The city of Lucerne, situated on Lake Lucerne’s shore, is one of Switzerland’s most well-known tourist destinations and the entry point to central Switzerland. Lucerne has a lot to offer those interested in gastronomy, adventure, and the outdoors, in addition to having a lot of notable landmarks and historical locations to explore.
Lucerne is filled with amazing history and architecture and is surrounded by picturesque mountains. You can go see some of Picasso’s authentic works at the Rosengart Collection. Or take a cable car up to the mountain summits. If you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping action, opt to skydive over the lake! There’s so much to do for everything.
There are numerous possibilities to take in some of the most breathtaking Swiss landscapes outside the city’s tourist attractions. This is the best place to begin your exploration of Central Switzerland and the Lake Lucerne region.
1. Take Some Time To Explore Hofkirche
One of Lucerne’s most notable architectural features is the twin church spires that tower above the rest of the city. These spires are a part of the St. Leodegar Church, also known as the Hofkirche, a Catholic temple constructed in the 1630s.
As you step inside the church, you’ll see the ornate decor, towering curved ceilings, and gilded altars. Beautiful historical images are shown in sculptures and paintings, and there are arcades where the old Lucerne families’ tombs are located.
Since Hofkirche is one of Switzerland’s most significant Renaissance churches, visitors come from all over to admire the splendor of the structure. Check the church’s schedule if you plan to visit during the summer because frequent organ performances are held there!
2. Don’t Miss The Lion Monument
The iconic Lion Monument in Lucerne has a magnificently sculpted lion embedded in a rock of sandstone. The Lion Monument is a tiny refuge in the middle of the city’s activity.
The monument, erected in the early 1800s, is a tribute to the Swiss Guards, who guarded King Louis XVI in 1792 when the Tuileries were stormed. It’s a lovely place with a melancholy vibe. The statue is beautifully detailed, and the lion’s expression is as lifelike as the real thing.
Although visits to the Lion will take a little bit of time; they are worthwhile. This is a nice calm respite during your time in Lucerne because there is so much to do nearby!
3. Get Some Adrenaline Pumping By Skydiving Over Lake Lucerne
During your visit to Lucerne, are you looking for some adrenaline? Nothing gets your heart rate up like skydiving over Lake Lucerne!
First, you’ll soar 4,000 meters above the ground while taking in scenic views of everything around you. Then you will jump out of a plane while being guided by an experienced instructor over the pristine lake and the Swiss Alps.
Rushing towards the ground, you will catch a glimpse of the metropolis, only to be rewarded with a gentle landing. This is undoubtedly the most exciting way to see Lucerne out of all the options, and paragliding is a well-liked alternative in Lucerne.
4. Visit the Swiss Transport Museum
Even though many tourists pass this location by, Swiss Transport Museum is truly one of a kind and exhibits all forms of transport including trains, cable cars, automobiles, ships and aircraft as well as communication technology. They’re actually retired models (including two aircraft!), so you can see how it all truly works!
It’s a blast for kids as they have many interactive stations, but also for adults as it’s an actual museum. We absolutely loved it and highly recommend it.
5. Make Sure To Explore Lucerne Old Town
The Old Town area of Lucerne, which is situated along the banks of the River Reuss, is where most of the city’s medieval buildings are often located. One of the best things to do in Lucerne is to explore the Old Town. The easiest way to explore it is by getting lost in its winding lanes because there is no traffic.
Be sure to glance up as you observe the historic guild halls’ frescoed ceilings. It’s magical and will make you feel as if you are in a fairy tale town thanks to the painted façades and timber-framed homes.
St. Peter’s Chapel, the oldest church in Lucerne, and the vibrant Fritschi Fountain, which is adorned with carnival masks, are both located on Kapellplatz. Every year, the celebrated Lucerne Carnival sets up right here.
The 17th-century Old Town Hall and the nearby 14th-century clock tower are additional features to view. Up to the 16th century, the town’s fish market was located at Weinmarkt, where you can also see one of the city’s most beautiful fountains.
In fact, the Old Town is one of the best areas to stay in Lucerne. Pick one of these top-rated hotels.
6. Taste The Local Lucerne Cuisine
German, French, and Italian cuisines have a significant effect on Swiss cuisine. In many native dishes in Lucerne, cheese and potatoes are common ingredients.
Alpine macaroni, which is comparable to macaroni cheese and is served with stewed apples on the side, is another meal to try. It is the epitome of comfort food and is delicious.
Fondue is among the most famous Swiss dish to experience in Lucerne. Swiss fondue is served in a ceramic caquelon made of melted cheese. On the fork, bread cubes are seized and swirled in the melted cheese. Frequently offered as breakfast, remember to taste the rosti, a potato-grated fritter fried in hot butter.
