Tourist’s guide to Lucerne – a city by the mountain lake of Switzerland

The village (Switzerland) is located in the central part of the country on a Swiss plateau and is the administrative center of the canton of the same name. In place of the modern city, the first settlements appeared during the heyday of the Roman Empire. However, the official date of formation of the settlement is 1178. Until that moment, Lucerne was a large village. The city of Lucerne is located on the shores of a picturesque lake, it is called the cradle of Switzerland. Here are three cantons, whose representatives in the summer of 1291 concluded an agreement that marked the beginning of the creation of one of the most successful states in the world.

Lucerne, Switzerland

Photo: Lucerne, Switzerland.

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General information

The city of Lucerne in Switzerland arose in the 8th century in the northern part of Lake Firvaldstetskogo, where the Benedictine monastery used to be. The village was the first to join the Swiss Confederation , today it is a small resort town with excellent, European infrastructure, where tourists from all over the world like to come. Lucerne is rightfully considered the most interesting and beautiful city in Switzerland. This is a great place for those who do not like and do not know how to relax away from civilization.

It is interesting! Lucerne received the status of a gate to the central part of Switzerland. A huge number of local legends and fairy tales are associated with this city. The mention of the settlement is found in the stories of William Tell.

Tourism appeared here in the 19th century, Mark Twain liked to come here, after visiting Lucerne, the writer urged him to return the tourist trade and souvenir business. Fortunately, the opinion of the writer was heeded, and thanks to this, the town is developing and flourishing.

SBB RailCity Shopping Center

Given that Lucerne is a spa town, there are many shops here. The most popular souvenir shop is Kazanrand, where they sell everything that Switzerland is famous for – watches, knives, chocolate. Near the train station there is a SBB Rail City shopping center. Traditional work schedule:

  • on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – from 9-00 to 18-30,
  • on Thursday and Friday – from 9-00 to 20-00,
  • on Saturday – until 16-00,
  • Sunday is a day off.
City of Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne, photo of the city.


Lucerne, a chamber town located on the shores of a picturesque lake, is justly proud of an exceptional number of historical, architectural and natural attractions. It is here that the most modern Museum of Transport is located, as well as a unique Garden of Glaciers, where you can make sure that once Switzerland was part of the tropics and many more interesting places.

On a note! Lucerne is a compact city, so all the sights can be bypassed. If you are going on a trip, be sure to make a list of Lucerne’s attractions with photos and descriptions.

Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus

At an altitude of just over 2 km, tourists are offered a wide selection of entertainment. Pilatus is a great vacation spot who wants to feel the splendor of the Alps, but does not want to give up city life.

Interesting to know! Translated Pilatus means – felt hat.

There are several ways to get to the top:

Train to the top of Pilatus Mountain
  • by train – this route is the most fascinating, the journey takes about 30 minutes, a return ticket will cost 72 francs;
  • trolleybus number 1 to get from Lucerne to Kriens and get to the top of the mountain by cable car, the route takes 30 minutes;
  • physically prepared people can climb the mountain on foot, it will take about 4 hours.

Good to know! There are many entertainments at the top – cable park, snow park, Powerfan attraction, rock climbing. Restaurants work, tourists accept hotels.

Firwaldstät Lake
Firwaldstät Lake

On the map of Lucerne’s attractions, the legendary lake with a unique cross shape occupies a special place, as it is considered a symbol of Switzerland. To enjoy the view of the lake, it is best to climb to the top of Pilatus. You can also take a cruise ship on the lake. While relaxing in the city, you should definitely walk along the picturesque promenade, visit a cozy cafe and look at the beautiful swans.

On a note! Lake Lucerne is also called the Lake of the Four Cantons, as it is located in four regions of Switzerland.

The best time to visit the lake is August 1. On this day, in honor of the formation of Switzerland, a salute was organized on the lake. The cost of cruise tickets varies depending on the duration of the trip – from 20 to 50 CHF.

Mountain of Riga

Locals call her the Queen of the Mountains, here in the middle of the 19th century a mountain cog railway was launched, which connected the summit to the station in Witznau. From the top you can see the central part of Switzerland.

