If you are planning a trip to Lugano, Ticino, the southernmost Canton of Switzerland why not considering taking your bikes with you on holiday?
Our kids have received their 1st “big” bikes and are on them pretty much every free minute they have.
This is why, when we knew we’re heading down to Ticino, to be more precise the Lugano Region, we started to investigate whether it would be a great idea to bring the bikes with us on holiday.
Together with Ticino Tourism we investigated a few things and decided that it is worth bringing the bikes to Lugano.
Before reading on you may wish to check our swiss activity map
In this article you will find the following:
- Why should you take your bikes on holiday to Lugano, Ticino?
- How to get to Lugano by Train and Bike?
- Bike tours for families in Lugano Ticino, Switzerland
- Important things you need to know when biking in Lugano with kids
- Biking within Lugano City with the family
- Bike routes near Lugano with kids
- Conclusion on whether to bring your bike to Lugano or not.
Why Should you take your Bikes on Holiday to Lugano, Ticino?
The positive points on our list for bringing the bikes to Lugano easily outweighs the negative aspects of travelling with bikes .
- It brings something new to a family holiday in Lugano
- It will prepare the kids for a plan we have – cycling on easy bike routes through Switzerland!
- It allows us to go quickly from A to B within Lugano
- And we wanted to find out how easy is it to bring your bike on the train in Switzerland and travel to Lugano?
After a bit of research together with Ticino Tourism we came up with some great bike tours for families in Lugano and nearby. So the decision was made that our Lugano break will include the bikes.
How to get to Lugano by Train with your Bike?
We travelled to Lugano in the Canton Ticino, Switzerland by train from Zürich.
This alone needed planning and a well-organised packing plan.
But we managed perfectly with two North Face bags that also work as backpacks. We managed to get all our belongings ( 2 adults and 2 kids) plus 2 smaller backpacks inside which we would use once in Lugano.
This way the adults each had one bag to worry about and the kids had their own little backpacks.
The good thing that once your bikes are inside the train in Zürich, the next stop is 2h later in Lugano. No stressful changing of trains. Time to enjoy the beautiful ride via Zug, through the Gottardo Tunnel and now NEW when in Bellinzona the train continues through the Ceneri Base Tunnel to its final destination Lugano Ticino.
I think if there would have been a lot of changing of trains we would have opted to take the car, but this train journey was so easy and relaxing.
Bike Routes for Families in Lugano Ticino, Switzerland
I have done the research for you, by actually being there with my family and we have learned the hard way. 🙂
Actually no, only one family bike route in Lugano was not as family friendly as we would have liked it to be. But with a bit of adapting the bike route and motivating the kids we managed to get back to our Hotel in Lugano safely and still have some fun on our bike route.
More Biking in Switzerland Related Articles
Before you carry on reading you may also like to read our Top Article about “Planning a Family Bike Holiday in Switzerland. FAQ & Answers.”
In this article you will also find important information on how to make a reservation for your bikes to bring them on a train, prices & more.
Or simply our Guide to Biking with Kids in Switzerland which has information on the general aspects of biking with kids in Switzerland and the rules.
Important things you Need to Know when Biking in Lugano with Kids
Ask your accommodation provider, whether you are staying in a hotel in Lugano (or a hostel or campsite) to give you a Ticino Ticket. With this ticket you travel for free on the entire Ticino public transport system plus you qualify for discounts on other attractions.
As some of our bike rides in Lugano involve taking a train, with the Ticino Ticket your fares are covered.
DON’T FORGET TO PAY FOR YOUR BIKE!
Bikes are not free of charge and a ticket needs to be purchased. You can buy a day pass which gives you unlimited access but for these suggested bike routes near Lugano a zone ticket is enough.
For short journeys, you can buy a half-price 2nd class Point-to-Point ticket for your bike from the machines at the station. If I remember correctly the return fare from Lugano to Taverne for the Origlio Lake tour was Chf 4.60 per bike.
Children under the age of 6 do not need to pay for their bikes!
Here is a link where you will find much more information on the rates for bikes on trains.
Biking within Lugano City with the Kids
I knew little about the facilities and infrastructure on how easy it will be to bike with kids in Lugano, so it was a bit of a”we will see when we get there” experience. I assumed it would be like the Lakeshore in Ascona – Locarno and this was why I was pretty relaxed about it.
One thing you need to know when biking in Lugano, is that the city has hills to negotiate. So, therefore be prepared that you may have to push the kids a bit and make them cycle these city hills, or you walk.
It is good training and allows a first experience of the challenge of uphill cycling.
Although there is always another option. Once I had studied the Lugano Map I quickly figured out that there is a funicular to bring you to the main train station and the top of the city.
It was obvious that once we figured this out, we used it every time. You and your bike travel free of charge on the funicular with the Ticino card.
Funiculars in Lugano you can use to Overcome a Hill
- To reach the main train station in Lugano you will most likely need to cycle uphill from your Hotel in Lugano (or other accommodation). You can also do what we did and cycle to the “Lugano Citta Funicolare” which is a short uphill from the lake. This funicular brings you up to the Lugano Train Station.
To get to this funicular you will cycle along the pedestrian city streets which are quite wide. As always be careful, respect the pedestrians and if in doubt get off your bike and walk.
- Another great funicular is at Cassarate in the Castagnolia area which is after the Parco Ciani. We used this one because we wanted to go for the sunset at Parco Michele. To take the bus from where we stayed was quite long and to bike up to the Parco was a no go as we had been quite active that day.
Biking along Lago Lugano (Lugano Lake)
Our hotel was in the Paradiso area which is south of the main city centre. Only a short distance away was a dedicated bike route on the lake side path. This was great!
