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Old 09.10.2015, 18:27
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Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

Searched and found an old thread discussing the merits of Lugano vs Locarno. We're going to take the train from Geneva, so will be relying on public transport, with only three days to spare.


It will be our first time in Ticino. We want to experience really fine food (so a good range of restaurants is essential), enjoy fresh air by the lake, get an "exotic" feel , teenage daughter will undoubtedly want to do a bit of shopping (1 hour max, says Dad!) and enjoy accommodation with "atmosphere" and friendliness, not outrageously expensive but not too basic either.


It is very difficult to get a real idea from Swiss Tourism, but reading from this old thread, I get the impression that Lugano is like Montreux (that I don't really like because the glitz and show off is not my cup of tea, and we get plenty of that in Geneva!) and that Locarno is like Vevey (less tourists, more pedestrianised, more authentic, less rip off restaurants.


Anyone with experience of either town who could confirm either way? Cheers.
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Old 09.10.2015, 19:41
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

Your idea about these cities is quite good Lugano is the richest city of Ticino. There you can find Casino, night life, expensive shops, the LAC (Lugano Arte e Cultura),... It is a really nice city to visit but not what you are looking for I think. Locarno is also quite touristic but it is more a village . Unfortunately for your daughter there are not many shopping center in Locarno but visiting the Maggia Tal, Ascona and Brissago islands will worth it. Moreover you can stop to Splash and Spa or Locarno's Lido.
Let me know if you have other questions
Cheers
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Old 09.10.2015, 20:12
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

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Your idea about these cities is quite good Lugano is the richest city of Ticino. There you can find Casino, night life, expensive shops, the LAC (Lugano Arte e Cultura),... It is a really nice city to visit but not what you are looking for I think. Locarno is also quite touristic but it is more a village . Unfortunately for your daughter there are not many shopping center in Locarno but visiting the Maggia Tal, Ascona and Brissago islands will worth it. Moreover you can stop to Splash and Spa or Locarno's Lido.
Let me know if you have other questions
Cheers


I would not be going anywhere near a shopping centre, so that's ok. Independent shops is what I support.
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Old 09.10.2015, 20:57
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

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It is very difficult to get a real idea from Swiss Tourism, but reading from this old thread, I get the impression that Lugano is like Montreux (that I don't really like because the glitz and show off is not my cup of tea, and we get plenty of that in Geneva!) and that Locarno is like Vevey (less tourists, more pedestrianised, more authentic, less rip off restaurants.


Anyone with experience of either town who could confirm either way? Cheers.
I'd say the opposite is true, i.e. Locarno is more expensive, touristy, fake, etc.

But I've only lived here 25 years, so what do I know?

Anyway, from what you're looking for, Bellinzona is the clear answer.

Tom
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Old 09.10.2015, 23:17
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

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I'd say the opposite is true, i.e. Locarno is more expensive, touristy, fake, etc.

But I've only lived here 25 years, so what do I know?

Anyway, from what you're looking for, Bellinzona is the clear answer.

Tom


I must be looking for it on Google maps. I am open to suggestions, as long as it's accessible by train.
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Old 10.10.2015, 00:04
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

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I must be looking for it on Google maps. I am open to suggestions, as long as it's accessible by train.
It's the point that trains go either to Locarno, or Lugano, it's one of the only stops for inter-cities..

But, definitely more relaxed and less expensive than either, with three castles to visit.

Really, I'd go there.

Also, from Belli, you can get to either Locarno or Lgano in less than 1/2 hour by train, it's really central.

Tom
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Old 10.10.2015, 12:33
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

If I were you I would explore Ticino by car. For three people it will be cheaper, you will have more freedom, can stop by and better enjoy the scenario, and will lose less time.

I personally don't think either Lugano or Locarno are a big of a deal. Yes, they are nice cities, have their promenades on their respective lakes, but nothing too special. Bellinzona on the other hand has a lot of historical sights to see.
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Old 10.10.2015, 21:14
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

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If I were you I would explore Ticino by car. For three people it will be cheaper, you will have more freedom, can stop by and better enjoy the scenario, and will lose less time.

I personally don't think either Lugano or Locarno are a big of a deal. Yes, they are nice cities, have their promenades on their respective lakes, but nothing too special. Bellinzona on the other hand has a lot of historical sights to see.


You have not tried to leave Geneva on a week-end, have you? You'd understand why we much prefer to take the train.


However, I have seen that flights Geneva-Lugano are only a fraction dearer than by train, even though my "green inner-self" is telling me not to fly. With just 3 days holiday, the gain of time is tempting. Is it straight forward to connect from Lugano airport to one of the three cities mentioned?
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Old 11.10.2015, 11:54
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

OK, on balance and for practical reasons, we are going to aim for Locarno, which will be our base to explore alto Ticino and then Lugano.


EF recommendations for accommodation in Locarno (must be accessible by public transport)? Cheers.
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Old 11.10.2015, 17:32
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

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You have not tried to leave Geneva on a week-end, have you? You'd understand why we much prefer to take the train.
Geneva traffic is a piece of cake compared to what I experienced abroad.
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Old 21.10.2015, 15:23
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Re: Lugano/Locarno = Montreux/Vevey?

Well, I must say that Locarno at this time of the year, when most Swiss-German tourists have gone home and left the town virtually to yourself, with palm trees contrasting with snow-capped mountains, a sky straight out of a Mediterranean holiday brochure and a b&b above a vegetarian arts café that makes you feel like you are a local, was an absolute dream and wonder!
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