The town of Lugano enjoys a spectacular position on the lake of the same name, with mountains standing guard at either end of the sweeping bay. The historic heart of the town is traffic free and features Mediterranean style squares and porticoes. In the Museo Cantonale d'Arte are paintings by Klee, Renoir and Degas, while the Santa Maria degli Angioli church boasts a celebrated Renaissance fresco dating from 1529. The new Lugano Arte e Cultura complex is an architectural gem offering a fantastic programme.
Visitors can enjoy an al fresco meal on the main Piazza della Riforma in the shade of the 19th century Town Hall, or try a traditional grotto serving local wine and chestnut delicacies. You can also browse through the designer stores in the cobblestone streets or take an evening stroll along the lakeside promenade. Thanks to the balmy climate, the parks display colourful sub-tropical plants and in spring, the camellias and magnolias make for a beautiful sight. With cruises on the lake and many delightful mountain visits, this is the perfect spot for a relaxing holiday. Hotel guests benefit from the FREE Ticino Ticket, allowing you to hop on and off buses and trains across the region.
Please call us on 0800 619 1200 for our tailor made service to Switzerland.
Where to stay
Choose from our handpicked Lugano hotels
What to see and do
Lake Lugano is a most beautiful sight and you can use your Half Fare Card to enjoy discounted cruises to idyllic villages such as Morcote and Gandria. Lunch is available onboard or you could enjoy a meal in a lakeside restaurant. You can even sail over the border to Italy.
The lake is surrounded by mountains, two of which have funiculars not far from the town centre. Try Monte Brè for a mountain top drink and wooded walking trails, or Monte San Salvatore for an amazing 360° view over the beautiful landscape. There are plenty more mountain visits to try a little further afield, such as Monte Generoso and Monte Tamaro. The historic town of Bellinzona is also worth a visit.
Please click here for our summary of the best the region has to offer.
Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site
There are two UNESCO sites within easy reach of Lugano. Discover the medieval history of the Castles of Bellinzona and or head down to Monte San Giorgio where you can find dinosaur fossils and delightful walks. Find more Swiss World Heritage Sites here.
Explore the region with our great value travel passes
Our holidays include the Half Fare Card, which entitles you to a 50% discount on most rail, mountain railways, cable cars, boats and PostBuses across Switzerland.
If you are planning daily outings, the complimentary Ticino Ticket will also save you a great deal of money - and help you avoid the queues at the ticket office! If you are planning trips further afield, it can be well worth pre-booking the Swiss Travel Pass. We will be delighted to guide you on the pass that's right for you. Call us on 0800 619 1200 for more advice.
Scenic rail holidays from Lugano
Enjoy a fantastic two or multi centre holiday, with a scenic rail journey connecting your resorts.
Lugano is the starting point for two famous scenic journeys: the Gotthard Panorama Express (for Lucerne or Weggis) and the Bernina Express (for St. Moritz or Pontresina). You can also travel to Locarno to join the Centovalli Line (for Brig).
If you prefer to be based solely in Lugano, there are many lakes and mountains journeys to be enjoyed locally. We can tailor make any itinerary you choose, please contact us for details on 0800 619 1200.