Moving around Lugano

Discover how to get around Lugano. Find answers, practical advice and information on public transport and maps to facilitate your movements in and around the city.

Mobility in brief

In Lugano, an efficient public transport system allows you to move comfortably through the city and its surrounding areas. Funiculars take you to spectacular views and, if you are a nature lover, Lugano offers a network of bicycle paths and scenic ferry rides. The centre of Lugano is easily accessible on foot, but for immediate transport solutions, you can rely on taxis and ridesharing services.


km of cycle tracks


minutes from the station to the university


hours away from Milan and Zurich airports


Walking paths

Getting around by public transport

Trasporti Pubblici Luganesi SA (TPL) is the company responsible for public transport services covering the city of Lugano and the surrounding areas, including the municipalities of Massagno, Paradiso, Savosa, Vezia, and even reaches Manno.

Download the timetable of the TPL bus lines here.

  • Tickets: Arcobaleno tickets are the distinguishing feature of the new integrated tariff. The range of tickets varies from single tickets to time- and cost-optimised solutions, such as the multi-ride card and the multi-day card. Click here to find out more about Arcobaleno ticket types and fares.
  • Subscriptions: Available in annual, monthly and weekly options, the Arcobaleno season ticket is the ideal solution for those who regularly use public transport to travel for work, leisure or personal reasons. This season ticket allows unlimited use of all public transport, including buses, trains and some boats, in the areas specified during purchase. Click here to find out more about Arcobaleno ticket types and fares.


Download the Arcobaleno Community Fare Zone Plan.

Arcobaleno does not operate sales outlets directly; however, tickets are available for purchase from ticket vending machines located in town centres and from transport companies affiliated with the Arcobaleno fare network. Consult the map offered by to find out where to purchase tickets and subscriptions! 

There are three funiculars in Lugano:

  • Lugano City – Train station Funicular: In operation every day from 5 a.m. to midnight 365 days a year. Starting from the centre of Lugano, you will be at the station in 1.5 minutes. The fare is 1.30 CHF.
  • Monte Brè Funicular: The starting point of this funicular is in Via Pico in Cassarate, or in Via Ceresio in Ruvigliana, and it takes 15 minutes to reach the summit of Monte Brè. The funicular runs from morning to evening, from the first Saturday in March to 6 January.
  • Monte San Salvatore Funicolar: This funicular takes 12 minutes to the summit of Monte San Salvatore. It is 500 metres from the Lugano-Sud motorway exit and a five-minute walk from the Paradiso SBB railway station and the Paradiso, Stazione/Scuole and Paradiso, Geretta bus stops. It operates from morning to evening from March to November, with rides every 30 minutes. In summer, the last ride is at 23.00.

From April to October, there are many boat excursions to choose from, passing through characteristic villages such as Gandria and Porlezza on one side and Morcote, Capolago, Porto Ceresio and Ponte Tresa on the other.

Download the boat timetable from

Travel in the region is possible with:

  • ARL: The Autolinee Regionali Luganesi connect the northern districts of the city with the centre via three different lines:
    • 19 Lugano Cornaredo-Cadro-Villa Luganese
    • 441 Lugano-Canobbio-Lamone
    • 461 Tesserete-Lugano-Villa Luganese
    • 462 Lugano Centro-Trevano-Canobbio-Tesserete-Carnago


For timetables please consult the website of ARL.

  • AutoPostale: the largest public road transport company in Switzerland, guarantees daily connections between the centre of Lugano and the peripheral areas. The PostBus network is integrated with other means of public transport (SBB, cable cars, funiculars, etc.) and is therefore able to offer various offers, as well as organised trips in Switzerland and abroad. For timetables please consult the website of AutoPostale. 

Subscriptions and conventions

Those who live or reside in Lugano are entitled to subsidies from the City for the purchase of an annual ticket Arcobaleno  (second class).

  • Young people under 20: 50% subsidy for zones 10, 11, 12
  • Students under 27 : 50% subsidy for zones 10, 11, 12
  • Young people 20-25 years old non-students: 50% subsidy on the difference in cost between zones 11 and 10 or 11+12 and 10

To purchase a season ticket, go to one of the points of sale shown on the map, presenting proof of identity and, if a student, proof of study.

Municipal Saver Day Pass

The Municipal Saver Day Pass is a limited offer that you can obtain from the City of Lugano.

Please note that the card is only sold to residents of Lugano: check the conditions here.
Purchases can be made at one of the three Puntocittà Centres by presenting a valid identity document: day cards bear the name and surname of the person using them.

The Puntocittà offices:

  • Lugano Centro, Via della Posta 8
  • Pambio Noranco, ex Casa Comunale, Via Pian Scairolo 18
  • Pregassona, ex Casa Comunale, Via Sala 13

Getting around by bicycle

PubliBike is the bike sharing application that allows you to rent a bike in Lugano. All you have to do is register here and search for an active PubliBike station. Learn more


Electric bicycles must circulate on cycle paths and lanes. There are two categories: 

  • slow electric bicycles (pedal assistance up to 25 km/h)
  • fast electric bicycles (pedal assistance up to 45 km/h).

