THE 10 BEST Lucerne Walking Tours
Walking tours in lucerne.
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1. Mount Titlis and Lucerne Day Tour from Zurich
2. Mount Pilatus Summit from Lucerne With Lake Cruise
3. Day Trip to Mt. Titlis Eternal Snow and Glacier with a local from Zurich
4. Guided Excursion to Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen from Lucerne
5. Mt. Pilatus with cruise on Lake of Lucerne Small Group from Basel
6. Lucerne Walking and Boat Tour: The Best Swiss Experience
7. Day Trip to postcard town Lucerne and Legendary Bürgenstock Resort from Zurich
8. Revealing Lucerne: Self-Guided Reading City Tour
9. Day Trip to Lucerne and Mt. Rigi with a local from Zurich
10. Official Guided City Tour of Lucerne
11. Mt Pilatus Peak and Lake Lucerne Cruise Small Group from Lucerne
12. Lucerne "CH" Experience: Cheese, Chocolate, Chapel Bridge & Château
13. Lucerne Zvieri Swiss Traditional Tasting Experience
14. Basel Private tour - Mt. Pilatus and Cruise on Lake of Lucerne
15. Lucerne Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide
16. Luzern Discovery:Small Group City Walk and Lake Cruise from Basel
17. Lucerne: Full Day Excursion to to Interlaken and Grindelwald
18. Private 1.5-Hour Nightwatchman Walk in Medieval Lucerne
19. Lucerne Farms Tour and Cheese Tasting - Private Tour
20. Day Trip to Swiss Villages (Interlaken-Grindelwald)
21. Lucerne by Night Photo Tour
22. Mount Rigi Summer Day Trip from Lucerne
23. Engelberg, Cheese, and Mt. Titlis Small Group from Lucerne
24. Lucerne Foxtrail Poseidon
25. Lucerne's Chocolate Factory Total Experience: Tasting, Making, Production
26. The Lives and Legends of Lucerne: A Self-Guided Audio Tour
27. Chocolate Tasting with Lake Trip and City Tour: The Ultimate Lucerne Experience
28. Essential Lucerne Photography Tour
29. 1.5-Hour Small-Group Nightwatchman Walk in Medieval Lucerne
30. Mt. Pilatus with Lake of Lucerne Cruise Private Tour from Lucerne
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Lucerne: Walking Tours Information
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Walking Tours in Lucerne
Start : Schwanenplatz.
Finish : Kurplatz.
Time : 2 1/2 Hours.
Best Times : Any Sunny Day.
Worst Times : Rush Hours, Monday to Friday from 8 to 9am and 5 to 6pm.
The best way to see Lucerne is on foot, going along its lakeside quays, across its old squares, and through the streets of its Old Town.
Start in the heart of Lucerne at:
Translated as Swan Square, it lies on the north bank of the Reuss River and is reached by crossing the bridge, the Seebrücke, from Bahnhofplatz on the south bank, site of the train station.
Adjoining the square on the west is:
This is the site of St. Peter's Church. The church, the oldest in Lucerne, was built in 1178. In the center of the square is a fountain commemorating Carnival revelry in Lucerne.
From here, continue west along a major shopping street, Kapellgasse, until you reach the:
This is the old Grain Exchange or Corn Market, which is today the site of the:
4. Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall)
A Renaissance building from 1602, the town hall has impressive masonry, a tremendous roof, and a tall rectangular tower. The tower is a good vantage point from which to survey the crowded market scene on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.
To the left of the town hall is the:
5. Rosengart Haus
This 17th-century building houses some Picassos from the Rosengart collection. The town house is entered at Furrengasse 21.
After leaving the museum, follow Rathausquai east toward Schwanenplatz again, but only to cross the:
6. Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge)
The symbol of Lucerne, this covered wooden footbridge crosses the Reuss River, leading to the south bank. Built in 1333, the bridge is 170m (558 ft.) long and crosses the river diagonally. It's one of the best-preserved wooden bridges in Switzerland, used originally for defense. There's also an octagonal Wasserturm (Water Tower), used variously as a prison, a torture chamber, and an archive. The bridge was always known for its 122 paintings that hung from its arched roof. Some of them were done in 1599 by Heinrich Wagmann, illustrating the daily activities and dress of the people. The bridge was damaged in a fire in 1993 and two-thirds of the original paintings were destroyed or severely damaged. Lucerne city officials directed that copies be made. After a $2.1-million reconstruction, this landmark bridge was reopened in the spring of 1994.
You emerge onto Bahnhofstrasse; you can continue right (west) until you see the next covered bridge across the Reuss, the:
7. Spreuerbrücke (Mills Bridge)
Built in 1407 and restored in the 19th century, this wooden bridge spans an arm of the Reuss. Its gables are painted with the Dance of Death, a mural by Kaspar Meglinger dating from the 17th century. The mural commemorates a plague that swept through the city.
Cross the bridge and take a sharp right to reach:
8. Mühlenplatz (Mills Square)
This square dates from the 16th century. This was the old site of Lucerne markets.
From Mühlenplatz, walk down Kramgasse (to the east) to reach the:
9. Weinmarkt (Wine Market)
Here you'll find a lovely old square with a fountain, west of Kornmarkt. Long ago the mystery play Confraternity of the Crown of Thorns was performed here. Among the colorful old dwellings on the square is the Müllersche Apotheke, a "drugstore" from 1530.
Directly northeast of the Weinmarkt lies:
10. Hirschenplatz (Stag Square)
Another landmark square of Lucerne, it's filled with restored buildings, many of them with painted facades and wrought-iron signs. In 1779, Goethe stayed at the Goldener Adler, which is located here.
From Hirschenplatz, head east along Weggisgasse, which opens eventually onto Falkenplatz. From Falkenplatz, continue east along Hertensteinstrasse until you come to Löwenplatz. This is the site of:
Panorama is one of the largest canvases in Europe, covering 1,009 sq. m (10,861 sq. ft.) and curving in a circle around a central platform. Painted in 1889 by Edouard Castres and contained in a round building that was designed especially for it, it depicts the bloody retreat of the French army into Switzerland during the Franco-Prussian War.
