Go out in Lugano

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Highlights, tips & info to live authentic going out experiences in Lugano

What time do people go out and how is the nightlife in Lugano?

Lugano is a major destination in Ticino, Switzerland’s lone, and it’s in the Italian-speaking canton. Surrounded by a marvellous landscape of hills and lakes, it’s a town with 65.000 residents which has a lot of cultural offerings. From beautiful Romanesque churches to contemporary architecture, from restaurants and lounge bars to clubs and… casinos! In Switzerland, everything generally happens quite early, especially when it comes to eating. By 12 pm everyone has finished lunch, and by latest 8 pm everyone has also finished dinner. You better keep this in mind, as restaurants here close their kitchens quite early. Don’t worry though, in terms of nightlife it’s a completely different story. Bars and clubs are open from the afternoon and close around 5 am, more or less. You have plenty of time to drink, dance and have fun. The night usually starts with a pre-dinner aperitif in one of the sophisticated lounge bars in town, which usually close between 2 or 3 in the morning; a few of them stay open until later, 4 or even 6 am. Clubs, as well as casinos, are open until 4 or 6 am, especially those outside the residential areas. Switzerland is renowned for being a very well-organized country and here rules are respected very strictly. You can drink alcohol in the open air, there is no open-container law; but there is a drinking age limit: 16 for beer and wine, while 18 for hard liquor. To enter any casino, you will have to show your passport, it is mandatory. If you don’t have it, you won’t be let in.

Which are Lugano's best neighborhoods to go out?

After Zurich, Lugano is for sure one of the most vibrant cities in Switzerland when it comes to nightlife. The city offers different types of music in its bars, cafés and clubs. From live music to rock, metal, hip hop, Latin and the most underground and eclectic electronic sounds. Unless you have clear ideas for your night, you might get lost in the many options that Lugano has to offer. Most bars and clubs are located near Parco Ciani and all around Piazza Riforma, which is the most famous square in the historical center. In this area, we recommend visiting Café Olimpia and Café Tango, especially during the daytime. For the night fun instead, we suggest you visit El Mojito Tropical Lounge, a beach shack in front of the lake which offers fancy cocktails, Grand Café al Porto, which maintains the same old-school touch and class since 1803, Al Lido, the favorite spot for partygoers who meet here before going to the club, Madai and Soho Café, frequented mostly by local people, as well as Belle Epoque Bar, where you’ll be entertained by a pianist every evening till late, and Auberge Bistrot, for some authentic artistic entertainment in the city center. In terms of clubbing, if you’re looking for big events with international headliners we recommend Vanilla Club, Seven Club and Bunker Club, and if you’re looking for the total opposite instead, hidden in a basement in the city center there is Privilege, frequented mainly by locals. Blu Martini is for the funky, soulful, deep house music lovers, Quyn Club is the perfect place if you’re in the mood for commercial and revival hits, while Temus Club is for karaoke and ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s themed parties. Other places to be mentioned are New Orleans Club, with its eclectic programming from Latin to hip hop, 360° theme nights, the place for mainstream hits of all kinds, from metal to hip hop, progressive to rock & roll, and also Underground Club and Morandi, the club of house music and a jewel of Lugano’s nightlife. If you’re looking for a different type of thrill, then try a casino. Just be sure not to bet too much money, it’s quite easy to lose.

How expensive is it to go out in Lugano?

Going out in Lugano can be quite expensive, as it has a mid-high cost of living. Also, don’t forget that there’s the Swiss franc here. A dinner out can cost you between 25€ and 60€, not very cheap. A drink in a bar is usually between 8€ and 14€, depending on the type of location. Beers start from 4€ and shots from 3€. Usually, places where there’s live music request an entry fee. Tickets to get into clubs usually are between 20€ and 40€ and almost always include a drink and the cloakroom. If there are go-go dancers expect to pay a cover charge. As for the casinos, prices are quite high.

What's the dress code in Lugano?

Most places in Lugano are chic and very well-curated, the atmosphere is elegant and cool at the same time. People like to dress quite well when going out here. However, no special dress code is required for most of the bars and clubs. It’s another story when it comes to the casinos though, where the dress code is very strict. Men will even have to wear a tie.