Mountain of Riga (Rigi)

How to get to the top of Riga:

  • on the Weggis cable car;
  • trains from Art-Goldau station (Goldau);
  • Trains from Witznau.
Train stop at the top of Riga mountain

The duration of the climb is 40 minutes. Return ticket price from 55 francs. You can purchase a daily ticket. Rates are subject to availability of additional services included in the ticket. All prices and timetables can be found on the official website

Entertainment in Riga:

  • toboggan track;
  • skiing;
  • hiking;
  • thermal baths.
Kappellbrücke bridge
Chapel Bridge, Lucerne

This landmark of Lucerne in Switzerland is named after the chapel of St. Peter, it was with her that the history of the development and formation of the city began. The chapel is located in the old part of the city, next to the old wooden bridge, built in the middle of the 14th century.

Kappellbrücke Bridge is not just a tourist attraction, but a symbol of the city, its visiting card. Its length is 202 meters. The bridge is decorated with unique frescoes that date back to the 17th century. Similar frescoes are no longer in Europe. At the edge of the bridge, a Water Tower was built, which in different years was used as a dungeon, a treasury, and today a souvenir shop is open here.

Museum of Transport

Museum of Transport in Switzerland in the city of Lucerne is the best interactive museum in all of Europe. More than three thousand exhibits occupy an area of ​​40 thousand square meters. Here you can clearly trace the history of the development of all types of transport – urban, railway, air and even space.

Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne

On a note! The museum is especially attractive for children, because here you can try to control a locomotive and find yourself on a space station. One exposition is located on the street.

The attraction is located at: Lidostrasse 5.

At the Museum of Transport, Lucerne

You can visit the museum:

  • in the summer – from 10-00 to 18-00;
  • in winter – from 10-00 to 17-00.

Ticket price:

  • adult – 32 francs;
  • student (up to 26 years) – 22 francs;
  • children (up to 16 years) – 12 francs;
  • Children under 6 years old admission is free.
Old city
Weinmarkt Square

This is the most atmospheric part of Lucerne. Here, each building has its own story. Be sure to take a walk along the north bank of the Royce River, appreciate the beauty of the medieval facades, go to the small St. Peterskapelle church. A hundred meters away are the old public market and the city hall. Moving west, you will find yourself in Weinmarkt Square, where important ceremonies were held before.

At the Hofkirche church, Lucerne
Hofkirche Church

On the right bank of the Royce River, the quarters form the Kleinstadt region, which used to be an outpost of the city. Nearby stands the Jesuitenkirche temple, decorated in the Rococo style. In the western direction is the Knight’s Palace, and behind it is the Franciscanerkirche Temple. Moving along Pfistergasse street, you can reach another ancient attraction – Spreuerbrucke Bridge, close to the Historical Museum. Be sure to visit the Hofkirche temple, which was built on the site of the first city monastery.

It is interesting! The old part of the city is surrounded by hills fortified with the Museggmauer fortress wall. One of the nine towers is decorated with clocks that are constantly late. Only three towers are open for visiting.

Monument Dying Lion
Monument "The Dying Lion"

This landmark of Lucerne is one of the most famous in all of Switzerland. Located at Denkmalstrasse 4. A monument was erected here to honor the soldiers of the Swiss Guard, who bravely defended the Tuileries Palace and Queen Marie Antoinette.

The attraction is a lion carved in the rock. The animal is defeated by a spear and covers the coat of arms of Switzerland with its body. An inscription is carved under the monument – for the allegiance and courage of the Swiss.

Rosengrate Museum
Rosengrate Museum

A unique attraction with paintings by Picasso. In addition, the collection contains works by cubists, surrealists, Fauvists and abstract artists.

Visit the attraction at: Pilatusstrasse 10. Schedule:

  • from April to October – from 10-00 to 18-00;
  • from November to March – from 10-00 to 17-00.

Ticket price:

  • full – 18 CHF;
  • for seniors – 16 CHF;
  • children and students – 10 CHF.
Sproerbrücke bridge

Despite the rather unsightly name – the bridge of the Garbage – the attraction attracts millions of tourists. This is the second oldest bridge in Europe, built at the beginning of the 15th century. In the 16th century, the attraction was destroyed by flooding and completely restored.