The next stop on this tour is not immediately visible from Löwenplatz, but requires a brief detour north along Denkmalstrasse. Within about a block of Löwenplatz, high above your head, you'll see one of the most famous statues in Switzerland, the:
12. Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument)
Carved in deep relief into the sandstone cliff above the town, the monument is an allegorical reference to the bravery of the Swiss Guards who died in the Tuileries of Paris in 1792 trying to save the life and honor of Marie Antoinette. During his grand tour of Europe, Mark Twain called the "Dying Lion" of Lucerne "the saddest and most poignant piece of rock in the world." Designed by the great Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, the statue was dedicated in 1821.
Retrace your steps back to Löwenplatz, then head south along Löwenstrasse all the way to the lake and Kurplatz, a few steps east of Schwanenplatz, the site of the:
This spot is a casino-and-restaurant complex on Kurplatz on Nationalquai.
Above Nationalquai, view the twin towers of the Catholic:
14. Hofkirche (Collegiate Church of St. Leodegar)
Named after the patron saint of Lucerne, this is the most important church in the city. There was once a monastery at this site, but the present Gothic-Renaissance building dates from the 17th century. The interior has rich wrought-iron work, carvings, and a famous organ from 1640, with 4,950 pipes. Concerts are presented in the summer. The church also has a beautiful courtyard with arcades.
A good way to end the tour, you are now standing at:
From here, you can take in the best view of the lake from its northern rim. You can also take steamers from this area to visit various resorts along the lake. The view from here encompasses not only the lake, but also the Alps from Rigi to Pilatus. The quays are lined with trees, hotels, and shops, ideal for exploring on foot. At the end of the promenade is the lido, called Lucerne's "Riviera."
Note : This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
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Best Walking Tours In Lucerne (Unmissable Experiences)
Lucerne is one of the loveliest cities to visit in Switzerland and deserves a spot at the top of your European dream destinations. Imagine an Old Town with colorful facades and paintings that tell the story of the family who first lived there, a 14th-century rampart wall, and a covered wooden bridge built in 1333!
Lucerne is connected to all of Europe and Switzerland’s major railways making it easy to visit. This Swiss city is full of history and stories to be heard. One of the best ways to experience both the history and the many things to do in Lucerne is with a walking tour by a local guide like one of the following.
Table of Contents
Lucerne 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour
Find out why Lucerne is called The City of Lights and other interesting facts about the city on this informative and entertaining 2-hour walking tour . You’ll meet your guide at the Tourist Information Luzern shop and head out to see the Chapel Bridge and water tower, the Spreuer Bridge, and the iconic Museggmauer city wall.
You will get to admire the historical facades of ancient buildings in the old town as well as Lucerne’s more modern Culture and Congress building. All of this fantastic sightseeing is embellished with historical and often amusing tales about Lucerne.
Lucerne: 1-Hour Historical Tour with Night Watchman
Discover the City of Lights with a night watchman as your guide on this fascinating 1-hour historical tour . Hear stories about life in the Middle Ages from law and order to war and Swiss mercenaries and much more. You’ll be amazed at how much this short tour covers. Topics include Hans von Trient and his nemesis Luzius Ritter, the engraver Martin Martini, and other past Lucerne personalities.
This tour also takes you by some interesting landmarks as they tie into the narration. It begins near the Chapel Bridge and goes to Kapellplatz, then along Furrengasse to Kornmarkt.
Lucerne: Culture & Congress Centre Behind the Scenes Tour
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Lucerne Culture & Congress Center on this unique tour . Known to the locals as KKL Luzern, this amazing concert hall is highly regarded as the world’s best. Learn about the archeological vision of its creator, Jean Nouvel, and how the concert hall came into being.
A knowledgeable tour guide will explain the fascinating features of the KKL including its perfect proportions, echo chamber, and sound reflector.
The meeting point for this tour is the KKL lobby.
Lucerne: Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide
See the city like a local on this private tour with a local guide. You’ll see the main sights of the city and discover hidden gems as well. Highlights include the Chapel Bridge, the Museggmauer Wall, and more. All of the best parts of Lucerne are the focus of this tour. Guides are willing to customize your tour and answer questions about how best to spend your time in Lucerne.
This is your chance to get the inside scoop about where to go and what to do in Lucerne. A favorite feature of this private tour is that it includes hotel pick-up.
Private Medieval Walk in the Historic Centre of Lucerne
This tour will take you back to how Lucerne looked 500 years ago through the eyes of the nightwatchman. A unique feature of the tour is following along with a presentation through words and pictures on your mobile device.
Once you meet your guide at the Chapel Bridge, you’ll listen to commentary about life, society, and notable people from the medieval era. The stories continue as you follow a route that includes the Kapellplatz, the Furrengasse, Kornmarkt, and Weinmarkt.
Express Walk of Lucerne with a Local
This 1-hour experience introduces you to the City of Lights in a nutshell. Led by a local, it’s a quick yet thorough overview of the city’s highlights and history. You’ll meet your group in front of the LUZ bistro near the Tourbogen and take a guided walking tour of the city center.
Have a list of questions to ask? Your tour guide can answer your questions from a local’s perspective. Get insider tips on the best places to eat and drink.
Lucerne Classic City Walking Tour
This classic tour is one of the most comprehensive you’ll find in Lucerne. The guide will meet you at your hotel’s reception and explain your route on a city map before departing for the Bourbaki Museum for a history lesson. The next stop is the Lion Monument which commemorates Swiss mercenaries.
From here you’ll continue to explore Lucerene’s highlights and hidden gems. You’ll climb the hill to the Musegg Wall, visit the Peterskapelle (the city’s first church), and more before ending with a stroll across the Chapel Bridge.
Lucerne: 3-Hour Essential Photography Tour
This intensive 3-hour tour will ensure that you go home with the best possible photos of your trip. The city has many photographic possibilities from iconic landmarks to interesting back streets and cultural experiences. Your tour guide and a professional photographer will help you capture great images of modern and historical sights.
You’ll go to the Musegg Wall, the Chapel Bridge, the dramatic Lion Monument, the KKL, and more.
The meeting point for this tour is Torbogen Luzern, Bahnhofplatz.
