Lucerne is quite busy in summer, however it is one of the most popular cities in Switzerland! If you’re wondering ‘ Is Lucerne worth visiting ‘ then here’s why you should and shouldn’t visit Lucerne, the must see in Lucerne and how to get to Lucerne!

When I think of Lucerne, I always remember the reflection of the twinkling lights of Chapel Bridge dancing in the blue water of the Reuss River.

After a tiring day I spent strolling the lanes of this medieval town, that simple yet charming sight was all I needed to feel refreshed. And that’s how Lucerne is- simple and charming.

You may wonder – is Lucerne worth visiting? Should I go from Zurich to Lucerne for this promised charm? The short answer is, yes!

The well-preserved old town, medieval architecture like the Jesuit church, and the cobalt blue lake surrounded by snow-capped Alps make Lucerne worth visiting.

Want to know the long answer? Here’s my experience of going to Lucerne from Zurich and why it became one of my favourite Switzerland cities.


PLANNING YOUR LUCERNE TRIP | THE ESSENTIALS


Recommended tours in Lucerne 


Best hotels in Lucerne –


View of the chapel bridge in Lucerne on a sunny day as is Lucerne Switzerland worth visiting

Why is Lucerne worth visiting?


When is Lucerne, Switzerland worth visiting?

 

Lucerne is worth visiting throughout the year. Lucerne in summer as well as Lucerne in winter make for an equally inviting destination where the true beauty of Switzerland will soothe your eyes.

 

Is Lucerne worth visiting in winter? Lucerne in winter from December to March is a majestic sight with snowy Alps ready for skiing and Lucerne Christmas market welcoming you with open arms. Ensure you are packing thermals and jackets to keep you warm as you get ready to explore this compact Swiss destination.

 

Is Lucerne worth visiting in spring? Lucerne in spring from mid-March to June is when you get this city without tourists and crowds. As the snow starts melting after April, check if hiking trails are ready for you. Here’s the travel guide to refer to when visiting Switzerland in spring.

 

Is Lucerne worth visiting in summer? Lucerne in summer from mid-June to September is the best time to visit Lucerne. This is the peak tourist season with hiking, paragliding, swimming in Lake Lucerne, and summer festivities all around.

 

Is Lucerne worth visiting in Autumn? Lucerne’s autumn months are October and November when tourists start leaving the town but the winter cold is yet to arrive. This shoulder season makes Lucerne Switzerland worth visiting for budget travellers. Read all about Autumn in Switzerland and how you can enjoy this time before planning your vacation.


A duck swimming in Lucerne lake with the Alps behind on a sunny day

View of Lucerne from Lucerne lake in Switzerland

How to get to Lucerne Switzerland?

 

Lucerne is linked to Zurich and Berne by road and rail system. You can catch a flight to either Zurich or Berne and then take a taxi, bus, or train to Lucerne.

It is recommended to buy a Swiss Travel Pass for unlimited travel on train, bus, and boat.

Buying the Swiss Travel Pass will give you free entry to more than 500 museums, city tours at discounted rates, and easy access to scenic trains.

The preferred way is to go from Zurich to Lucerne as the Zurich airport is well-connected with all the major European hubs as well as to the world.

Lucerne to Zurich distance is around 50 kilometres and you can cover the road in less than an hour. You can hire a taxi or rent a car as this road trip promises some stunning views.

Many prefer to take a train from Zurich to Lucerne as it is convenient. There are around 40 direct trains that travel between Zurich and Lucerne.

You can check the timetable of Swiss Federal Railways to decide which train suits your Lucerne itinerary.

Some tourists also cover Basel and Lucerne in one trip. The Basel to Lucerne train runs around 50 times a day and takes 1 hour 20 minutes to cover the distance.

After you reach Lucerne, it is easy to get around the city. You can cover the Old Town on foot or rent a bicycle.

You can use a bus system to go to different areas of Lucerne and reach nearby attractions. The Swiss Travel Pass will be helpful when using public transport in Switzerland.

