When you think of Switzerland images of dramatic mountain landscapes, lakes, cows, and cheese are normally what people will come up with first. However, Switzerland also has a very exciting casino scene for those who want to have fun playing their favorite casino game after an evening of fondue.
In 1804, someone had a flash of inspiration in a little coffee-bar in Lugano, Switzerland. The idea was simple but yet so beautiful. People had been playing casino games before, but only in the comfort of their own homes, and never in public. The owner of the coffee-bar opened up a games room in connection to the café, and the rest is history.
The popularity of the café/casino is surely why, when the city built a new cultural centre, they decided to build it right by the casino. In 1922, the casino operation was licensed, and the name of the business was changed from Society of Theatre to Casino Kursaal. The real success, however, came in the early 1990s when the city of Lugano became the main shareholder of the casino. Around the same time, new games like Roulette and slot machines were introduced to visitors to the casino, something that really helped improved its popularity.
The somewhat futuristic Casino Lugano is located in the center of the town and overlooks a beautiful landscape with Lake Lugano as the main backdrop. The older part of the casino still exists, however, and there are several large rooms which have hardly changed over the decades. It boasts top-class facilities, with nice perks like free valet parking, and you can find pretty much every casino game under the sun under its roof.
Slots fans are supremely well catered for, with several vast rooms full of the latest slots, from one-armed bandits to the latest video slot machines. The ornate card room has tables dedicated to all kinds of poker, as well Blackjack, several types of Roulette and Caribbean Stud Poker. There's little chance of patrons going hungry, with the excellent Pearl restaurant boasting a gastronomic experience on a par with the sensational views from its roof terrace - a perfect place to relax and toast your latest win.
Casino Lugano is open every day of the year from 7pm, closing at 1am Sunday-Thursday, and 2am Friday to Saturday. It is located directly next to Parco Civico on the lakefront.
Via Stauffacher 1,
Baden is a small Swiss town located on the west bank of the river Limat in the Limat Valley, close to Zurich, the main city in the area. If you ask any of the approximately 18,000 inhabitants of Baden what their city is most famous for you will probably hear a lot about the Kurhaus, the local spa resort that attracts a lot of visitors - not just from the surrounding areas.
The sulphur-rich waters in the region have been a well-known treasure of the region for a long time. The ancient Romans referred to the city of Baden as Aquae Helveticae, and in later years, famous people like Goethe and Nietzsche also attended the health beneficial spas of this area. Our next stop in our Euro Casino Tour takes us only twenty kilometers from Zurich (and 90 km from Lugano) but our main attraction is not the Kurhaus hot tubs - we are here for the Grand Casino.
One of the main features of the Baden casino is the hospitality and friendly atmosphere surrounding the tables. The environment is elegant but yet relaxing and formal dress is not required. Even the tie can be left back home. As for the games, the house offers more than 200 slot machines and around twenty game tables, including games like poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat. When it comes to dining, there are actually six different restaurants to choose from; the cocktail bar, the casino bar, two bar-restaurants, the stylish Sea Garden with a fish-based a-la-carte menu and the main restaurant where you will find a more regular European cuisine.
If you visit Baden casino in the summertime you can access the large terrace and enjoy the beautiful view. If you want something more thrilling than just a nice view you can move on to the nightclub Dance Floor or the Babylon Club. If that doesn't rock your boat the entertainment continues at the Red Rose Strip Show. The peculiarity of the Grand Casino lays is in pairing relaxation and exclusivity, combined with exciting casino games and an excellent gastronomic experience.
First-time visitors can expect a really warm welcome. The Newcomers Night is a great initiative giving players new to the casino a guided tour and a chance of winning without putting any real money on the line. The risk-free Newcomers Night package includes:
The casino offers a private Humvee chauffeur that can be booked within 48 hours usage. For an affordable price, there is also a shuttle from Zurich directly to the casino. A welcome cocktail is included in the shuttle price. You can also opt to ride for free to and from the casino at any time with the Badener Taxi.
Grand Casino Baden is open 365 days a year from 3pm to 4 am Sunday-Thursday, and 3 pm to 5:30 am Friday to Saturday. It can be reached by car along the A1 motorway, just exit towards Baden. Two thousand parking lots are available in direct connection to the casino.