A Luxurious Weekend In Lugano – Switzerland’s Hidden Gem

Nestled in the picturesque region of Ticino you’ll find Switzerland’s hidden gem, Lugano. It’s very close to Italy and one of the sunniest areas of Switzerland with its own micro-climate. Its main attraction is its enormous lake, however there’s plenty to occupy your time with a luxurious weekend in Lugano.

Weekend in Lugano – What to See

During the Summer you can take one of the many boat tours to explore the lake.

It’s a pleasant place for a stroll at any time of year, with quite a few artworks dotted around.
 Lugano artworks
LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura 
is a brand new cultural space that houses a permanent art collection as well as regular exhibitions. Spanning three floors, there’s a 1,000 seat concert venue for music and theatrical performances.

The town centre is charming, with a spacious main square surrounded by cafes.

lugano-main-squareLugano’s attractive town hall is also situated on the town square.

lugano-town-hallThere are some really luxurious shops nearby, such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci. The covered galleries in the pedestrianised streets provide welcome shade in the warmer months.

Lugano town centre has some charming boutiques and luxurious shops - Luxury Columnist - travel, fashion & home blog
If time permits, it’s worth getting out of town and taking a cable railway to admire the views from nearby Monte San Salvatore, 912 metres high.

Monte San Salvatore in Lugano has the most amazing views! Luxury Columnist - a luxury style & travel blog
Whilst the panoramic vista from Monte Bre is equally impressive and can be reached by cable railway from March onwards,

Monte Bre in Lugano, Switzerland has magnificent views over the surrounding area - read more at Luxury Columnist, a travel and lifestyle blog
The picturesque church of Sant’Abbondio, up on the hillside in Sorengo is also worth a look if you have a hire car.

Lugano-church-nightWeekend in Lugano – Where to Eat

Lugano has some lovely restaurants in the centre of town but it also has quite a few hidden away eateries known as grottos. These rustic restaurants are located either up in the mountains or by lakes. Three of the best are Grotto Tigini, Grotto del Lago and Grotto della Salute.

For fine dining, look no further than the Hotel Splendide Royal – delicious cuisine in luxurious surroundings overlooking the lake.

In the town centre, Grand Café Al Porto is good for light meals, coffee and cake.

If you want to buy some Swiss chocolate to take home, Läderach is the place to go – they have been making it since 1962.

laderach-luganoWeekend in Lugano – Where to Stay

For a truly exceptional stay, the five star Splendide Royal is the perfect choice. With far reaching views over the lake of Lugano to the mountains beyond, it’s old school glamour and attentive staff will enchant you.

Getting to Lugano

To start your journey in style, why not book a premier chauffeur service to the airport. We trialled Blacklane Limousines who operate in 180 cities worldwide, partnering with well established chauffeurs in each city and covering all major airports including our destination, Gatwick. We liked the ease of online booking with speedy confirmation of our reservation. On the day, we received confirmation of our driver’s name and mobile phone by text, with another text informing us when he had arrived to pick us up. He was courteous and knew the route very well, and his Mercedes C class was so comfy that the journey passed by in a flash.

Lugano has its own airport with flights to Zurich, Geneva and Rome. Alternatively, fly to Milan Malpensa airport, a one hour car or train journey. Lugano is a fantastic place to spend a luxurious weekend and this Swiss Italy really deserves to be better known.
Have you ever visited Swiss Italy? Do you have any tips for first time visitors?

  • Those views are simply stunning!
    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

    • And the good thing is that it’s always sunny so the views are never obscured by cloud

  • so beautiful! Did you buy a lot of chocolates?:)

  • I’ve been researching places to take a mini break when the weather’s warmer- I feel like fate is telling me to head to Switzerland, it keeps popping up on my social media feeds and your photos here look beautiful- especially of Monte Bre!

