12 Best Lucerne Day Trips in 2023 – Switzerland

TOP DAY TOURS FROM LUCERNE

Are you staying in Lucerne and wondering about the best Lucerne day trips? Then this post is for you as I share my travel tips about the best day trips from Lucerne!

Lucerne (or Luzern in German) is one of the prettiest places in Switzerland, but it also makes a good base if you stay in Switzerland for a few days to explore the nearby towns and villages. So, after exploring Lucerne itself make sure to go on a few day trips and explore the exceptionally stunning places around Lucerne.

Here are the best day trips from Lucerne, Switzerland. Where to go near Lucerne
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GENERAL TIPS FOR LUCERNE DAY TRIPS

The city of Lucerne is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Switzerland. If you road trip Switzerland you don’t need to have one base – but when you train travel, Lucerne can be a fantastic base, and from there you can do day trips by train or car.

➡️ You will find Lucerne, about an hour south of Zurich by car/train, right next to gorgeous Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee).

➡️ Lucerne has a train station and you can get to many of the places mentioned here by train. 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.

➡️ TIP: A Swiss Travel Pass might be perfect for you especially if you travel by train. The initial price is quite high, but you can use buses and trains without any costs, can do unlimited boat cruises on Lake Lucerne, enjoy a 50% discount on Mount Pilatus and Mount Titlis, and get free entry to many museums in Lucerne. And you get to use the cogwheel train up to Mount Rigi for free with the Swiss Travel Pass in 2023.

Check out the Swiss Travel Pass here and see, if it’s worth it for you.

Old town in Lucerne in winter
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WHERE TO STAY FOR LUCERNE DAY TRIPS

Lucerne has a very high density of great hotels. Unfortunately, accommodation is not cheap in Lucerne. Budget hotels also cost quite a fortune (at least during the high season which means from July to early September and in December). I have stayed in several hotels in Lucerne, and here are some tips.

➡️ Luxury Hotels in Lucerne: Schweizerhof Luzern is a lovely luxury hotel in Lucerne. It is a beautiful and fun 5* hotel located at Lake Lucerne’s shores and a few hundred meters from the old town and main tourist attractions. Check out rates for Schweizerhof here.

➡️ Mid-Range Hotels in Lucerne: Hotel des Alpes is a nice 3-star hotel in the city center (and it comes with great views) – from there, you are ready to explore the city within minutes. 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.

If you are still unsure where to stay in Lucerne, you can check out my full accommodation guide on the best places to stay in Lucerne here.

BEST DAY TRIPS FROM LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND

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

Lucerne Day Trip to Interlaken

From Lucerne, you can easily visit Interlaken, which is one of the most popular places to visit in Switzerland. While the town of Interlaken 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 the valley between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. It is surrounded by the Swiss Alps, dense forests, and meadows – making it a natural beauty. There is so much to do in Interlaken, so you have to decide what you want to see.

I suggest getting up Harder Kulm Mountain in the summer months – you have some fantastic views of both lakes and the Alps from up there. You can either hike up or take the funicular to the top.

After that, do a boat cruise on one of the lakes (the picture above is from Lake Thun) and enjoy the views from the water. 

If you want to be more active and enjoy some more adventurous things, you can also go paragliding as 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.  Find out more about things to do in Interlaken.

HOW TO GET TO INTERLAKEN FROM LUCERNE:

Getting to Interlaken from Lucerne is relatively easy:

🚆 One of the most popular ways to travel between the two cities is by train. If you take the train to Interlaken, make sure to take the Luzern-Interlaken Express. The train ride is about two hours but an experience in itself – it is one of the most scenic train rides you can take – passing some of the prettiest lakes along the ride makes it worth it!

🚘 The journey by car takes around one and a half hours, depending on traffic conditions. 

You can also take a guided tour from Lucerne to Interlaken, which will often include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and some sightseeing opportunities along the way.

Lucerne Day Trip to Engelberg and Mount Titlis 

Mount Titlis is one of the most famous mountains in Switzerland. It also boasts the world’s first revolving cable car. It is one of the most popular day trips from Lucerne.

From Lucerne, it is easy to reach the lovely town of Engelberg and get on top of Mount Titlis.

Ice Cave at Mount Titlis in Switzerland
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Mount Titlis 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, you will have 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 an excellent 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.

HOW TO GET TO MOUNT TITLIS FROM LUCERNE:

Getting to Mount Titlis from Lucerne is relatively easy.

🚆 Take a train from Lucerne to Engelberg. Trains run regularly throughout the day, and the journey takes around 45 minutes. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Engelberg by car.