Of course, there’s chocolate! Milk chocolate should not be missed when visiting the nation where it was first produced.
7. Take A Trip To Mount Pilatus
The spectacular Mount Pilatus, which rises to a height of 2,132 meters, provides breathtaking beautiful scenery of the Lake Lucerne region. One of the more popular activities in the area of Lucerne is visiting its summit.
The Golden Round Trip from Lucerne incorporates four means of transportation—a bus ride, a cogwheel train excursion, a cable car ride, and a boat ride exactly in that order. It is the most well-known way to reach Mount Pilatus’ summit.
8. Take A Ride On The CabriO Stanserhorn Cable Car
The vintage funicular at Stanserhorn or Mount Stanserhorn is well-known. In actuality, it initially began with three segments. The original station and the first segment of the vintage funicular are still operational and in stunning condition.
You switch to the thrilling CabriO cableway halfway up, where you can ascend to the top deck to take in the breathtaking views as it transports you to Mount Stanserhorn summit, which ranks among the most stunning activities close to Lucerne.
The CabriO Stanserhorn, consistently ranked among the best cable car rides in the world, provides breathtaking views from an open-top vehicle. The experience begins throughout the town of Stans with a trip down a funicular railway built in 1893.
You’ll find this funicular trip included on most Mount Stanserhorn Discovery tours.
9. Pay A Visit To The Musegg Wall
Travelers can experience walking on history at Musegg Wall while also taking in expansive views of Lucerne. The wall was constructed in the 13th century and is still intact today. It is a significant component of Lucerne’s defenses. There are nine towers on Musegg Wall, although only a few are currently accessible.
In addition to offering an intriguing perspective from a distance, the Musegg Wall also offers a crucial home for specific plants and animals, some of which are endangered.
Rare breeding bird species like alpine swifts, goosanders, and jackdaws can be found on the Musegg Wall. In contrast to the unique vegetation, the careful visitor will also discover bats, spiders, wall lizards, bees, snails, and slugs populating the wall.
No wonder the Musegg Wall is one of the most Instaworthy spots in Lucerne.
10. Take A Trip To Mount Rigi
There are mountains everywhere around Lake Lucerne, but none are as magnificent as Mount Rigi. “The queen of the mountains” is characterized as a massif because the earth’s crust caused it to form. Visitors praise its breathtaking beauty but caution against visiting unless it’s clear.
Due to its location on the three lakes of Lucerne, Zug, and Lauerz, Mount Rigi is unusual. The most common method for tourists to ascend this 5,897-foot mountain is a cogwheel railway, but a gondola and cable car are also options.
The highest peak, Rigi Kulm (1798 m), provides spectacular views of the lake and the Alps in the south, the lowlands in the north, and even as far as Germany.
11. Visit the Rosengart Collection
One of the finest collections of modern art in all of Europe is the Rosengart Collection. Including creations by artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Paul Klee, and Chagall!
The entire bottom level is filled with Picasso’s artwork, particularly from the later decades, because he was a friend of the Rosengart family. One area progresses chronologically through the work, room by room. And the Museum is often included in day trips from Zurich to Lucerne.
Formerly, the Swiss National Bank’s vault was located in the basement. More than 100 of Klee’s watercolors, drawings, and paintings are displayed in chronological order, offering a wealth of information on the development of his different aesthetic philosophies and subject matter.
You can immerse yourself in approximately 300 works of art while exploring the gallery, many of which are likely to strike your eye! The Lucerne Art Museum in the Old Town is another option if you want to see more amazing works.
12. Don’t Forget To Visit Chapel Bridge
Lucerne’s most popular photogenic location is the historic Chapel Bridge. The famous bridge was constructed in the fourteenth century and was considered the oldest wooden bridge in Europe until it burned down in 1993.
The bridge was quickly reconstructed and is still charming. Damaged beams and planks were fixed during the reconstruction of the bridge, but there needed to be done to save the iconic murals. More than 100 images depicting Lucerne’s life in the 17th century are hung from the rafters of the reconstructed bridge. Patron saints are depicted in these images as well.
Over the years, the tower in the sea has served various purposes, and it even once served as both a prison and a torture chamber. The octagonal water tower of the bridge is currently off-limits to the public after serving as the town’s municipal archive and treasury.
If you can get there before the crowds, you’ll have the ideal experience. The lovely Chapel Bridge is typically deserted in the mornings. Weekends are the most challenging since there will be too many people, and you will have to move slowly.
To learn interesting facts when you visit, you can take a combined tour of Chapel Bridge and Old Town. To immerse yourself even more in the history of Lucerne, finish your dinner early and take a one-hour tour with a night watchman as your guide.
Lucerne is a stunning city with a lot to see. Visit these sites and you’ll take home wonderful memories of this medieval Swiss town!