Are you planning your Lucerne itinerary for 1, 2, 3, or 4 days and are wondering about the best things to do? Then this post is for you. Today I am sharing my top tips for the top activities and more for this pretty city.

You can use this post also as an itinerary, as I share tips on how I would spend 1 day in Lucerne, 2 days, 3 days, or 4 days in Lucerne. But it also is about general recommendations for your Lucerne trip. 

Lucerne is one of the best destinations in Switzerland – and this is for a reason! Or better, this is for many reasons. Lucerne is GORGEOUS, and surely one of the best Swiss cities to visit.

And here is how to spend your time in Lucerne – the beautiful medieval city in Central Switzerland. So, let´s dive into your Lucerne itinerary.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Reuss River and Jesuit CHurch and Chapel Bridge one of the best places to visit in Lucerne

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.


To keep it short: Yes, Lucerne is worth visiting. Lucerne is amazing. Lucerne is one of a kind – I cannot think of any other city nestled in such stunning scenery. The alpine panorama with the river and Lake Lucerne, the old town with its stunning buildings…There are many reasons to visit Lucerne.


At the end of the post, you´ll also find many travel tips (like how to get around, etc.), but let´s start with the top Lucerne attractions first.


Day 1 will be all about the old town and the city center. You will mostly walk as this is the best way to get around for this day – so, make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Kapellbrücke – Chapel Bridge

After checking in at your hotel in Lucerne, it is time to visit the Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) which is just near the main train station.

The Chapel Bridge is THE most famous tourist sight in Lucerne. So, even if you have only one day in Lucerne, my tip is: visit the bridge. 

Feel the history of Lucerne on a stroll over Chapel Bridge! Admire beautiful views along the banks of River Reuss, and get lost in awe while passing Water Tower – all without breaking your travel budget.

lucerne things to do - visit the Chapen Brigde
This wooden bridge, originally constructed in the 14th century burnt mostly down in 1993. It was rebuilt again and today, it is – again – a magnet for tourists. With a convenient location, just a stone‘s throw from the train station, it is also easy to reach.

If you are on the bridge, you see the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne), and the Reuss River, and have a great view of the Alps, too. This is probably also the most romantic place in Lucerne for lovebirds. 

On this bridge are an exciting series of paintings that date back to the 17th century.

Chapel Bridge in Lucerne a top thing to do

Restaurants in Lucerne near Chapel Bridge

You have to look to the side to see the many restaurants lined up. It is an excellent place to have coffee or lunch/dinner, though this area of Lucerne is very pricey in expensive Switzerland.


  • I love the bridge in the daytime, but even more at night when the lights are on, so come back later in the day again.
  • There is no entrance fee
  • Open 24/7
  • Takes about 10-60 minutes

Jesuit Church

The Jesuit Church is located near the Chapel Bridge, so you can get there within minutes. 

Construction of this revered structure began way back in 1666 and it was officially inaugurated by royal decree a mere 11 years later. This venerable building is modeled on Rome‘s iconic Gesù church and showcases majestic baroque stuccoes as well as stunning rococo interior decorations – from its awe-inspiring high altar down to its exquisite organ & treasury. 

Jesuit Church in Lucerne in winter
I was surprised by its baroque style! I did not expect so much fanciness in Switzerland, and the outside appearance does not give any clue about its inner beauty.

Despite its stunning looks, it did not take me long to go through, so it is probably easy to squeeze into your Lucerne itinerary – do not skip it as it is also one of the best free things to do in Lucerne.


  • Open every day from 6.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. On Mondays and Thursdays, it opens at 9.30 a.m. Before you enter, check when it is closed for religious worship. Their website is in German, thus I have not linked it for you.
  • Free to visit
  • Takes about 10-60 minutes
  • Dress modestly

Spreuer Bridge

Just a few meters behind Chapel Bridge and the Jesuit church, you´ll find Chapel Bridge´s little sister: The Spreuer Bridge. It is also a wooden bridge – though not as impressive as Chapel Bridge, I still recommend taking a peek. 

While it is less busy and less popular, the views are beautiful from there, too, and due to its proximity to the Chapel Bridge, it will not take you much time to get there.

Here you will also find – on sunny days at least – many people spending their time, relaxing, putting their feet into the river, and picnicking.

