Highlights in Lucerne
- Countless excursion destinations such as Mount Pilatus, the Stanserhorn, the Rigi or the Museum of Transport are right on Lucerne's doorstep
- Stroll across the world-famous Chapel Bridge on the Reuss River
- Several passenger ships sail daily from Lucerne on the glittering Lake Lucerne
- The two panoramic trains "Gotthard Express" and "Golden Pass Line" start and end in Lucerne respectively
- Visit sights such as the Lion Monument, the Culture and Convention Center Lucerne KKL, the Musegg Wall, the Bourbaki Panorama and many more
- Celebrate exuberantly during the legendary Lucerne Carnival in February
- Take a ride on a historic steamboat across Lake Lucerne
- Experience one of the numerous festivals in the "Festival City Lucerne"
Lucerne is an enchanting city with about 80,000 inhabitants in the heart of Switzerland. It is the gateway to numerous destinations in Central Switzerland. These include Lucerne's local mountain Pilatus, which bears the additional name "Dragon Mountain". You can also reach the Stanserhorn, the Rigi and the Titlis in a short time. From Lucerne, you can also reach various landing stages on Lake Lucerne very quickly.
The city is located on the enchanting and extremely winding Lake Lucerne. Lucerne is mainly known for the famous Chapel Bridge with its historic water tower. Furthermore, Lucerne is famous for its numerous squares and churches. The Jesuit Church, for example, dates back to the 17th century and is considered the first sacral baroque building in Switzerland. You will definitely not get bored in this city.
Sights in Lucerne
In Lucerne there is a great abundance of sights that you can best reach on foot, by public transport or even by bike.
One sight that graces a majority of vacation photos taken by national and international guests is the Chapel Bridge. The oldest covered bridge in Europe was built in the 14th century and is now visited by guests from all over the world. It stretches 205 meters over the Reuss River. Since the 17th century it has been decorated with pictorial panels depicting scenes from Swiss and Lucerne history.
The octagonal water tower is connected to the bridge and stands in the Reuss River. It is 34 meters high. In the past it served various purposes. It has been used as a city archive, treasury, dungeon and even a torture chamber.
Culture and Convention Center Lucerne KKL
The Culture and Convention Center Lucerne, or KKL for short, is an architectural masterpiece. It was built right next to the Lucerne train station on the shores of Lake Lucerne. It was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel. The roof, which covers more than 12,000 m², is particularly impressive. Despite its immense size, it appears visually light and casually superimposed on the building.
In the 19 different rooms, congresses, concerts, conferences, meetings or other cultural events take place regularly. In winter, the square in front of the KKL is transformed into an ice skating rink. You can skate your laps right next to Lake Lucerne.
Swiss Museum of Transport
At the Swiss Museum of Transport everything revolves around the topic of transport and mobility. In the most visited museum in Switzerland, over 3000 objects await you in several exhibitions.
You can also go on a journey into space in the planetarium and watch a 3D movie in the XXL cinema. Or you can pay a visit to the drilling machine that drilled the Gotthard base tunnel. With this diverse offer, the Swiss Museum of Transport is the perfect place for a family outing.
The Museum of Transport can be easily reached by public transport from Lucerne train station. You have the choice between bus, train or even ship.
Other sights in Lucerne
Numerous other sights await you in Lucerne.
- Lion Monument: The dying lion is considered the landmark of the city of Lucerne. It is a memorial to the Swiss guardsmen who lost their lives in the French Revolution.
- Glacier Garden: A museum with exciting earth stories about rocks, glaciers and cliffs, as well as a bewildering mirror maze await you in the Glacier Garden.
- Bourbaki Panorama: The 112-by-10-meter giant circular painting commemorates the internment of the 87,000 soldiers of the French Bourbaki Army. They fled to Switzerland in the winter of 1871.
- On the Musegg Wall you can enjoy a wonderful view over the city of Lucerne and Lake Lucerne.
- Jesuit Church: Built in the 17th century, the Jesuit Church is considered the first sacred baroque building in Switzerland.
