Lucerne is a city of opposites, with lots to see and do. History buffs can stroll through the old quarter, admiring historic buildings and architecture, while those who prefer things a little more modern can head to the cosmopolitan heart of the city. A walk along the lakeside promenade is always a must, as is crossing the famous Chapel Bridge.
There are four ferry routes on the lake – to Fleulen, Alpnachstad, Kussnacht and Meggenhorn. Most of the boats have an onboard bar as well as separate first and second class seating, though only the Fleulen route uses the iconic paddle steamers. Your Region Visitor’s Card will give you discount on the late night boat to/from Weggis and Vitznau.
With typical Swiss efficiency, you can catch trains to loads of places around the country, including Bern (1 hour), Zurich (50 minutes), Lugano (2 hours 30 minutes), Interlaken (2 hours), Montreux (2 hours 30 minutes) and Lausanne (2 hours). Your Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi will get you discounts too. There are also plenty of mountain railways, including the world's steepest cogwheel up Mount Pilatus.
A good system of post buses runs in the area, and you can get discount with your Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi.
Your Ticket Combi will also you you discount on the summer lifts. It’s well worth riding to the peak of Mount Pilatus, to get the best views in the area.
|Festival ||Month |
|Festival Strings Lucerne ||Mid May |
|Whit Sounds ||Mid May |
|Swiss World Classic ||Late May |
|Rowing World Cup ||Late May |
|Maggenhorn Castle: Sound Music Days ||Mid June |
|The Retro Festival ||Mid June |
|Lucerne Festival ||Late June |
|Blue Balls Festival ||Late July |
|Lucerne Festival in Summer ||Mid August |
|World Band Festival ||Late September |
Lucerne is stuffed with restaurants selling cuisines from all over the world. From lakefront eateries to cafés and bars in the maze of streets slightly more inland, there are loads to choose from. Make sure to try some of Lucerne’s very own Pear Bread – buttery puff pastry filled with pears, plums, figs, walnuts and raisins.
On the Schützenstrasse you’ll find Wirthaus Galliker, a traditional-style tavern run by the Galliker family since 1856. It’s always thriving with locals and the atmosphere is great – friendly waitresses serve Swiss specialities like the Lucerne Chogalipasteli.
A short walk from the railway station is Restaurant Drei Konige, a high-ceilinged, retro restaurant preparing a mixture of European dishes as well as Swiss classics. Despite being part of the Drei Konige hotel, it’s a place that locals love too.
Down the road from the Drei Konige is Grottino 1313, a gorgeous restaurant with rustic décor. The plates from the set menu are colourful, inventive and beautifully presented, and the service is top-class.
Strolls along the lakeside promenades of Lucerne and the surrounding villages can be enjoyed by all. For fabulous views over the region, both Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus offer some excellent walking, along alpine trails and through lush green meadows. Take the steepest cog wheel railway to Pilatus - it's worth the 10 minutes to take the path to the summit at 2,118m. You can also take the cable car down to Frakmuntegg and enjoy mountain moorland and crystal-clear streams on the walk down to Krienseregg.
Dietschiberg & Adligenswil
Discover the beautiful Alpine meadows surrounding Lucerne with this easy walk. Catch the no. 14 bus to the St Anna Clinic and walk past the school complex to the Restaurant Schlossli Utenberg. A meadow trail will take you to the Dietschiberg viewpoint, where the views are spectacular. Carry on following the trail through the fields to Adligenswil, where you can stop for something to eat. Buses will bring you can to Lucerne.
Krienseregg nature reserve
Take the Krienseregg lift to the middle station on Mount Pilatus and follow the signposted route through the forest to Dragon Moor. There are various platforms to stop at along the way, each with different flora, fauna, history and myths to explore: In the Realm of Moss, Water Moves Mountains, A Forest Tour, Purple Moor Grass, and On Track to the Ice Age. The loop takes from 1-3 hours, depending how long you spend at each platform.
The most romantic bench
Walk past the Krienseregg restaurant, by the lift station, and head towards Schönenboden. Walk through the forest for about 10 minutes and then follow the road upwards. The route crosses a small bridge before climbing towards Frakmuntegg. Another 200m or so will bring you to the most romantic bench on Mount Pliatus – the perfect spot to relax, snap some photos and soak up your surroundings.
Lake Lucerne Region Visitor's Card
A great way to see more of Lucerne and save a few pennies as you go, with loads of reductions on spas, transport, sports and cultural attractions.
· Discounted travel on lake cruises and cableways
· Use of the late-night shuttle boat between Lucerne, Weggis and Vitznau
· Discounted entry to swimming pools and spas
· Discounts on sports activities
· Discounted entry to a variety of museums and guided tours
Available free to all customers staying in Lucerne.
All customers travelling to Switzerland on a Lakes and Mountains holiday, and using our Swiss rail transfers, will receive a combi transfer ticket including free Half-Fare travelcard. You’ll receive your card pre-holiday, along with your transfer tickets, so there’s no need to apply before you go.
- Up to half price on train, bus and boat tickets
- Up to half price on some cable car tickets
- Discounted car hire with Europcar
- Free family card for families with children aged 6-15 years sent with tickets
More information about the travelcard is available at www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/railpasses/half-fare-travelcard.html
Thomson resort service
We're here to give you our support and expertise before, during and after your holiday - it's what we do. This service includes:
- 24/7 support and assistance via phone and email – we will text you the rep's contact number before you leave, so they're only ever a call or text away.
- Online info pack with lots of useful resort information and tips – you can also contact our reps at any time to ask questions about your holiday; even before you leave.
- Thomson Lakes & Mountains app with travel documents, resort maps, weather forecasts and a currency converter.
There won’t be a rep based in Lucerne, but if you need anything during your holiday, just get in touch via phone or email.
Please note that all transfers in Switzerland are unaccompanied 2nd class Swiss Rail transfers. Rail journeys are often not direct and will most likely require changes. On arrival in resort, you may need to use the local transport to get closer to your accommodation - your Swiss Transfer tickets will cover these costs. If you have reduced mobility, please contact us by phone before booking to ensure the transfer arrangements are suitable for you. However, if you would prefer a private transfer, this can be added when booking. These are taken by car, 6-seater or minibus, depending on the number of people in your booking.
Exploring further afield
Swiss Travel Pass (1st or 2nd class)
If you want to travel to the furthest corners of Switzerland - to admire its beautiful cities, imposing mountains, wide, open countryside and unique traditions - this pass is for you. With Swiss Travel Pass you'll receive unlimited travel on mainline trains, buses and boats on the entire Swiss network (including panorama routes) for either 8 or 15 consecutive days. You'll also get complimentary access to Mount Pilatus by cablecar as well as free entry into 480 museums across Switzerland including the Ballenberg Open Air Museum and the Schynige Platte.
Flexi Pass (1st or 2nd class)
The Flexi pass has all of the same benefits as the Swiss Travel Pass, but is valid for 3 non-consecutive days within a month.
Grab your pass and head to one of these incredible places from Lucerne by train.
|Destination ||Duration |
|Bern ||1 hour |
|Zurich ||50 minutes |
|Lugano ||2 hours 30 minutes |
|Interlaken ||2 hours |
Please note: Rail transfers will be unaccompanied. Lucerne has no Thomson Holiday Rep, you will be given a welcome pack and a contact number on arrival.