Your Complete Travel Guide To Lucerne, Switzerland

Medieval architecture amidst astonishing nature, this city is nothing short of a national treasure.

Lucerne is an excellent travel destination in Switzerland for those interested in history and breathtaking views. Its small size and laidback atmosphere make it an ideal spot to relax and recoup during a long trip. Here is your complete travel guide on everything to know about the lake-front city.

HOW TO GET THERE

The Lucerne Train Station is the only station in the city and a train ride from Zurich Hauptbahnhof takes about 40 minutes. There are trains going back and forth between the cities several times a day and you can book tickets online or at the station. Lucerne Station is located near the city’s old town and many shops and restaurants are just a short walk away.

If you want to drive instead, Lucerne is located 52 km from Zurich, which is about a 45-minute drive via A4 and A14.

SEE

Lucerne is a walkable city that’s great for both nature lovers and those who prefer to explore the indoors. Here are the top three things to do and see while you’re there.

Chapel Bridge

Kapellbrücke, 6002, Lucerne, Switzerland

Chapel Bridge
Chapel Bridge. Photo by skophoto on Instagram

Chapel Bridge, or Kapellbrücke, is a pedestrian bridge crossing the Reuss River that was built in 1333. It is one of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe and the oldest functioning truss bridge in the world. This covered footbridge includes 17th century paintings depicting the history of Lucerne throughout the interior, while colorful flowers span the outside of the bridge in the spring and summer months. The Chapel Bridge is a great tourist attraction for its historic charm and beauty, so it’s well worth the trip.

Mount Rigi

6410 Arth, Lucerne, Switzerland

Mount Rigi
Mount Rigi. Photo by piri_foellmi on Instagram

Known as “Queen of the Mountains,” Mount Rigi is home to the oldest mountain railway in Europe and an extensive selection of cafés and restaurants. Take a train or cable car to the top for phenomenal views of over 13 lakes and mountain peaks, as well as 120 km of hiking trails to explore. Buy tickets on the Mount Rigi website and enjoy the fresh mountain air in this idyllic slice of Switzerland.

Gletschergarten

Denkmalstrasse 4, Lucerne, Switzerland

Gletschergarten
Gletschergarten. Photo by ilary9695 on Instagram

Lucerne’s Glacier Garden is a geological site formed by a glacier during the Ice Age over 20,000 years ago. Here, you can go through an underground “portal” to see rocks that are up to 1 billion years old. Observe the fossilized seashore and traditional Lucerne sandstone among beautiful mountain views in the midst of a glacial pothole, its existence goes against all odds. Next to the site is a museum about Lucerne’s history and a fun mirror maze to explore after a day in the Ice Age.

EAT

In all of its historical glory, Lucerne is a great place to try traditional Swiss dishes and have a meal along the lake while chowing down on some local fare. To make the difficult choice of where to eat easier, here are three restaurants foodies are sure to enjoy.

Rathaus Brauerei

Unter der Egg 2, 6004, Lucerne, Switzerland

Rathaus Brauerei
Rathaus Brauerei. Photo by rathausbrauerei on Instagram

Combined brewery and restaurant, Rathaus Brauerei is an establishment committed to the enjoyment and satisfaction of its customers. All the beer is brewed on site and pairs wonderfully with a mix of Swiss and German cuisine. Try their specialty sausages and cold platters and end the meal on a sweet note with homemade waffles for dessert. Enjoy food and beer right on the lake or revel in the tavern vibes inside Rathaus Brauerei, a one-minute walk from the Chapel Bridge located in Old Town.

Restaurant Stern

Burgerstrasse 35, 6003, Lucerne, Switzerland