Sproerbrücke bridge

There is a bridge on the Royce River, next to the Kappelbrücke bridge. On its roof you can see the unique frescoes of the Middle Ages, the most famous are the Dance of Death. A chapel in honor of the Virgin Mary was built near the bridge.

Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church

Not Swiss refined and luxurious Jesuit church, built in the Baroque style in the middle of the 17th century. The attraction is located near the Kappelbrücke bridge. At the end of the last century, a new organ was installed in the church; its sound can be heard by attending a concert on a public holiday.

Note! Tourists like to just sit on the steps at the entrance to the church and relax after a walk around the city, lowering their legs into the river.

The attraction can be visited daily from 6-30 to 18-30.

Museggmauer Fortress
Museggmauer Fortress

For Switzerland, this is a rather rare attraction, since in other cities of the country most of these structures are destroyed. The wall is 870 meters long, it connects nine towers of the medieval period, but you can only visit three. The appearance of the fortress has not changed. The top of the Manly tower is decorated with a soldier figure, and the Lugisland tower was a watchtower.

You can visit the towers from 8-00 to 19-00, from November 2 to March 30, the attraction is closed for security reasons.

Glacier Garden

The attraction is dedicated to the geological and geographical history of Lucerne. Here you can visit the subtropical garden, which grew on the territory of modern Switzerland 20 million years ago, glaciers are recreated.

Glacier Garden

The exposition demonstrates how the relief of the city and the country has changed, and also models of the most famous natural formations and landscapes of Switzerland are presented.

Guests walk through the picturesque gardens, climb to the observation deck. Of great interest is the Mirror Maze.

Attraction is located at: Denkmalstrasse, 4. Schedule:

  • from April to October – from 9-00 to 18-00;
  • from November to March – from 10-00 to 17-00.

The garden is open seven days a week.

Ticket price – 15 francs for adults, 12 for students and 8 for children from 6 to 16 years.

Temple of St. Leodegar
Temple of St. Leodegar

The main temple of the city, built in the middle of the 17th century on the site of the Roman basilica. The building is decorated in the German style, inside the altar of the Virgin Mary is built, which is decorated with black marble. Outside, the temple is surrounded by a gallery of arches and statues of saints. One of the altars of the Hofkirche church is consecrated in honor of the Holy Spirit.

You can visit the church daily from 9-00 to 12-00 and from 14-00 to 16-30. Located at: Adligenswilerstrasse, Dreilinden, St. Leodegar im Hof ​​(Hofkirche).

Center for Culture and Congresses

Included in the list of the most modern and original attractions of the city. The building was built in 2000. Inside is the concert hall with the best sound in Europe, the Museum of Art, the congress hall and exhibition rooms.

Concert Hall at the Center for Culture and Congresses
Center for Culture and Congresses

The construction is divided into three parts, between them the Royce River flows. Thus, the architect wanted to emphasize the analogy of the structure with the ship. In the Center you must:

  • visit the unique hall, decorated with maple;
  • to see the exhibits of the Museum of Art;
  • relax on the terrace.

Attraction is located at: Kultur und Kongresszentrum, Europaplatz, 1.

The center is open from 9-00 to 18-00, entrance is free in the lobby.

Kornarkt Square
Kornmarkt Square

The ancient square, which is the heart of Lucerne. You can get here on the Kappelbrücke bridge. Each house on the square is a magnificent monument of medieval architecture, the facades are decorated with frescoes and original inscriptions. The most noteworthy attraction is the City Hall.

Note! A huge number of shops and boutiques are concentrated here, so shopping lovers come here for shopping.

Where to stay

The city is popular among tourists, so in high season it is better to book a hotel room in advance. If you want to save on accommodation, it is best to go to Lucerne in the fall.

There are many hotels in the city with different levels of comfort. Of course, the cost of living is quite high, but this is not surprising, given the high standard of living in Switzerland.
Prices for accommodation in three-star hotels:

Room at Aparthotel Adler Luzern
Aparthotel Adler Luzern
  • Aparthotel Adler Luzern – located in the city center, the room costs from 104 francs.
  • Seeburg Swiss Quality Hotel – located 2.5 km from the center, price for a double room – from 125 CHF.
  • Hotel Fox – 900 meters from the center, room costs from 80 CHF.