🚡 From Engelberg, take the Titlis Xpress cable car to Stand. This is the first leg of the journey and takes around 15 minutes.

🚡 From Stand, take the Titlis Rotair, which is the world’s first revolving cable car, to the summit of Mount Titlis. This second leg of the journey takes around five minutes, and the cable car revolves 360 degrees during the ascent, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Check out ticket prices here.

Day Tour to Lausanne from Lucerne

Lausanne, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, is a beautiful city and an excellent day trip option from Lucerne. With its stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, charming historic districts, and vibrant cultural scene, Lausanne offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication. 

Town Hall in Lausanne a must see in 1 day
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Lausanne Olympic Museum
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Lausanne Olympic Museum

There are plenty of things to see and do in Lausanne, making it a perfect day trip destination from Lucerne. Here are some of the top attractions and activities to enjoy during a one-day tour of Lausanne:

Lausanne’s historic district, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit. The charming streets are lined with medieval buildings and offer a glimpse into Lausanne’s rich history and culture.

Sports enthusiasts will love the Olympic Museum, which showcases the history of the Olympic Games and the achievements of athletes from around the world. With interactive exhibits, multimedia displays, and over 10,000 artifacts, the museum is a fascinating place to visit.

The Lausanne Cathedral is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, and its Gothic architecture is impressive. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for stunning views of the city and the surrounding Alps.

The promenade along Lake Geneva offers some of the most stunning views in Lausanne. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the lake, take a boat ride, or even go for a swim in crystal-clear waters.

The Lausanne Historical Museum offers a fascinating look at the city’s past, from its medieval origins to the present day. With exhibits on everything from art and music to industry and technology, the museum has something for everyone.

Lausanne is a beautiful and vibrant city, and there are plenty of things to see and do during a one-day tour from Lucerne.

HOW TO GET TO LAUSANNE FROM LUCERNE

🚆 Take a train from Lucerne to Lausanne. Trains run frequently throughout the day, and the journey takes around 2 hours.

🚘 Driving from Lucerne to Lausanne takes around 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. 

Day Trip to Zurich From Lucerne

One of the easiest day trips from Lucerne is to Zurich. Located in the northeast part of Switzerland, Zurich is one of the country’s main cities. 

Switzerland best areas to stay
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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 lovely along the lake, with cafes great for when you want to take a break and relax. There are often live musical performances on 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.

Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world, is another place to visit. And you can see the house mountain of the city of Zurich – Uetliberg Mountain – which can be reached within just a few minutes from the city center.

HOW TO GET TO ZURICH FROM LUCERNE:

Getting to Zurich from Lucerne is easy and there are several transportation options available.

🚆 The quickest and most convenient way to get to Zurich from Lucerne is by train. There are direct trains running frequently throughout the day, and the journey takes around 45-60 minutes, depending on the type of train. 

🚘 If you prefer to drive, the journey from Lucerne to Zurich takes around 50 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. 

You can also take a guided tour from Lucerne to Zurich, which will often include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and some sightseeing opportunities along the way.

CHECK OUT:  1 DAY IN ZURICH ITINERARY

Day Trip to Montreux From Lucerne

Another charming town to visit on a day trip from Lucerne is Montreux at Lake Geneva.

switzerland tourist attractions
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Montreux Switzerland, accommodations at the lake
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The town itself does not have that much to do or see but is located by Lake Geneva and boasts a promenade bursting with colorful flowers. Montreux is famous for its jazz festival, though, so you will see many musically-themed décors 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, a medieval fortress right on Lake Geneva banks. 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.

HOW TO GET TO MONTREUX FROM LUCERNE:

Getting to Montreux from Lucerne is possible by following these steps:

🚆 Take a train from Lucerne to Lausanne. Trains run frequently throughout the day, and the journey takes around 2 hours.  From Lausanne, take a train to Montreux. The journey takes around 20-30 minutes.

🚘 Another option is to drive, which takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

Lucerne Day Trip to Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus is a mountain very close to Lucerne, so this makes another easy day trip. Mount Pilatus is one of the best mountain peaks in Switzerland – you do not even have to hike to enjoy some incredible views.

Mount Pilatus with the Swiss Travel Pass
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Switzerland what to visit
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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 offers gorgeous views of this central part of Switzerland – if you love the outdoors, this is a day trip you won’t want to miss.