Lucerne: Water Tower Ticket with Private Guided Tour
This specialized tour gives you an in-depth look at Lucerne’s old water tower by the Chapel Bridge. A knowledgeable guide will meet you in front of the Lucerne train station with narration on the story of the Middle Ages in Switzerland. Once at the tower, you’ll get to explore sections of the tower like the dungeon, the Armory, and the treasure chamber.
After learning the dark secrets of the tower, you’ll get to go to the top for a view of the city and its surroundings. You’ll have the option of extending the tour with snacks and drinks.
Lucerne Walking and Boat Tour: The Best Swiss Experience
Lucerne’s Old Town and history are fascinating but don’t overlook Lake Lucerne, Switzerland’s 5th largest lake. This tour has you covered with a small-group tour of the city on foot and a sightseeing boat ride on the lake. The tour lasts for 3 hours and includes landmarks like the Chapel Bridge and other archeological gems and monuments.
You can also get the option of a wine tasting with Swiss cheese. Depending on your options, you’ll either meet at the Big Arch in front of the train station or at the Torbogen Monument.
Meeting Points for Lucerne Walking Tours
Frequently Asked Questions
Is lucerne a walkable city.
Lucerne’s town center is easily explored on foot.
Is it worth going on a walking tour in Lucerne?
Lucerne is a city with a fascinating history and well worth the cost of a walking tour.
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Walking Tour In Old Town Lucerne (Half Day Itinerary)
Lucerne is one of the best cities in Switzerland to visit for its walkability and charming atmosphere. Its old town has narrow cobblestone streets, calming lake views, beautiful murals, cute fountains, and tourist attractions that are all just minutes away from each other on foot. Eye pleasing, You will find that strolling through the old town of Lucerne is an enjoyable experience.
Are you in need of an idea for how to explore the old town of Lucerne on foot? Consider this your lucky day, as I will provide you with a sample itinerary for some of the best attractions, including the charming small details I think you should also see. This itinerary is perfect for spending half a day in the old town of Lucerne.
This post will cover descriptions and tips for the top tourist attractions in the old town of Lucerne, as well as estimates on how long to spend at each destination. You will also find an estimated travel time between the current and next point of interest in the itinerary. Let’s get started!
This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a tiny commission at no additional cost to you from any qualifying purchases using the link.
Is it just me, or does anyone else love making spontaneous trips? I love wandering, and oftentimes it’s enough for me to enjoy the place I’m visiting.
As much as I hate planning, it seems necessary to meticulously prepare for a trip to Switzerland because it’s an expensive country to visit. We want to maximize every minute of our journey by visiting as many places as possible, without sacrificing the quality of our experience.
That’s what we aim to achieve in today’s post—to make your time in Lucerne’s old town maximized and worth it. We all also want a relaxing, leisurely trip, right?
So, perhaps we can start by answering the question, “how much time do you really need in Lucerne’s old town?”
There’s really no specific length of time required to spend in Lucerne’s old town, but you should at least allocate half a day to see its most iconic landmarks and unmissable tourist attractions. If you can at least be familiar with the routes and have an idea of what to do at each point of interest, I think you can have a laid-back journey in Lucerne’s old city.
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So, let’s now get into the details.
Summary: Half Day In Old Town Lucerne
For me, there are seven specific places in Lucerne’s old town that all travelers should see. They are:
- The Chapel Bridge — the most iconic landmark in Lucerne and Switzerland
- The Jesuit Church — an awe-inspiring architectural marvel
- Spreuer Bridge — a landmark with special artwork on its gable
- Musegg Wall — one of the best preserved intact medieval fortifications in all of Switzerland
- Lion Monument — a meaningful artwork and landmark, described by Mark Twain as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
- Hofkirche or the Church of Saint Leodegar — an eye-catching landmark, best to go for a selfie or a photo souvenir in Lucerne.
- Square(s) in the old town— the place(s) where you can find the beautiful little things in Lucerne.
Based on my estimates, you can see the top attractions in the old town of Lucerne in about 4 hours. About 3 hours will be spent visiting the actual sights, and the remaining time can be used for traveling between them within the old town.
Here are more details:
The tourist attractions listed above are in a sequence that, if you follow, you won’t be retracing your steps. Essentially, it follows a round trip path (assuming you will be arriving in Lucerne by train) from the train station to the Reuss River area, then the Musegg Wall, the eastern old town, the central old town, and back to the train station.
Below is a map showing their exact location and the route for this half-day Lucerne old town walking tour itinerary.
Their location in Google Maps is linked at the end of this post (resources).
Destinations Half Day Lucerne Walking Tour
For this part, you’ll get more ideas about the seven places I mentioned in the summary of the walking tour. You’ll learn what they are all about and why they are worth your time. The location and the unmissable experience/things you must see for each destination will also be discussed here.
Note that these destinations aren’t only landmarks and interesting places you will see along the route of this walking tour. Some of them are:
- Rathaus — is the town hall of Lucerne, a landmark with notable architecture and a clock tower. You can find it between the Chapel Bridge and the Jesuit Church .
- Historisches Museum Luzern & Natur-Museum Luzern — A nice place to visit if you want to learn more about the local history and flora & fauna in the region. They are just beside the Spreuer Bridge and are a nice alternative destination when there is bad weather.
- Glacier Garden — is a geological and botanical park that features a series of exposed rock formations and plant specimens from various geological periods. The rock formations were created during the Ice Age when glaciers covered the area and left behind a series of grooves and ridges in the rock. You can find it just beside the Lion Monument .
- The Bourbaki Panorama — is a circular painting located in a circular building, and it depicts the retreat of the French army during the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. The painting is over 100 meters in length and nearly 10 meters in height. You can find the panorama between the Lion Monument and Hofkirche .
I linked these tourist attractions’ official website in this post’s resources section. Okay! Let’s now talk about the seven must-see tourist attractions in Lucerne for your half-day walking tour.
Check out my other itineraries (and maps) about Lucerne. They should give you idea to enjoy Lucerne in different ways. You can read them here:
- Old Town Lucerne Map: 10+ Things To Do In Old Town Lucerne
- How To Spend One Day In Lucerne (1-Day Itinerary)
- Best Way To Spend Two Days In Lucerne (2-Day Itinerary)
10 Best Things To Do In Lucerne For Three Days Or More
Destination 1: chapel bridge.