Lion Monument

From the Spreuer Bridge, it is just a very short walk to the old town of Lucerne, where you have a few more interesting places to see. One of the first stops in the old town should be the second most famous sight in the city – the Lion Monument.

Dying Lion Monument- One of the tops things to do in Lucerne - Lucerne attractions
The Lion Monument commemorates Swiss soldiers who died in the 18th century during the French Revolution.

Bertel Thorvaldsen’s sculpture of a majestic lion has captivated onlookers ever since its inauguration in 1821. Standing at over life-size, the beautiful statue would inspire awe-struck visitors for centuries to come – even Mark Twain was moved by it and described it as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” 

If you prefer guided walking tours (to make sure not to miss one thing), check out the best prices for guided tours in Lucerne.


  • Located in the Old Town of Lucerne
  • Open 24/7
  • No entrance fee

Glacier Gardens

Welcome to the Glacier Garden, a wonderland that holds secrets dating back 20,000 years to the last Ice Age! The Glacier Garden in Lucerne offers a unique opportunity to peer into Earth’s past. As you delve into this subterranean world, embark on a fascinating journey through time, uncovering secrets about geology and history.

Glacier Garden in Lucerne, outdoor museum

Explore what the city looked like before glaciers retreated and imagine what it would be like to bask on a subtropical beach in the heart of Switzerland.

Additionally, the garden features a museum and a captivating mirror maze (not only fun for kids, but they will probably love this part the most of the Lucerne itinerary).


  • Located in the Old Town of Lucerne, just next to the Lion Monument.
  • Free with a Swiss Travel Pass.
  • 22 CHF for adults (if you are on a budget, you can skip it as it is rather expensive without the Swiss Travel Pass).

Lucerne Old Town

Now it is time to explore more of the town center.  Take a stroll through the Old Town to explore hidden gems and striking pieces of history! Admire fresco-adorned houses, marvel at unique architectural details, and uncover centuries’ worth of culture.

This car-free area will transport you back in time with its picturesque squares – all just waiting for you to discover an unforgettable adventure.

things to do in Lucerne Switzerland

Old town in Lucerne one of the main activuties

The old town of Lucerne is also the main shopping area for locals and visitors alike. 

There are a couple of squares you should add to your Lucerne itinerary:

Weinmarkt Square

Visiting Weinmarkt Square will transport you back in time. The beautiful fountain there is a relic from 1481, crafted over 10 years by the skilled hands of Konrad Lux! Although it’s undergone some changes since then (including an upgrade to an octagonal design and a brand new shell limestone column), its original form has been carefully preserved for us all to admire today.


Step back in time to the hustle and bustle of 1500 m2! Mühlenplatz was Lucerne’s only spot for all your milling needs during the Middle Ages. But it turns out that this historic square has even deeper roots – digs around here have shown signs of life before Lucerne officially became a city.

Kornmarkt and Hirschenplatz

Do not miss the town hall on Kornmarkt, originally erected as a public trading hall in 1370. And don’t forget about fascinating traditional houses with ornamented facades at Hirschenplatz – all under historical monument protection so you can admire them safely. 

Attractions in the Old Town

If you do a self-guided walking tour, visit the Town Hall, and along the way, you´ll pass some pretty buildings with exciting facades (and I mean seriously pretty buildings). However, a few hours in the old town of Lucerne is enough to have seen most of the city center.

Also, watch out for the fountains – the water is drinkable and some of the fountains are quite unique!

Lucerne old town with drinking water and fountain

Old town in Lucerne in winter

There are many stunning buildings in the old town – like the Hotel des Balances (picture “Hotel Waage” above). My tip is to keep your eyes open and watch closely – with so many pretty houses you might quickly oversee a few.


  • A guided walking tour might be a good option to learn more about the old town and the historic buildings. Check out prices for walking tours here.

Musegg Walls & its Towers

The Musegg Wall and its towers are part of Lucerne’s historic fortifications. Nowadays, you can visit the walls, stroll its towers, and enjoy the city’s fantastic views, River Reuss, and Lucerne´s Bay.

Lucerne Musegg Wall for a Lucerne itinerary

The walls are very well preserved – today, the wall is still 870 meters long, 9 meters high, and 1,5 meters wide. 9 of the original 30 towers still exist today and you can walk along many sections of the ramparts and get up on several towers.