  • Prices depend on how you get to Mount Pilatus. Choosing to arrive at the station by boat costs more.  In case you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you don’t have to pay for the boat tour (on Lake Lucerne) and get a discount on the cogwheel/cable car.
  • Find out more about prices for day tours.

HOW TO GET TO MOUNT PILATUS FROM LUCERNE:

Getting to Mount Pilatus from Lucerne is easy.

🚆 Take a train or bus from Lucerne to Alpnachstad. Trains and buses run regularly throughout the day, and the journey takes around 20-30 minutes.

🚡 From Alpnachstad, take the cogwheel train to the summit of Mount Pilatus. The cogwheel train is a unique and scenic way to reach the summit, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. The journey takes around 30-40 minutes.

🚡 Alternatively, you can take the cable car from Kriens to Fräkmüntegg and then continue the journey to the summit via the aerial cableway. 

I recommend getting up with the cogwheel and using the cable car to get down- or the other way around.

You can also take a guided tour from Lucerne to Mount Pilatus, which will often include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and some sightseeing opportunities along the way.

Lucerne Day Trip to Bern

Bern, the charming capital of Switzerland, is a fantastic day trip option from Lucerne, offering visitors a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture. Known for its medieval architecture, picturesque streets, and world-class museums, Bern is easily accessible from Lucerne and can be explored in a day.

Bern in spring where to go in Switzerland
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Bern old town seen from Rose Garden

In just one day in Bern, you can explore the city’s rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and beautiful scenery.

One of the must-see sights in Bern is the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back to the 15th century. The charming cobblestone streets, medieval fountains, and historic buildings are sure to transport you back in time. Be sure to stop by the Clock Tower, a landmark that has been keeping time for the city since the 13th century.

If you’re interested in art and history, make a stop at the Bern Museum of Fine Arts or the Einstein Museum, which is dedicated to the famous physicist who lived in Bern for several years.

For nature lovers, a walk along the Aare River or a visit to the Rosengarten, a beautiful rose garden with panoramic views of the city, are highly recommended.

Overall, Bern is a fantastic day trip option from Lucerne, offering visitors a perfect blend of culture, history, and natural beauty!

HOW TO GET TO BERN FROM LUCERNE:

Getting to Bern from Lucerne is straightforward and convenient:

🚆 One of the easiest and fastest ways to travel between the two cities is by train. Trains run regularly throughout the day, with the journey taking just over an hour. 

🚘 The journey by car from Lucerne to Bern takes around an hour, depending on traffic conditions. 

There are also guided tours from Lucerne to Bern, which will often include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and some sightseeing opportunities along the way.

Lucerne Day Tour to Lauterbrunnen & Schilthorn

This mountain village in the Swiss Alps is another excellent 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. 

Waterfalls are also pretty common in Lauterbrunnen – there are 72 of them. The most famous of these waterfalls is Staubbach Falls, which you can watch descend over Lauterbrunnen Valley’s cliffs. Trummelbach Falls is also a treat, as it is located underground. You have to pay for entry, but it’s extraordinary and worth a visit.

This area is also great for hiking – as you can see, outdoor lovers will just adore this tiny village. Check out my Lauterbrunnen post for more information.

But if you are not into that kind of things – I am surely not into base jumping – you can visit the Schilthorn summit, featured in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

You can take the cable car that goes from the village of Stechelberg to Schilthorn Mountain for views over the Bernese Alps. Here is my detailed guide for a trip to Schilthorn Mountain.

HOW TO GET TO LAUTERBRUNNEN FROM LUCERNE

Getting to Lauterbrunnen from Lucerne is time-consuming. But it is worth it.

🚆 Take a train from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost, the journey takes around 2 hours.  From Interlaken Ost, take a train to Lauterbrunnen. The journey takes an additional 20 minutes.

You can also take a guided tour from Lucerne to Lauterbrunnen, which will often include transportation and a knowledgeable guide.

Day Trip to Jungfraujoch From Lucerne

One of Lucerne’s most popular day tours is to Jungfraujoch. People love it here because it is the highest train station in Europe at 3,500 meters above sea level – so you can imagine the views!

View from Eismeer Station on the way to Jungfraujoch
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Getting to Jungfraujoch is time-consuming but an experience in itself. You can take the train or the Eiger Express (a gondola), 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 worth seeing. Also, with that elevation, you will be rewarded with an incredible panorama of scenery, including the Aletsch Glacier – which 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, since the snow is guaranteed.  

HOW TO GET TO JUNGFRAUJOCH FROM LUCERNE

Getting from Lucerne to Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe, is a breathtaking experience and can be done by following these steps:

🚆 Take a train from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost. Trains run frequently throughout the day, and the journey takes around 2 hours.