If you travel to see bucket list destinations (or the world’s greatest places), arriving in Lucerne by train means you can check one off your list right away.
That’s because of the Chapel Bridge, the most iconic landmark of Lucerne. You can literally see this bridge from the square in front of the train station, particularly in front of Torbogen (Archway) Luzern—the archway and the remaining part of Lucerne’s old train station.
The Chapel Bridge is the long wooden bridge that diagonally crosses the Reuss River. I mentioned that the Chapel Bridge is a bucket list tourist attraction because it is the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge and Europe’s oldest wooden covered bridge.
You should visit the Chapel Bridge because it’s indeed a unique and beautiful landmark, especially with the Water Tower that stands beside it. The Chapel Bridge also has special triangular gable paintings that depict the history of Lucerne. Surely, a visit to the Chapel Bridge will be an experience like no other!
If you like taking photos, the Chapel Bridge is the most compelling place to fill up your camera’s storage. That is especially true during warmer months when the Chapel Bridge is decorated with beautiful colorful flowers.
And oh, watch out for the lovely swans that linger below the bridge!
Read my full article about the Chapel Bridge , where I discuss everything you need to know when visiting it.
Destination 2: Jesuit Church
Jesuit Church is one of the landmarks in Lucerne that makes the view of the old town Lucerne with the Reuss River so lovely. Dominating the skyline with its twin onion-top towers, you should be able to see the Jesuit Church anywhere in the Reuss River.
So, what’s the Jesuit Church in Lucerne all about?
The Jesuit Church, like the Chapel Bridge, is a notable landmark in Lucerne because it is the first large baroque church that was constructed north of the Alps. It dates back to the 17th century, which is also the time when the Protestant church spread in Europe.
It was built with a baroque style, chosen in order to emphasize the traditions of Catholicism, particularly through its visual culture and the veneration of saints. Although it was primarily baroque, the most eye-catching features of it are its rococo embellishments in the interiors. That is the reason why I think you should visit the Jesuit Church.
For me, the Jesuit Church is an architectural gem, and it’s worth visiting for the grandiosity you’ll behold. For Catholics like me, the Jesuit Church has small chapels on the side where you can find artworks and relics of saints. I believe they can help you meditate and pray.
See what it is like inside the church and discover where you can photograph it from my post about the Jesuit Church .
Destination 3: Spreuer Bridge
Aside from the Chapel Bridge, the Spreuer Bridge is another covered wooden bridge you can find in Lucerne. It is the shorter version of the Chapel Bridge and has triangular gable paintings with a different theme.
Let’s say you are currently in Jesuitenplatz, the square in front of the Jesuit Church, then you can already spot the Spreuer Bridge. It is the second bridge next to Reussbrüke (the closest bridge) to the west.
I think you should visit the Spreuerbrüke because of the triangular paintings it has on its gables. These paintings are said to be one of the largest cycles of the painting depicting Danse Macabre. For me, they’re scary yet interesting artworks because they remind us of the truth that death can come at any point in our lives or to anyone, regardless of status and wealth.
A visit to Spreuerbrüke usually lasts only for a very few minutes. What may make it a little longer is the small chapel in the middle of the bridge. You may want to check its stained glass window and different figurines depicting biblical characters.
Destination 4: Musegg Wall
If you’re also a fan of movies/series set in the medieval ages like me, perhaps Musegg Wall will also be your favorite destination in Lucerne. It’s where your fantasies come to life, your imagination stimulated: scenes of soldiers marching, arrows flying, dragons breathing fire!
As its name suggests, Musegg Wall is a medieval fortification of the old town Lucerne in Musegg in the northern portion of the old city. Back in the day, it was a part of a 2-layer fortification that safeguarded the old city since the 14th century.
You should come and see Musegg Wall up close because it is an excellent example of medieval military architecture in Switzerland. Each of its 9 towers has its own unique style! Most importantly, Musegg Wall is the most preserved medieval wall in the country that still stands in one piece.
Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss a unique experience from Musegg Wall: climbing the towers and walking in the ramparts—a magical time transporting experience!
There are four towers open to the public. Among the four, you should at least try climbing Männliturm (the only tower with an open roof deck) and Zytturm (a mural-decorated clock tower with clockwork exhibits inside).
Do you want to see what’s inside Zytturm? Or what’s the view from the ramparts? Discover everything you need to know from my other post dedicated to Musegg Wall .
Note: The towers of Musegg Wall are open only during non-winter months. However, you can still check the wall through the hiking trails beside it.
Destination 5: Lion Monument
On the hilly east side of the old city, we can find the Lion Monument, another famous tourist attraction in Lucerne. Of the places that you’ll visit (following this itinerary), the Lion Monument is the newest that you will find. The monument was built in the early 19th century.
The Lion Monument is a memorial for the Swiss soldiers who perished while defending the last French Monarch during the French Revolution.
It is a very meaningful sculpture of a lion, full of emotion. You can see it on its face, which depicts excruciating pain—symbolic of the experience that the Swiss soldiers and their family members had.
I think the Lion Monument is unmissable for several reasons. Aside from being a meaningful landmark, it is also a beautiful work of art. It may not be so apparent in the photos, but the Lion Monument is gigantic!
Believe it or not, the Lion Monument is 10 meters long and 6 meters tall.
If you also love introspecting while you travel, the Lion Monument can be a fantastic place you can go within the city. The Main Lion monument is above a calming pond inside a park covered with trees. You can sit by the benches and reflect on the message that the monument implicitly represents: loyalty and bravery.
Learn more about the Lion Monument and the things you must know before coming from my other post.
Destination 6: Hofkirche
Hofkirche, or the Church of Saint Leodegar, is the most noticeable landmark in the old city when sightseeing from the shores of Lake Lucerne. Its pointed twin spires are an eye-catcher across the skyline of Lucerne.
Yet, indeed, Hofkirche is more than a landmark in Lucerne. It is a religious structure that has both historical and architectural significance. Although its original appearance is no more, it’s mind-blowing to think that this church has already been there for over a thousand years.