- Rosengart Collection: In the Rosengart Collection you will find works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and 23 other artists of Impressionism and Classic Modernism. Spreuer Bridge: The second famous wooden bridge next to the Chapel Bridge is the Spreuer Bridge. It was built in 1408 and is 81 meters long.
Excursion destinations from Lucerne
There is no lack of excursion destinations in Lucerne, just as there is no lack of sights. Here you will always find something suitable, whatever you are looking for. Whether it's a great view, a ride on an extraordinary mountain railroad or an outdoor experience.
Mountain peaks Rigi, Pilatus, Stanserhorn and Titlis
From Lucerne, you can reach some renowned mountain peaks such as Rigi, Pilatus, Stanserhorn or Titlis. The approaches to the summits are spectacular in any case and one superlative follows the next.
Pilatus: On Lucerne's local mountain (also known as "Drachenberg"), two routes lead at once. From Alpnachstad, Europe's steepest cogwheel railroad takes you to the summit. From Kriens, two cable cars take you to the top station of the 2128 m high Pilatus, where a magnificent panorama awaits you.
Stanserhorn: The Stanserhorn is affectionately known as the "lazy mountain" and is accessible by the world's first double-decker aerial cableway. A particularly nice excursion is the trip by passenger ship from Lucerne to Stans. From here, a nostalgic funicular takes you to the valley station of the CabriO aerial cableway. On the upper deck of the gondola you can enjoy the ride in the fresh air.
Rigi: The Rigi is known as the queen of the mountains. It is accessible from Vitznau by the oldest mountain railroad. On the Rigi numerous hiking trails, restaurants, ski and toboggan runs and even a mineral bath are waiting for you. The excursion can also be perfectly combined with a boat trip across Lake Lucerne to Vitznau.
Titlis: Engelberg is the village at the foot of the Titlis. You reach it from Lucerne in about 45 min. With the Rotair, the world's first rotating gondola, you ride to the 3238 m high mountain peak. Here you are surrounded by an enchanting glacier world and a view of the Central Swiss Alps. Thanks to numerous exciting offers in summer and winter, you will never be bored on the Titlis.
Lake Lucerne is suitable for excursions of various kinds. Above all, the winding lake is perfect for a leisurely boat trip on Lake Lucerne. It is navigated by five historic paddle steamers and 15 motor ships.
By boat you can reach important excursion destinations such as the valley stations of the mountain railroads to the Rigi, the Pilatus, the Bürgenstock or the Klewenalp. You can also reach historical sites that are of great importance to Switzerland via the lake. These include the Tellsplatte or the Rütli.
The Lake Lucerne boat trip is the largest boat trip in Switzerland and also leaves nothing to be desired on the culinary side.
Other excursion destinations around Lucerne
The region around Lucerne has an incredible amount to offer. The mountain peaks and Lake Lucerne, for example, are by no means the only excursion destinations waiting for you.
- Glasi Hergiswil: In the glassworks in Hergiswil, built in 1817, the art of glassmaking is still practiced by hand. In a museum you can learn everything about this old craft.
- Reuss: The Reuss River flows through Lucerne and offers numerous opportunities for an excursion. Be it for a "Böötle" tour or a leisurely stroll along the banks.
- Aeschbach Chocolatier: In the ChocoWelt of Aeschbach in Root near Lucerne you will learn everything about the production of chocolate. Of course, you also get to taste some of their delicacies right away.
- Rütli: The Rütli meadow is considered the birthplace of Switzerland. Here the three original cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden founded the Swiss Confederation. From Lucerne you can make a day trip to this historical place.
Swiss Activities Tips Lucerne
In summer, people flock to the shores of Lake Lucerne. The Lido and the "Ufschötti" are very popular and well visited bathing places. The Richard Wagner Museum is therefore usually a bit more comfortable for bathing, as fewer people come here.
View of the city of Lucerne
At Schlössli Utenberg you get a beautiful view of the city of Lucerne and the mountain scenery of Central Switzerland. You can easily reach the castle within 5 minutes by bus from the train station in Lucerne.
