Full of character, the old town features several beautiful and unique landmarks and architecture, dating back to the Middle Ages. Lucerne is a popular starting point and home camp for anyone traveling in Switzerland.
Lucerne weather is warmer from June to September. The skiing season is November through April.
Fun Facts about Lucerne
- The Bucherers main store has the world’s largest rolling ball clock named the Aion. It extends over four floors and measures almost twenty feet in width.
- Many important residents were born in Lucerne. These include writer, Thomas Imbach, WWE Raw’s, Claudio Castagnolic, and Giorgio Tsoukalos, who is the producer of Ancient Aliens.
- The world’s largest nuclear shelter is the Sonnenberg Tunnel. It can protect 20,000 should an emergency arise.
- If you are looking for unique accommodations, stay at the Erlebnishotel. This building, once the central jailhouse, is now a hotel with almost no modifications!
- Follow in the footsteps of many famous nobleman and women such as Leo Tolstoy who frequented the Schweizerhof Hotel, and Sergei Rakhmaniniov, who composed his music in a villa by the lake. Turner derived endless fascination from Lake Lucerne's waters. Queen Victoria trotted up Rigi on horseback and spent four months in Lucerne. Wagner knew of, "a no more beautiful place on earth," and Mark Twain called it, "the most charming place," and visited twice.
- Pilatus Kulm is named after Pontius Pilatus. When he committed suicide, the Romans couldn’t dispose of his body due to a storm. It stopped when his corpse was removed from the water.
10. Lake Luzern
9. The Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern (KKL)
8. The Sammlung Rosengart
Pilatusstrasse 10, 6003 Luzern, Switzerland.+41 (0) 41 220 1660
7. The Jesuitenkirche
6. The Gletschergarten
The onsite museum features various landscape reliefs, including the oldest mountain relief in existence today created in the eighteenth century. To top it off, there is also an entertaining mirror maze with ninety mirrors, some of which distort the reflection.
5. The Museggmauer and Museggtuerme
4. The Verkehrshaus der Schweiz
In addition, the huge museum houses its own 3D Imax Theater, Planetarium, and the Hans Erni Gallery.
Have a blast while learning with the Swiss Chocolate Adventure, and the Nautirama. The Swissarena is a two-hundred-square-meter aerial photograph of Switzerland.
Lidostrasse 5, CH-6006 Lucerne, Switzerland.The Verkehrshaus der Schweiz +41 (0)41 370 4444 / 0900 333 456 (Share-call)
3. The Kapellbrücke and Spreuerbrücke
The landmark Kapellbrücke, and its forty-three-meter tall Wasserturm (Water Tower), is the world’s oldest truss bridge. These constructions are even more remarkable due to the ancient paintings decorating the roof rafters.
2. Pilatus Kulm
Another option is to journey by cogwheel train on the world’s steepest railway up Pilatus Kulm, with an ascent of 48%.
Pilatus-Bahnen AG: Sclossweg 1, 6010 Kriens/Luzern, Switzerland.Mount Pilatus Info+41 (0)41 329 1111
1. The Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument)
Top Activities in Lucerne
- Mountain Activities – Lucerne has a number of mountains such as Mount Rigi, Pilatus, and Stanserhorn. All of these provide entertaining things to do such as: climbing, hiking, sledding, air cable car rides, train travel, and the opportunity to enjoy spectacular views of the Swiss Alps.
- City Tours - This sightseeing trip includes all the best that Lucerne has to offer. Ride the City Train to view all the top attractions including the most notable museums.
- Golfing – Swing your clubs and take your best shot at the nine-course Lucerne Golf Club, founded in 1903.
- Water Activities - Besides the many boat trips available, Lake Luzern alternatively offers the opportunity to sunbathe, swim, practice yoga, and get luxurious massages.
- Biking – Cyclists and mountain bikers can appreciate the countryside and lake on set routes in Luzern.
Top Events in Lucerne
- The Lucerne Carnival starts the Thursday before Ash Wednesday for five days every year.
- The Annual International Comix-Festival – Fumetto runs for nine consecutive days in April.
- The Lucerne Classical Music Festival consists of four yearly festivals: Easter Festival (April), Summer Festival (August/September), Piano-Festival (November), and the Tour Festival (Some acts perform in different parts of the country throughout the year).
