Best day trips from Lucerne

Best Day Trips From Lucerne

FUN DAY TOURS FROM LUCERNE

So, you are staying in Lucerne and are planning some fun getaways and are wondering about the best day trips from Lucerne? Then this post is for you as I am sharing my travel tips about the best day trips from Luzern (as it is written in Swiss-German)..

Lucerne is one of the prettiest places in Switzerland and it also makes a good base if you stay in Switzerland for a few days and want to explore the nearby towns and villages.

Here are the best day trips from Lucerne, Switzerland. Where to go near Lucerne
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Located about an hour south of Zurich by car, and right next to gorgeous Lake Lucerne, the city of Lucerne is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Switzerland.

While not everyone has heard of it because of its small size, don’t be surprised when you visit if it is packed with tourists.

Even if you are visiting many of these places from Lucerne, the fastest train connection is often via Bern – but those trains are honestly pretty boring. If you are not in a rush and have the time, try to avoid them and take the slower trains that offer better scenery to watch. You can relax and enjoy the ride and the view.

If you road trip Switzerland you don’t need to have one base – but when you train travel, Lucerne can be an amazing base and from there you can do day trips by train or car.

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So here are the best day trips from Lucerne….and if you are looking for general Switzerland travel tips click here.

Day Trip to Interlaken From Lucerne

From Lucerne, you can easily visit Interlaken, which is located between these two cities and just south of them. Interlaken is the most popular place to visit in Switzerland. While the town is not rich in attractions, it is the location that makes it so breathtaking and a great day trip from Lucerne.

Best things to see at Lake Thun, boat tour Lake Thun
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Interlaken is situated in a slim stretch of valley between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.

It is surrounded by mountains, dense forests, glaciers, and meadows, making it a natural beauty. Though there are much better town centers than this one, you have plenty of things to do to keep you busy. There is Harderkulm, which is a mountain that offers some amazing views if you hike up (takes about 2-3 hours).

You can take a boat trip on one of the lakes and enjoy views from the water. 

You can also go paragliding. Interlaken is very popular for outdoor sports, and it is not uncommon to see lots of paragliders in the town center – it is just the thing to do. And don’t forget to see the breathtaking mountain ranges of the Swiss Alps, like Jungfrau. Find out more about things to do in Interlaken.

However, if you want to do a guided tour – and see Interlaken and Grindelwald from Lucerne – check out this tour.

Day Trip to Engelberg and Mount Titlis From Lucerne

From Lucerne, it is easy to reach the lovely town of Engelberg and see Mount Titlis. It takes about 50 minutes if you drive and a train ride will take about an hour. 

Ice Cave at Mount Titlis in Switzerland
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Mount Titlis is one of the most famous mountains in Switzerland. It also boasts the world’s first cable car. It is very popular for winter sports, like skiing and snowboarding. In the summer, hiking is the thing to do. You should also see the Titlis Cliff Walk, a suspension bridge that is 500 meters above the ground.

If you take the Ice Flyer chair lift up, you will see some breathtaking views. It will take you up to the slopes in winter or over glaciers in summer.

Another great sight for your day trip is Trübsee, a glacial lake that would be a great spot for a picnic. For more adventure and excitement, you can visit Titlis Adventure Park or the zipline. Or you could spend a few hours mountain biking.

You should definitely make it a point to visit Engelberg and Mount Titlis because there is so much to do and it’s so easy to get to. Check out ticket prices and more here.

Day Trip to Zurich From Lucerne

One of the easiest – and yet best – day trips from Lucerne is to go to Zurich. Located in the northeast part of Switzerland, Zurich is one of the country’s main cities. It is also one of my personal favorites.

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I love Zurich because of its proximity to Lake Zurich. This is one of the best places to visit, especially in the spring, summer, and early fall. The water is clean and clear, and it’s perfect for taking a swim.

Or, if you prefer staying dry, take a boat tour up to the other side, to Rapperswil. It’s very beautiful along the lake, with cafes that are great for when you want to take a break and relax. There is often live musical performances on the warm, summer days.

If you are on a budget, the best thing you can do is sit at the lake, have a drink, listen to some music, and enjoy the weather.

Bahnhof Street, the most expensive shopping street in the world, is another place to visit while in Zurich for a day trip. And you can see the house mountain of the city of Zurich – Uetliberg Mountain – which can be reached within just a few minutes. 

I have a more detailed post on Zurich for you here.

Day Trip to Montreux From Lucerne

Another really beautiful town to visit on a day trip from Lucerne is Montreux at Lake Geneva. It is easy to get to from these Luzern and is one of the cutest little towns in Switzerland, if not Europe. 