Just before the main centre this path goes onto the road. As there were not many people on the wide path along the lake side, we reduced our speed and stayed on the pavement all the way to the entry of Parco Ciani.
Biking within Parco Ciani in Lugano
Once within Parco Ciani you can bike again freely, enjoy these beautiful views of the lake and up to the surrounding mountains of Mont Bré and Monte San Salvatore.
Within the Parco, and when cycling with kids, there are compulsory stops to be made at the playground and at the beach near the Lido di Lugano.
Cycle to the Olive Grove Path in Lugano
Another reason we were happy to have the bikes with us in Lugano was when we made a last-minute decision to walk along the Olive Grove Path which is in the Castagnolia area. Too far away to walk there and the busses were not running at the times when we wanted to go.
From the city centre we cycled through Parco Ciani along Lido di Lugano and continued on the pavement uphill until the side road headed down to the beginning of the Olive Grove trail.
Whilst cycling this downhill I was already thinking of the way back up we had to conquer at the end of our walk. But it was there where I finally had an “epiphany”:) I had completely forgotten that I am riding an e-bike and with it I must be able to somehow push the kids up the hill.
And this is what we have done on the way back. It was perfect as it was a quiet road with hardly any traffic. Super quickly and to the delight of the kids we managed this hill. It really helped out a lot and suddenly more of the Bike routes in Lugano opened up to us.
Bike Routes Near Lugano with Kids – Agno to Caslano
This was without doubt our favourite route. And before you ask (as we did), which lake is that? It is still Lago Lugano! 🙂
Make your way to Agno with the local train from Lugano station which for us was from platform 12. As we couldn’t find this platform we had a bit of a Harry Potter moment… Perhaps it was a secret platform only for locals? Platform 12 is outside the upper level of the main station (lake side). Cross the road and take the ramp down to the the platform.
Get off the train in Agno. The bike and pedestrian path which will bring you to Caslano is a short distance away.
The bike route goes along the lake shore, passing some beautiful little harbours and beaches which will invite you to dip your feet on hot summer days. Therefore, bring your swimming costumes if the weather allows it.
There was only one point during this easy bike route in Lugano Region where we had to be a short while on a road with cars. It was in Magliaso within a residential area and the speed limit was 30 km/h if I am not mistaken. Other than that, the whole path is flat and with not a single car.
When we arrived in Caslano, we saw that there are different restaurants which for sure offer delicious lunches. We travelled during the pandemic era when all restaurants were closed 🙁 But the tour was still beautiful.
At the entry to the big Piazza at Caslano village you will see an oversized green bench at the lake shore which was fun for the kids to climb.
The bike route ends at the beginning of the Monte Caslano Nature Park, the small mountain in front of you. We thought we could cycle up to the view point but there were ‘biking forbidden’ signs.
If you do have some time, lock up your bikes and walk up to the view point. It is part of the Emerald trail, click map below for more info.
You will return to Agno train station on the same route. If you are early for your train there is a nice playground/park to pass the time.
A Family Bike Tour to Origlio Lake
This was a bit too much for the kids and we had to shorten the bike route to Origlio Lake. But if you do have older kids that are already used to biking a fair bit uphill this is a nice trail.
From Lugano you head by train to Taverne station and then follow the original bike route signs.
It is quite some uphill for a good while. But the bike route brings you along some scenic roads, small villages and beautiful churches.
The day we went it was cold and windy, so not the ideal conditions for a bike ride with the kids.
This was why around the half way point we looked at the map and found a short cut to the lake. From there it was not far to cycle back to the station.
This itinerary is also perfect if you are seeking Lugano mountain biking trails. You just need to follow the dedicated mountain bike signs. Here you will find out more.
Conclusion on whether or not to Bring your Bike to Lugano on Holiday.
This was our first bike trip with the kids and it won’t be our last. It is easy when we travel with the car to just pack without even thinking too much. But here I had to think what do we really need, and in fact we did not need at all.
The fact that the kids are capable of manoeuvring their bikes pretty much independently from A to B, down stairs and into lifts etc, has made me realise that they are no longer babies. Gosh my twins have grown up and I must give them much more credit then I actually do.
To be able to just hop on the bikes in Lugano and head to a place was great and much easier than I thought it would be.
Same with the organisation to be at the right time at the train station and taking the right train was easy.
Would I, or better we, recommend to bring your bikes to Lugano? 100% YES. And now with the fast connection due to the new Ceneri Base Tunnel I would strongly recommend to travel without the car. Go Green!
We loved it so much that we’re planning a multi-day bike tour in Jura & 3 Lakes region this summer.
You May Also Like These Related Posts from Ticino
- The Very Best Ticino Moments The Ultimat Guide
- How to Plan a Family Biking Holiday in Switzerland
- Is Lugano worth a visit? Our 4 day Itinerary will tell you!
- The Best Places to Visit in Locarno & Ascona region.
- La Via Del Ceneri – NEW Theme Path in Ticino
- The BoBosco Trail – Verzasca Valley – Family Theme Trail
- Monte Generoso – Viewpoint reachable with ease
I hope that the information provided here will prove itself useful when you are Out & About with your Bike in Lugano, Ticino and are seeking some Lugano Bike Routes for Families.
If I have left anything out, please ask your questions in the comments below and share your experience, so that other readers can join in the conversation and benefit from your queries and stories as well.
Note: This trip was in cooperation with Ticino Turismo, thank you again! However you can always be assured that the recommendations are our honest tips and reviews as always.
Thank you & Never Forget to Explore
If you like it PinIt and tell a Friend