Lucerne Travel Tips – Switzerland
On this Post, some tips about Lucerne, our home town!! I live here with my family since 2013 and love the city! Lucerne is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, just on the shore of Lake “Vierwaldstättersee.” The city guest over 1 million visitors from around the world every year.
Canton Lucerne bellows to the German-speaking part of Switzerland, is about 50 km from Zürich (the nearest airport) and 100 km from Bern, Switzerland’s capital. It is a medium-sized city, for Swiss standards, it has around 80.000 inhabitants. Since the Middle Age, it is part of the vital route that connects the North to the South of Europe through tunnel St. Gotthard. Because of strategic location, it is one of the main bases for tourists traveling thought the country to set up different itineraries, such as panoramic trains and snow sports.
Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge)
If you are passing through Lucerne, be sure to visit the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe with over 650 years of history. In 1993, a big fire destroyed part of The Chapel Bridge. One of the peculiarities of the bridge is the paintings of the 17th century, some already restored and tell part of Swiss history. Next to it is the Water Tower (Wasserturm), built-in 1300, once a prison and used to store the city’s treasure, and today it is Switzerland’s most photographed monument.
Near the Jesuit Church, another wooden bridge, built in the 14th century, is the “Spreuerbrücke.” Nowhere in the world will you see a bridge with such morbid paintings than “Dance of Death,” painted by Kaspar Meglinger.
Old Town and Rathaus
The historic buildings of Lucerne are amazing! The highlight is the Rathaus, built during the first decade of the 16th century in the Renaissance style. We’ve attended an event here, and the interior of the Rathaus is awe-inspiring!
Museggmauer / Medieval Towers
Initially, 30 Towers of the Middle Ages protected Lucerne between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Today, there are still 13 towers, and we can visit 4 of then during April and November. We’ve visited the “Zytturm,” which means in English “Tower of Time.” The Zytturm is 31m high and was built in 1535 by Hans Luter. This attraction is for active children + 5 years old; there is no access to strollers and lots of stairs. The view of the city is spectacular!
Beautiful church built-in baroque style, SO worth seeing inside!! Just Beside the historical building is today the State Chancellery.
Another famous attraction in Lucerne is the Löwendenkmal or Lion Monument, built in honor of more than 700 Swiss guards who died during the French Revolution in 1792 serving King Ludwig XVI.
A visit to the Gütsch, hotel restaurant with over 130 years of history, is as well worth it. Although it has never been a proper castle and always been a hotel, Gütsch has a great city view!!
The most important museums in Lucerne are:
– Swiss Museum of Transport – Verkershaus to read more, click here;
– Rosengart – with Picasso, Monet, Joan Miro, Renoir, and others; this museum offers five times a year special guides Tours from Kids to Kids, age 7 to 11;
– KKL Convention and Cultural Center;
– Gletscher Gardens – The garden of frozen time! Located just beside the Lion Monument.
Mountains Day trips around Lucerne
Mount Pilatus, link Pilatus Golden Round Trip (EN)
Mount Rigi, link Mount Rigi (EN)
Titlis, link Mount Titlis (EN)
CabriO Stanserhorn, link Mount Stanserhorn CabriO
One of the most reliable sites to choose your accommodation in Lucerne is the Hotellerie Suisse (Swiss Hotel Association) website. Link here. To read our experience at Grand Hotel National Lucerne, click here.
Our favorite restaurants
One of the coolest restaurants in Lucerne is the gartenHAUS 1313, a typical Swiss chalet and surprise dinner menu (Lindenstrasse 21, 6015 Lucerne Tel: 041 240 2565). Book on this link, here.
Another favorite is the Thai Song Pi Nong, which serves delicious dishes. Don’t miss to try the Red Curry with Meat or shrimps. (Sternenplatz 6, 6004 Luzern Tel: 041 412 1213)
The Stadt Keller serves typical Swiss food and has a folklore show. (Sternerplatz 3, 6004 Luzern Tel: 041 410 4733)
Another good option is the Fondue Haus (Falkengasse 4, 6004 Luzern Tel: 041 412 3737), also in the center.
The best Italian restaurant in town is the Ristorante Barbatti, Topferstrasse 10, 6004 Luzern.
