Traveling to Lugano
Lugano is located near the E35 motorway and on the Gotthard railway line. It has convenient connections to Milan and the northern-Swiss cities.
Lugano has a small airport (located in Agno) with flights to Zürich and Geneva, among others. However, for most international flights the airport Milan Malpensa is the most convenient. It can be reached from Lugano in about 70 minutes by shuttle buses run by 3 different companies. The buses serve both terminals of Malpensa airport and stop at Lugano railway station. As a renovation of the railway station is taking place, the bus stop is presently located at the west side of the station near Piazzale di Besso. The bus schedules are somewhat irregular. One frequent traveller maintains an overview here. Tickets can best be bought from the bus drivers, as it may be hard to predict with which company you will travel.
Other nearby airports are Bergamo and Milan Linate. The connection from these airports to Lugano is less convenient. Public transport options involve a shuttle bus to Milan central station and a train ride from there to Lugano. Late in the evening it may be necessary to depart from Porta Garibaldi station instead.
There are direct trains between Lugano and Milan (1 hour), Zürich (3 hours), and Basel (4 hours). Tickets can be bought online at SBB. Tickets for the entire Milan-Lugano route can be ordered there but have to be mailed, for a fee. Electronic tickets can only be bought for the Milan-Chiasso and Chiasso-Lugano parts separately at Trenord and SBB. As the queues for international tickets in the Milan stations can be very long it is advisable to buy these tickets online. Buying tickets on-site in Switzerland is usually not a problem.
From the railway station to the city/hotels/USI
From the railway station, the downtown area can be reached by city buses 2 (from the city side of the station) and 3 (from Piazzale di Besso). The university campus can be reached by city bus 6, which has its stop at the city side of the station.
There is a taxi stand on the city side (southeast) of the railway station. Taxis delivering customers at the Malpensa shuttles on Piazzale di Besso may also accept passengers there. The Funicular railway between the station and the city center is being renovated simultaneously with the station. To replace it, a special bus service (FuniBus) is run.
By carLugano can be reached from the exits Lugano Nord and Lugano Sud of the A2/E35 motorway.
Reaching the USI Campus
The USI campus is located at 1.0 kilometer (flat terrain) from the city center and is within walking distance from most hotels. City bus 6 provides a direct connection to the railway station.
City buses 5 and 6 and regional bus 461 stop at Università. City bus 7 stops slightly further away at Sacro Cuore (northbound) and Via Zurigo (southbound). Bus tickets should be bought in advance from the ticket machine, when one is present at the bus stop. In other places tickets can be bought from the driver. These arcobaleno tickets are valid for all public transport companies in Ticino. A zona 100 ticket will do for all trajectories within the city.
Please note that on May 1 buses run as on Sundays, i.e. you have to look up the schedule for Domenica/festivi.
Coming from the south on the A2 motorway, take exit Lugano Sud. Follow the road until the first traffic lights and turn left onto Via Silvio Calloni. Follow the road until passing before the railway station and turn right onto Via San Gottardo. Follow this road as it becomes Via Zurigo and turns to the right. At the end, turn left on Corso Elvezia, follow onto Via Madonnetta, and turn right at the second traffic light. The entrance to the USI parking garage is immediately on the right. If it is full, as indicated by a red light, continue to Via Antonio Fusoni and look for a parking spot in the neighbourhood or turn right again to deliver passengers at our main entrance.
Coming from the north on the A2 motorway, take exit Lugano Nord. Turn left on the roundabout and continue through the tunnel (Galleria Vedeggio-Cassarate). Follow the road until a T-crosssing with traffic lights. Turn left and immediately right, and continue on Via Ciani along the Cassarate river until the USI campus, immediately after the crossing with Via Madonnetta.
The university offers limited parking facilities.
An annotated map of the individual buildings on the USI Campus is available here.
Links for further information