Cost of living in hostels of Lucerne:

This is how the bed in the Bellpark Hostel dormitory looks.
Bellpark hostel
  • Bellpark Hostel – located 2.5 km from the city center, a bed in a dormitory room for 5 people costs from 28 CHF (breakfast included), a separate room – from 83 CHF.
  • Luzern Youth Hostel – located 650 m from the center, berth cost from 31 CHF (breakfast included).

Find out RATES or book any accommodation using this form

Where to eat and how much it costs

A network of restaurants and cafes of the city is undoubtedly a landmark of Lucerne. The idea of ​​the resort will be incomplete if you do not get acquainted with the local cuisine.

Interesting fact! In Lucerne, there are about 250 of the best restaurants in Switzerland.

The best inexpensive restaurants in Lucerne

Title Address Features Average bill for 2 people, CHF
Bolero at the Cascada Swiss Quality Hotel Bundesplatz, 18, near the center The menu offers Mediterranean, Spanish and Mexican cuisines. Visitors are given interactive tablets with descriptions and photos of dishes.
Be sure to try the paella.
La cucina Pilatusstrasse, 29, city center The restaurant specializes in Italian, Mediterranean and European cuisines. There is a menu for vegetarians.
We recommend trying carpaccio soup and chocolate mousse.
It is better to book a table in advance.
Mamma leone Muehlenplatz, 12 Italian restaurant. Delicious pasta and pizza are prepared here.
Children are offered pencils and drawing albums for fun.
Gourmindia Baselstrasse, 31 A restaurant serving Indian and Asian cuisines, there is a menu for vegetarians. Colorful, authentic interior in the Indian style.
It is located quite far from the center, therefore it is calm and not crowded.

Useful information! A meal in a fast food restaurant will cost you 14 Swiss francs. Coffee costs on average from 4.5 francs, water 0.33 – 3.5-4 francs, a bottle of beer – from 5 to 8 francs.

All prices on the page are for January 2018.

How to get to Lucerne from Zurich

It looks like Lucerne train station
Lucerne Train Station

The easiest and fastest way to get from Zurich to Lucerne is by train. Within an hour, 4 trains leave for the resort. Average journey time is 45 minutes. The cost of tickets depends on the class of the car and the route – from 6.00 to 21.20 euros.

You can get to Lucerne with transfers:

  • one change in the city of Zug (the journey takes 1 hour);
  • two transfers – in Zug and Talville (the journey takes 1 hour 23 minutes).

Schedule and cost of tickets are best clarified in advance on the official website of the train station.

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Interesting facts about Lucerne

Chapel Bridge, Lucerne
Chapel Bridge
  1. The city has built the oldest wooden bridge in Europe – Chapel Bridge. The attraction is considered the most photogenic and beautiful in Switzerland.
  2. The name of the city means – emitting light, an amazing legend is associated with this name – once an angel came down from heaven and pointed out to the inhabitants of the village where to build a chapel with a sunbeam. It was here that the city of Luciar was laid.
  3. The local hotel Villa Honegg is famous for the fact that in cold weather, vacationers on the terrace are not handed out plaids, but fur coats.
  4. Pilatus - Extreme Railway
  5. In the city of Lucerne, the steepest railway has been laid – its slope is 48 degrees and it goes to the top of Mount Pilatus.
  6. According to legend, lions were the favorite pets of the locals. The Town Hall has a sign prohibiting the walking of lions on the territory of the town hall.
  7. The city is notable for original inscriptions right on the facades of houses. For example, one of them says – there is no medicine that saves from the senses.
  8. In the historical film “Alexander Nevsky” you can see the bridge, which is an exact copy of the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne. The scene of the film “Goldfinger” with the participation of Sean Connery was shot in Lucerne.
  9. Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer got married in a chapel on Mount Burgenstock. And Sophia Loren conquered the city so much that she bought a house here.

Finally, we offer you a detailed map of Lucerne with attractions in Russian. Print it and enjoy the unique atmosphere of a unique Swiss city.

High-quality shooting, including from the air – watch the video to better understand what the Swiss city of Lucerne looks like.

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