Lugano VS Como: A Tale of Two Lake Cities

Despite their geographic closeness, Lugano and Como offer unique experiences that set them apart from each other.

So, which one to choose from Lugano vs Como?

Lugano offers a dynamic blend of Swiss efficiency and Italian flair, with more high-end activities and a higher cost of living. Como provides a more relaxed Italian experience, with a focus on “La Dolce Vita” at a more affordable price. The weather is more humid in Como than in Lugano. But Como is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. Both locations have accessible options for specially abled people. 

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Lugano vs. Como: A Tale of Diversity

Lugano and Como, though close in proximity, provide distinct experiences. The following is a snapshot comparison of the two cities:

LocationTicino region of SwitzerlandIn the Northern Lakes district, a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy
Weather Mediterranean humid climate.June to August: 80°-90°F (about 27°-32°C)
In Spring & Fall: around 65°F (about 18°C)
Mild & humid subtropical climate. Highest temperature in July & August: 79°-79.7°F (26.1°-26.5°C)
AtmosphereSophisticated city vibe, with a neat and clean town and a lovely atmosphere.Beautiful lake, charming towns, stunning historical villas, and relaxed atmosphere.
ActivitiesRiding mountains. Dining at several restaurants. Hiking or mountain biking. Or simply enjoy the view.Exploring Como’s Old Town.Visiting ancient historical and architectural sites. Hiking or cable car.
Boat trips, tasting local delicacies, Visiting museums.  
AccessibilitySwiss Travel Pass is a must-have. Wheelchair-accessible rail stations and tours. wheelchair-friendly hotels and tours. 
CostHigher Cost More Budget Friendly

Now, let’s dive into the details. 


Lugano is located in the Ticino region of Switzerland, snuggled between the peaks of Monte San Salvatore and Monte Brè. It is right between the Italian and Swiss border. The city is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, with panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding Swiss Alps.

city of Lugano in Switzerland is shown in the picture while reviewing it vs Como in Italy
Lugano – Source: Studying in Switzerland.

Como, on the other hand, lies on the shores of Lake Como, arguably one of the most picturesque lakes in Italy. It is located in the Northern Lake District in the Lombardy region of Italy and the capital of Como province. 

It’s surrounded by steep, wooded hills and scattered with beautiful villas and resort villages, making it a dreamy destination for many. The driving distance between Lugano and Como is 24 miles or 39 kilometers. 

For a complete Italian journey, consider combining these experiences with the stunning Amalfi Coast or picturesque Lake Como. Both offer captivating beauty and enrich the Italian travel narrative.

City of Como in Italy is shown in the picture while reviewing it vs Lugano, Switzerland
Source: Musement

Weather & Atmosphere

With a Mediterranean humid climate, Lugano is warmest from June to August with temperatures reaching 80°-90°F (27°-32°). Conversely, Como’s warmest months are July and August with temperatures reaching 79°F (26°C). 

The winters in Lugano are quite cold, while the summers are warm to hot, with a lot of sunshine and thunderstorms. Lugano’s average humidity is 67% per year. December is the most humid month at 75% and March is the least humid at 59%.

On the other hand, the summers are hot and the winters are cold in Como’s humid subtropical climate. The average annual percentage of humidity in Como is 75%. The most humid month is December with 86% and the least humid month is March with 68%. But, Como is beautiful in any weather and at any time of year. 

Lugano exudes a clean, antiseptic aura typical of many Swiss cities. With a vibrant city center teeming with people, bustling shops, and energetic restaurants, it’s full of life. An exciting blend of Swiss efficiency and Italian zest is created by the presence of international banking and finance institutions.

In contrast, Como is more laid back and inherently Italian. The city is characterized by its romantic, old-world charm that’s evident in its quaint, narrow streets and elegant architecture. 

Life in Como revolves around the lake, with a slower pace that’s perfect for those looking for a more relaxed getaway.

Apart from that, it would be best to consider Praiano or Positano’s coastal beauties for a diverse Italian experience.


When it comes to activities, Lugano offers a dynamic blend of nature, culture, and shopping. The city center is home to high-end boutiques and galleries. There are also numerous hiking and biking trails for the adventurous.

Source: earthtrekkers.

For example, the best things to do in Lugano would be

  • Riding the funicular to the top of Monte Brè or Monte San Salvatore.
  • Cruise Lake Lugano.
  • Walking across the Olive Grove Trail.
  • Visiting Hermann Hesse Museum.
  • Hanging out in Piazza della Riforma.
  • Visiting Parco Civico-Ciani.
  • Hiking to Carona and Melide.
  • Visiting San Lorenzo Cathedral or Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli.
  • Swissminiatur park, etc. 