  • Only open from 1. April to 1. November from 8 am to 7 pm
  • Free to walk the wall
  • I do not recommend wearing sandals – hiking boots are not required but trainers would be great
  • There are a lot of steps
  • Seeing all the towers was a bit confusing to me because it is not a straight walk. Especially finding the entrance to the Männli Tower was not easy but worth it and it is actually my favorite tower because it offers the best views (seen in the picture above). 
  • The most interesting tower itself is probably the Zyt Tower – the Clock Tower because it features a large clock and includes some information.

Lake Lucerne Promenade

Then it is time to leave the Old Town and head to Lake Lucerne, Vierwaldstättersee in German, again (you will have seen it once you get out of the train station).

The promenade of Lake Lucerne in the city center is bustling and quite lively, making Lucerne look bigger than it is. Lake Lucerne is one of the best lakes in Switzerland – and the fourth largest in the country. 

places to visit in Lucerne Switzerland
Given its size, it is quite unlikely to walk around the whole lake. Depending on how much energy you have left, you could walk for hours and take some breaks.


  • There are enough options to sit down – on a bench or just by the water
  • You can just walk a few minutes (or longer) and then hop on a bus to get back to the city center. If you have a Lucerne guest card, the bus ride is already included.
  • From Lucerne Chapel Bridge walk on the northern shores of Lake Lucerne – it is a beautiful, scenic way.

The promenade is also a great place to end your first day in Lucerne and enjoy a dinner. Either get some snacks and takeaway food and have it at the lake or grab yourself a seat in one of the numerous restaurants nearby.


So, today is about a museum and a mountain excursion. 

Swiss Museum of Transport /Verkehrshaus

Lucerne has several museums. The most famous museum in the city, and the most visited in Switzerland, is the Swiss Museum of Transport.

It opened more than 60 years ago and exhibits all forms of transport including trains, automobiles, ships, and aircraft, as well as communication technology, including several exhibitions, and simulations in more than 20,000m2 of exhibition space.

The Swiss Museum of Transport has interactive exhibits, where you experience everything from steam locomotives to space travel simulators. The museum also houses the Swissarena, a large aerial photograph of Switzerland that visitors can walk over, providing a unique perspective of the country’s geography.

Additionally, the Verkehrshaus includes a planetarium, a film theater, and the Swiss Chocolate Adventure, which is a multimedia journey explaining the production and history of Swiss chocolate.


  • You could get to the museum if you walk along the Lake Lucerne promenade (it is about 1,6 miles/2.5 km from the Chapel Bridge) or hop on a bus
  • Great to visit at any time of the year (and an amazing thing to do in the rain).
  • Open 365 days a year.
  • Opening hours: In the summertime: 10 am – 6 pm, in the wintertime: 10 am – 5 pm.
  • You get a discount with a Swiss Travel Pass.
  • Check out their website for more information.

Lake Lucerne Boat Tour

What always makes me stand in awe is that the most beautiful nature surrounds Switzerland´s cities – and so does Lucerne. Cruising Lake Lucerne proves that it is rightly called one of the most beautiful lakes in the country.

This serpentine lake, shaped by glaciers, is dotted with charming towns and historic sites, including the legendary Tell’s Chapel.

Lake Lucerne with a dog

A boat cruise offers picturesque views, revealing the lake’s unique shape and the surrounding lush greenery.

Okay, I admit my passion for boat cruises might not be normal – some would say it is ridiculous. BUT, Lake Lucerne is actually gorgeous

And a boat is also a great way to get to the next stop of your itinerary.


  • There is a boat station just next to the museum.
  • You can do different kinds of tours, but I recommend getting a day pass so that you can get out at various stations.
  • If you prefer a panorama sightseeing boat tour in Lucerne, make sure to check out the best prices.
  • If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you can use almost all boats in Switzerland – also the “regular” boats on Lake Lucerne – without any extra surcharge. Click here to find out more about the Swiss Travel Pass.

Mount Rigi

Head to the Queen of the Mountains for the rest of the day. Mount Rigi makes a great half-day trip – especially if you come here on a clear day, you can experience the most fantastic sunset. So, I suggest spending your afternoon and evening at Mount Rigi and ending your day here. 

