This event has content to be optimally done over a few days (weekend or more) but you can definitely adapt it as you wish.

Train journey: Around 4 to 5h for Lausanne Gare to Lugano Gare. Ticino is on the other side of Switzerland, so it will take you time to get there from Lausanne and maybe a day-trip is not the optimal way to enjoy the experience to the fullest.





Ticino is an Italian-speaking part of Switzerland and one of its most beautiful regions. It is the perfect place to enjoy all seasons, with a Mediterranean climate, palm trees, and Swiss mountains!


Below you will find a list of activities to do in several cities and regions within Ticino. To go around cities, you can use Google Maps. For hikes, you should check out SwissTopo or SwitzerlandMobility.


Lugano :

-       Walking by lake Lugano is just a joy, with magnificent views all along the way. For the courageous ones, you can also swim!

-       You can visit Swissminiatur, an open-air museum that houses miniatures of Switzerland’s most famous landmarks.

-       Take the boat and discover lake Lugano! You can reach many nice and picturesque villages, among which is Gandria. You can then walk along the beautiful Olive Path to Castagnola (3.3 km), before returning to Lugano (another 3 km).

-       Hike up to or down from Monte Brè to have a wonderful view on lake Lugano and the surroundings!

-       To hike up, start from Gandria, and walk your way up. It’s a 4km-route with 650m ascent and will take you around 2h. You can then walk around the village at the top, and either go down by foot or with the funicular (8 CHF with half-fare/16 CHF without half-fare for a single ride).

-       In case you only want to hike down, you first go up with the funicular and then take exactly the same route for the hike up in the other direction. The route takes around 1h30min.

-       More information on this website.

-       Hike up to Monte Tamaro, which lies in between Locarno, Bellinzona and Lugano.

-       From Lugano, take the train to Rivera (25 min). After taking the cable car to Alpe Foppa (1530m), you can start your ascent to Monte Tamaro.

-       The hike is 9km long with a total ascent of 720m, and will take you around 3h35min.

-       More information here.


Bellinzona :

-       Visit the market of Bellinzona, which takes place on Saturdays from 7.30 to 13.00 (full-version) and on Wednesdays from 10.00 to 17.00 (reduced-version). More information here.

-       Visit the 3 castles of Bellinzona and discover the history of the region! The time required for the visit is about 2 to 4h. More information here.

-       Hike to the impressive Tibetan Bridge near Monte Carasso. Starting from Monte Carasso, this hike is around 8km long, with a 969m total ascent and will take you 4h in total. More information here.


Locarno :

-       Walk along Lake Maggiore

-       Walk all the way up to the sacred mount Madonna del Sasso, a famous sanctuary with a beautiful view over Locarno, Lake Maggiore and the surroundings. It is open from 7.00 till 18.30 and is a 20 min-walk from the station. More information here.

-       Discover the very touristy but very beautiful Verzasca Valley.

-       The trail begins in Contra near Locarno and ends in Sonogno, for a total of 24.1 km. You can decide to do it all or adapt the distance to your preferences!

-       More information here and here.

-       Visit Ascona, Switzerland’s lowest lying town. From there, you can easily walk up to Monte Verità (25 min), once the site of spiritual and cultural gatherings in the 20th century. More information here and here.


Now you have an idea of the many amazing activities you can do in Ticino, but of course, the list above is non-exhaustive and you can find more activities on the Ticino region’s website :


Your beloved ESN Committee


This event can be made sustainable by taking the train and public transportation, using reusable kitchenware and bottles and not littering your surroundings #ESNaware




Lausanne to Lugano

From Lausanne-Gare, you can take the train to get to Lugano. Two options are available :

-       Change trains in Luzern, the route will take 4h 17min.

-       Change trains in Zürich, the route will take 4h 41min.


In either case, the train ride is long, so if you want to enjoy a full day in Ticino at your arrival, you will need to catch an early train!