For fast electric bicycles, a driving licence (at least category M) is required for everyone, including adults.

È disponibile una mappa proposta da che indica le posizioni delle stazioni di ricarica per e-bike in Ticino.

I cavi per la ricarica possono essere trovati in una cassetta vicino alla stazione di ricarica o presso l’edificio segnalato sulla mappa (si consiglia di controllare in anticipo gli orari di apertura). 

Getting around by car

Carpooling is the sharing of car journeys between several people. This sustainable approach is at the core of MixMyRide, the company that has developed a ‘mobility as a service’ platform.

Car sharing is a service that allows any driver to share a vehicle with other users, paying according to the actual time of use.

The Mobility fleet offers 24-hour vehicle rental and use via a self-service system. In Lugano, four strategically positioned stations are available:

  • FFS Station
  • Lugano Centre (Via Cantonale, junction with Via Pretorio)
  • USI (Via Buffi Lugano)
  • Congress Centre – Via Campo Marzio Lugano

To book a taxi you can call on the following companies:

A public map of the electric vehicle charging stations installed in and around the city, provided by the federal government with data from Swisstopo, can be found below:

Foreign drivers who have been resident in Switzerland for at least 12 months must obtain a Swiss driving licence. The cost of the licence is CHF 150 (without professional categories) or CHF 200 (with professional categories). Any costs for examinations or medical examinations will be charged separately.

Fill out the conversion file for your foreign licence on the Cantone Ticino website (pratica di conversione della tua patente estera sul sito del Cantone Ticino.)

In order to import your vehicle, which has never been registered in Switzerland, it is mandatory to undergo a test procedure before proceeding with registration.

Below are the procedures for importing a vehicle proposed by the Canton of Ticino:

For more information on converting your licence and driving your vehicle, visit the website of the Sezione della Circolazione del Cantone Ticino.

It is possible to drive a borrowed vehicle.
However, to prevent possible theft charges, you must have written permission from the vehicle owner.
For this purpose, the City of Lugano offers people living in Lugano the signature authentication service, which is required to fill in the legally valid paper form of the authorisation to use a vehicle belonging to a third party.

The form, which can be downloaded from the link below, can be printed and filled out, but does not have to be signed immediately.

To complete the authorisation it is necessary to go with the unsigned form to one of the Puntocittà counters (Centro, Pregassona or Pambio Noranco). At the counters it will be possible to complete the form, after contacting a City official who will authenticate the signature.

To authenticate your signature, you must present a valid identity document (passport or ID card). The cost is CHF 25 per authentication.
Download form: Authorisation to use a vehicle belonging to a third party – Signature authentication

Motorway vignette

Remember to get the annual Swiss motorway vignette (CHF 40.-), which is obligatory for travelling on Swiss motorways. You can buy it in Switzerland at petrol stations, post offices and customs offices at the borders, or abroad at points of sale before the borders.

From August 2023 you can also purchase the vignette electronically.

Parking in Lugano

Discounts are available for residents of Lugano who do not have private parking spaces; it is in fact possible to park one’s own car in the public car parks in the so-called blue zone, provided that the citizen – or company – is a resident in that zone. Authorisations are issued on an annual, weekly or daily basis.

Tourists and guests of citizens residing in one of the blue zones can also apply for one or more daily cards (for a maximum period of four weeks) and leave their car parked in one of the city’s blue zones.

Annual facilitation for Level 3 parking spaces (blue zones)

Provisional authorisations for Level 3 parking spaces (b<lue zones)

In order to have up-to-date and detailed information on parking spaces for persons with impairments in the city as well as in the rest of Switzerland, Lugano relies on the collaboration between the TCS-Touring Club Svizzero and the Accessibility Data association.

In addition, the TCS provides free information on the location of thousands of wheelchair-accessible parking spaces in Switzerland via an interactive map in the online section Current Traffic Situation.

In addition to the exact location and address, photos and other practical information about the areas in question are provided.

Construction sites, road conditions, tunnels, passes and the presence of webcams are indicated on the interactive map.

All the information is also available in the free TCS App, which was awarded a prize in 2012 by the Access for All Foundation for its user-friendliness and simplicity for blind and visually impaired users.

  • Park&Ride car parks are located in the outer districts of the city and offer an efficient connection to public transport, making it easier to reach the city centre without a car. Currently, three options are available:

    P+R Resega,
    P+R Fornaci
    P+R Cornaredo Termica.

    The Cornaredo-Gerra car park, on the other hand, is closed and only available for extraordinary events (circus, horse competition, etc.) or as a temporary emergency car park, replacing other parking areas in Cornaredo that are not viable because they are closed.