- Rowing competitors take part in the Lucerne Regatta in July, which has occurred every year for over a century.
- The Bullballs Festival is in July each year, and presents concerts of blues, funk, jazz, and more.
What to eat in Lucerne
- Snack on a Super Scrumptious Schoggi-Brötli
When in Switzerland, you must have the highly recommended Confiserie Bachmann’s, Schoggi-Brötli. This divine chocolate chip, bread bun is available at several outlets including Kantonalbank, Tribschenstadt, and Schwanenplatz.
- Truly Tasty Tagliatelle
For a unique vegetarian tagliatelle dish served with Seelisburger cheese, rocket, and, surprisingly, strawberries, pop into Stern Luzern.
- Savor Several Sweet Treats Simultaneously
If you have a sweet tooth, try the Burgerstube’s Probiererli at the Wilden Mann Hotel. This is a dessert platter with numerous servings. It includes a berry crème brûlée, and an amaretto and apricot terrine. Yummy!
- Best Bottled Beer
Lozärner Bier offers a variety of fabulous beers. These include a range of seasonal specialty beers like full-bodied amber beers brewed with caramel malt.
- Very Vegetarian and Vegan Varieties
Tibits will definitely please all vegetarians and vegans. Their entree options include spring leek and carrot stew, cream of broccoli soup, mango pudding, and asparagus quiche, amongst others and depending on the season.
Getting to Lucerne
• From , the express will get you to Lucerne in under half an hour.
• From , the journey will take around one and a half hours..
Getting around and about in Lucerne
- Public Transport - Do not despair if you don’t have a vehicle or bicycle in Lucerne. Public transport in the city makes it very easy to get around. You can choose from trams, buses, boats, and several railways, including Swiss Travel System and Swiss Federal Railways. The trains are highly reliable, running hourly and half-hourly from 5:00 – 00:30.
- Buses known as the nachstern, run after hours. Tickets are categorized according to the zone you are traveling in, and not per ride. You can buy them at the station using the automated machines, order them online, or conveniently purchase through an app from a mobile phone.
Where to stay in Lucerne
List of Recommended Souvenirs
- Swiss Chocolate - Always makes a great souvenir for loved ones. Check out Max Chocolatier, Lindt Chocolate Shop, Lӓderach Chocolatier Suisse and Chocolat Schönenberger for a wide variety.
- Cuckoo Clocks – Are truly unique keepsakes. Casa Grande stocks these, as well as many other great souvenirs including but not limited to, Swiss army knives and watches that can be personalize with engraving.
Tips for Traveling to Lucerne
- When making use of public transport, never place your luggage on the seat next to you. This is considered inappropriate.
- Don’t cross the road anywhere other than at the pedestrian intersections. The locals frown on jaywalking.
- Switzerland has four official languages. In Lucerne, they speak a dialect known as Schwzerdütsch (Swiss German). Make sure to learn some important phrases. You will be greatly respected for the effort.
- Make sure to rent a portable WiFi router as this will give you unlimited Internet access during your stay, and saves quite a bit.
- Never spit in the street, and always dispose of trash in garbage bins.
Enjoying Lucerne on a Budget
- Most restaurants automatically include service fees in the check, it is therefore not necessary to tip your waitron additionally.
- Get a Swiss Travel Pass or Tell Pass. This allows free access to all modes of public transportation, and entry into museums and cultural venues. Tourists can also benefit from various other discounts on offer.
- Some hotels offer guests their own Visitors’ Passes. These allow for cost-free travel and markdowns on certain activities for a limited time.
- Don’t buy snacks from vendors at main attractions. Instead, walk a few blocks. You will find the same goods at a better deal.
- Purchase food at Coop and Migros supermarkets. They also offer delis and self-service eateries.
Day Trips from Lucerne
- Visit Zurich to enjoy some of the best attractions such as, the Rhine Falls and quaint Stein am Rhein.
- Ski day trips are available at several of the peaks in-and-around Lucerne.
- Dine in Switzerland’s only revolving restaurant at nearby, Mount Stanserhorn.
Emergency Contact Numbers
Spitalstrasse 31, 6000 Luzern, Switzerland.Luzern Kantonsspital (LUKS) Rettungsdienst041 (0) 205 1111
Address: Robert-Zünd-Strasse 2, 6003 Luzern, Switzerland.Permanence Medical Central Luzern AG +41 41 211 1444