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30 Things to do in Lucerne

30 Things to do in Lucerne

Published on Sep. 12, 2020 by

These are my carefully selected 30 secrets & best things to do in Lucerne, Switzerland. I included gems like the Au Cachet, Barabas, Mount Rigi, Sledding, Swiss Transport Museum, Lucerne Carnival, Lion Monument, where to eat the best Swiss Cheese Fondue and the vibrant Lucerne nightlife.

Tips & Advice
  • Why: Most underrated city in Switzerland.
  • When: Early February
  • Accomodation: Stay at Hotel Anker via Booking.com
  • Best Attraction: Sledding down Mount Rigi
  • Best Restaurant: Wilden Mann
  • Discount: Save lots of money by purchasing the Swiss Tavel Pass (starting at $280 USD) for unlimited travel in Switzerland on trains, buses, boats, cable cars and FREE access to 480 museums.

Jesuit Church of Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandChapel Bridge of Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandChapel Bridge of Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerlanddinner at Wilden Mann Restaurant in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne is not a place most tourists put at the top of their bucket list, but let me assure you, it is one of the most rewarding destinations I've visited in Europe. Lucerne has plenty or attractions and fun activities to offer and can be easily explored within 2 days.

Places

  • 1. Jesuit Church

    Built in 1666, located on the banks on river Reuss with incredible decor.

  • 2. Chapel Bridge

    Built in 1333, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe connecting Old to New Lucerne.

  • 3. Spreuer Bridge

    Built in 1408 with painted panels displaying the dancing of the dead representing the black death in Europe.

  • 4. Heisse Marroni Chestnuts

    Swiss chestnuts are common street snacks, just 5 CHF or $5 US dollars.

  • 5. Au Cachet Chocolates

    Most adorable chocolate shop in town with a huge assortment of Swiss chocolates.

  • 6. Swiss Teardrops

    Authentic local chocolates filled with alcohol, get them from Heini Luzern.

  • 7. Lucerne Oldtown

    Stroll through the magnificent city center with buildings bearing frescoes of historical significance.

  • 8. Barabas Hotel

    Renovated prison cells turned into hotel rooms, with the most prestege room having a mural by the prison artist Barabas.

  • 9. Lion Monument

    Most visited attraction in Lucerne, the dying lion of Lucerne, a memorial to Swiss mercaneries fighting in France.

  • 10. Glacier Garden

    Next door you will find the a sea of glaciers dating back to the last ice age.

  • 11. Hofkirche St. Leodegar

    A parish church dating back to the 16th century with some of the most beautiful artwork in Switzerland.

  • 12. Tibits

    Ever wanted to try vegetarian? Tibits is one of Switzerland's most famous chains with incredible options but not cheap, roughly $20 US dollars per plate.

  • 13. Rathaus Brewery

    Crisp refreshing Lucerne beer with the oldest beer pipeline in the world.

  • 14. Vitznau-Rigi Kulm Railway

    Take the ferry to Vitznau for the most charming cogwheel train ride to the peak of Rigi. Also, this is the oldest mountain railway in Europe.

  • 15. Mount Rigi

    Asstonishing 360 views at the almost 3000 meter high peak, glaze over 125 Alpine peaks and 13 leaks. A must-visit in Lucerne.

  • 16. Coffee Schnapps

    Do as the locals and enjoy a coffee with alcoholic schnapps for a little boast which you need for the sledding activity.

  • 17. Rigi Sledding

    Jump on a 20 minute sled ride down Mount Rigi back to Lucerne. One of the most fun activities in Lucerne.

  • 18. Swiss Transport Museum

    Most underrated attraction in Lucerne, covering transport by road, rail, water, air and space with the biggest space exitbit in Europe, with over 3000 items.

  • 19. Pfistern Cheese Fondue

    Most authentic cheese fondue experience in Lucerne. Bread, potatoes and cheese enriched with whine wine in a restaurant dating back to 1578. $33 US dollars per person.

  • 20. Wilden Mann Restaurant

    A restaurant with 500 years of history, order the Geschnetzeltes veal meat special and the Chuglipastete. Average dish will cost $33 US dollars but finger licking good!

  • 21. des Balances Restaurant

    Fine dining at its finest situated along the river Reuss with excellent views from the patio. Try their tartar and pizza.

  • 22. Mill Feuille Restaurant

    A great cozy place to enjoy a couple of beers after dinner. They offer incredible desserts and cocktails with Swiss schnapps.

  • 23. Schugufascht

    Either attend the famous Lucerne carnival in February or head to Emmenbrucke for the pre-party called Schugufascht for great live music, food, locals and a unique selection of drinks.

