Andrew Montgomery

Lugano

Ticino’s lush, mountain-rimmed lake isn’t its only liquid asset. The largest city in the canton is also the country’s third-most-important banking centre. Suits aside, Lugano is a vivacious city, with posh designer boutiques, bars and pavement cafes huddling in the spaghetti maze of steep cobblestone streets that untangle at the edge of the lake and along the flowery promenade. The opening of its LAC arts centre has bumped it up in the cultural stakes, too.

Popping up above the lake are the twin peaks of Monte Brè and Monte San Salvatore, both commanding astonishing views deep into the Alps and attracting hikers and mountain bikers in the warmer months.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lugano.