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Colorful Montreux- it is all about flowers, the promenade and Lake Geneva
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The town itself does not have that much to do or see, but it is located by Lake Geneva and boasts a promenade that is bursting with colorful flowers. Montreux is famous for its jazz festival though, so you will see a lot of musically-themed décor around town, such as music notes and sculptures along the promenade. 

You might also notice the Freddie Mercury statue – the late lead singer of the rock band Queen. There is an exhibition that you can see at the band’s recording studio. You might also want to visit the famous Chateau de Chillon, which is a medieval fortress right on the banks of Lake Geneva. Inside, you will find a chapel with 14th-century murals.

While not the biggest town in Switzerland, it is perfect for a day trip. Montreux is just the right size to discover in one day (though two days would not harm either). Here is my Montreux guide.

Day Trip to Mount Pilatus From Lucerne

Mount Pilatus is located very close to Lucerne, so this would make an easy day trip, if that is where you are staying.

Mount Pilatus with the Swiss Travel Pass
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Switzerland what to visit
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Mount Pilatus is one of the best mountain peaks in Switzerland, and even better, it is one you can visit without a hike. There are a number of peaks you can see, but the highest is Tomlishorn. Since the mountain overlooks Lucerne, you get incredible views of both the town and Lake Lucerne.

To get up the mountain, take the cable car or ride up on the cogwheel train, which is an experience in itself. 

Once you ascend Mount Pilatus, there is lots to do. If you are visiting in the winter, enjoy some of the many winter activities, like skiing and snowboarding. If you are arriving in the warmer months, then you can look into paragliding and hiking. 

Mount Pilatus not only offers gorgeous views of this central part of Switzerland, but there is also lots of things to do and enjoy. If you love the outdoors, this is a day trip you won’t want to miss. Find out more about prices for day tours.

Day Tour to Lauterbrunnen From Lucerne

This mountain village in the Swiss Alps is another great day tour from Luzern. It is actually one of the most famous places around for lovers of the outdoors.

Green fields and famous touristic town with high waterfall in background,Lauterbrunnen,Bernese Oberland,Switzerland,Europe
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And I don’t mean just the run-of-the-mill outdoorsy people – I mean the adrenaline junkies who do crazy things, like paragliding and base jumping. If those are your sports, then Lauterbrunnen is the place for you.

But if you are not into that kinds of things – I am surely not into base jumping – you can visit the Schilthorn summit, which was featured in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. This summit overlooks the valley of Lauterbrunnen, and you can take the cable car that goes from the village of Stechelberg to Schilthorn Mountain for views over the Bernese Alps.

Waterfalls are something Lauterbrunnen also has – as in, 72 of them. The most famous of these waterfalls is Staubbach Falls, which you can watch descend over the cliffs of Lauterbrunnen Valley. Trummelbach Falls is also a treat, as it is located underground.

You have to pay entry, but it’s very special and worth a visit. This area is also great for hiking.

And don’t miss the train ride that takes you to the alpine summit of Jungfrau, which brings me to the next day trip from Lucerne…

Day Trip to Jungfraujoch From Lucerne

Probably one of the most popular day tour from Lucerne is to Jungfraujoch, which can be reached from either Interlaken or Grindelwald. People love it here because it is the highest train station in Europe. The summit of Jungfrau is over 4,100 meters above sea level – so you can imagine the views!

View of the Sphinx Observatory on Jungfraujoch, one of the highest observatories in the world located at the Jungfrau railway station, Bernese Overland, Switzerland. @shutterstock
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Getting to Jungfraujoch is time-consuming, but an experience in itself. You can take the train or the funicular, depending on where you are coming from. But once you are up there, you will see what all the fuss is about. 

There is an actual ice palace, which is definitely worth seeing. Also, with that elevation, you will be rewarded with an incredible panorama of scenery that will likely take your breath away. 

If you enjoy winter sports, then you’re in luck because there is always snow in Jungfraujoch. Even in the summer, you can enjoy your favorite winter activities. In fact, there is a Snow Fun Park that you can visit in the summer, since the snow is guaranteed.  

If you are on the summit of Jungfrau, you are more or less at the top of Europe – this is why it is so popular. Visiting Jungfraujoch as a day trip is definitely doable from Lucerne. Because of the altitude you might feel a bit dizzy though – so make sure you drink enough water!

Check out my Jungfraujoch guide.

Day Trip to Bern From Lucerne

Bern makes one of the best day trips from Lucerne. This city is the capital of Switzerland, but it is different from any other capital I have seen, and worth exploring.

