fully-loaded, high content Ticino Guide listing local things to see, do and explore with each season: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.Click here
Winter In Lugano: Final Thoughts
There are of course many more wintery things to do, special events taking place and delicious restaurants to try during Winter time that we have not highlighted. We will add more to this post once we’ve experienced more ourselves. However if you’ve experienced Winter in Lugano and have some more suggestions, add them in the comments!
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