The Bruchquartier is considered to be Lucerne's trendy district. It is the former scene of the cantonal cattle trade. The Bruchquartier is one of Lucerne's most vibrant neighborhoods, where you will find culture, local crafts, bars and restaurants. A tip is the boutique Treger, which is known for its suspenders and tailored men's fashion.
Lucerne is known for its exuberant and beautiful carnival. If you are in Lucerne during the carnival and are looking for a change from the Guggenmusik, the techno music "onder de Egg" is something for you.
If you stay overnight in Lucerne, you will receive the Lucerne Guest Card for the duration of your stay. With it you benefit from many advantages in the region. For example, you can use all buses and trains within zone 10 free of charge, and you also receive discounts on city tours, cable cars, mountain railroads, museums and other excursion destinations in the region. And you can also use the "Free WiFi - LUZERN.COM" free of charge throughout the city.
Activities and experiences in Lucerne
The diversity of Lucerne is also reflected in the activities you can do here.
The most popular activities in and around Lucerne include:
- City tours
- Escape Rooms
- Skiing and Snowboarding
- Winter hiking and snowshoeing
Guided tours Lucerne
Lucerne is best discovered on your own, but with a local guide you can really immerse yourself in the city. In Lucerne there are various city tours on different topics. On these tours, you will be shown not only the usual sights, but also some hidden places. You will also learn exciting stories that you would otherwise never hear. For example, if you want to learn more about the infamous water tower on the Chapel Bridge, a city tour is definitely worthwhile.
Escape Room Lucerne
Escape Rooms are gaining more and more popularity. So it is not surprising that you can dedicate yourself to a tricky mission at various locations in Lucerne. There are several providers with Escape Rooms or Escape Games waiting for you. If the weather is not nice enough for a hike or you are looking for something to do on a cold winter day, you have the following choice in Lucerne:
- Escape Quest: Here you will find classic Escape Games, online games or interactive adventures with professional actors. Number of games: 10
- Riddle Escape: From a lost cookie recipe to a carnival thief, various challenges await you here. Number of Games: 4
- Escape Company: Save the future of a Lucerne beer or escape heroically from a prison in Lucerne. Duels are also offered. Number of Games: 4
- Adventure Rooms Luzern: All rooms are perfect for the whole family. Number of Games: 4
- Spassvogel Event: Plan an exciting GPS Outdoor Game for your next team event. For groups and families there is an exciting GPS iPad rally. Kids from 8 years on meet at the digital scavenger hunt. Number of Games: 3
Thanks to the many mountain peaks around Lucerne, this region is ideally suited for paragliding flights with great views. We have compiled the 10 best spots in Central Switzerland for paragliding for you in a guide. If you can't paraglide yourself, a tandem flight is perfect for you. These are offered for example on the Pilatus, on the Seebodenalp or on the Rigi all year round.
Hiking around Lucerne
The region around Lucerne is a true hiker's paradise. Not only the mountain peaks, which have already been mentioned several times, have kilometers of signposted trails in store for extended hikes. You can also hike and walk along the shores of Lake Lucerne. Depending on the route, you have the opportunity to combine your walk or hike with a boat trip.
Skiing and snowboarding
There are a total of 43 ski resorts in Central Switzerland. You have the choice of visiting smaller resorts or targeting one of the larger candidates. You can reach the following ski resorts in an hour or less from Lucerne:
- Klewenalp: 40 km of slopes, 14 lifts, 15 min from Lucerne
- Rigi:** 9 km of slopes, 7 lifts, approx. 30 min from Lucerne
- Titlis - Engelberg: 70 km of pistes, 17 lifts, approx. 40 min from Lucerne
- Brunni - Engelberg: 8.5 km of pistes, 5 lifts, approx. 40 min from Lucerne
- Stoos - Fronalpstock: 35 km of pistes, 8 lifts, approx. 45 min from Lucerne
- Mörlialp - Giswil:** 14 km of pistes, 6 lifts, approx. 45 min from Lucerne
- Melchsee - Frutt:** 36 km of pistes, 15 lifts, approx. 55 min from Lucerne
- Sörenberg**: 60 km of pistes, 16 lifts, approx. 1 hour from Lucerne
Tobogganing near Lucerne
From Lucerne, you can reach great toboggan runs to enjoy fast-paced or leisurely descents on the runners in winter. So if you don't want to settle for pulling the sled up a hill yourself, you'll love these destinations. They are all within the perfect distance for a day trip from Lucerne.
