Emergency measures in the wake of Covid-19:

Switzerland declared a state of emergency and put border restrictions in place. At the border with France, only Swiss citizens, or those with a Swiss residency permit or with compelling work reasons could enter. On March 16th, the Federal Council announced the closure of bars, restaurants, shops and other gathering places, with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies, public transport and the postal service.

In May Switzerland began to ease some coronavirus restrictions and border crossings to and from Germany, France and Austria are due to reopen from June 15th. Bars, pubs and restaurants are reopening as long as customers are seated with goups of up to four people, or families. Shops, markets, museums and libraries could also reopen. Measures to ensure social distancing include tables two metres apart or separated by a partition. Shops, markets, museums and libraries may also reopen if they comply with precautionary measures.



The lake resort of Lugano is in the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino. Nestled beside a shimmering lake, it's a Swiss Riviera complete with architectural delights, tree-lined promenades, and splendid piazzas.  The climate on this southern side of Switzerland is the warmest in the country, with lots of sunny days to enjoy the scenic beauty. Ancient churches abound, not the least of which is the breathtaking San Lorenzo Cathedral. This is a city rich with art galleries, including the Museo d'Arte, located at Villa Malpensata. The gay scene in Lugano is small but lively.

The Lido di Lugano, the public city beach with swimming pools on the lake has long been a cruising area of the old style, both gay and trade. Also see areas around Viale Castagnola, Viale dei Fiaggi, Via Lido, Via Foce and the Cassarate River.

Getting here

Aeroporto Lugano-Agno is about 5 miles from the center of town. Shuttle buses and taxis are the best way to go.

Many people visit from other cities via Swiss Federal Railways. A rail pass is a quite affordable way to get around, even in first class.

Getting around

Lugano is a place meant for strolling, especially in the piazzas and the promenades. For information on public transportation see the Lugano Turismo site.

Currency and Money

The franc is the local currency for Switzerland (and neighboring Liechtenstein). Many businesses also accept euros, but don’t count on it.

Local Media

360 Magazine is a French-language online guide to gay Switzerland. Imbarco Immediato has gay information for the region in Italian

LuganoTurismo has area information for visitors, including hotels, restaurants, upcoming events and noteworthy sights.

For general tourist information on Lugano and elsewhere in Switzerland, including travel and lodgings tips and gay information, see website MySwitzerland.


Going out

Gay life in Lugano revolves around the Gothic Sauna (Vicolo Vecchio 1). With fun on three floors, the place includes a Finnish sauna, steam bath, relax rooms, solarium, dark rooms, plus a labyrinth, sling and glory holes. Hot meals and drinks are available in a lounge that serves as a reading and discreet cruising room. Nude and foam parties are often hosted here. Their Lugano Guesthouse (via Tesserete 7) appears to have closed.

There are many fine four and five star hotels overlooking the lake. See our map & listings pages for other hotel alternatives, along with restaurants & cafes suggestions.

- Staff 2020