If you are planning any half-day trips from Lucerne, then Swiss rail will serve you best.


A flag on a cruise in Lucerne on Lucerne lake

What makes Lucerne worth visiting – Must see in Lucerne

 

Connectivity and all is okay, but is Lucerne Switzerland worth visiting and what can you do here?

This must be your next question. So, here’s the list of all the things that make Lucerne worth visiting. You can also check the detailed day-by-day Lucerne itinerary to plan your itinerary.

No matter how you plan your days in Lucerne, this Walking Tour with Chocolate & Cheese Tastings is a must. Combining cheese, chocolates, and wine with architecture and history is the best way to understand a city like Lucerne.


Lucerne Old Town

 

Lucerne Old Town, Altstadt, forms the heart of the city and has several historic buildings dotting the bank of river Reuss.

One of the prettiest towns in Switzerland, Lucerne Altstadt is where you can spend hours wandering around, soaking in the medieval vibes that still dominate the modern city.

If you want to know more about the history of Lucerne, then this 1-Hour Historical Tour with Night Watchman is an interesting option.

You will find plenty of cafes and restaurants along the old town boulevard where you can grab a coffee or a bite to eat when you want a break. I loved how tiny cafes overlooking the river felt so soothing amidst all the hustle and bustle.


Chapel Bridge

 

A wooden bridge that only needs 5 minutes to cross over is actually the oldest covered bridge in the world.

Dating back to the 14th century, you will find several paintings from the 17th century decorating the interior of this lovely structure.

Many of these paintings were destroyed during the 1993 fire and even though it was restored to its former glory, I still wonder how beautiful it must have been before this tragedy.


View of the chapel bridge in Lucerne on a sunny day as is Lucerne worth visiting

Church of St. Leodegar

 

Church of St. Leodegar is of religious as well as historic importance when it comes to must-see in Lucerne.

This 17th-century Roman catholic church is known for its stunning white stone interior and the twin Gothic belltowers that mark the Lucerne skyline.

It’s near the Chapel Bridge and you can stop by for some time on your way to the Lion Monument.

DETAILS

Hofkirche St. Leodegar

Address: St. Leodegarstrasse 6, 6006 Luzern, Switzerland

Timings: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Price: Free


Lion Monument

 

The famous Lion Monument of Lucern stands as a reminder of the sombre history this country has been through.

During the French Revolution, more than 700 Swiss Guards were massacred in 1792 at the Tuileries Palace in Paris.

This monument of the dying lion is dedicated ‘to the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss’. A tragedy that happened centuries ago will move you today as you stand in front of this 10-metre-long and 6-metre-high monument.


Lucerne Promenade

 

Taking a stroll along Lucerne Promenade is the best way to be a part of the local canvas.

This delightful area with a backdrop of Lucerne Altstadt is a popular place to hang out.

If you get a chance to visit Lucerne during one of the events, chances are you will find this Lucerne Promenade dotted with food stalls and lively with music performances.


The monument of a sad dying lion in Lucerne

Swiss Transport Museum

 

The Swiss Transport Museum, one of the most popular museums in Switzerland, is located in Lucerne.

Perfect for kids and adults alike, this place has everything from ships and aircrafts to automobiles and trains under one roof.

The interactive museum also has a planetarium and a theatre on the premises. The space exhibit is interesting to explore as it has three full-size models of Mars rovers along with a 4.5-tonne satellite that was returned safely to Earth.


DETAILS

Swiss Museum of Transport

Address: Lidostrasse 5, 6006 Luzern, Switzerland

Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. all days

Price: Check here


Richard Wagner Museum

 

The Richard Wagner Museum in Lucerne is a villa-turned-museum and holds cultural importance.

A popular German composer and theatre director Richard Wagner stayed in this city during the late 1860s and completed epic operas like Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Siegfried here.

This 15th-century villa exhibits historical photographs, original manuscripts, and paintings, making it a treat for music lovers as well as history buffs.


