Lucerne is what you call the perfect Swiss city. With cobalt-blue perfect lakes cuddled by the mountains, a plethora of museums to take over the historian in you, the perfectly coloured and vibrant houses and the classic promenades, Lucerne is absolutely stunning! It is said that an angel once showed the first occupants of Lucerne where to build the chapel. No wonder, its beauty has been admired by the likes of Queen Victoria.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland, Lucerne is the culmination of everything a travel buff could ask for. Through this guide, you will learn of the places to visit in Lucerne, i.e. the Lucerne attractions, cruises, the things to see in Lucerne, and more.
Explore the wall paintings in Old Town
When we talk about Lucerne attractions, Old Town is an often talked about place. The name for it is pretty apt, as the style and architecture of the area are very medieval. Relaxingly strolling through the medieval Old Town should be on your bucket list for things to do in Lucerne.
While strolling around Old Town, you will come across stone walls with paintings and medieval oriel windows. These wall paintings you find across the town bring an added flavor to the place and will keep you amazed in your leisurely tour there. Don’t miss Weinmarkt Square in Old Town, which features various more such medieval wall paintings.
Address: Löwengraben 15, 6004 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/odndphh8WkmamHz17 | Phone number: +41414109121
When you talk about the things to do in Lucerne, visiting Mount Pilatus is a top contender. The pride and joy of Switzerland, Mount Pilatus is a gigantic mountain that is covered in lush snow in the winter, which consists of multiple mountain peaks.
Why wonder about what to do in Lucerne when you have an array of activities for you to indulge in at Mount Pilatus, like going for a hike, sledding, skiing, tobogganing through the snow, and more.
Reaching Mount Pilatus can be done by boarding the Pilatus Railway, which runs only from May through to November. Luckily enough, a cable car operates from Kriens to the ice-covered Esel peak, which should do the trick.
Address: Schlossweg 1, Kriens, Lucerne 6010 Switzerland | Timing: Due to the pandemic, the timings have changed. Please visit https://www.pilatus.ch/ for more updates. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/vBDjT3zatnTnRNRz5 | Phone number: +41413291111
Swiss Museum of Transport
Simulators, rides, a planetarium, and an IMAX theatre, along with much more, make it no surprise why the Swiss Museum of Transport is such a popular destination in Lucerne, Switzerland. The museum also consists of the Swiss Chocolate Adventure, where you learn about the history and technicalities that go into the making of Swiss chocolate, and most importantly, even taste it!
But wait, then why is it named the Swiss Museum of ‘Transport’? The museum’s main aim is to learn about Switzerland’s transport history, where you learn about their trains, cars, planes, and much more!
Address: Lidostrasse 5, 6006 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: 10:00 am-5:00 pm (Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 am-5:30 pm) | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/jub9DgiahCDhCJVB6 | Phone number: +41413757575
This lake, named Lake Lucerne, is unlike any lake you have seen before. It takes on lovely shapes and contrasts, with irregular borders and yet, calm and streamlined waters, which will set you at ease.
And if that’s not enough, there are a variety of cruises for you to board, the most popular one being the steamer cruise. Deemed amongst the best cruises in Switzerland, the steamer cruise can take you riding through a warm summer’s afternoon or a starry Christmas night, gliding through Lake Lucerne’s waters while admiring the beautiful surroundings with which you are sure to fall in love.
Address: Luzern Tourismus AG, Tourist Information, Zentralstrasse 5, CH-6002 Luzern | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/F3AJs3Y1rkd5GoPX8 | Phone Number: +41 (0)41 227 17 17
The Rosengart Collection
Rivaling the Lion Monument in terms of popularity, this museum, The Rosengart Collection, sprung into existence as a private collection of paintings of the late Siegfried Rosengart, an art dealer, along with his daughter, Angela Rosengart. Angela then, in 1992, started the Rosengart Foundation to publicize her private collection.
The Rosengart Collection possesses post-Renaissance paintings from artists, notably Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso, which are Classical Modernist and Impressionist in style.
Known as the “grand dame of art”, Angela Rosengart and her collection are globally-known names in the art scene. The art dealer from Lucerne features in five portraits done by Pablo Picasso, who was Angela’s personal friend.
Address: Pilatusstrasse 10, 6003 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: April-October 10:00 am to 06:00 pm, November-March 11:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/museumrosengart?share | Phone number: +41412201660
We can’t be looking at paintings all day, so, why not visit Chapel Bridge? Built in 1333, Chapel Bridge connects Old Town to the Reuss River Bank, and the entire area screams medieval and picturesque.
Now a famous tourist destination, the Chapel Bridge had to survive a fire in 1993 that almost destroyed it. Although rebuilt, the fire damage is still noticeable, which only adds to the bridge’s commercial value.
