Lucerne, Switzerland Travel Guide | The Cultural Capital of Central Switzerland


Lucerne, the cultural capital of central Switzerland, is a magical city located near the Alps. This city will make you fall in love on the spot thanks to its charming nature and dreamy landscapes. Surrounded by high mountains of up to 3000 m, covered with snow even in summer, this is the place where you will be able to disconnect and charge yourself with positive energy. Located on the shores of the famous Vierwaldstättersee (Lake of the Four Cantons) and crossed by the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), this city is the ideal destination for a peaceful getaway.

Useful information

Accommodation – Where are you staying in Lucerne?

The accommodation alternatives are diverse, here you can find modern hotel rooms that offer excellent conditions or rooms located in historic buildings in the central area with excellent prices starting from 88 euros per night. Below you will find some of our recommendations for a successful vacation.

  • Bettstatt-Neustadt located in the central area, this hotel has a modern, minimalist design and is equipped with everything you need from wifi to air conditioning. The price of a double room starts from 88 euros per night and cancellation is free.
  • KoBi Boutique Studios Hirschenplatz here you will be able to find modern, minimalist decorated studio apartments that will offer you all the facilities for a successful vacation. Located in an area of interest, the price of a studio starts from 135 euros per night.
  • Hotel Drei Könige located in the city center in a superb building, this hotel offers double rooms with an elegant design and all the facilities you might need. The hotel offers rooms with a wonderful view of the city center and the price of a double room is 145 euros with breakfast included.

Lucerne tourist attractions - What to visit in Lucerne

Lucerne offers a wide variety of activities; from nature walks to museums, churches and monuments with a unique architecture. Here you will definitely be able to disconnect from everyday life, discover new places and spend wonderful moments with friends or family. A simple walk through the streets of the city is enough to make you fall in love with this city.

Mount Pilate

Mount Pilat is the symbol of the region, whose image you will find at every step. Definitely a place you shouldn't miss, Mount Pilat can be climbed by train. The Pilat railway is a cogwheel railway that goes up one of the steepest slopes in the world up to an altitude of 2106 m. The line was created in 1889 and has been electrified since 1937. The landscapes are absolutely amazing, you can admire the panoramic view of the city and the Alps in the distance. There are excursions and tours organized for tourists, prices starting from 60 euros, here you can find some alternatives.

Kapellbrücke & Wasserturm

Perhaps the most emblematic place of the city of Lucerne is the Kapellbrücke, a covered bridge, built of wood dating back to 1333. Over time it has gone through numerous transformations, it was damaged by a fire, part of it being rebuilt in 1993. Next to it is the Wasserturm, a water tower from the 13th century, part of the old fortifications of the city. However, it has withstood the test of time, being currently one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the city and in the entire country. 

Boat trip on the Lake of the Four Cantons

A unique experience is a boat ride on the beautiful lake, which is 38 kilometers long. These short trips are available during the warm season starting from May to September. During your trip you will have the chance to admire nature, see the spectacular alpine peaks and hear the history of the place even from a local. The prices for such a walk are extremely affordable starting from them 16 euros and the experience is unique.

The old City

A walk in the old town is all you need to feel the atmosphere of the town and get in touch with the customs of the locals. The cobbled streets, bourgeois houses and fountains at every step create a charming atmosphere, you will feel that time has stopped for a few seconds. During your walk you can admire some of the most emblematic buildings of the city such as: the old town hall which was built in 1602, Weinmarkt a fountain built in Gothic style or Kapellplatz the oldest church in Lucerne. 

Mount Rigi

One of the emblematic experiences for Lucerne is a climb up Mount Rigi. You can get here by train leaving directly from the city. The price of such a ticket is 60 euros round trip, but the experience will definitely be worth it, you can find more information here. From the altitude of 1798 meters you will have a superb panoramic view and you will be able to see even the Black Forest in Germany, you will be able to walk, enjoy the tranquility of nature and the picturesque atmosphere.


The second wooden bridge that has passed the test of time in the superb Swiss city. The Spreuerbrücke bridge was built in 1406, inside it there are 45 fascinating paintings that illustrate the Dance of Death, known in German as Totentanz. Painted between 1616 and 1637 by the painter Kaspar Meglinger, these scenes tell an extremely interesting story. The technique and attention to detail is exceptional and for an art lover this is an unmissable objective.

Löwendenkmal (Lion of Lucerne)

The Lion of Lucerne is a rock relief carved by Lukas Ahorn in 1820-1821. This monument commemorates the Swiss guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when the revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris. It is one of the most famous monuments in Switzerland, visited annually by approximately 1.4 million tourists. In addition to its history and carefully crafted details, the sculpture was described by Mark Twain as "the most sorrowful and moving piece of stone in the world."

