Swissminiatur in Melide – How to See Switzerland in an Hour

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland

Swissminiatur brings back memories from my childhood. Imagine my sister and I bugging our parents constantly to take us to miniature Switzerland while spending our summer breaks in Ticino. (We succeeded once or twice.)

Many years later, I decided to go down Memory Lane and visit Swissminiatur again. Not much has changed in this outdoor theme park: It is still Switzerland, squeezed into a small lot between Lake Lugano and the train tracks.

"But why should Swissminiatur have changed? Switzerland hasn't changed much...", you ask. Surely, you are right. However, my visit was a slight disappointment for another reason. But more on that, later.

Swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

More than 120 model houses at a scale of 1:25 are scattered among the park. Plus castles, churches and monuments.

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

In the center, there is an unmissable mountain which can be spotted as far away as from the trains passing by!

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

Given the rotary gondola, it is a replica of Mt. Titlis in Engelberg.

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

Notice the tiny red gondolas?

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

And how about the even tinier skiers coming down the mountain?

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

There is even a proper "Heidi Village"! This is Switzerland, hello?!?

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

Get this: A miniature replica of the Lucerne Lion Monument!

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

Chateau Chillon (including the lake)...

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

One of many churches...

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

And a pretty realistic Bundeshaus Capitol in Bern.

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland

 

Intermission: Lizard attacks freeway rest stop!

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

Not to be missed: A base for the popular flying medics at Rega.

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

Love trains? Swissminiatur is train galore with 18 running compositions covering 3.5 km of tracks!

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

There are intercity trains...

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

Local trains...

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

And even the famous Glacier Express is snaking all over Swissminiatur.

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland
 

My Verdict

I left the park feeling that Swissminiatur needs a major touch up. Due to its attractive proposition ("Switzerland in miniature") and easily accessible location, it appears to be quite a cash cow. But for those spending a week or two in Ticino, this attraction might be a welcome change for all the beautiful rivers, mountains and southern villages...

As we walk back to the train station in Melide, heaps of tourists are getting off tour buses, 19 francs and their cameras in hand and ready to see Switzerland in one hour...

 

More Information

- Swissminiatur Website
- How to get there by public transportation

swissminiatur in Melide - Miniature Switzerland

Follow me

Dimitri

As the founder, editor and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of the Swiss Travelwriters Club.

Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.
Follow me
  • Alessandra Litta Modignani

    Nice! We visit Swissminiatur often since my husband is a lover of model trains and we have a 3 year old daughter. I must tell you, after the third visit it gets quite boring. But I usually am rewarded by a nice promenade on the lake afterwards… Melide is so lovely…
    My favorite part is when a lizard or a bird turn a quaint little setting into a scene from Godzilla, with giant monsters attacking the village!

    • newlyswissed

      We had a “lizard incident” last time as well, which was comical… Thanks for sharing a local’s perspective, Alessandra! ^Dimitri

  • zilti

    Nice! And a bit sad to see it still looks the same after all those years… (haven’t been there since the 90s). It really needs a touchup.

    btw, the English name for Bundeshaus is federal palace. It sounds so noble in all languages but German…