Also, a part of the bridge, adding a rustic and medieval touch, is the 34-meter tall Water Tower, which, ironically, holds no water. The tower was initially built for defensive purposes in critical times, used as a treasury/archive, and as a prison.
Address: Kapellbrücke, 6002 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/tHAYSffaK84sfddJ7 | Phone number: +41412271717
Switzerland’s famous natural attraction, which was discovered in 1872, The Glacier Garden in Lucerne, had formed during the Ice Age, which took place a whopping 20,000 years ago.
The Glacier Garden is made up of polished glacier rock and a collection of 32 holes that formed at the bottom of the waterfalls of melting and freezing glacial ice. An observation tower, a mirror maze, and an array of educational and interactive exhibits also exist.
Address: Denkmalstrasse 4, 6006 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: 10:00 am-5:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/J6BQFzE3owa6tEHA9 | Phone number: +41414104340
The Dying Lion Monument represents the Swiss mercenaries killed in battle at the Tuileries in France during the year 1792 when protecting Louis XVI. The Lion Monument is Switzerland’s pride. Witnessing the Dying Lion Monument is one of the most heartbreaking things to see, especially for a Swiss citizen.
The fact that it was carved out of natural rock, being of such a humongous size, there is no doubt why the Lion Monument is considered to be one of the most impressive feats in terms of art and sculpting.
Address: Denkmalstrasse 4, 6002 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/kPMRCexdzRJdMWCXA | Phone number: +41412271717
Hofkirche St. Leodegar or St. Leodegar’s Church is a central component of Lucerne’s townscape. Amongst the most beautiful churches found in Switzerland, various details in its architecture add to its brilliance, such as the Agony in the Garden, the north tower’s Gothic sculpture, as well as the tombs of the oldest family members of Lucerne, Switzerland.
Inside the church, you will find the one-of-a-kind, giant organ that produces unique sounds like never before, which attracts everyday tourists and musicians alike from all around the globe.
Address: St. Leodegarstrasse 6, 6006 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: 7:00 am-7:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/WqHUfNgw54dTuMm77 | Phone number: +41412299500
The Museggmauer city walls are the most integral parts of Lucerne in central Switzerland. With their nine towers, these structures are part of the city’s fortifications constructed in the fourteenth century.
Almost every tower has survived to this day, and they continue to be of great military and historical importance. The buildings are open to residents and tourists alike and are integral tourist attractions in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The main attractions are the walks alongside the Musegg wall, admiring the indescribable view. The medieval designs of the wall architecture intermingling with Lucerne’s modern aesthetic make this a top-rated destination to spend your time.
Address: 6004 Lucerne, Switzerland | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/FyRYFqHKrbmsAR7B7
Built on the southern banks of River Reuss, the Jesuit Church was constructed through the Renaissance years of 1666-1673 for the Jesuits. Jesuit Church was the first colossal church built in the Baroque style found in Switzerland.
If the exteriors haven’t impressed you, wait till you walk inside the church to see exquisite white marble interiors with a breath taking painted ceiling that is very characteristic of the Renaissance period.
Address: Bahnhofstrasse 11A, 6003 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: Daily 6:30 am – 6:30 pm, Monday and Thursday: 09:30 am – 06:30 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/NsGySdhUcy24HAa36 | Phone number: +41412403133
Richard Wagner Museum
Adding great intellectual and cultural flair to Lucerne’s environment, the Richard Wagner Museum is the hallmark of the global interest in Richard Wagner and his fascinating works.
The late Richard Wagner was a German artist and intellectual whose works have been preserved and studied long after his death. The Richard Wagner Museum is a hotspot for history buffs and artists alike, as the museum offers a range of services like museum-related educational activities and guided tours.
Address: Richard-Wagner-Weg 27, 6005 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: Tuesday-Sunday 11:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/L373eWb7YASFMzaE9 | Phone number: +41413602370
This is one of the names that gets thrown around a lot when visiting Lucerne, Switzerland, and for a good reason!
The Spreuer Bridge was built in 1408 as an added measure to fortify the city and to ease traveling within it. Between the Renaissance years of 1626 and 1635, Kaspar Meglinger decided to add 67 paintings within the medieval architecture of Spreuer Bridge, which collectively represents the “Dance of Death”.
The piece of history behind Spreuer Bridge is what makes it so popular. The paintings are dark and eerie and are meant to remind anyone that looks at them that death is everlasting and comes for everyone.
Address: Spreuerbrücke, 6004 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/mJbkoxpEDxp27mZh7
KKL, named as such due to the initials of the name in German, referred to as the Culture and Convention Center was the endeavor of French architect Jean Nouvel from Switzerland, who finished its construction in the year 2000.
