Hiking Monte Brè in Lugano

After years of living in Lugano, I figured it was about time I hiked Monte Brè. More than once I’ve been told that Monte Brè has some of the best views over Lugano, and that I never doubted. But now I can concur, Monte Brè offers breathtaking views.

You have a few options when hiking Monte Brè. First, you can hike up or down. As we only had the morning to hike we opted for the easier hike, going down. The 5.5 km (3.4 miles) hike down Monte Brè was fairly straight forward with well marked out hiking paths along the way. It took us about 1.5 hours to hike down.

From the Lugano Train station it is easy to arrive at the Funicolare Monte Brè. You can easily take a bus from the station to the Funicular. There is a direct bus B2 (Richtung Castagnola, Capolinea) from the Lugano station to Cassarate, Monte Bré. (only a 3 minute walk from the stop Cassarate to the Funicular).

Funicolare Monte Brè
16.00 CHF – One way
25.00 CHF – Return
Children 6-16
8.00 CHF – One way
12.50 CHF – Return
*Under 6 free. Half-fare card accepted.
Open Hours: Daily 9:05 – 17:05
**Longer hours on Weekends and Summertime

The train ride to the top is about 10 minutes. There are a few stops along the way for those who want to get out and hike from there, but we rode it all the way to the top. If possible, sit in the front of the car so you can enjoy the views while riding the funicular.

Once you arrive to the top, there are two lovely restaurants to sit, have a drink or meal, and soak in the views. Osteria Funicolare is just a few steps away from the funicular. The Osteria has a lovely outdoor terrace with incredible views over Lake Lugano.

Just a few hundred meters down from the funicular is Ristorante Vetta, which is perched on the mountain ledge, also with spectacular views over Lugano. Both restaurants offer a packaged deal that includes round-trip on the funicular and lunch. (35 chf for adults; 29 chf for children 6-16).

The hike starts from Ristorante Vetta leading down towards the town of Brè. It is only about a 10 minute walk down from there, on a dirt road, to stairs which bring you to the darling village of Brè. Brè is the perfect little town to have a wander through.

From the village of Brè there are many trail markers. We choose to hike down to Cassarate which is about 1 hour 15 minutes, but in hindsight, we should have hiked to Gandria because you can walk along the lake back to Lugano. The path leading down to Cassarate takes you through the forest, but then drops you out on the road. I have hiked Lugano to Gandria before and it is a much prettier path following along the lake.

Overall, I would say this is an easy hike down from Brè, but I would recommend proper hiking boots, as some of the terrain was steep, with a few drop offs. My favorite part of this hike was the views from the top, I can see why people rave about the view from Brè. Definitely a Bella Vista.