Hi, I'm a 20 year old female from California who's going to be studing in Lugano, Switzerland from July3rd-August8. I'll only have classes monday-thursday so I'm hoping to getting in some quality traveling on my four long weekends. After reading some of the other posts on this forum, I've realized that many people try to see too much and I have the feeling I'm doing the same. I'm a history major and I'm open to destination suggestions. A huge plus for me is the fact that there's a train station in Lugano like five minutes from campus. A good friend of mine will be in Spain after July 14th and I'd love to visit her but I don't know how practical it would be (haha.. in a perfect world the two of us would LOVE to see Morocco). Because of my central location I think that travel to Italy, France, and Germany would be pretty easy but I'm clueless as to what each has to offer. If anyone is going to be traveling in these areas during this time email me and we can meet up!! Also, does anyone know the most pratical way of traveling from Switzerland to Turkey? I'm still playing around with my itinerary, and since I'll have an apartment to stay at and recoup at in Lugano during the week I feel confident that I can handle hyper weekend trips. Please let me know what you think!!!
Lugano . no need to travel so far away -- a weekend in Italy - perhaps in Stresa or Milano --- then you could do a weekend hiking trip by taking a train to Lavorgo -, bus to Chironico and then hike up the mountains - about 3 hours and there is a really beautiful refuge. Perhaps a weekend in Annecy in France??
Give yourself a 2 hour train ride limit and you will be able to see and experience so many beautiful things - you can always go to Spain and Morocco and Germany another time.
You are really lucky. This is where I want to retire. In many ways you are in the perfect spot. The train to Spain from Suisse is ridiculously expensive. youll be cheaper flying. the train north to inner suisse is really nice. you'll pass through the Gothard pass tunnel. last dude's post is right though, you have North Italia at your feet, cmon? need I say more. a couple hours you are on the med ocean, it the middle of the summer no less. Have you decided what to do after Aug 8th? If you have any question s about going north into German Suisse, let me know.
You are going to have a really great time.
Sorry, only just found this.
Firstly – Lugano. Lucky you. It’s a fantastic place!!
I’d certainly recommend spending at least one of your weekends in the areas around Lugano – see some of the rest of Switzerland, Go to Zurich or Bern, take the trip over to Interlaken and up the Jungfrauoch, head through the alps towards Chiasso or St. Moritz etc. Even though not far away, they are fantastic trips and shouldn’t be missed, especially as you are so close.
With regard to your other ideas, Spain is possible by land, but not really practical, so flying is recommended. Geneva/Zurich to Barcelona would be a definite and fairly cheap possibility (regular direct trains Lugano – Zurich Airport). Train is possible, but you wouldn’t have that much time in Spain and is quite expensive.
Morocco and Turkey are just about possible as weekends by plane as well, but probably quite expensive (they are generally off the cheapy map). Istanbul or possibly Ankara or one of the coastal areas (with charter holiday flights) would be possible, whilst I would guess that for Morocco, you would have to fly to Casablanca and by the time you then transfer mean probably only Casa/Rabat would really make any sense to see in such a short time frame – Fes and Marrakesh, the 2 big draws would be hard do anything near justice to without flying direct to.
By land, you can certainly hit France (Paris, Lyon or possibly Nice/Riviera), Austria (Vienna &/or Salzburg), Liechtenstein, Italy (Venice, Verona, Florence, Northern Lake area/Milan), Germany (Munich/Bavaria, Black Forest or Berlin) for weekends. There are obviously many more options and possibilities, but the bracketed ones are some of the more easily accessible majot tourist points.
Depending on class schedules on Thurs Pm and Mon Am, other possibilities further afield include Amsterdam, Brussels, Prague, Ljubljana or even Zagreb (all on night trains from Zurich going out Thurs night and returning sun night). London (fly from Zurich) is also quite possible.
Depending upon what you particularly likes and where you have been, I would recommend for your 4 weekends that you spend at least one locally (or at least in Switzerland), possibly more than one. For one, I’d probably suggest a circular trip going over the top to Interlaken and doing the Jungfrauoch circuit, with a day or at least an afternoon in Bern or Zurich if you don’t have an extra spare day somewhere.
Of the other 3, go to Vienna (with possibly a half day or so in Salzburg in one direction), for one, Munich (possibly including Murnau/Neuschwanstein) and either Venice (Verona being a possible combination) or Florence (Pisa, Sienna or Bologna could be combined). With both the Austrian and Italian trips, I would suggest trying to return home in daylight on the Sunday afternoon so you get to see the wonderful alpine scenery on the way
In all cases it will mean long and full weekends, but they should be possible, and you will get to see at least a bit of Europe and a few of it’s major attractions. If you want any more ideas etc, feel free to ask. I get around a lot aswell, so might be somewhere at the time you are (far to early to tell). If I am and you fancy a quick drink or being shown around abit, might be able to arrange that.
HTH and have fantastic time in Lugano and Europe.
Damn...Lugano! Sweet indeed! Little piece of paradise in between the high mountains. Quite close to kewl Italian cities like Milan too. Pray for us sinners in the St. Marco cathedral (and don't get screwed by those nasty pigeonfood selling fools on the square before it, they ripped me of for 20.000 lires (about 10 euro) and all I ended up with was a bag of corn and a flock of hungry pigeons attacking me!) Have fun in Lugano, I bet you will. Cheers, Jasper