Chapel Bridge

Is Lucerne Really Worth Visiting?

You might be wondering whether Lucerne is truly worth visiting? Well, Lucerne is a city located in the heart of Switzerland, which looks like it came straight out of a fairytale.

It’s surrounded by the majestic Swiss Alps and situated on the shores of Lake Lucerne.

With its postcard-worthy landscapes and historic landmarks, Lucerne offers an unforgettable experience for travelers from all around the world.

It’s located in the German-speaking region of Switzerland, where German serves as the official language. Luckily many locals also speak English.

In this article, you’ll read whether Lucerne is really worth visiting and what you should do while you’re here.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus

Is Lucerne worth visiting?

Lucerne is without a doubt worth visiting. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. If you ever have the chance to visit this place, then do it.

Especially the natural scenery in Lucerne and its surroundings is absolutely stunning and makes it worth going to at least once.

It truly feels like a place straight out of a fairytale. Lucerne reminds me of the beauty of Lugano, another magical city located on the shores of a lake in Switzerland. Both are one of the most charming places in the country.

Mount Pilatus

How many days in Lucerne?

Two to three days in Lucerne is perfect. Within these days, you’ll be able to see most of what Lucerne has to offer.

If you want to spend at least a couple of days hiking in the surrounding areas, then I would suggest staying for at least 5 days to a week.

Paraglider in Mount Pilatus
Paraglider above Mt. Pilatus

How to get around Lucerne?

Public transport is free in most parts of Lucerne if you’re staying here! So, as you can imagine this is a great way to get around Lucerne. If you stay overnight, you should receive a Visitor Card.

The Visitor Card gives over night guests free use of buses and trains within zone 10 of the city network.

You also get some discounts for cableways, mountain railways, museums and excursions in the Lucerne-Lake Lucerne Region. You can also take advantage of free WiFi hotspots.

If you have a car, that’s convenient if you want to discover other places in the area. However, I would strongly suggest making use of the great public transportation system.

A lot of the best attractions in Lucerne are within walking distance from each other as well, so you can also get around Lucerne by foot.

Is Lucerne worth visiting
Lucerne is home to many friendly swans by the way

Where to stay in Lucerne?

So where should you stay in Lucerne? It can be quite difficult to choose where to stay, especially if you’re looking for a more affordable accommodation. That’s why I’ve made this list for you including the best places to stay in Lucerne, Switzerland:

Hotel Drei Könige

This hotel is one of the most affordable options in Lucerne. I wouldn’t say Hotel Drei Könige is cheap, but compared to other hotels in the area it’s a lot more affordable.

What’s good, is that it’s located within walking distance of the Old Town. Breakfast is included in the price as well, which definitely saves you money. Click here to view their latest prices.

Baslertor Summer Pool Hotel

Personally, if the Baslertor Summer Pool Hotel is available, I would choose to stay here. It’s located in the heart of Lucerne and even has an outdoor pool. Besides, it’s very reasonably priced compared to other hotels nearby!

Barabas Luzern

If you’re looking for a unique, yet affordable stay in Lucerne, then stay at Barabas Luzern. This hotel used to be a prison and is now converted to a hotel.

The former cells have been preserved though, so this is what your room looks like! You probably either love or hate this idea. It’s only 3 minutes on foot to the Chapel Bridge from here.

Hotel Pilatus-Kulm

Last but not least, another unique, yet very luxurious stay you will find at Hotel Pilatus-Kulm. Here you can admire the breathtaking views of Mount Pilatus full time, as the hotel is located on the top!

For a truly special adventurous stay in Lucerne, you should definitely stay here. It’s expensive, however breakfast and dinner are included in the price. Click here to view their latest prices and more.

bird at Mount Pilatus
Hotel Kulm Mount Pilatus

The best things to do in Lucerne

Lucerne is home to many breathtaking sights and experiences. Get ready for an unforgettable journey as we explore the best things to do in Lucerne:

Visit the Chapel Bridge

Step into a fairytale as you wander through the historic Chapel Bridge, Europe’s oldest covered wooden bridge (approx. 650 years old!).

Decorated with lovely flowers and offering breathtaking views of the Reuss River, this iconic landmark is a must-visit.

Walk along its path and immerse yourself in centuries of history. It’s a great spot to take some photos.

Chapel Bridge

Walk across Lake Lucerne

Lose yourself in the serenity of Lake Lucerne by taking a walk along its beautiful shores. The calming waters, surrounded by the magnificent Swiss Alps, create a postcard-perfect backdrop. Truly enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Lucerne.

is Lucerne worth visiting? A view on Lake Lucerne
Lake Lucerne

Visit the Lion Monument

Pay your respects to the Lion of Lucerne, an impressive monument carved into a rock face. Depicting a dying lion, the sculpture commemorates the Swiss Guards who lost their lives during the French Revolution. It’s a touching tribute that leaves a lasting impression. The surroundings of the monument are surprisingly lush and green.