  • 24. Grand Casino Lucerne

    Gamble the night away at this exclusive casino, do not forget to bring your ID. Reminds me of a James Bond scene.

  • 25. Black Sheep Nightclub

    Great underground nightclub with a large dance floor, young crowd, 2 big bars and solid Top 40 music. Beers @ $8 USD, cocktails @ $14

  • 26. Roadhouse Bar

    Multi-story party complex with 6 floors, each with a bar and dance floor and a variety of music. Beers @ $8 USD, cocktails $16 USD.

  • 27. Penthouse Nightclub

    Best nightclub in Lucerne on top of a roof overlooking the Lucerne skyline. Beers @ $8, cocktails @ $16 USD.

  • 28. Hänggi Bakery

    Grab a delicious pizza slice at Hanggi for a good after party snack.

  • 29. Hotel Anker

    Boutique hotel in the new part of Lucerne, including epic breakfast buffet and large rooms. If you have the budget, consider the top floor chapel room for an unforgettable stay.

  • 30. Swiss Travel Pass

    Save yourself a ton of money on public transport in Switzerland with the Swiss Travel Pass, starting at 280 CHF, $280 USD. Click the link above for a discount!

Wilden Mann menu in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerlanddinner at Wilden Mann Restaurant in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerlanddinner at Wilden Mann Restaurant in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandLion Monument of Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland

Start off your Lucerne adventure in the heart of the city on the banks of river Reuss which splits the city in two parts, the old and the new part connected by the famous bridges Chapel Bridge and Mill Bridge (Spreuerbrucke) with the iconic Jesuit church, founded in 1666.

Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandSwiss Transport Museum in Lucerne

Most tourists stick to the oldtown and primarily use Lucerne as a transfer hub to the Alps, but when you dig a bit deeper, you'll find gems like the Swiss Transport Museum, which houses the biggest Space museum in Europe complete with Mars rovers and a gravity transformer. My favorite exhibit was the massive pile of Swiss road sighs on their courtyard.

Jesuit Church in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandJesuit Church of Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandCheese Fondue at Pfistern Restaurant in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandCheese Fondue at Pfistern Restaurant in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandMount Rigi in Switzerland in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandSledding on Mount Rigi in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandMount Rigi in Switzerland in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerlandoutdoor spa at Mount Rigi in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland

According to the locals, a day trip to Mount Rigi is actually more rewarding than Mount Pilatus for its wide-stretched 360 views of Central Switzerland. At the peak you have a clear view of 125 Alpine peaks and 13 lakes. Get there by ferry and the classic Vitznau cogwheel train, the oldest mountain railway in Europe.

Mount Rigi in Switzerland in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandMount Rigi in Switzerland

At the top of Mount Rigi you can grab a delicious Swiss lunch and a schnapps, calories you'll need for the best activity on Rigi; Sledding down the mountain, the most fun way to go back to Lucerne. Rent a sled for just 20 Swiss francs, $20 US dollars. The course is a dedicated track with excellent views.

ferry to Vitznau to Mount Rigi in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandMount Rigi in Switzerland in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerlandlunch on Mount Rigi in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandMount Rigi in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandSwiss Transport Museum in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandSwiss Transport Museum in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandRestaurant Fritschi in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerlanddes Balances Restaurant in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland

Do not underestimate Lucerne, it has an incredible nightlife scene considered second to Zurich, which is Switzerland best. Great places for a drink include the Black Sheep, Roadhouse bar and Penthouse for its large dancefloor and great views of the Lucerne skyline. If you rather prefer something high-class and low-key visit the Grand Casino of Lucerne for a few bets. The casino even has a giant nightclub right next to it.

Penthouse Nightclub in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandPenthouse Nightclub in Lucerne

In conclusion, Lucerne is a very cozy town with a ton of fun attractions to easily keep you occupied for a couple of days. If you come during winter, consider adding Mount Titlis to your bucket list if you want some proper skiing or snowboarding. Located in Engelberg, less than an hour train ride from Lucerne. Go watch my complete travel guide on Engelberg.

Lucerne Carnival in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandPenthouse Nightclub in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandLucerne Carnival in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandLucerne Carnival in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandAu Cachet Chocolates in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandGlacier Garden in Lucerne in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandHotel Anker in Lucerne, Lucerne, SwitzerlandHugo eating at tibits in Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland

Also, do not forget to purchase the Swiss Travel Railway Pass which will save you a ton of money on transportation for boats, buses, trains, cable cars and 480 museums. Worth every penny! 

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