The KKL is situated in between Lake Lucerne and the Old City. It consists of three parts: conference rooms with an auditorium, a concert hall, and a museum of contemporary art.
Tourists have made the KKL a popular destination due to the Lucerne Festival, which is hosted there, the annual classical music festival, which sounds breathtaking due to the architecture’s fantastic acoustics. The art museum on the top floor of the KKL displays a combination of 18th as well as early 20th-century Swiss paintings.
Address: Europaplatz 1, 6005 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: Due to the pandemic, timings have changed. Please visit https://www.kkl-luzern.ch/ for more information. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/6HPJv6EUkGtvHxEw7 | Phone number: +41412267070
Go Skiing at Mt. Titlis
Situated to the south of Lake Lucerne, Mt. Titlis is the highest peak among Switzerland’s Uri Alps, 3,238 meters above sea level.
Going skiing around Mt. Titlis is something that you must cross off your bucket list. The ski lift takes you straight to the point where you can begin skiing, and you can travel solo if preferred. The snow is soft and luscious, perfect for a skiing enthusiast.
Address: 6390 Gadmen, Switzerland | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/MvGBcoprZYVSUjhh9
The Bourbaki Panorama, is of great cultural and historical significance to Switzerland and its Swiss folk. The Bourbaki Panorama vividly portrays the experience of 87.000 soldiers from the French Army of the East under the helm of General Bourbaki, escaping from the Prussian forces within 1871’s grueling winter, entering Switzerland.
When you visit the Bourbaki Panorama, you are traveling back in time to the second half of the 19th century, when Switzerland had just begun establishing traits of humanity and tolerance.
A heart-wrenching story captured on a canvas that measures 112 x 10 meters in the year 1881, mainly by the painter Edouard Castres and his ten colleagues who combined political events, art, culture, and personal destinies in a single piece of art.
Address: Löwenpl. 11, 6004 Luzern, Switzerland | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/NZdMbzW6VbrzvkdTA | Phone number: +41414123030
Mount Rigi is surrounded by the lakes Zug, Lucerne, and Lauer. Rigi Kulm, the main summit, rests at 1798 meters above sea level and is a breath-taking view when you’ve set foot atop the mountain, which is covered in snow for most of the year.
Like Mount Pilatus, Rigi is known for skiing and tobogganing in winter and hiking in summer. There are a few viable methods to travel from Lucerne to Mount Rigi: from Vitznau, Weggis, or Arth-Goldau by train/bus, train, or gondola ride, respectively.
Address: 6410 Arth, Switzerland | Timing: Due to the pandemic, timings have changed. Please check https://www.rigi.ch/ for more information. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/7XcXQPvgTe3XQqs3
Historisches Museum Luzern
If you’re a nerd or a plain old history buff, you must visit the Historisches Museum in Lucerne. When you enter the museum, the staff provides you with a tablet, which you can use to scan the barcodes present on every exhibit displaying a historical item. This will present you with information about the said item, which is a fun little gimmick that is educative and innovative as well.
From ancient pottery to skillfully-crafted paintings, there is a lot of culture and history for you to uncover at the Historisches Museum.
Address: Pfistergasse 24 Postfach, Lucerne 6003 Switzerland | Timing: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/JfUvKvBYAzAChE4d7 | Phone Number: +41 41 228 54 24
The Jungfraujoch is a viewing point situated in the Bernese Alps with an altitude of 3,454 meters that you will reach with the help of a cable car and cogwheel train. The Jungfraujoch is not only the highest train station in Lucerne, Switzerland but in the entirety of Europe as well. Jungfraujoch is comfortably nestled between the two mountains Mönch and Jungfrau, where the view is out of this world.
There are countless things for you to do here, such as visiting the Ice Palace filled with ice sculptures, the Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven, various exhibitions and informative media outlets, and when you’re exhausted, refuel yourself at the countless restaurants available.
Address: 3823 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/DXBWAyg3RumPHSPA8
If you start to miss the hustle-bustle of a jam-packed city when you’re in calm and serene areas, like Lucerne, Switzerland, give Swan Square a visit then, which is busy with friendly tourists and locals alike.
Situated beside Lake Lucerne, a casual stroll here turns into something special when you see the gracious swans in the water bobbing their heads while also admiring the stunning architecture of the square, its houses, and buildings.
Address: Schwanenplatz, Lucerne 6004, Switzerland | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/qM78MArxg92BHYsi7
And there you have it, a list of 20 places that you absolutely cannot miss out on your next trip to Lucerne.
Whether you are a travel junkie or not, no one can be unhappy when in a sacred space such as Lucerne itself. From historical sights to wild nights, everything you desire can be explored in this magical city. So, what are you waiting for?