Lucerne, Switzerland

A concise travel guide to Lucerne in the Swiss Alps

Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.
Glenn Driver / Getty Images

Lucerne is located in central Swizerland, on the shores of Lake Lucerne, surrounded by the Swiss alps, notably Mount Pilatus and Rigi. With its placid water and towering alpine vistas, Lucerne embodies what tourists think of when they hear "Switzerland."

Lucerne has a population of just under 60,000 people. Lucerne is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Getting to Lucerne

Lucern has a central rail station with frequent connections to other locations in Switzerland and some international destinations.

Lucern doesn't have an airport; Zurich International Airport is the most frequently used by travelers to the area.

Discount Card

The Lucerne Card, available for durations of 1, 2 or 3 days, offers free pubic transportation within Lucerne and discounts on many other museums and attractions.

Where to Stay

The Hotel Des Balances is highly rated for its riverside location and service.

Lake Lucerne is a delightful recreation area, and if you like rural alpine chalets with views of the mountains down to the sea you might enjoy a Lake Lucerne Vacation Rental.

Map of Lucerne

Our Map of Lucerne will let you see the lay of the land, as well as point you toward some of Lucerne's attractions and train station.

Museums and Attractions

Lucerne has a small medieval center to get lost in--and there are many museums to visit.

Other Attractions

Take a lake steamer across Lake Lucerne, have lunch on the ship.

Take a cable car up Mount Pilatus on the world's steepest cogwheel.

Get a panoramic view of Lucerne canton from Mount Rigi.

Of course you can just stroll around the medieval core of Lucerne and cross the wood-covered Chapel bridge first constructed in the 14th century, then see the city ramparts and climb up the watchtowers.

There are also organized coach tours that can take you from your hotel in Lucerne into the Alps. Viator's top Lucerne tour takes you to the Jungfraujoch at 11,333 feet, the top of Europe. See this and other tours in 7 Things to Do in Lucerne.

Summer Events

In August the Summer Night Festival (Luzernfest) is celebrated with music and stands around the lakeside as well as fireworks.

The famous Blue Balls Festival might not be what you think, it's a music festival held in July with lakeside venues.