In Lugano, Italian cuisine dominates the scenes, but you’ll also find Swiss, French, and German restaurants here. Piazza della Riforma is the main town square where you can find options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, this is the place where many festivals and concerts take place. So, enjoy the cultural atmosphere here while tasting the local foods. 

Piazza della Riforma, Lugano – Source: ticinotopten

In contrast, Como presents a more traditional Italian experience with coffee shops, outdoor esplanades, and tranquil boat trips at Como Lake. It’s a city where you can genuinely embrace the Italian art of “La Dolce Vita”. Here, you can

  • Explore the “Old Town” of Como.
  • Explore the ancient city gate of Porta Torre from the XII century.
  • Enjoy a funicular ride to Brunate’s hilltop village and hike.
  • Go on a boat trip to Lake Como. 
  • Marvel at the site of Duomo Di Como Cathedral.
  • Discover local delicacies with a food tour.
  • Visit the Silk Museum in Como, the “Museo della Seta” and purchase local silk products.

If you love fish, you’ll love Como. The Ravioli ripierini di persico al burro e salvia is a traditional Como dish which is Ravioli stuffed with fish. Also, fried lake fish is popular. In restaurants, however, you’ll find fritto misto di lago as the popular dish. So, don’t miss out.

Also, remember to ponder choosing between Ravello and Amalfi, each providing their unique touch to the Italian adventure.


The Lugano City SBB railway stations and all the funiculars are wheelchair-accessible. In contrast, Como also offers options for specially-abled people in its hotels and tours.

In Lugano, however, not all the bus stops are accessible for specially-abled people. You should check the information first for disability access. Lugano also offers wheelchair-accessible tours with private transportation and tours. 

Como, on the other hand, offers flat entrances, elevators, and accessible rooms for specially-abled people in many of its hotels. Also, there are roll-in showers in hotels and wheelchair-accessible areas in tourist spots.  


Lugano is a more expensive touring option for its vibrant and luxurious city atmosphere. Whereas Como is more affordable with its cheap and serene scenes. 

Here’s what a 7-day trip to Lugano will cost you. 

Status of TripSolo TripCouple TripFamily Trip
Budget-friendly $932-$1,990$1,486-$3,260$2,972-$6,088
Average $1,447-$2,676$2,752-$4,754$4,234-$9,012
Luxury $2,719-$9,719$4,298-$13,966$8,596-$25,742

On the other hand, Como offers a more affordable 7-day trip. 

Status of TripSolo TripCouple TripFamily Trip
Budget-friendly $813-$1,880$1,332-$3,016$2,664-$5,588
Average $1,118-$2,204$2,262-$3,996$3,440-$6,956
Luxury $2,545-$9,372$4,124-$12,588$8,248-$22,098

So, choose according to your budget. 

Lugano VS Como: Which One to Choose?

Your choice between Lugano vs Como should be guided by your personal preferences. Lugano is a city with a lively atmosphere and great shopping opportunities if you don’t mind spending a little more.

If you prefer a slower pace, traditional Italian charm, and are on a tighter budget, Como is the way to go. At the end of the day, both Lugano and Como provide unique experiences that cater to different tastes. 

No matter what you prefer, Lugano and Como both promise unforgettable experiences and beautiful memories. Each holds its own charm, waiting to be discovered and cherished.


What Cultural Events Or Festivals Are There in Lugano Or Como?

Lugano hosts several cultural events and festivals, including the Lugano Buskers Festival, Lugano Jazz Festival, and Estival Jazz. Como is known for its annual Lake Como Film Festival and Como Città della Musica, a series of music events.

What Is The Most Beautiful City in Lake Como?

Varenna, Bellagio, and Tremezzo are the most beautiful cities in Lake Como. Varenna entails a stunning landscape located in the middle of the eastern shore of Lake Como. Bellagio is the most renowned city in Lake Como. And Tremezzo is a small village on the western side of Lake Como. 

What Is A Fun Fact About Lugano?

The fun fact about Lugano is that it is the largest Italian-speaking population outside of Italy. It is even sometimes considered even more Italian than the country of Italy itself. It has an Italian vibe but with a Swiss efficiency that is just fun to visit.  


No matter if you decide on Lugano vs Como, you’re guaranteed an experience to remember in these magnificent Lake Regions. 

Both these cities boast a distinctive charm, ready to be explored and treasured. So, make your decision and prepare for an adventure to one of these Italian marvels. Bye for now!

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