Discover what to do in Lucerne and explore its must-see attractions. This captivating city is nestled in central Switzerland, surrounded by majestic mountains and offering an impressive panorama. Renowned for its breathtaking scenery, exquisite medieval architecture, and rich history, Lucerne ranks among the world’s most beautiful cities. Its strategic location on Lake Lucerne makes it the perfect base for exploration, benefitting from its practical proximity to the Alps.

Situated at an altitude of 436 meters, Lucerne is located on the banks of the Reuss River and bathed by Lake Lucerne, known as the Lake of the Four Cantons. The official language is German, and cultural and architectural influences can be seen from neighboring countries, such as Germany, Italy and France. The city is also one of Switzerland’s major tourist centers, welcoming over 2 million visitors annually and hosting international music festivals.

What to Do in Lucerne Must-See Attractions
What to Do in Lucerne: Must-See Attractions

How to get to Lucerne:

Getting to Lucerne is simple, whether by car or train. While there is no airport in Lucerne, the closest one is Zurich. Direct trains from Zurich airport to Lucerne station are available, with a journey time of approximately one hour and trains running every 30 minutes. Another option for international travelers is Geneva airport, which offers convenient access to Lucerne. The train ride from Geneva to Lucerne takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes, with at least one train change along the way. You can check the train rides on this site:

How many days should you spend in Lucerne?

A day is sufficient to explore most of Lucerne’s attractions, but if you wish to experience all it has to offer, consider staying for 2 or 3 days. The duration of your stay depends on your travel preferences. If you prefer to explore the surrounding region and take day trips, you can comfortably spend 4 to 6 days, using Lucerne as your base. Before leaving the train station, make sure to visit Lucerne Tourism’s tourist information office, located in the building of the main train station (close to track 3), and pick up a city map. This is always the first stop to make when arriving in Swiss cities.

Lucerne attracts travelers from around the globe. If you’re considering a trip to this enchanting destination, here is a list of the must-see attractions and activities to include in your itinerary in the city!

Top Must-See Attractions and Activities in Lucerne:

Walking through Lucerne…

Embark on a guided tour of Lucerne. Explore the city’s historical landmarks and listen to stories shared by expert guides. Be sure to visit the Musegg Wall with its nine towers, offering panoramic views of the city. Wander through the picturesque Old Town, a maze of narrow streets adorned with cobblestones, vibrant houses, and charming shops. Don’t miss the charming Hirschenplatz. This square is a tribute to an ancient inn that dates back to the Middle Ages, adding to the city’s rich heritage and allure.

Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge)

Explore the Chapel Bridge: Marvel at the iconic Chapel Bridge, Europe’s longest covered wooden bridge, dating back to the 14th century. This bridge is the most important tourist attraction in the city. The Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) was built in 1365, and at the southern end of the bridge stands the Wasserturm, a tower that has served as a prison, torture chamber, observation tower, and municipal archive.

Reconstructed after a devastating fire in 1993, the bridge showcases both modern elements and remnants from its original construction. As you cross the bridge, take note of the upper part where 112 paintings from the early 17th century are displayed. These triangular panels depict significant events from Swiss history and mythology.

Lucerne’s Old Portal

In 1971, Lucerne’s train station suffered a devastating fire. As a result, a new terminus station was inaugurated in 1991. However, in homage to the original 1896 building and its iconic 42-meter-high dome, the historic entrance portal was reconstructed and now faces the lake. The re-erected portal stands as a testament to the architectural legacy of the past. It is adorned with a captivating sculpture called “Zeitgeist,” created by Richard Kissling, one of Switzerland’s most renowned sculptors of the time.

The Old Portal in Lucerne is a striking blend of history and art, symbolizing the city’s resilience and commitment to preserving its heritage. It serves as a captivating entrance to the modern train station while paying homage to the architectural marvels of the past.

Lion Monument (Lowendenkmal)

The Lion Monument, in Lucerne’s Denkmalpark, is a renowned landmark, attracting global visitors to this small park of significance. The Lion Monument in Lucerne is a remarkable and poignant sculpture that holds great historical and emotional significance. Carved into a rock face, it portrays a dying lion lying on a shield, with a spear piercing its side.

The monument was designed as a tribute to the Swiss Guards. They lost their lives during the French Revolution in 1792 while defending the Tuileries Palace in Paris. The Lion Monument captures a sense of profound sorrow and mourning. The Lion Monument is a place of quiet contemplation and remembrance. The serene atmosphere offers a powerful connection to the history and spirit of Lucerne.

Glacier Garden

Discover the Glacier Garden: Uncover remnants of the Ice Age at Lucerne’s Glacier Garden. Explore glacial potholes, fossilized marine life, and engage with interactive exhibits that unveil the region’s geological history. Stroll through the park, admire ancient artifacts, and learn about the forces that shaped the environment.

Top Viewpoint- Lucerne from Above:

For a breathtaking panoramic view and stunning vistas of Lucerne, there is no better place than Château Gütsch. Perched on a hill, this exquisite 4-star hotel offers mesmerizing views over the city. The good news is that the hotel’s restaurant is open to non-guests, allowing everyone to indulge in the awe-inspiring scenery. Reaching Château Gütsch is a breeze. You can opt for a ride on the Gütsch Funicular, you can take a pleasant walk.

Boat tour on Lake Lucerne

Conclude the day with a delightful boat ride on Lake Lucerne, offering panoramic views of the surrounding beauty. Lake Lucerne, known for its awe-inspiring beauty, boasts the greatest scenic variety among Switzerland’s lakes. With its stunning landscapes that somewhat resemble a fjord, Lake Lucerne offers a unique charm enhanced by a mild lake climate. Exploring the lake is a true delight. One of the highlights of the region is embarking on boat cruises. They offer the opportunity to sail aboard five historic paddle wheel steamers and 15 elegant salon motor vessels.

Richard Wagner Museum

Explore the Richard Wagner Museum. Immerse yourself in the captivating world of the composer Richard Wagner at the Museum in the neighboring village of Tribschen. This museum offers a opportunity to delve into Wagner’s life. Discover his musical instruments, explore his writings, and admire an collection of his personal belongings. Gain insight into the artistic genius of Wagner as you explore the very house where he resided for six years, which now serves as museum.

Transport Museum and Chocolate Adventure

Indulge in the Swiss Chocolate Adventure: No visit to Switzerland is complete without savoring its world-famous chocolate. Embark on a delectable journey at the Swiss Chocolate Adventure in Lucerne. Witness the chocolate-making process and relish irresistible treats that will satisfy your sweet tooth

Learn about Swiss History at the Swiss Museum of Art. Delve into Swiss history and art at the Swiss Museum of Art. Admire an extensive collection of works by Swiss painters, sculptors, and craftsmen spanning various eras. Gain insights into Switzerland’s culture and artistic heritage as you explore the museum’s galleries.

Mountain Excursions

Ride the Cog Railway up Mount Rigi. Experience the cog train journey from Lake Lucerne to the summit of Rigi, situated at an elevation of 1,798 meters above sea level. Consider taking a boat from Lucerne to Vitznau, riding the cogwheel train to Rigi, and descending to Arth-Goldau before returning to Lucerne.

In summary, Lucerne offers a plethora of attractions and activities to cater to diverse interests. Whether you’re captivated by historical sites, in art and culture, or craving breathtaking mountain views, this city has something for everyone. Prepare your luggage, embark on a remarkable journey, and uncover the many delights of Lucerne.

If you’re seeking private tours, be sure to check out the options available on our website at Swiss Xplorer!