Best day trips from Lucerne
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Bern is a great day trip from Lucerne
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Built in the 12th century, you’ll notice that the Old Town of Bern has a lot of medieval architecture that dates back to its origins. It has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take some time to stroll through this historic area before heading onto the next attraction.

Bern is right off of the Aare River, so you can stroll along the banks, taking in the views. You can also stop at the Rose Garden, which is a beautiful park that looks out over the river and old town, offering stunning views, especially on clear days.

To get a little closer to nature, check out the Bear Pit. This is a designated area across from the river where a bear family lives and you can observe them from afar. The bear is the symbol of the city, by the way, hence the bear park.

For some political and historical sights, check out the 15th-century cathedral and the Parliament building, as well as the 13th-century French church and the medieval tower known as the Zytglogge from the same time period.

Check out my Bern guide here.

Mount Rigi Day Trip From Lucerne

Lucerne is surrounded by incredible nature – and Mount Rigi is another beautiful mountain to visit.

Getting up Mount Rigi - a must-do activity in Lucerne
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Getting there from Lucerne is very easy. Get on a boat or bus and get to Vitznau – from there take the cogwheel train or hike up Mount Rigi. The views are absolutely gorgeous. Whether you visit in summer or winter – this a must-see in Lucerne.

I haven’t been to the Spa yet – but it looks amazing in pictures. So, if you want to combine a lovely mountain excursion you could combine it with some wellness (check out opening hours). Especially the sunset from here is absolutely breathtaking (on a clear day) and one of the very best day trips from Lucerne.

Switzerland in winter, best sunset Mount Rigi
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So if you get here, come later the day so you can watch the sunset and since it is easier to get to Mount Rigi than to Mount Pilatus you don’t need a full day if you take the cogwheel train. Good news: if you have a Swiss Travel Pass you can boats, buses and even the cogwheel train for free. If not, check out prices here (including entrance to the spa) or check out a classic Rigi Round Trips from Lucerne here.

Travel Tips for Lucerne

Beautiful Lucerne! Though there are many fun day trips from Lucerne to take, also take your time time to look around and explore Lucerne itself. With one day in Lucerne, you can see all the lovely landmarks of this medieval village that sits between mountains, overlooking Lake Lucerne.

There are quite a lot of attractions to see, such as the Chapel Bridge, which is an iconic covered bridge from the 14th century that winds its way from the Old Town to the right bank of Reuss River. It is also covered in murals.

The Old Town is another place you should see, as well as the wall from the 14th century that borders it. If you like nature, stroll along beautiful Lake Lucerne – one of the prettiest lakes in all of Switzerland. Take a boat tour, where you can relax and take in some great sights from the water.

See a beautiful sunset from Vitznau, and from there, take the funicular to Mount Rigi. Enjoy the ride up and you will see one of the best sunset views.

There are a lot of great towns around Lucerne, but don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of the town itself. It has a lot to offer. Here are more travel tips for Lucerne.

And if you stay in Lucerne, check out these accommodations for your Lucerne trip:

Luxury Hotels in Lucerne

Schweizerhof Luzern is probably the fanciest one I stayed at in Switzerland. It is not extremely modern but it is a charming and fun 5* hotel located at the shores of Lake Lucerne and a few hundred meters from the old town and main tourist attractions and most important: It is close to the train station – you just walk a few minutes and can then catch a train.

Mid-Range Hotels in Lucerne

Lucerne is expensive and even 3 or 4-star hotels cost quite a bit.

Hotel des Alps is a lovely 3-star hotel in the city center. However, it is not only about the views. The restaurant downstairs offers breakfast (with a view) and from there you are ready to explore the city within minutes. Plus, the train station is within walking distance which makes day trips very convenient.

So, personally, I think, there is no better 3-star hotel with a better location in Lucerne than this hotel. Click here to find the best rates for your stay at Hotel des Alpes.

Budget Hotels in Lucerne

The Bed & Breakfast -Neustadt offers single and double rooms (with an occupancy of 4 people maximum). Some rooms have a shared bathroom, and some have a private one. Click here to find the best rates for your stay at B&B

Bellpark Hostel: This hostel is located close to Kriens, not too far from the old town of Lucerne and perfect if you plan a trip to the fabulous Mount Pilatus cable car station.  Click here to find the best rates for your stay at Bellpark

If you are still not sure where to stay in Lucerne you can check out my full accommodation guide on the best places to stay in Lucerne here.

Hopefully, this post has inspired you to visit beautiful places just near Lucerne and you have found out more about fun day trips from Lucerne. While the city is beautiful, the above-mentioned Lucerne day tours will help you discover more of Switzerland’s beauty!

Safe Travels, Arzo
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