DETAILS

Richard Wagner Museum

Address: Richard-Wagner-Weg 27, 6005 Luzern, Switzerland

Timings: Tuesday to Sunday – 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. / Monday closed

Price: Adults – 12 CHF per adult, 5 CHF for kids



Glacier Garden

 

Glacier Garden of Lucerne is one of the unique places to visit in the city.

This open-air museum will take you back in time and will tell you a story of how this rocky terrain was formed. The mirror maze created in 1896 is an interesting sight for kids and adults alike.

The rocky underworld, Giant’s kettles, and the Alpine park are enough to keep you engaged for a couple of hours.


DETAILS

Gletschergarten Luzern

Address: Denkmalstrasse 4a, 6006 Luzern, Switzerland

Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. all days

Price: Adults – 22 CHF per adult, 12 CHFT for children above 6



View of the promenade in Lucerne on a sunny day

Attend the carnival in Lucerne

 

Lucerne Carnival is the biggest annual event in the city where streets come alive with unique parades.

It is held every year in winter for six days, where every day is marked with all the creative costumes, impressive masks, Guggen musicians, and people dancing in alleys.

If you can plan your Lucerne trip during Carnival Lucerne, you will get to witness a wild celebration.

It will be a great opportunity to be a part of the local canvas and mingle with people from all walks of life.

I would suggest confirming carnival dates in advance and booking your stay at least a couple of months before. With tourists pouring from all around the world during the Lucerne Carnival, it gets hard to find a good place to stay.


Mountain excursions from Lucerne

 

I love staying in Lucerne because even though I am in a city, the magnificent Alps are always a stone’s throw away.

Mount Titlis Day Tour makes for an exciting experience as the Rotair revolving cable car takes you on a panoramic journey to the mountaintop where fascinating views await.

Another famous day trip from Lucerne is Mount Rigi with a cruise and cable car ride. This journey includes a scenic cruise across Lake Lucerne, then a ride on a cogwheel railway, and finally an aerial cable car to take you to the top of Mount Rigi.

Mount Pilatus is another destination that can be reached in under an hour. Depending on your schedule, you can plan for a half-day trip or go for a full-day adventure to Mount Pilatus.

So, for all those who wonder is Lucerne Switzerland worth visiting, all these thrilling mountain excursions and breath-taking landscapes make Lucerne one of the best Switzerland cities.


A day trip to Lucerne – Zurich to Lucerne

 

If you are visiting Switzerland only for a couple of days, then consider planning a day trip to Lucerne from Zurich.

I would suggest taking a train to Lucerne as it takes less than an hour, promises a journey through some stunning landscapes, and is faster than a road trip.

As the Lucerne to Zurich distance is only around 50 kilometres and Lucerne is a compact city, you can plan a fast-paced Lucerne itinerary to cover significant sights.

Are you wondering – is Lucerne Switzerland worth visiting? Is it Lucerne worth all the hustle? Then the answer is – yes!

For me, the easiest way to cover Lucerne in one day was to book a customized tour. I would suggest booking the Lucerne & Mount Pilatus Day Tour from Zurich as it guarantees the best of Lucerne.


Views of villages on a cruise to Lucerne on a day trip to Lucerne

Where to stay in Lucerne

The best places to stay in Lucerne

 

Is Lucerne Switzerland worth visiting if you are a budget traveller? I have seen this question about many of Switzerland’s popular destinations.

When it comes to Lucerne, the mix of luxurious 5-star properties, elegant 3-star hotels, and budget stays makes Lucerne Switzerland worth visiting no matter what your budget is.

I would suggest booking a stay in or around Lucerne Old Town to make the most of your time.

If budget is not a concern, consider booking hotels in Lucerne next to the lake. Some of the best hostels in Lucerne are located around Lucerne Lake and the views you will wake up to here will take your breath away.

I am listing some of the best places to stay in Lucerne. Remember to book your Lucerne hotel in advance as most hotels are sold out during peak season.

 

Luxury hotel in LucerneHotel Schweizerhof Luzern is a 5-star hotel located in Lucerne Old Town and is only 10 minutes away from the train station.