Lion Monument
Is Lucerne worth visiting

Enjoy Lucerne’s cultural side

Lucerne is a city that embraces art and culture. Attend a classical concert at the KKL Luzern (Lucerne Culture and Convention Centre), known for its exceptional acoustics. Alternatively, experience the city’s vibrant art scene by attending a theater performance or an art exhibition.

Lucerne is also home to some great markets, such as flea markets. Here you’ll find more information about markets to visit here.

markets in Lucerne
A flea market in Lucerne

Ascend Mount Rigi

For yet another breathtaking Alpine experience, consider ascending Mount Rigi, often referred to as the “Queen of the Mountains.” Whether you choose to hike or take the cogwheel railway, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Admire Mount Pilatus

Nature lovers and adventure seekers will find their paradise on Mount Pilatus. If you’re looking for an adventurous challenge, you can embark on a hike to the summit.

The reward? Breathtaking panoramic views that will leave you in awe. If you prefer a more leisurely ascent, hop on the cable car and enjoy a scenic journey to the top.

Mount Pilatus

The ticket for the cable cars was almost 80 euros in total per person when we visited. It’s pretty expensive, but I can reassure you that the views are absolutely worth it!

When you’re on top of Mount Pilatus, you’ll really understand what people mean when they talk about the natural beauty of the Swiss Alps.

Mount Pilatus

If you can only do a couple of things in Lucerne, make sure to include a visit to Mount Pilatus.

It’s really worth visiting and was one of the highlights of our trip. On the top, there’s a cafe where you can grab a drink and admire the views at the same time.

If you’re wondering: is Lucerne worth visiting? I personally think that the scenery at Mount Pilatus alone already makes Lucerne totally worth visiting!

Tip: arrive early. We arrived an hour after the opening time and I already felt that we should’ve gone earlier, as there were already crowds. Arrive before it opens, so there will be less crowds.

Is Lucerne worth visiting? Mount Pilatus views say yes

Explore the Swiss Transport Museum

If you’re interested in Swiss transportation, then you should definitely delve into the fascinating world of transportation at the Swiss Museum of Transport. This museum was already opened in 1959. With interactive exhibits and extensive collections, the museum offers a journey through the history of Swiss transport.

Wander around the Old Town

One of the best things to do in Lucerne is to simply explore the Old Town. Immerse yourself in Lucerne’s medieval charm by wandering through the lovely Old Town (also known as Altstadt).

Wander through its narrow streets, lined with beautiful houses and boutique shops. It’s the perfect place to capture some great photos.

Old Town Lucerne
Is Lugano worth visiting? Picture of the Old Town

Discover Lake Lucerne by boat

Cruise along the waters of Lake Lucerne on a boat tour. These cruises offer unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape. Sit back, relax, and let the tranquil beauty of the lake captivate you.

Boat on Lake Lucerne

Is Lucerne expensive?

Lucerne, just like the rest of Switzerland, is pretty expensive. That’s why it’s good to know which places, such as hotels and restaurants, are more affordable.

When I was doing my own research before going to Lucerne, I found it pretty difficult to find places a bit more affordable.

This is why I’d like to give you my own tips in this article, so I can help you make your stay at least a little more affordable!

Park in Lucern

Where to eat affordable food in Lucerne?

In Lucerne, finding affordable food can be challenging, but there are some great options to consider.

Here are the best places to enjoy budget-friendly meals:

Made in Sud (Italian), Pastarazzi (delicious pasta), Prik (affordable Thai food), Twiny Station (ideal for take-away), and Bierliebe und Friends, which serves craft beers and hot dogs with stunning views.

These restaurants will satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank, making your dining experience in Lucerne a lot more enjoyable and cost-effective.

Tip: You don’t always have to go out to eat, as this will really add up quickly. You can for instance sometimes grab lunch at Supermarket Coop instead.

Bierliebe und Friends
Lucerne views
View from Bierliebe und Friends

Is Zurich or Lucerne better to visit?

Personally, I liked Lucerne a lot more than Zurich. Lucerne has more beautiful natural sights, such as Lake Lucerne and Mount Pilatus.

If you’re not interested in natural scenery and you prefer city vibes, then you might prefer Zurich though.

Final thoughts

Lucerne is undoubtedly worth visiting. The city’s blend of breathtaking landscapes, iconic landmarks, natural scenery and rich cultural experiences make it a destination worth exploring.

Whether you seek a romantic walk along Lake Lucerne, an adventurous hike to Mount Pilatus, or an immersion into Swiss history and culture in the Old Town, Lucerne promises an unforgettable journey.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this Swiss wonderland and discover why it continues to be a favorite destination for visitors from around the world.

Away with Danae

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