For architecture enthusiasts like me, Hofkirche’s most notable attribute is its mix of German renaissance and gothic styles. It’s a unique find, which I think is a reason why you must visit it.
You can already see its eclectic style before entering the church—right on its facade and main portal. Gorgeous reliefs, intricate murals, and beautiful wood crafts await you there. Those and the pointed spires make Hofkirche one of the best places in Lucerne to take selfies and capture photo souvenirs.
Aside from marveling at Hofkirche’s gorgeous facade, you may also come inside the church to see impressive altarpieces and wrought iron gates. Check what else you can find inside this church from my post about Hofkirche or the Church of Saint Leodegar .
Destination 7: Old City (Lunch or Dinner)
After hours in the bridges, walls, monuments, and churches of Lucerne’s old city, I’m sure you’ll be hungry. That’s why it’s only after you visit them that you must come to Lucerne’s central old town. It’s where you can find the best restaurants with alfresco seating, offering beautiful views of Lake Lucerne or Reuss River.
Not only will your tummies be satisfied, but also your eyes! Aside from the calming and scenic views of the lake and river, it’s here in the central part of the old city, you can find the most beautiful houses and fountains in Lucerne.
Have a look:
These beautiful artworks you can find on the facades of the houses in the old town of Lucerne are called Lüftlmalerei. As far as I know, they are cultural art originating from Bavaria and Austria. It is the same with the fountains in the city.
Lüftlmalerei usually depicts the favorite saints and the occupation of the house owners. Sometimes, they just serve as decorative ornamentation. Regardless of what this Lüftlmalerei depicts, it is one of the beautiful things you can find in Lucerne that will fascinate you as you explore the city.
You don’t have to worry about where these houses and beautiful fountains are in Lucerne’s old town. They are located in the old town’s squares like Hirschenplatz, Sternenplatz, Weinmarkt and Kornmarkt.
Here is the map to guide you to find them:
What To Do Before Or After The Half Day Walking Tour?
So, that’s it! That’s how you can efficiently explore Lucerne’s Old Town on foot in a few hours or half a day.
Since the walking tour can be completed within a few hours, you may still have a lot of spare time in Lucerne if you plan to stay in the city for a day or two. If you need ideas on where to go or what to do to fill that time, I have five suggestions for you:
If you need more relaxation after l strolling in the Lucerne old town for a few hours, perhaps it might be the boat you need. For a special experience, try not the ordinary boat tour but the 1-Hour Cruise on a Panoramic Yacht instead.
During the 1-Hour Cruise on the Panoramic Yacht in Lake Lucerne, you’ll marvel at the picturesque landscapes and famous attractions this region has to offer.
You’ll experience the beauty of the lake from a unique perspective as you sit on the water terrace suspended above the surface. Relax on the upper deck with an adjustable roof, where you can take in the fresh air and sunshine while enjoying a multi-sensory experience in nature.
As you cruise along the lake, you’ll have a personal audio guide to give you insights into Lake Lucerne and its rich history. It’s a unique way to discover new things as you’ll be, at the same time, taking in the stunning mountain views and charming towns and villages that line the shores.
With the peaceful surroundings, you’ll surely be transported to a world of relaxation and tranquility. You can learn more about the 1-Hour Cruise on the Panoramic Yacht in Lake Lucerne here.
Swiss Museum Of Transport
In the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, you can unravel the fascinating history behind all forms of travel. From road, rail, and water up to the air, this museum covers it all.
Step inside and discover an array of exhibits and interactive displays that explore the evolution of transportation over the years. Learn about the advancements and innovations that have shaped how we move from place to place, and see a wide range of vehicles and artifacts up close.
For a sweet and memorable experience, take a ride on the Swiss Chocolate Adventure, where you can catch glimpses of the chocolate-making process and get sweet treats from master chocolatiers.
In addition to the exhibits, the museum also has a Film Theatre and a Planetarium, where you can catch daily screenings of numerous educational films.
Make the most of your visit with a day pass , which allows you to immerse yourself in a fully interactive experience at the Swiss Museum of Transport.
Did you know that the Chapel Bridge isn’t the only bucket list destination around Lake Lucerne? Another is the Hammetschwand elevator—the highest exterior elevator in Europe.
Hammetschwand Elevator is located on the Bürgenstock plateau, directly opposite the city of Lucerne across Lake Lucerne. On the top of the elevator, visitors are rewarded with stunning views of Lake Lucerne, Lucerne, and the Central Plateau.
This elevator is often visited on a day trip to Bürgenstock resort, where you can find scenic hiking trails, ride funicular trains, and dine in fancy restaurants having a wide selection of international cuisine. Going to Bürgenstock resort involves a round-trip boat ride across lake Lucerne, as well.
If you are interested in visiting Hammetschwand Elevator and Bürgenstock resort? Check out this tour package to Mount Bürgenstock by Ferry and Funicular .
- Meggenhorn Castle
Like most lakes in the Alps, Lake Lucerne also has castles and beautiful villas. If you want to see a magical scene of the Swiss countryside before/after the half-day tour, these castles are the place to be.
Imagine a place where you can see a castle, lake, and mountains combined together—it’s a scene straight out of a fairy tale, isn’t it?
Let’s say you’re already in Lucerne, and you just finished the walking tour. Wherever you are in the old city, you are now less than an hour from Meggenhorn Castle.
It’s one of the castles on the shores of Lake Lucerne. And as described, it’s a magical place—we can consider it a hidden gem in Lucerne.
A hidden gem because only a few tourists know Meggenhorn Castle. (You can learn more about the Meggenhorn Castle and the route to this castle from the links in the sources section of this post)
But in a nutshell, Meggenhorn Castle is a 19th-century castle perched on a peninsula overlooking views of Lake Lucerne and has a panorama that includes Mount Rigi, Mount Pilatus, and the city of Lucerne. It’s an ultimately picturesque place, and I think you’d not regret coming there, particularly if you come during warmer, sunny months.
You can get to Meggenhorn Castle with a single bus ride (bus #24) from Lucerne train station and hike for 15 minutes.
But if you want, you can join a tour of Meggenhorn Castle. It’s a 4-hour trip, perfect before and after the half-day old town Lucerne tour. It includes visiting a 14th-century settlement in Lucerne, seeing old chalets, and more. Learn more about Lucerne Lakeside and Villa Private Walking Tour here .