Family and kids friendly on a budget restaurant you can find at Coop Restaurant (near to the Lion Monument) or Migros Restaurant at Töpferstrasse, Centre.
Summer in Lucerne Jul /Aug
The most important summer events in Lucerne during summertime are the Luzernerfest Open Air Cinema at the Lake; Lucerne Marathon; Blue Balls, Lucerne Festival, Latin Riviera in Weggis, and Street Food Festival rocks the most loved season of the year in Lucerne.
At Lido Badi, near to the Swiss Museum of Transport, you will find a sandy beach by Lake Lucerne, two swimming pools, restaurants, a beautiful and huge playground. Entry fee CHF 8.- for adults and children CHF3.- Stand Up Paddle for rent for CHF15.- per hour.
Lake Sempach is our favorite place in the summertime! The Lake of Sempach is much smaller than that of Lucerne and has crystal clear water, great for Stand Up Paddle. The Strandbad in the town of Sursee is a secluded lakeside area with a restaurant, playground, and a shallow area of the lake that is fenced for children. Entrance CHF 5.- for adults and children CHF3.- Sursee is 20 min by car/train from Lucerne.
Lucerne in Spring April / May
From April until October, there is also the City Train Tour, we did and liked a lot! Departs from Hotel Schweizerhof (at the lake’s edge) and lasts 40min. Adults CHF12.- and children from 5 to 15 years CHF5.-
Lucerne in Autumn Oct / Nov
In the first weeks of October, the scent of caramelized almonds in the air sends us directly to childhood. The “Chilbi” is a tradition in Lucerne! Another tip during Fall is visiting the Gütsch Castle or the Aeschbach Chocolatier in Root, 10 minutes by train from Lucerne.
Lucerne in Winter Jan / Feb
In December, an excellent Programm for adults and children is the ice skating rink in front of the KKL and the Christmas Market. Later on, in February/ March starts the Carnival in Lucerne and is one of the most famous in Switzerland, just like in Basel. It starts on Thursday at 5:00 am, the so-called Schmutzig Donnerstag (dirty Thursday). Groups called Guggenmusik to pass through the old town of Lucerne, cheering the revelers and warming the winter!
Hidden gems that we love in Lucerne
Park Konservatorium Dreilingen
One of our favorites, the Konservatorium Dreilingen (Dreilingenstrasse 93, 6006 Lucerne), is such a beautiful place to take the kids. In addition to an incredible view of the city, this place is perfect for picnicking to the sound of diverse musical instruments played by the students, specialized in classical and choral music. It is the largest park in the city, with 35,000 m² and its palaces built-in English garden style, from the eighteenth century. Marble sculptures and a cave complete the beauty of the place. This place belonged to a family, was donated to Lucerne in 1929, and from 1952 as a conservatory of music. Since 1999 he is part of the University of Music of Lucerne. Being located on a hill, it has a privileged view of the Alps and hardly receives tourists, most of the visitors are local and school groups. Update 2019: unfortunately, this place was sold, and the University will be transferred from here.
Located in the Rothenburg district, at 10min from the center, this park has Mini Steam, and Electric Locomotives are the highlights of this place. Each train ride costs CHF3.00
(Bertiswilstrasse 40, 6023 Rothenburg Tel: 041 280 3434 www.chaernsmatt.ch )
A subsidiary of the legendary Ace Café of London, which began its history in 1949, the place is a meeting point for lovers of motorcycles, vintage cars, and Rock and Roll. The Bar has several events throughout the year, with encounters of various car and motorcycle brands, antique classics, and relics. Live shows are also part of the program. To eat Classic Burger, Onion Rings, and Classic Hot Dogs. More about the Ace Café and calendar of events on the website .(Ace Café Sonnmatthof 2, 6023 Rothenburg Tel: 041 530 00 44)
Do you have any questions or comments about Lucerne? Write to us with a comment! We are glad to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!! Discover in our family blog tips about Switzerland’s outdoor adventures, family-friendly destinations, and much more! 🙂
Lucerne Travel tips – Switzerland (EN)
Boat trips on Lake Lucerne (EN)
Aeschbach Chocolatier – Choco Welt (EN)
Swiss Knife Valley – Victorinox (EN)
Swiss Museum of Transport + Swiss Chocolate Adventure (EN)