    The Awkward Blog

    • You’ll absolutely love Switzerland, Angela. Monte Bre is beautiful and well worth a visit

  • Switzerland is so beautiful this post has reminded me that I need to get over there more! 😉

    • I’m lucky to be heading back there in less than a month but this time to the French part so will have visited French, German and Italian Switzerland this year – and they’re all different!

  • Your stay in Lugano looks absolutely gorgeous! I’m so jealous of your travels!!


  • Paola

    So peaceful. I love Lugano!!!!
    Kisses, Paola.


    My Facebook

  • I LOVE Switzerland!! This looks amazing!!!

  • Beautiful Suze. I have cousins from Switzerland, it may just be time to visit them again. These are great photos. Thanks for sharing. <3
    Lebanese & Gourmet Travelling

  • I haven’t been to Switzerland in YEARS! The last time was a skiing trip with my parents, I think. It’s strange because I’ll always associate Switzerland with snow but these gorgeously sunny photos are making me crave a weekend break, STAT! x

    Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • We didn’t manage to fit any skiing in but thankfully I’m going skiing in Austria pretty soon. I can really see you and Henry in Switzerland

  • It would be interesting to visit Lugano! Architecturally I can see the Italian influence, especially as shown on the photo of the church.


    • That’s a good point Anouk, the church does look quite Italian! The food is also very Italian in style

  • Indeed a hidden gem! Such an amazing place and I had never heard of it before!
    Dora http://www.BangsBang.com

    • It’s one that I hadn’t heard of either but my husband has family there so I’m getting to know the place quite well now!

  • Switzerland is such a beautiful place. That town square is so adorable. I love all the colors. It’s just not something we see here in the US. There’s so much character and history to the buildings. I love it!

    xx Yasmin


    • You’re right, Yasmin, the history of Switzerland is really unique and the air is so pure too!

  • Lugano looks like a charming place for a getaway – and the Splendide Royal looks like the perfect base from which to enjoy the town! Beautiful photos…

  • Wow, the nature is impressive! I also really like the architecture in Lugano. Unfortunately, I’ve never been to Swiss Italy, but it’s definitely on my travel list!

    Sun and Sany – Bulgarian travel and leisure blog

    • I think you’d love it Stanislava, the perfect blend of great scenery and delicious food plus the people are so friendly

  • It all looks so charming! Love the pastel buildings and would love to try the hotel. What an amazing getaway!


  • Oh I’m having flashbacks to our trip to Zurich last year. There is something truly inspiring and beautiful about Swiss architecture and Lugano just sums it up. This looks like a wonderful place and lucky you for visiting Suze.

    • I know, it was such a pleasure and we went on to Luzern and Zurich afterwards. I never realised they had so many old pedestrianised areas there, we really enjoyed it

  • OMG that chocolate cake! It looks amazing! Such a good round up of tips, I keep meaning to travel more in Switzerland it is such a beautiful country!

    Ash | Liakada

    • We’re still savouring the chocolates, I’m not sure how we’ve held off finishing them for so long 😉

  • What a beautiful trip! As though my recent bout of Swiss memories wasn’t enough to make me miss the country enough, this post definitely has! My family adore Lugano, my parents have often stayed at Hotel Splendide Royal in fact, we’re definitely keen to make visit again soon 🙂 xxx

  • Wowee – Switzerland just looks so wonderful!! It is a place that I would love to see! That cake looks so amazing.

  • Simply dreamy – we ALMOST went to Switzerland last year, but ended up (for the second time) in New Zealand instead! One day, one day…

  • Well Suze, I’m sold. I knew very little about Lugano, other than that it’s beautiful, but this little travel guide and your photos have convinced me that it needs to be done. I love the glimpses of mountains in the background of some of your photos – stunning!

    Polly xx

  • Lucy

    Looks beautiful, Switzerland has so much to offer and I have added this to the list. Especially for the chocolate x

  • Alfredo Ciano

    Magic Images & Magic…Suze !!!