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When Is the Best Time to Visit Lugano, Switzerland?

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Lugano is the biggest city in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino and the ninth biggest in Switzerland. It’s also got the largest Italian-speaking population outside of Italy.

Right on Lake Lugano, with its churches, gardens, shops, and more, Lugano is definitely a fantastic place to visit. Lugano is also surrounded by mountain ranges such as Monte Brè, Monte San Salvatore, Monte Tamara, and Monte Lema.  You can also check out nearby towns and villages like Morcote, Locarno, Bellinzona, Melide, and more. 

If you were wondering when to visit Lugano, this is the article for you. Here’s what to expect in Lugano during the different seasons of the year.

Image of Parco Ciani Garden. Credits: Wikimedia

When do tourists visit Lugano?

Lugano is a destination that anyone can go to with friends and family at any time of year. Tourists love Lugano from April to October, but the winters are spectacular too.

Considering I live north of Ticino, I’d recommend visiting Lugano after the ski season ends and right before the lakes warm up. I think it would be a great place to visit during autumn too, shortly before ski season begins.

As a result of its southern location, autumn, winter, and spring are milder in Lugano than in the rest of Switzerland. The climate of Lugano can be described as humid subtropical. Its summers are warm and humid. Winters are cold but milder than in the rest of northern Switzerland. Snowfall is also relatively low.

Best Time to Visit Lugano

Image of Lugano by Andreas from Pixabay

The best time really depends on your plans and preferences. I would recommend April, May, June, September, and October. During these days, when the ski season is over and swimming season isn’t in full swing yet, flowers begin blooming or leaves change colors in Lugano.

The caveat is that it’s going to be more crowded and it may rain. As long as you avoid the main summer school holiday of July, it will be more comfortable for you.

Lugano in Spring

  • It’s the best time of year to visit Lugano in April because of the great weather and temperature. 
  • Towards the end of April, there’s more rain.
  • May is Lugano’s wettest month, with an average rainfall of 196 mm (7.7 in).
  • Flowers will start blooming. It’ll be a good time to visit many parks and gardens.
  • Hiking is plentiful, but you might get snow on the higher trails at the beginning of the season.
  • Cable cars and cog trains may be out of service during this time because of maintenance.  

Lugano in Summer

Image of Lugano Lake by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay
  • Summer lasts from May until mid-September.
  • Heavy rainfall is expected during this period, especially in May and June. There are also fairly frequent thunderstorms.
  • Temperatures reach 28 degrees Celsius, but on average are around 20 degrees Celsius.
  • Peak summer temperatures reach almost 30 degrees Celsius in mid-July. The temperatures rarely fall below 17 degrees at night.
  • July is the sunniest month, with an average of 8.2 hours of sunshine per day.
  • Summer is a popular tourist season in Lugano, so accommodation and other living conditions can cost a little more.
  • For outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming, the best time of year to visit Lugano would be between mid-June to mid-September.
  • According to the tourism rating, the best time of year to visit Lugano for outdoor activities during the warm season is from mid-June to mid-September.

Lugano in Autumn

  • Autumn generally is from mid-September to October.
  • In Autumn, the temperature starts dropping and so does the amount of precipitation received.
  • The temperature drops to 10 to 17 degrees Celsius from the height of 28 degrees Celsius in summer.
  • You will find loads of chesnuts everywhere during this season, especially roasted and candied ones.
  • Grape harvest also begins in autumn.

Lugano in Winter

  • The months of November to February are the coldest of the year.
  • The temperatures average around 7 to 9 degrees Celsius and snowfall is expected sometimes.
  • The weather at this time of year in Lugano is too cold to be pleasant for warm-weather travelers
  • Rainfall is very less during these months. You will have the least chance of significant rainfall in Lugano in January, December, and then February.
  • The weather at this time of year in Lugano is too cold to be pleasant for warm-weather travelers.
  • Weather in winter is ideal for those who want to go skiing, snowboarding, and do other winter sports.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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