Lugano is a city in southern Switzerland that gives you that Italian Swiss accent. It is a city of the Italian-speaking Swiss Canton of Ticino, which borders Italy. The population of the town as of December 2017 is 63,494; with the metropolitan area jumping to 145,000.
It is situated along the Lake Lugano shores and is the largest city in Switzerland with a majority of Italian speakers. The city is surrounded by mountains known as the Lugano Prealps and shares a border with Italy in the Eastern part.
Here are some facts about the city;
•It has a Mediterranean ambiance
•Has an inviting lake and provides visitors with an amazing shopping experience
•You get to enjoy scenic train rides
An interesting fact about the shores of Lugano is that they have been inhabited since the Stone Age period. Various Quern-stones and Ground stones have been found in the area. Copper Age and Iron Age items have also been found around the surrounding areas of Lugano. If you love shopping for clothes, then Lugano is a good place to have a blast because the city has some fancy boutiques, but that is not all – you also get to hike, cruise the lake, and experience luxurious moments in the city’s many gardens. Read on to learn more about why you should live, work, buy a house, retire, or visit Lugano.
Is Lugano a Good Place to Live?
Lugano is a nice place to live – it is almost like living in Italy but with the organization of Switzerland. Since it is Switzerland, it means that everything in Lugano runs smoothly; from the administration to the taxes, among other things. The city is normally hot during summer but not that cold during the winter season, but can be rainy at times.
If I were to advise the centre of the city, it would be to avoid the area because of the high prices. The rent in those areas is quite expensive. Lugano gives you that typical Italian atmosphere, and you can find Piazza Riforma which is the main square and has that Italian atmosphere since it is much closer to Milan than to Bern. For someone who lives in North America, the city of Lugano feels quite similar to what you may be accustomed to in your home country.
The city is situated in the intersection of Gotthard Panorama and Bernina Express. These are two of the best scenic train rides in Switzerland. Living in Lugano the people you encounter daily are quite polite although it is difficult to find warmth among the said people. Although the shopping experience is great, there is a limitation when it comes to variety. The city has a lot to offer when it comes to culture, and you can find much more cultural activities in the Lugano tourism website.
You can also find a community of English-speaking expats in the city, but you will have to conduct a thorough search to find them. When it comes to crime, Lugano has low levels; thus, it is a safe place to live. If you are interested in learning some Italian language while living in the city, it is effortless to enrol in some lessons. You can check out Scuola ILI di Lingua e Cultura.
I highly recommend them since I know they are good when it comes to teaching the language. If you are asking about getting to Milan, then you should know it is very easy. Milan is about an hour away, and you can easily get there by train. The city center is also a walking distance, so you would not have to travel for miles if you want to go for some shopping.
The cost of living reflects that of Switzerland, which is not that cheap. Living in Lugano is pricey. However, if you are someone who can live within your means and above it, you can get along just fine. As for the jobs and compensation most people say they are well paid similar to the United States. You can find historical points in the centre of the city which can help you learn about the Swiss heritage.
The city centre is surrounded by museums, churches, cemetery, libraries, and even the Italian broadcasting facility which is also known as Svizzera di Lingua Italia. Living in the city means that you need to be familiar with the various payment methods. The currency used is the Swiss Francs or its Italian name – franco Svizzera. Other payment methods accepted in Lugano include credit and debit cards. Euros are also accepted in highway tolls, railway stations, and airports.
Is Lugano a Good Place to Work?
Working in Lugano has its benefits and other experiences which you might get to enjoy if you are looking for some excellent adventures. You get to experience the city life which is fast-paced, great outdoor recreational activities, as well as the social security system of Switzerland.
Lugano is the third largest financial city in the country and most of the population work in the financial sector. The social security system of Switzerland is made of three main pillars which include; occupational funds, private savings, and state funds. Moving to Lugano requires you to purchase basic health insurance and contribute about 10% of the total costs of any prescription drugs and treatment.
The good thing about the country is that you have the freedom of accessing any hospital or doctor. Compared to German-speaking Switzerland, Lugano has a historically weak economy, and the unemployment rate is slightly higher than that of the average national rate. However, the town has numerous opportunities for expats.
The economy of the town recently has been boosted by sectors such as tourism, business, and also the financial sector. Lugano, being among the most significant financial sector in the country is home to the Swiss banks and even other international private banks.
The general working conditions include;
•Maximum working conditions of between 45 to hours a week
•All employees are entitled to a 4-week paid vacation every year. But employees have to be 20 years or older.
•To move to Lugano, you first need to get a job offer.
Is Lugano a Good Place to Buy a House?
Housing in Lugano has its perks which we are going to discuss here. Lugano is a beautiful city with some fantastic sceneries. Therefore, deciding to move into the city would not be such a bad idea. If you are looking for some great neighbourhoods, the best ones are areas overlooking the panorama lake.
They do offer impressive views such as that of Mount Brè and Mt. San Salvatore. However, in as much as they provide the most stunning views, houses tend to be very expensive. If you have a limited budget, you can opt for areas with Lugano as they also give you access to convenient city life and also public transportation.
So should you rent or buy a house in Lugano? This is a question which most people ask.
You would be surprised to find out that 60 percent of the population in Switzerland rent the property instead of buying. This makes it even more flexible in terms of accommodation for someone planning to move there. Because the city is a popular tourist destination, property value tends to be high, although cheaper in places like Zurich or Geneva.
You can either buy or rent mostly unfurnished apartments, and this excludes utility and maintenance costs. If you are looking to search for a property, it is better to avoid real estate agents as they are really expensive. Also, you should ensure you view a property before renting or buying to avoid any regrets.
Is Lugano a Good Place to Retire?
If you are looking forward to retiring in Switzerland, this might not be a bad idea. The Swiss government established a residency program which caters to the retirees that flock the country.
Since the cost of living in the country is not that cheap, it might not be a good idea to retire in Lugano with a limited budget. However, if you can afford it, the country is an ideal retirement hotspot. The standard of living is high in the country which means it is safe to live there. There are good infrastructure and a high potential for earning. The country is also very clean, and the streets are safe even during night time.
When it comes to taxes, you are in for a treat because they are quite low. If you are an expat, you are required to pay taxes at the canton and federal levels. However, the canton is the one responsible for collecting all taxes. Life expectancy is also very high in Switzerland. The country ranks among the highest in the world on life expectancy.
Also, English is widely spoken in the country, and the food is excellent. Efficiency in transport, stability, and overall safety make the country a good retirement place.
Is Lugano a Good Place to Visit?
If you are looking forward to visiting Lugano, there are plenty of places you can get to check out and enjoy your stay. Lugano is surrounded by great sites like Lake Lugano, Monte San Salvatore, and Monte Brè. These are great mountains where you can go hiking and explore for some good adventures. You can also check out Centro Storico which is an old centre in Lugano where you can explore churches, arcade squares, and convents.
For some good shopping experience, you can visit Via Nassau, situated on the southern part of the city. Here you can get arcades that have been around since the 17th century.
Other places to visit in Lugano include the Parco Civico which is a lakeside park; you can check out Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli which is a former monastic church that features a great interior. The Hesse museum is also another place to visit to learn about the German author Herman Hesse who won the Nobel Peace Prize.
You can check out the Gandria, the Olive Tree Trail, the Museo d’Arte della Svizzera (MASI) which features diverse art collections, and many other places and sites. Overall, Lugano has a lot to offer for tourists and is worth visiting.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.