Elegantly decorated modern rooms overlooking Lake Lucerne, a Finnish sauna, a bio sauna to pamper you, and 2 restaurants offering exotic gourmet cuisine on the premises make Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern one of the best places to stay in Lucerne.

 

Mid-range hotel in LucerneHotel De la Paix is a 3-star property located in the heart of the city near the Lion Monument. This pet-friendly Lucerne hotel offers free wifi, room service, and baggage storage.

The Restaurant Lapin-brasserie on the premises is known for catering with perfection.

 

Budget hotel in LucerneBarabas Luzern is one of the cheap hotels in Lucerne with an excellent location. Even though a budget hotel, it does not compromise on comfort.

With an interesting past, Barabas Luzern is a historic building that was used as a prison in the past. Today, after modern renovations, the cells are transformed into cosy rooms with free wifi. How fascinating is that?


Safety tips

– is Lucerne Switzerland safe?

 

Yes, Lucerne Switzerland is absolutely safe for all types of travellers.

Lucerne is friendly to everyone, welcoming of solo female travellers, and is a kid-friendly Swiss city with a low crime rate.

Even when it’s late evening or late at night and the city is quiet, you will feel safe in Lucerne as police presence is noticeable.

When I was visiting Lucerne, I explored different city areas after sunset, some of which are not that popular and touristy. But not once have I felt unsafe in Lucerne.

This city is one of the best travel destinations for solo female travellers.


View from Mount Rigi one of the days trips you can take from Lucerne

I have been to Lucerne multiple times and I feel Lucerne is worth visiting for its stunning Altstadt, alluring city experience, and the Alps that surround Lake Lucerne.

If you have already visited Lucerne and looking for more inspiration, then here are some of the best 2-days in Switzerland train itinerary ideas for your next vacation.


FAQs – Is Lucerne Switzerland worth visiting?

 

  • What is so special about Lucerne?

Lucerne is one of the prettiest cities in Switzerland that has managed to preserve the true Swiss beauty. The fascinating medieval architecture stands shoulder to shoulder with modern buildings, reflects in sparkling blue Lucerne Lake and is surrounded by majestic Alps.

This charming combination makes Lucerne worth visiting when it comes to top Switzerland destinations.

 

  • Which is better to visit Zurich or Lucerne?

Zurich offers the typical city experience with better connectivity to the rest of the world whereas Lucerne is where the charm of snowcapped Alps enveloping a pretty Altstadt can be found.

So, if you are looking for a typical Switzerland experience where the charm of mountains can be found even when staying in a city, then it’s better to visit Lucerne.

 

  • How many days do you need in Lucerne?

You need to spend at least 3 days in Lucerne to explore the best Lucerne attractions and also give some time to nearby destinations.

You can spend 2 days wandering around Lucerne Old Town and soaking in the allure of this Swiss city. Then on the 3rd day in Lucerne, you can plan a day trip to Mount Titlis or Mount Pilatus.

 

  • Which is better Interlaken or Lucerne?

The answer to which is better Interlaken or Lucerne depends on how many days you are spending at these locations. If you are in Switzerland only for a couple of days, then Lucerne is the best choice considering it can be covered in lesser time.

Interlaken, though a traditional resort town, offers a typical Alps experience with numerous hiking and skiing trails. So, Interlaken deserves more time.


Lavinia Dsouza

Award-winning Analyst, multi-nominated digital content creator and photographer Lavina Dsouza's words capture stories about culture and tradition mainly through its food and people. She has written and contributed to publications such as The Washington Post, Lonely Planet and Matador Network, to name a few. She is the editor of UntraditionalHumans.com, a non-profit created to share inspiring stories from women of colour who break free from traditions and choose happiness.

She's also a speaker passionate about DEI and champions solo travel. She has collaborated with numerous renowned brands such as Intrepid Travel, TripAdvisor, Travel and Leisure and Adobe, to name a few.

She can be found on Twitter and Instagram.


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Is Lucerne worth visiting is lucerne switzerland worth visiting
Is Lucerne worth visiting is lucerne switzerland worth visiting