Holidays To Lugano - Ticino

Chic piazzas and lakeside promenades

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. Lugano can enjoy hot weather in the summer - around 30° - making for a real Mediterranean feel. Spring and autumn are great times to visit, with the sun having some genuine warmth which may not be the case in the rest of Switzerland at these times. 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.

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Lugano holiday ideas 2024

Choose from our handpicked Lugano hotels

What to see and do in Lugano

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. Thanks to the new Ceneri tunnel you can now travel easily to Locarno and Lake Maggiore for a day's visit.

Please click here for our summary of the best the region has to offer.

Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site from Lugano

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. 

We can recommend a multi centre UNESCO themed holiday, taking in the Lavaux Vineyards and the medieval Castles of Bellinzona. You'll stay in Montreux and Lugano. Please ask us for details.

Explore the Ticino 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 PassWe 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.

How to get to Lugano

Your ticket wallet will contain comprehensive travel instructions to help you reach your destination with ease, including recommended rail connection times and platform numbers. These are the most common routes for your Lugano holiday. 

Fly to Zurich

Flights available from London, Luton, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow.

Swiss Railways: Zurich Airport > Lugano with a transfer time of around 2 hours 10 minutes. 

Fly to Geneva

Not recommended due to a minimum transfer time of 5 hours.

Travel by international rail

Rail from London St. Pancras via Paris to Basel.

Swiss Railways: Basel > Zurich > Lugano with a transfer time of around 3 hours. 


Request your holiday quotation

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at


Ticino Ticket

Free travel across the region by train and bus, plus discounts on boats, mountain transport and entry local attractions. The Ticket is issued by the hotel on your arrival and is valid for the duration of your stay. More details...

Planning your holiday 2024

Switzerland Call 0800 619 1200
  • Decide where you would like to stay
  • Choose your scenic journeys
  • 1st or 2nd class rail travel in Switzerland
  • How many nights in each resort
  • Decide on bed & breakfast or half board
  • 3, 4 or 5 star hotel accommodation
  • Plan visits with your Half Fare Card
Request your holiday quote

Lugano region video