    Access card:
    Application conditions:

    Arcobaleno season ticket zone 10*
    domicile outside zone 10*
    place of work at least 1 km from the parking area
    * See fare zones on the TPL map


    CHF 650/year
    CHF 65/month
    CHF 500/year or CHF 50/month for entitled persons domiciled in Lugano
    CHF 0.50/hour in the 6 p.m.-6 a.m. slot and on Sundays

    The validity of the card depends on the duration of validity of the Arcobaleno season ticket.

    The number of passes issued is equal to the capacity of the P+R.

    Passes for the P+R Cornaredo Termica also allow access to the P+R Resega, and vice versa.

    For further information on the use of the P+R and the issue of the card, please contact the sales office of TPL – Transporti pubblici luganesi SA (Lugano Centro stop), write to or call +41 58 866 72 24/25.

In the centre of Lugano, in the Piazzale ex-Scuole, six free parking spaces equipped with lockers are available to motorcyclists who want to store their personal travel belongings: jacket, overalls, protective shell, helmet, bags and anything else they don’t want to carry around the city.

To be able to use the locker chain, you only need a padlock.

The lockers are intended only for motorcyclists who need to use the locker.

In Lugano you can park in the car parks Motta, Balestra, Piazza Castello, LAC and in the Campo Marzio barrier car park.

Daytime rates (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.):
first half-hour free
first hour of parking: CHF 2.
after the first hour: CHF 1.- per 30 minutes up to 3 hours parking time
after 3 hours parking: CHF 4.- per hour
from 12 to 24 hours of parking: CHF 43.

Night rate (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.)
CHF 1.- per hour of parking

Loss of voucher:
CHF 43.

Payment is required on weekdays, Monday to Saturday inclusive, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Parking spaces with a maximum parking time of 90 minutes:
CHF 1 per 30 minutes

Parking spaces with a maximum parking time of two hours
CHF 2.- for one hour and CHF 3.- for two hours

Parking spaces with a maximum parking time of four hours
CHF 0.50 per hour

There are also several private car parks in the City of Lugano:

Each car park has its own fee schedule.

Parking with collective meters and multi-space meters can be paid via smartphone using the Parkingpay system. Through Parkingpay, it’s also possible to purchase temporary parking permits for several days in metered parking spots and blue zones, up to 14 days per year.

Here’s how to download the Parkingpay App:

  1. Download the Parkingpay app (iOS / Android version).
  2. Create your own personal account by entering: personal details and license plate number.
  3. Access your Parkingpay account and load the desired amount.

How to use the Parkingpay App:

  1. Access the Parkingpay app.
  2. Select Lugano and the parking zone.
  3. Select the license plate of your vehicle.
  4. Choose the day and duration of parking

For visitors traveling by camper, discover suitable parking spots.

Reaching Lugano

With SBB Swiss railway, it’s possible to directly reach Lugano from numerous cities in Switzerland and Europe, such as:

  • Zurich: 1h 55′
  • Basel: 2h 56′
  • Bern: 2h 58′
  • Geneva: 4h 47′ (via Gottardo)
  • Milan: 1h
  • Rome: 4h 37′
  • Como: 33′
  • Varese: 48′

For cross-border students, it will be possible to return to their residence within the day.

Regarding what you can bring with you, check the customs regulations.

With Flixbus, you can reach Lugano with direct connections from numerous European cities. Find you more


Lugano is easily accessible by car from cities like Milan, Basel, Zurich, Geneva, Bern, Munich, St. Gallen, and Chur. The A9/E35 Lakes and A2/E35 are the main highways to take.

ATTENTION: remember to purchase the Swiss motorway sticker, which is mandatory for traveling on Swiss motorways and is valid for one year (CHF 40.-). You can buy it in Switzerland at gas stations, post offices, and customs offices at the borders, or abroad at sales points before the borders. As of August 2023, it is also possible to purchase the sticker in electronic format.

Crossing the border with a borrowed vehicle is possible. However, to prevent possible theft accusations, it is necessary to have written permission from the vehicle’s owner.

You can reach Lugano with direct flights to the following airports: Zurich, Milan Linate, Bergamo Orio al Serio, and Milan Malpensa.

Once landed, rely on the Swiss railways, the shuttle services of the Italian airports, and the direct trains connecting Milan Central Station and Lugano Station.
Check also the direct train TILO from Malpensa airport to Lugano

Check the infographic on regarding imports to Switzerland with the current limits.

It is not allowed to enter Switzerland without declaring goods worth more than 300 Swiss francs or that exceed the established limits for food, alcohol, and tobacco. You can cross the Swiss border with any amount of money (cash or securities), but if you enter the country with more than 10,000 Swiss francs, the customs authorities may seize the money in case of suspicions related to criminal activities.

All information on Swiss customs can be found here.

Do you have further questions?

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