Verkehrshaus der Schweiz (Swiss Transport Museum)

The Lucerne Transport Museum is one of the most popular museums in Switzerland and the most interesting and diverse of all similar museums in Europe. The exhibition dedicated to the history of transport development has more than 3 thousand exhibits. The Swiss Transport Museum was founded in 1959 and is definitely an interesting attraction for both adults and children. The price of a ticket is 32 euros and you can find more details here

Gletschergarten (Lucerne Glacier Garden)

The Glacier Garden in Lucerne is a unique monument that includes both a museum and an extremely beautiful park. Here you will see unique landforms, Moraines, parts of the huge glaciers that covered the area where Lucerne is today. The relief model was built between 1762-1786 and is among the few of this type in the world. This is a unique place in the world that will definitely impress you, which you must visit and take at least a few sensational pictures.

The Museum of Arts

The Lucerne Museum of Art was designed by the Parisian architect Jean Nouvel. Covering an area of 2100 square meters, the museum has temporary exhibitions that present significant works of modern art, as well as exhibitions from the permanent collection, with an emphasis on the painting of the 19th and 20th centuries. The architectural simplicity of the museum and the sophisticated use of light make a visit to this museum an authentic cultural experience. If you are an art lover, you should not miss this place.

History Museum

The host of some collections of historical objects that remind of the past ages. Here you will be able to visit numerous exhibitions to better understand the history of the city and the region. You can opt for a Stockroom tour, this has a completely new feature, there are professional actors who assume different roles to bring the historical past to the present. In the History Museum, you will find a series of interesting and exciting books, photographs and other historical artifacts. These objects bring to life the history of Lucerne, since the Middle Ages.

Museum of Natural History

The Natural History Museum in Lucerne is an attractive and bright place, which was founded in 1820 as a Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. An attractive and living museum, where you can feel nature, here you will be able to admire live animals in aquariums and terrariums. One of the attractions of the museum is the insect exhibition. The permanent exhibition displays fossils, fauna and flora from central Switzerland. There are several interactive exhibits that show butterflies and insects from all over the world. The Museum of Natural History in Lucerne is considered to be one of the most attractive museums of this type in Switzerland.

Gastronomy & Restaurants

Swiss gastronomy is diverse and refined. With French, German or even Italian influences, the traditional dishes depend on the area. Most Swiss cuisine is based on simple ingredients, such as potatoes, dairy products and meat, but also vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach or cauliflower. Switzerland is famous for its delicious cheeses such as Emmentaler Appenzeller, or the famous Gruyere, but also for its delicious Alpine milk chocolate. Below you will find some traditional dishes that you must definitely try.

  • FONDUE an extremely popular and delicious food consisting of certain types of cheese that are melted on fire. Pieces of bread or vegetables are inserted into this melted cheese, placed on a high fork. This was the main method by which those living in the Alps consumed bread and cheese during the winter months.
  • speak this dish is made from grated potatoes and mixed with cheese, bacon or various other ingredients, and then fried in butter, like meatballs. It is often eaten as a garnish for eggs, sausages or other local dishes.
  • Tartiflette this combination of thinly sliced potatoes, smoked bacon, caramelized onions and Reblocohon cheese is absolutely delicious. It was first created in 1980 trying to increase cheese sales, nowadays most Swiss ski resorts serve this dish.
  • Bircher muesli the Swiss version of muesli is a little different from a classic breakfast, but just as delicious. It is prepared overnight, being made of muesli together with the desired fruits with milk, yogurt or fruit puree and is normally eaten for breakfast, but it can also be eaten as a dessert with whipped cream.
  • Swiss chocolate what makes Swiss chocolate so delicious is the whole milk used together with the cocoa butter. There are regulations that make Swiss chocolate bear the sign "made in Switzerland" only when it is made inside the country. You must definitely try the authentic chocolate and buy some for your loved ones.

Restaurants - Where to eat in Lucerne 

  • Wirtshaus Galliker a family business, this tavern has existed in the city for over a century. The atmosphere at Wirtshaus Galliker can best be described by the words: comfort, familiarity and hospitality. You must try the Luzerner Chügelipastete (a pastry pie with mushrooms) made according to an authentic recipe. The prices are moderate and the restaurant is pet friendly.
  • Zunfthausrestaurant Pfistern is a restaurant with a rich history dating back to the 16th century, when it was built as a hall for the city's bakers. Here you can try typical Swiss, seasonal cuisine, and the view of the famous Kapellebrucke is sensational.
  • Burgerstube a restaurant decorated in the neo-Gothic style of the 20th century that offers a diverse menu with regional dishes. You must try the veal, the slices with rösti or the crab terrine with saffron mayonnaise. The dessert menu is the point of attraction, with refined and absolutely delicious dishes. A dinner here will be a real sensory experience. 

Lucerne is an ideal destination for those who want to combine relaxation with the vibrant and cultural atmosphere of a city in the middle of nature. Sensational landscapes, museums and rich history make this destination an unforgettable one.

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