Mount Pilatus is another destination in Switzerland that “ may” match your schedule with the half-day walking tour in Lucerne’s old town. However, to fully enjoy it, you must visit it on a laid-back day trip. This is why I don’t fully recommend it.
Learn more about Mount Pilatus and the 5 reasons why it’s a nice day trip from Lucerne .
Do you need more ideas where to go in Lucerne? I can help you with that! You can try reading: 10 Must-See Landmarks In Lucerne (Free Things To Do) , 10 Unique Things To Do In Lucerne and Lucerne Is A Beautiful City: 10 Beautiful Things To See . (Links open in a new tab)
Sources: Walking Tour In Lucerne
- Historisches Museum Luzern
- Natur-Museum Luzern
- Glacier Garden
- Bourbaki Panorama
- Route to Meggenhorn Castle
- Chapel Bridge (Google Maps)
- Jesuit Church (Google Maps)
- Spreuer Bridge (Google Maps)
- Musegg Wall (Google Maps)
- Lion Monument (Google Maps)
- Hofkirche (Google Maps)
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Lucerne: self-guided walking tour of one of Switzerland’s most visited cities
When you start browsing Pinterest for inspiration for a trip to Switzerland, you’ll find that your trip isn’t complete unless you spend at least one day in Lucerne. Set against a backdrop of majestic mountains and the crystal clear Vierwaldstättersee lake (Lake Lucerne), Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s most visited cities. So in this post, I’ll share with you my tips on the must-see sites and attractions in Lucerne, including the Kapellbrücke, Rathaus, Spreuerbrücke, Museggmauer Fortification, the Lion Monument, and more. You can use this post to plan your itinerary as you’ll also find many travel tips at the end of the post.
Lucerne is easily accessible by train . When you leave the station, you’ll be right in the city center and the most famous landmark, the Kapellbrücke, is a stone’s throw away. If you come here by car , I recommend parking at the Löwencenter shopping center (Zürichstrasse 5) on a weekday, or the parking house at the train station (Bahnhofparking P3).
Lucerne Visitor Card
When you stay at a hotel in Lucerne, you will receive a FREE Lucerne Visitor Card, which is valid for up to 14 days of your stay. This card entitles you to free use of the buses and trains in Zone 10 of the city network (which will take you, for example, to Kriens, the starting point for the cable car to Pilatus). With this card, you also get, for example, a 30% discount on the Titlis Bergbahnen and a 20% discount on guided tours of Lucerne, the Rigi Bahnen, the Stoosbahnen, or the CabriO-Stanserhorn-Bahn. All other discounts can be found here .
Walking tour of Lucerne Switzerland
If you only have a few hours in Lucerne, you should focus on walking around the city center and the lake area. On the map, you will find all the important points connected to form a pleasant walk that will help you discover the main attractions of Lucerne.
The Lion Monument
If you’ve parked at the Löwencenter, it’s only a few steps to the memorial, which is located in a small park just off Löwenplatz. The ten-metre lion was carved into the rock in memory of the more than 800 Swiss soldiers who gave their lives in defence of King Louis XVI during the French Revolution (during the storming of the Tuileries in 1792).
The Musegg Wall
The Museggmauer and its nine towers are part of the historic fortifications of Lucerne. 4 towers (Schirmerturm, Zytturm, Wachtturm, and Mannliturm) are open to the public. The Zytturm tower houses the oldest clock in Lucerne, dating back to 1535, which strikes the hour one minute earlier than any other clock in the city! This is one of the best viewpoints in Lucerne . On a clear day, you can see all of Lucerne, the mountains and of course Lake Lucerne from here.
From the last tower on the fortification, you walk along the Brüggligasse to the covered wooden bridge Spreuerbrücke. It was first built in 1408 and later rebuilt in 1568 after it was destroyed by a storm. The triangular panels feature a series of paintings by Caspar Meglinger called the Dance of Death.
The dominant landmark of the waterfront on the south bank of the Reuss river is the Jesuit church. This Catholic church, the first Baroque church built in Switzerland north of the Alps, is beautiful inside and out and worth a visit even if you are not religious.
Lucerne old town
From the Jesuit church, go back a bit and cross the bridge to the north bank of the Reuss river. You’ll find yourself in the most impressive part of town. Here you’ll find Mühlenplatz, Weinmarkt, Hirschenplatz and Kornmarkt squares, all decorated with fountains and lined with colourful facades of medieval houses.
Don’t forget to relax a little while walking around the city. The restaurants and cafés on the banks of the River Reuss at Rathausquai are ideal for this.
The Chapel bridge
Like the Matterhorn in Zermatt, the Chapel bridge in Lucerne is a symbol of the city. It was built in 1360 and is named after the nearby St. Peter’s Chapel. It is the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe. It was rebuilt after a fire in August 1993. The fire also destroyed most of the 17th century triangular panels depicting scenes from the city’s history. The bridge is dominated by the octagonal Wasserturm water tower. This tower has changed its purpose many times: it has served as a prison and torture chamber to the city archives and the local treasury.
The less than half-hour walk that takes you from the city center around the lakeshore to the Lido swimming area or the Verkehrshaus transport museum is definitely worth it. The views are incredible.
Day trips from Lucerne
The perfect weekend in Lucerne? One day to explore the city, the other in the surrounding mountains. With the Lucerne Visitor Card you get discounts on cable cars or museums, so why not take advantage of them?
Verkehrshaus Transport Museum
Switzerland’s most visited museum – what to say more! It is the place to learn about the history of road, rail, water, and air transport and space travel. There’s a lot to see (and, more importantly, experience!) here. And it doesn’t matter what age you are – young and old alike will enjoy it.
Take a ride on the Rotair – the world’s first rotating cable car. It turns 360 degrees during the five-minute journey to the top of Klein Titlis.
The “Dragon Mountain” can be reached either by the steepest cogwheel train in the world or by the “Dragon Ride” cable car. On the way, you can stop at the Fräkmüntegg Rope Park, which offers many attractions.