- Klewenalp:** 4 sledding areas, technically easy to challenging, 15 min from Lucerne
- Rigi: 5 toboggan runs, total 14 km, Schlitteln Rigi approx. 30 min from Lucerne
- Pilatus: 3.5 km and 4.8 km, technically easy to challenging, 45 min from Lucerne
- Melchsee - Frutt: 8 km toboggan run, longest toboggan run in Central Switzerland, approx. 55 min from Lucerne
The region around Lucerne and Lake Lucerne offers great opportunities for hiking not only in summer, but also in winter. With snowshoes, you trudge through the fresh snow and explore the region from a new perspective. Numerous signposted snowshoe hiking trails are easily accessible at Lucerne.
- Fränkmüntegg Trail: 3 km long trail at Pilatus with about 180 m ascent. Allow approx. 1:40 h for this easy tour.
- Snowshoe Trail Brämegg:** 3 km long trail from Klewenalp with approx. 190 m ascent. Allow approx. 1:40 h for this easy tour.
- Snowshoe trail Bannalp:** 3 km long trail in the Engelberg valley from Bannalp with approx. 110 m ascent. Allow about one hour for this easy tour.
- Waldhüttli snowshoe trail:** 7 km long trail at Stoos from the Stoosbahn mountain station with approx. 360 m ascent. Allow approx. 3:20 h for this moderately difficult tour.
- Turren-Schönbüel Trail:** 8 km long trail near Lungern from the Turren mountain restaurant with approx. 580 m ascent. Allow approx. 4:35 h for this difficult tour.
- Jänzi Trail:** 12 km long trail from Langis to a 360° view with approx. 580 m ascent. Allow approx. 5:45 h for this difficult tour.
Other activities in Lucerne
In and around Lucerne you can do many other activities. These include:
- Helicopter tours: View Lake Lucerne and Central Switzerland from a bird's eye view.
- Wellness: Relax at Alexander-Gerbi Vitalis Spa, Alpenwellness Chäserenholz or Chenot Palace Weggis
- Photography: Learn the art of photography with a photography course in the beautiful city of Lucerne.
- Skydiving: Fall out of a plane and feel like a bird over the city of Lucerne and Lake Viewaldstättersee.
- Cross-country skiing: From Lucerne you can reach some great cross-country ski trails. For example, trails on the Rigi, in Engelberg, in Emmetten and many other places around Lucerne are waiting for you.
Events in Lucerne
Lucerne is always hosting great events throughout the year. Among the most famous events are:
- January: During about 10 days are in the city of Lucerne fascinating Light installations can be discovered at the Lilu Light Festival Lucerne
- Mid to late February: Carnival in Lucerne begins on Dirty Thursday and ends on Ash Wednesday.
- April: Fumetto is one of the leading comic festivals in Europe and attracts around 50,000 visitors every year
- July: Every July, top track and field athletes from over 40 countries compete on the Allmend in Lucerne
- August to September: During the Lucerne Festival Summer, numerous world stars of the classical music scene can be heard
- Late October: The SwissCityMarathon takes place in Lucerne along the beautiful Lake Lucerne and continues into Lucerne's Old Town
- November: Towards the end of the year, the Lucerne Blues Festival takes place.
- December: Several Christmas markets are set up in the city and invite you to enjoy mulled wine and raclette.
Journey to Lucerne
Many roads lead to Lucerne. The region in the heart of Switzerland is well connected both by car and by public transport.
