About us | Contact | n%2Fa | n%2Fa
Home Get in touch Forum Questions about staying in Locarno or Lugano
MySwissAlps features commercial and non-commercial links.

Questions about staying in Locarno or Lugano

Print this page
Posts: 5 
This thread is closed. You are welcome to log in and submit a new thread.
11 posts
new member
Feb 29, 2020 - 1:33 PM

I have done some research for my family of 4 or 5. I will be traveling with my husband, 24 year old son and 21 year old daughter and possibly but probably unlikely my son's fiancee.

When we arrive in Milan will go directly to a hotel in Locarno or Lugano. We can stay for free in Locarno.

We plan to spend 2 nights in one of the towns to get over jet lag, relax, explore a lake and maybe visit the castles in Bellinzona.

Here are my questions:

1. What is the quickest way to get to Locarno from the Malpensa airport and do you know what it costs?

2. What is the most economic way to get Locarno from the Malpensa airport and do you know how long it takes?

3. If we stay in Locarno how do we get to the Gotthard Panorama express train/boat to Lucern? What is the fastest way to get there and cost? What is the most economical way to get there and how long does it take?

4. We may want to explore Lake Lugano from Locarno. How would we get there and how long does it take?

5. If we don't stay in Locarno we will stay in Lugano. Pros and cons of each?

960 posts
top member &
Feb 29, 2020 - 6:11 PM in reply to Bless10s

Hi Bless10s,

1. Malpensa Airport - Locarno. The quickest way would be by train, which w0uld take about 2 and half hours. Not too sure about the cost but perhaps between CHF30 and CHF60. If you have a railpass such as the Swiss Travel Pass or the Swiss Half Fare card, your tickets will cost substantially less.

2. Malpensa Airport - Locarno. The cheapest way would be to take the bus. Not too sure about the price but probably around CHF20, and the journey takes about 4 hours.

3. If you would like to experience the Gotthard Panorama Express, and your base is Locarno, the closest station to board this scenic train is Bellinzona. Trains from Locarno leave regularly for Bellinzona and the journey takes less than 30 minutes. More informaiton about the Gotthard Panorama Express here: www.myswissalps.com/gotthardpanoramaexpress/gettingthere

4. There are regular train services between Lugano and Locarno. It is definitely possible to a day trip to Lugano from Locarno. For inspiration have a look at this link: www.myswissalps.com/onedayticino

5. The pros and cons of staying in Locarno and Lugano. You'll find details for comparison below:

Personally, I liked them both just the same but maybe Locarno would my choice because it's closer to Val Verzasca and the Centovalli region.



Last modified on Feb 29, 2020 - 6:12 PM by Anna
1192 posts
top member
Mar 2, 2020 - 5:56 AM in reply to Anna

Hi Anna,

Your link to Lugano doesn't work. Looks like it is a spelling problem (alsp instead of alps). URLS are very unforgiving ! You can delete my message here as soon as the link is fixed.


8888 posts
Mar 2, 2020 - 6:12 AM in reply to Bless10s

1. The SBB timetable will show you a suburban train connection from the airport (T1 or T2) to Locarno. You change at Gubiasco. It takes 2h 50m. It takes your 1 h 36 to Lugano. The SBB timetable won’t tell you the price. Maybe Trenord will? It does - Malpasena Aeroporto to Lugano is 21 Euros. See also www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/lugano-to-milan-malpensa-trains.

3. Get a train to Bellinzona and joint the Gotthard panorama Express there. Check the SBB timetable for fares.

You pretty much get everywhere by train in Switzerland. For more guidance on checking timetables and finding fares see www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/checking-train-timetables.

ps I like Lugano better than Locarno and you can start the Gotthard Panorama Express from there. Lake Lugano is fabulous. See this trip report.

1192 posts
top member
Mar 2, 2020 - 6:20 AM in reply to Bless10s

Hello Bless10s,

Are you staying a total of two nights in the Ticino ? If your nights in Locarno are free then that is a big factor to consider. It looks like you have a very limited time and you have mentioned Bellinzona as a place of interest. It will take you less time to get from Milano-Malpensa to Lugano than Locarno. If you definitely want to visit the Val Verzasca, then Locarno is better for that. If the Val Verzasca is not on your list of places you want to visit, then I would be inclined to stay in Lugano (although a free stay in Locarno is wonderful). From Lugano you can visit Gandria and/or Morcote, the Swiss-miniatur in Melide, and I would recommend that you go to the top of Monte San Salvatore using the funicolare that starts in Lugano-Paradiso. Check out the photos on their website. Che vista mozzafiato !


All you need to know about traveling by train, bus or car in Switzerland.



Hand picked Swiss hotels and other accommodations are right here.

© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2020