Available: April - October.
Swiss Travel Pass: FREE travel by boat or rail. Entry: 10 Sfr per adult, 6 Sfr per child (6-15 years, under 6 free)
Ticino Ticket: FREE travel by rail. Entry: 13 Sfr per adult, 8 Sfr per child (6-15 years, under 6 free)
Half Fare Card: 5 Sfr from Lugano by rail, 14 Sfr by boat. Entry: 19 Sfr per adult, 12 Sfr per child (6-15 years, under 6 free)
Swissminiatur offers a charming day out for the young and young at heart. This model village near the lakeside town of Melide features delightful scale models of some of the most famous sights in Switzerland, as well as moving models of cable cars and trains such as the Glacier Express. We recommend combining the visit with a relaxing lake cruise from Lugano to Melide.
History of the model village
Swissminiatur was opened in 1959 by Pierre Vuigner, who had a vision to create a model village showcasing the whole of Switzerland on a scale of 1:25. During its first 2 decades, the village was enjoyed by Swiss and Italian visitors, as the border is very close by. Nowadays, the village is a major attraction for all international visitors to the Ticino region.
The attention to detail is outstanding on the delightful models and scenes around the park. You can see famous sights such as Lucerne's Chapel Bridge, Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva, Basel Cathedral and the Cresta Run in St. Moritz. There are alpine sights galore, all rendered in miniature, including the Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn and Matterhorn. The village has its own transport network, with miniature trains, boats and cable cars running back and forth. As well as the famous sights you can see typical farmhouses from the various regions of Switzerland, each slightly different in character.
Models are updated and new ones are added regularly. There are currently more than 120 in the village, all set amongst gardens containing over 15,000 flowers.
Half way around the site there is a covered picnic area.
You may like to use the restaurant, which has seating for 200 people inside and 200 outside and offers ice creams, snacks and hot meals.
There is a mini train, the 'Swissminiatur Express' to take you on a ride around the perimeter of the village. Children will also enjoy the bumper boats. Both of these are extra to the entrance price.
You can find souvenirs in the small shop by the exit.
Swissminiatur is in the town of Melide, which you can reach by rail or boat from Lugano centre. The rail journey takes less than 10 minutes, but we recommend taking a leisurely lake cruise (around an hour depending on the stops) as a great way to enjoy the fabulous lakes and mountains scenery en route.
The model village is very close to the railway station and is a short walk from the boat station.