🚆 From Interlaken Ost, take a train to Kleine Scheidegg. The journey takes around 50 minutes and offers stunning views of the Swiss Alps along the way. This is all part of the amazing experience.

🚆 From Kleine Scheidegg, take the Jungfrau Railway to the summit of Jungfraujoch. The railway is a unique and scenic way to reach the summit, with stunning views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains. The journey takes around 45 minutes, and tickets can be purchased at the station or online.

🚡 Alternatively, you can also get to Interlaken Ost and then to Grindelwald Terminal Station, and from there take the Eiger Express which saves you time to get up to Jungfraujoch and then enjoy the rest of the day at Jungfraujoch. 

You can take a guided tour from Lucerne to Jungfraujoch, which will often include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and some sightseeing opportunities along the way.

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.

If you want to combine a lovely mountain excursion, you could combine it with some wellness (there is a spa at the top of Mount Rigi). The sunset here is breathtaking (on a clear day) – this alone is worth visiting Mount Rigi on a day trip from Lucerne.

Switzerland in winter, best sunset Mount Rigi
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So if you get here, come later in 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.

HOW TO GET TO MOUNT RIGI FROM LUCERNE:

Getting to Mount Rigi from Lucerne is relatively easy:

🛥️ Get from Lucerne to Vitznau by boat or train/bus. The journey takes around 1 hour, and trains run frequently throughout the day. 

🚡 From Vitznau, take a cogwheel train to the summit of Mount Rigi. The cogwheel train is a unique and scenic way to reach the summit, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. The journey takes around 40-50 minutes.

Brienz and Lake Brienz Day Trip From Lucerne

Brienz and Lake Brienz make for an excellent day trip option from Lucerne, offering visitors a chance to explore the stunning natural beauty and quaint charm of the Bernese Oberland.

With its crystal-clear waters, picturesque villages, and towering mountains, Lake Brienz is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and nature lovers alike.

Most beautiful street in Europe, Brunnengasse in Brienz
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The charming village of Brienz is known for its traditional woodcarving, and you can explore the Woodcarving Museum or even take a woodcarving workshop. 

Take a stroll along the lake promenade and enjoy the stunning views of Lake Brienz and the surrounding mountains.

One of the highlights of a day trip to Brienz is taking a boat cruise on Lake Brienz. Take a leisurely boat ride on the turquoise waters of the lake, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and charming villages.

Best things to do around Lake Brienz, Interlaken Giessbach Waterfalls
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Lake Brienz in the summer

The boat cruise includes stops at several picturesque spots, including the Giessbach Waterfalls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Switzerland. Explore the historic Grand Hotel Giessbach and take a walk along the waterfall trail, which offers stunning views of the cascading falls.

Other stops on the boat cruise include the village of Iseltwald and the tranquil bay of Faulensee. The boat cruise on Lake Brienz is a perfect way to explore the natural beauty and picturesque charm of the Bernese Oberland.

HOW TO GET TO BRIENZ FROM LUCERNE

Getting to Brienz from Lucerne is easy.

🚆 Take a train from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost but get out in Brienz. Trains run frequently throughout the day, and the journey takes around 90 minutes.

Travel Tips for Lucerne

Beautiful Lucerne! Though there are many fun days trips from Lucerne to take, also take your 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 many attractions to see, such as the Chapel Bridge, an iconic covered bridge from the 14th century that winds its way from the Old Town to the Reuss River’s right bank. It is also covered in murals.

Lucerne with the Chapel Bridge, Jesuit Church and Mount Pilatus
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The Old Town is another place you should see and the wall from the 14th-century 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 incredible 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 many great towns around Lucerne, but don’t forget to enjoy the town’s beauty itself. It has a lot to offer. Here are more travel tips for Lucerne.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST LUCERNE DAY TRIPS

Lucerne is an ideal base from which to explore the central region of Switzerland and its neighboring areas. The city offers a range of attractions and activities that cater to all kinds of travelers. From the stunningly beautiful Chapel Bridge to the Swiss Transport Museum, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Lucerne.

However, what really sets Lucerne apart is its convenient location, with easy access to some of the best day trips in Switzerland. Take a leisurely boat ride on Lake Lucerne to explore the scenic beauty of Mount Rigi, or take a cogwheel train up to Mount Pilatus for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

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 gorgeous, the above-mentioned Lucerne day tours will help you discover more of Switzerland’s beauty!

Safe Travels, Arzo
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