From and in Lugano

-       Swissminiatur : by train → from Lugano train station, take the S10 train going to Chiasso and get off at Melide. by boat → take the boat from Lugano-Centrale and get off at Swissminiatur Melide. You can check the timetable for boats here.

-       Boat tour : Take the boat from Lugano-Centrale and get off at Gandria or wherever you want to get off at!

-       Monte Brè : Take the boat to Gandria and follow this path to the top or take the funicular from Monte Brè and walk your way down!

-       Monte Tamaro : From Lugano train station, take the S10 train heading to Bellinzona and get off at Rivera-Bironico. Then walk to the cable car station (Monte Tamaro SA, Via Campagnole, 6802 Rivera), which is less than 10 mins away from the station, and take the cable car up. When you arrive to Alpe Foppa (the last stop of the cable car), you can follow this trail.


From and in Bellinzona

-       Market of Bellinzona : Situated in the center of Bellinzona (Piazza Collegiata, 6500 Bellinzona)

-       3 castles of Bellinzona : The trail to visit all three castles is 5.5 km long and will take you around 2 to 4 hours. More information on the trail can be found here. You can find some valuable information including how to plan your route and the different sights and activities awaiting you there on this blog post.

-       Hike to the Tibetan Bridge : From Bellinzona’s train station, take the bus number 2 (towards Giubiasco Stazione) or 311 (towards Locarno) and get off at Monte Carasso, Cunvént. Then follow the trail detailed here.


From and in Locarno

-       Madonna del Sasso : you can walk up to the emblematic church and is only 20 mins away from the train station!

-       Verzasca Valley : Start from the Verzasca Dam. To get to it, from Locarno train station, take the bus 321 towards Sonogno and get off at Diga Verzasca. From there, follow the trail described here.

-       Ascona : From Locarno train station, take the bus number 1 to Losone, Sottochiesa, and get off at Ascona Centro.





You will need :


-       Good shoes

-       Water bottle

-       Reusable cutlery and boxes (for lunches during hikes and walks)

-       Appropriate clothes for hiking

-       Swimwear if you feel like swimming!

-       Your camera, because the scenery is breathtaking!

-       Sunscreen (don’t underestimate Ticino’s sun!)

-       Clothes and other stuff you need for a few-days trip




The organization of this event will cost :




-       Train Lausanne-Lugano (one-way) : 54 CHF (with half-fare) / 108 CHF (without half-fare)


We advise you to take a one-month seven25 pass (39 CHF) and leave in the evening to Ticino. You would have to arrive pretty late at your destination but this would replace the very expensive train tickets that you would need to take, and save you up to 177 CHF. 

As a reminder, this pass allows you to take any public transportation in Switzerland between 7p.m. and 5a.m. (during the week) or 7a.m. (during weekends).

You can also use the pass for your return journey and arrive early on your first day by buying a regular train ticket. In this case, look for daily tickets provided by your municipality (examples for Lausanne and Ecublens) that allow you to take any public transportation in Switzerland within a calendar day. They are sold out quite quickly so buy them as soon as possible! Alternatively, look for tickets with discounted prices (what they call “billet dégriffé”), which are only valid for the time and day you choose (tickets with this option have a small “%” next to it on the SBB app or website).


-       Note that if you stay in a hostel or in a hotel, you can get a free Ticino ticket, that gives you free access to public transport in the Ticino region as well as discounts on mountain railways, boat trips and tourist attractions.




For accommodation, we advise you to look for hostels in the city you want to stay in. The average price for a night is between 40 and 50 CHF. You can enjoy 10% off your reservation with your ESNcard if the hostel is part of the Hostelling International network! So don’t forget to register your ESNcard on to benefit from this offer and many others!


Otherwise, you can also rent an Airbnb! You might find cheaper prices than in hostels. However, you won’t be able to obtain a free Ticino ticket.





Yasser Haddad

Telegram : @ifloat

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