The Stanserhorn can be reached by cable car, which is unique in the world. Opened in 2012, it offers the experience of riding on the open-top terrace. From here you will have a spectacular view of the Vierwaldstättersee lake and the surrounding peaks.
Another unique experience – a trip on the steepest cable car in the world, which has a gradient of 110% (47.7º). This will take you to the mountain village of Stoos, which has about 150 permanent inhabitants. From here you can go even higher up to the top of Fronalpstock.
From Lucerne, you can get here by a special ferry, which is operated directly by Resort Bürgenstock. A technical highlight is the Hammetschwand lift – the highest external lift in Europe.
Rigi – the Queen of the mountains
Head to the iconic peak near Lucerne, which is surrounded by three lakes.
Aeschbach Chocolatier is a family-owned company. Now in its third generation (since 1972) produces chocolate specialties according to its own original recipes. ChocoWelt – the chocolate world – can be found on the premises of its factory in the town of Root near Lucerne.
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[…] A self-guided walking tour of Lucerne will take you to the most beautiful and interesting sights and attractions in the city itself. But there’s more! The surrounding mountains and landscape are breathtaking and there are many great destinations within easy reach. But since there are simply too many such beautiful places to visit to list them all in one article, here are the most popular and best day trips from Lucerne. All of them are definitely worth a visit. […]
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Self-guided walking tour of Lucerne, Switzerland
When visiting Lucerne, you will soon notice its blue and white flag. The symbolism of the blue and white is lost to history, but in modern popular culture, the blue represents lakes and the white represents snow-capped mountains. If you are using public transport to get to Lucerne, most likely you will arrive at Lucerne train station. So start your self-guided city walking tour from there.
Lucerne train station
Lucerne Town Hall
Musegg wall and its nine towers
The Dying Lion of Lucerne
The Bourbaki Panorama
Address: St. Leodegarstrasse 6.
Address: Franciskanerplatz 3 Restaurant Fritschi building The colourful frescoed building in the heart of the old town dates back to the early 17th century. The impressive painting is a replica fitting to the restaurant inside. The rustic decor with carnival masks on the walls represents how a visitor may perceive the Lucerne of old. The restaurant name refers to the legend of brother Fritschi who left some money to the Safran guild on condition that during the carnival they serve wine to the poor for free.
Lucerne is close to Zurich airport with good train connection. You can reach it in about one hour from there. The rail station is at a walking distance from the beautiful old town center. If you stay overnight, get your free visitor card to Lucerne from your accommodation. Once you have received the link from your hotel, you can download your personal digital Visitor Card to your smartphone or print it out. The Visitor Card gives you free use of buses and trains within zone 10 of the city network, as well as a range of discounts for cableways, mountain railways, museums and excursions in the Lucerne Region. You can also take advantage of ‘Free WiFi – LUZERN.COM’ hotspots around the city.
What did you think? Have you been to Lucerne? Or perhaps you’re thinking of visiting there in the near future? Either way, I’d love to hear from you so please add your comments below.
- Published by Anita on May 10, 2019
Author: Anita Sane
About the author Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on Facebook , Instagram , Pinterest , Twitter and Bloglovin .
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Lucerne tours: city walks, cruises & day trips to the Swiss Alps
Surrounded by Mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps, Lucerne is the undeniable pearl of Central Switzerland. Home to the iconic Lion Monument, “ the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world ,” according to Mark Twain, the city is an excellent base for your journey to Switzerland. Despite its compact size, the beautiful Swiss city has a variety of attractions. Therefore, joining any Lucerne tours featured in this article will help you discover the city’s history and breathtaking landscapes.
Although Switzerland is a landlocked country, the water’s presence is vital in Lucerne: the river Reuss flows through the city, and cruising the famous Lake Lucerne is one of the most beloved activities for travelers. Of course, the Swiss Alps are just a short drive away, and if you visit Lucerne, you should get a glimpse of the most beautiful European mountains.
So, in the following lines, you’ll find the best tours in Lucerne and beyond. Specifically, you’ll read about the best walking tours in Lucerne and get info about some excellent cruises in Lake Lucerne. Moreover, since the city is so close to the Swiss Alps, you’ll discover how you can join a tour to Mount Pilatus or Rigi from Lucerne. Last but not least, every tour in this guide has info about its duration and price .
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The best Lucerne tours
With a population of just over 80,000, Luzern is a small-mid-size city by European standards. However, there are plenty of things to do in Lucerne , and the city’s beauty will fascinate you. Therefore, it’s only fair to dedicate the first sections of this guide to walking and photography tours in Lucerne. Then, after various travel tips about the city and its attractions, you’ll read the best day trips from Lucerne to the Alps and info regarding lake cruises.
The best walking tour in Lucerne
Obviously, one of the best things to do in Lucerne is to walk around the city. The Chapel Bridge ( German: Kapellbrücke ) is the city’s most iconic attraction and one of the most famous spots in Switzerland. This covered wooden bridge crosses river Reuss diagonally and dates back to the 14th century. What makes the Chapel Bridge unique is that it contains 17th-century paintings. The Kapellbrücke is Europe’s oldest wooden covered bridge , and every walk in Lucerne should include it.
Now, one of the best walking tours in Lucerne will take you to the Chapel Bridge with its octagonal water tower, and your guide will share everything you need to know about the paintings. The tour lasts two hours, and it will take you to every landmark: the town’s most beautiful buildings, the Old Town, the open squares, and the Culture and Congress Center are part of this guided tour. Moreover, your guide will share various facts and the history of Lucerne, its bridges, and streets.
Duration : 2 hours .
Price : 21 euros .
How to book : Book the awesome city walk .
Bonus : If you feel like combining a city walking tour with a cruise , there’s currently another option. Specifically, there’s a half-day Lucerne tour, combining a walk to every attraction in the city and a Lake Lucerne cruise. The tour lasts 4 hours and costs 197 euros per person. You can book the half-day walk & cruise here .
A Lucerne Tour that combines city walking and photography
This Lucerne tour is ideal for photography lovers . It doesn’t matter if you have an expensive DSLR camera or just your smartphone: this tour is open to anyone willing to have some great images from their Swiss journey. A professional guide and photographer will show you the city’s attractions, including Chapel Bridge and Museggmauer wall, while sharing a bunch of photography tips for perfect images.