If you want to get to Lucerne by car, you can do so via the highway from the directions of Zurich, Bern and Basel. You can also reach Lucerne easily from Central Switzerland or from the Bernese Oberland via the Brünig Pass. Lucerne is located on an important north-south axis between Basel and Ticino, which is connected by the A2 freeway.
by public transport
Lucerne is very well connected to the public transport network. You have regular connections to Zurich, Bern and Basel as well as to Ticino by fast train. By regional train you can reach popular excursion destinations such as Engelberg or the Entlebuch.
Several panorama trains of Switzerland start or end in Lucerne. The Gotthard Panorama Express and the Golden Pass Line run between Lucerne and Lugano or Lucerne and Montreux. St. Gallen can be reached with the Voralpen Express in about 2:15 hours.
On Lake Lucerne there are regular passenger ships with which you can take scenic excursions.
Lucerne offers a suitable accommodation for every budget. From the simple but comfortable youth hostel to the luxurious five-star hotel you will find everything here
Hotel Montana Lucerne
Thanks to its elevated location, the four-star Art Deco Hotel Montana boasts a magnificent view of Lake Lucerne, the city of Lucerne and the mountain peaks of Central Switzerland. The 115 beds are divided among 42 Art Deco rooms and 19 penthouse rooms in innovative design. Further, the Hotel Montana offers excellent gastronomy, awarded with 15 GaultMillau points. There is a rum lounge, a day spa and much more.
Suitable for: Travelers with an upscale budget and a sense of design and lifestyle
Hotel des Alpes Lucerne
This three-star hotel is located directly on the Reuss River in the middle of Lucerne's old town. There is hardly a better starting point for your discovery tour. Here you will find 45 rooms with a view of Mount Pilatus, the Chapel Bridge, Lake Lucerne or the old town. The typical Swiss hotel is only a 5-minute walk from the train station and the KKL. By the way, your pet is also welcome here.
Suitable for: City travelers with medium budget, short stays, people traveling with their pet
Youth Hostel Lucerne
Situated just outside Lucerne on the idyllic Rotsee lake, the youth hostel offers affordable overnight accommodation with a total of 206 beds. The functionally equipped rooms have between two and six beds. They are thus ideally suited for budget-conscious city trips for groups or even families. A spacious lounge provides an international atmosphere in which you can make uncomplicated contacts with other guests.
Suitable for: Uncomplicated adventurers, families, groups and people with lower budgets
Culinary Lucerne has a rich abundance of restaurants to offer. The whole world meets here. Whether Mexican, Italian, French, Asian or typically Swiss - in Lucerne hardly any wish remains unfulfilled.
Restaurant Helvetia Lucerne
Located in the heart of Lucerne's up-and-coming Neustadt district, Restaurant Helvetia is especially popular in summer for its secluded garden terrace under chestnut trees. The dishes are conjured up locally from local alpine and farming businesses, winegrowers, fishermen, brewers, etc
Special: Seasonal Swiss cuisine, medium price segment, child-friendly, cozy outdoor area, fumoir available
Situated directly on Lake Lucerne, the elegant Restaurant Franz with its Austrian ambience will transport you to Vienna. Hearty classics such as Tafelspitz or Wiener Schnitzel await you. But you can also enjoy typical Austrian desserts such as Kaiserschmarrn or Marillenknödel or an extensive brunch at Restaurant Franz.
Special: Typical Austrian cuisine and brunch, medium to higher price range, centrally located on the waterfront, suitable for groups, wheelchair accessible
If you want to eat something fresh, healthy and fast and love Italian cuisine, Basilico is the place for you. This mixture of take away, fast food, restaurant and café offers you typical Mediterranean dishes in all variations
Special: Italian and seasonal cuisine, child-friendly, dogs allowed, terrace and garden, low price segment, suitable for groups
Lucerne is worth a visit all year round and offers something for everyone. So don't miss the chance to be won over by this enchanting city in the heart of Switzerland.