Mount Rigi, revered as the “Queen of the Mountains,” stands proudly at 1,798 meters (5,898 feet) in the heart of Switzerland.

Mount Rigi with the Swiss Travel Pass
The stunning panorama of Lake Lucerne is just a beautiful reward. Up there are restaurants, a hotel, a spa, and above all, the views are INCREDIBLE.

You can get up via a cogwheel train or cable car. If you enjoy hiking, you could also hike up all the way. The cogwheel train stops along the way, so you do not have to walk all the way, but you can take a shorter hike.


  • To get up Mount Rigi, you have several options, and I recommend the following route: Get to Vitznau boat/bus station, by bus, car, or boat. This is your starting point – from there you can either hike up or take the cogwheel train to the top. On your way back you can then also take the boat or alternatively take the bus and then have to change to a train later to get to Lucerne. It takes about one hour to get back to Lucerne (either by boat or public transportation).
  • You can park your car in a parking house for about 5 CHF for 4 hours of parking
  • The cogwheel ride up Mount Rigi takes about 30 minutes. On a clear day, the ride up is already worth it. Check out Prices for a Trip to Mount Rigi
  • Free with a Swiss Travel Pass
  • The sunset I watched from Mount Rigi on a clear, sunny day was spectacular.
  • It is an amazing attraction at any time of the year. I visited many times during all seasons and was blown away every time.


Since you can use this list as an itinerary or just as a list with “top things to do in Lucerne”, above mentioned activities would make a perfect first two days in Lucerne. With three days, you can explore even more of this stunning place!

Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus is another fantastic half/full day trip from Lucerne. Mount Pilatus is like a village on a mountain. It takes much longer to get up there compared to Mount Rigi. But there are many more activities to do and more restaurants and cafes to sit down.

Mount Pilatus, towering at 2,128 meters above sea level (6,982 feet) is a stunning emblem of Swiss majesty.  The summit reveals a spectacular panorama of the Alps and surrounding lakes, making it a photographer’s dream. Mount Pilatus provides a diverse range of activities. 

Getting up on Mount Pilatus

Switzerland what to visit

Everything is just so special up there that you should plan one full day. I visited about 3 times – in summer and winter. It is a perfect trip for any time of the year.

On a busy day, you might have to wait in line to catch a cogwheel train to get up. If you like to get up faster, you can also use the cable car to reach the summit – or you can hike. Either way, I definitely recommend visiting Mount Pilatus when in Lucerne.

You can also have your lunch here at the restaurant or bring your own food and enjoy it with a view.


With three days in Lucerne, you have time to relax. And luckily, I have a beautiful spot for you guys: a hidden gem in Lucerne.


And if you ask me, the best place to relax in Lucerne is at/in Weggis on the shores of Lake Lucerne – it is adorable. I am not sure if it is a village or just whatever, but it is tiny, and if you get off the boat (or drive there by car), you can stroll there and relax. It is one of the most beautiful places in Lucerne – quiet and pure nature.

Places to visit in Lucerne Switzerland Weggis Lido
There is a lido – one of many public outdoor pools in Switzerland. Sometimes lidos are free and sometimes you have to pay a (small) entry fee. By visiting this lido, you have all the facilities of a swimming pool and you can swim in Lake Lucerne (that water is very clear!), BUT if you ask me, skip the lido and keep walking (or driving) another kilometer or so and you find the best place to swim in Lake Lucerne.

At the very end of Hertensteinstrasse is a beautiful meadow, including some restrooms, where you can lay down and chill – go swimming, get a tan, or whatever. I love that place because it is a hidden gem in Switzerland. And since a friend and I discovered it a few years ago, we always come back there (dogs are allowed). Even on a beautiful sunny day, I have never experienced it being crowded!


  • Do not forget to bring your towel and bathing suit to hop into the water
  • No entrance fee – open 24/7
  • Very limited free parking just in front
  • Get to the very end of Hertensteinstrasse to experience this hidden gem

Then head back to the city center of Lucerne, enjoy your dinner there, and prepare for day 4 in Lucerne.


If you have four days in Lucerne, I suggest a day trip to Mount Titlis.

Mount Titlis

To enjoy a day at Mount Titlis, I would plan a full day or at least 8 hours. It is a great place to visit at any time of the year. Hop on a train at Lucerne train station and head to Engelberg train station. 

