Located close to the stunning Swiss city of Lugano is the mountain of Monte Bre. With a short funicular ride to the top or an enjoyable hike, you can discover the wonderful beauty of Monte Bre. The highlights of the mountain include the stunning 180° views of Lake Lugano and the Ticino region, a beautiful restaurant and multiple hikes that you can take around the mountain top.
Monte Bre Facts
It’s always great to know some facts about a location before visiting. So here are our top facts we wanted to share about Monte Bre:
- The total elevation is 925 meters
- The Monte Bre funicular has been transporting people since 1912
- The village population of Bre has around 300 residents, which dates back to 1280
- In 1959, 12 Roman tombs were found near the village of Bre with items such as bronze bracelets
- The mountain is reachable all year round
- Since the mountain is located in Ticino, it is considered one of the sunniest points in Switzerland
We’ve visited a few times, check below our late Autumn photo compared to our snowy winter photo of the village of Bre!
How To Get To The Top
The most popular and easiest way is to use the Monte Bre funicular. Located not far from Lugano city centre, you can take the Monte Bre Funicular multiple times during an hour depending on when you arrive. There are two sections, with the first section every 15 minutes and the second section every 30 minutes.
If you wish to take another route to the top, there is a local bus (number 12) to the village of Bre from Lugano directly. From the village you can then walk up to the top with a short 20 minute route. This is a great alternative as you can see the valley and the village of Bre from a pretty viewpoint along the way.
Alternatively you could hike up completely from Lugano, which is for those who have plenty of time free and enjoy a challenging hike!
Fun Tip: You can buy a combination ticket of the funicular with a boat ride. This allows you to ascend up Monte Bre with the funicular, then to walk down to the pretty village of Gandria before taking the local boat back to Lugano city centre!
The monte bre restaurants
Open for most of the warmer months, the main restaurant is called Ristorante Vetta. From here you can sit with a local Ticinese dish or drink while enjoying the views down to Lake Lugano and the city. Their dishes are perfectly sized and not to be rushed!
You can also choose to stop at Osteria Funicolare, a colourful spot that make the best fruit cocktails. This is more for those who wish to have a small but delicious bite to eat before exploring more of the mountain.
Alternatively you can follow the mountainous path down one side of the mountain to the village of Bre. As here you can find two additional restaurants; Salotto Brè and Grotto Castagneto.
monte bre or san salvatore?
As you might notice, Monte Bre is on one side of Lake Lugano with Monte San Salvatore on the other side. Both have amazing views looking down to the city of Lugano, so we can understand why it might be hard to pick which one you visit!
We believe the pros of visiting Monte Bre are the following:
- 180° views of Lake Lugano
- Further hiking routes up to Monte Boglia (2 hours) or down to Gandria (1 hour)
- 2 delicious restaurants (weather permitting)
- Can choose to take either a local bus (with some walking) or the funicular to get there
- Perfect for watching the sunset from!