Of course, a stop at the beautiful KKL (Culture and Convention Center), designed by the famous architect Jean Nouvel, is part of the tour, and so are the frescoes of Chapel Bridge. Moreover, you’ll stroll around the car-free Lucerne center and hear stories about the city’s beautiful buildings. That’s a small group tour , so you’ll have enough room to interact with your guide.
Price : 122 euros .
How to book : Book here the photo walk .
One-hour Lucerne cruise
One of the unique things to do in Lucerne is to embark on a cruise and enjoy the splendid views. The cruise starts at Bridge 7 at Swiss Hofquai , where you’ll embark on a panoramic yacht. There’s free wifi on board, and if you download the operator’s app, you’ll get access to their audioguide (see the operator’s page for more info).
The panoramic yacht features two decks and a restaurant, and you can sit wherever you want. Cruising along Lucerne will expose you to places of extreme beauty, like the Meggenhorn Castle, and together with several villas and Alps views, you’ll get an excellent impression of the city and its nature. Snacks and drinks are available in the bar, and this one-hour boat tour in Lake Lucerne is one of the finest yet affordable things to enjoy while in town.
Duration : 1 hour .
Price : 17 euros .
How to book : Book here the lake cruise .
Mt. Pilatus Cable Car, Cogwheel Train & Lake Cruise
Now, this is one of the most action-packed tours you can currently book from Lucerne. This (almost fairytale) half-day trip from Lucerne will bring you to several iconic locations in the Swiss Alps and beyond. The so-called Golden Round trip is one of the most famous Lucerne tours and a must-do when in Switzerland.
After leaving Lucerne behind, your driver will take you to Kriens, where a gondola will bring you to Fräkmüntegg. At Fräkmüntegg, you’ll board the famous Dragon Ride cable car that’ll take you to the mountain. The views are breathtaking, and the mountain peaks always have snow, even during the summertime.
The goal is to reach Mount Pilatus at an altitude of 2,130 meters and enjoy the magnificent view. You can even hike to the summit, but if that’s nothing for you, there’s an alternative: a walk down to Dragon Trail, where the Middle Ages tales narrate stories about dragons with healing abilities. No matter your choice, you’ll have the option to have lunch at a restaurant with endless views over the Swiss Alps.
And there’s even more. On the way back, you’ll embark on the world’s steepest cogwheel train , and after descending the mountain, you’ll arrive at Alpnachstad. From there, you’ll return to Lucerne with a boat, and this one-hour cruise is a Swiss highlight. The cruise of Lake Lucerne is not available year-round, so check the info on the operator’s page.
Duration : ~6 hours .
Price : 130 euros .
How to book : Book the action-packed Swiss tour here .
Mount Titlis half-day tour from Lucerne
Relatively similar to the previous tour, but this time to another location, this half-day trip from Lucerne will bring you the impressive Mount Titlis . The drive from Lucerne will take you first to Engelberg and the mountain, where you will see the glacier. Again, the views are breathtaking, and everything becomes even better when you board the cable car.
Reaching the Titlis Mountain top is an unforgettable experience: the Swiss Alps mountain range offers spectacular views. You’ll also visit the Glacier Cave and take an unforgettable ride to the Ice Flyer chair lift toward Glacier Park. Enjoy plenty of free time in the ever-snowy mountains before returning to Lucerne in the afternoon.
Duration : ~5,5 hours .
Price : 140 euros .
How to book : Book here the day trip to Mt Titlis .
Day Trip to Jungfraujoch from Lucerne
The last sections of this Lucerne guide are all about the Alps. If you can’t have enough of the legendary mountains, here’s one more day trip from Lucerne. And this time, you’ll travel to The Top of the World . Jungfraujoch (which means “maiden saddle”) is the largest glacier in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site . Moreover, it’s the place where you can find the highest-altitude train station.
The day trip starts from Lucerne and takes you along the Brünig Pass to the Bernese Oberland. Then, after a short break at the famous city of Interlaken , you’ll get on the cable car at Grindelwald. This 15-minute cable car ride will bring you to Eiger Glacier; from there, a cogwheel train will take you straight to Jungfraujoch’s summit . Snow, rock, and ice: that’s the view of Jungfraujoch’s Alpine wonderland.
Various viewpoints await you along the way, including the Sphinx Observation Terrace and Plateau above Aletsch Glacier . Finally, you can stroll through the Ice Palace’s tunnels straight into the glacier’s heart. You’ll stop at a couple more places on the way back before finishing the tour in Lucerne.
Duration : 10 hours .
Price : 254 euros .
How to book : Book the day trip to Jungfraujoch .
Rigi round trip from Lucerne
Finally, the last day trip in this article is dedicated to another glorious mountain: Mount Rigi . However, there’s a twist: this is a tour if you prefer exploring a place at your own pace . That said, there will be no driver or pick-up service; you’ll buy access to the Rigi round trip, and you’ll be the one to plan it.
Rigi, also known as the Queen of Mountains, awaits you for a half or full-day trip from Lucerne . The tour starts from Lake Lucerne, and you’ll sail to Vitznau. The fjord scenery around you will be mindblowing, and the nostalgic steamboats guarantee a unique atmosphere. After arriving at Vitznau, you’ll head to Mount Rigi.
The views from the mountain are unique: you can see the Black Forest, the Swiss Plateau, and the Vosges Mountains. After enjoying as much time as you want, you will get the rack railway to Rigi Kaltbad and a cable car to Weggis from there. From Weggis, you will cruise back to Lucerne.
The tour operator includes two suggested itineraries on their page, so make sure to check them out before planning a visit.
Duration : 1 day .
Price : 61 euros .
How to book : Book the Rigi round trip .
Lucerne tours: conclusion
Lucerne (or Luzern) is one of the most sophisticated Swiss cities. A combination of high-quality living and stunning landscapes make the city a great destination all year. Moreover, its proximity to the Alps is a plus point if you plan to explore the nearby mountains. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a road trip to Switzerland or if you’re visiting Lucerne on a city break . Whatever the case is, try to join a walking tour and take at least a daily excursion to the Alps. The latter will definitely be a lifetime experience.
More about Lucerne : My Lucerne travelogue
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