Mount Titlis, a majestic mountain in the Swiss Alps, stands tall at 3,238 meters (10,623 ft), offering a panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks surrounding it. This iconic mountain is famous for its rotating cable car, the Titlis Rotair, which provides a 360-degree view as it ascends to the summit.

Ice Cave at Mount Titlis in Switzerland
There is a lot to do at Mount Titlis. You can go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoe hiking, sledding, and more (in the winter). And in summer, you´ll also find plenty of activities (like hiking, etc.).

You can also explore the Glacier Cave which is a 150-meter-long walkway below the glacier’s surface. Or enjoy a walk over the Titlis Cliff Walk – a 100-meter-long suspension bridge that is about 3000 meters above sea level and 500 meters above the ground. 

My tip: Do some hiking in between and do not only see the places the cable car brings you to.


  • Take the Luzern – Engelberg Express. The train ride gets scenic towards the end of your trip
  • From the train station, you can either walk to the Mount Titlis cable car station or take the free bus shuttle.
  • You will get a 50% discount with your Swiss Travel Pass.


After finding out about the best spots in Lucerne, here is some important travel information for Lucerne.

Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers in Lucerne

I have visited Lucerne with (female) friends but also as a solo traveler (sometimes accompanied by my dog), and I absolutely loved it.

Yes, Lucerne is safe for solo (female) travelers, and with your eyes open, you should feel safe, too. I did not have to take any precautions but tended to be a bit careful all the time. All these recommendations can be done as a solo female traveler in Lucerne without any problem.

Where to Stay

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: 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.


Mid-Range: Hotel des Alpes is a nice 3-star hotel in the city center (and it comes with great views). The restaurant downstairs offers breakfast (with a view), and from there, you are ready to explore the city within minutes. I think there is no 3-star hotel with a better location in Lucerne. 


Budget: 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. 


How to Get Around Lucerne

Sometimes I travel by car and sometimes I use public transportation in Lucerne.

BY CAR: Though I normally love road tripping in Switzerland, I should add that parking in cities and Lucerne is difficult and extremely expensive. You might get charged about 25-30€ a night in the city center (I was charged about 55€ for 2 nights). There might be free parking premises in some hotels, but parking is in general tricky here.


BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Public transportation in Lucerne is great and it gives you the chance to book a room outside the city and get around easily. If you stay in an official accommodation in Lucerne, you will get a Visitor Card and can use public transportation without any extra costs. It is valid for the town center (it does not get you all the way to Mount Rigi station e.g.) but it comes pretty handy.

SWISS TRAVEL PASS: I have had a Swiss Travel Pass several times, and I think, in no other city in Switzerland, it is as useful as in Lucerne. You can use buses and trains without any extra charge, the boat tour mentioned on this Lucerne itinerary is included, and you get a discount for Mount Pilatus and Mount Titlis.

You can also visit the Swiss Museum of Transport for a discount and in 2023, you can also use the cogwheel train up to Mount Rigi – for free! It is not cheap but it might pay off (for me, it does at least). If you buy it via GetYourGuide, you usually have a free cancellation option in case you have to cancel – this is very important to me because we never know what might happen


Where to Eat in Lucerne

Lucerne has some really nice restaurants, and as a vegetarian, it was one of the few places I always found enough options. I mostly get takeaway food and sit by the lake. But there are restaurants for all tastes and price ranges (p.s. no super duper cheap food, though).

  • If you get the chance to dine at Galerie Schweizerhof Restaurant, it has great views and reasonable prices for good food!
  • Also, there is a Tibits at the train station. Tibits in Zurich was the first vegetarian restaurant in the world and they now have a few restaurants all over Switzerland. You will also find plenty of vegan food and it is a good alternative to heavy Swiss cuisine.


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Things to do in Lucerne, itinerary, Arzo Travels


Experience a blend of culture, history, and breathtaking scenery, making every moment in this picturesque city a blend of past and present in 1-4 days in Lucerne.

I hope you will have a wonderful trip and enjoy the best things to do in Lucerne (or Luzern in German). So, whether you want to spend time in a lively town or in nature – in Lucerne, you can do both easily, and I am sure you will be amazed by its beauty.

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