15 Good Reasons Why You Must Visit Lucerne, Switzerland

Switzerland is a beautiful country, and it has many gorgeous destinations despite being a small country. Lucerne is one of its lovely cities. But is Lucerne worth visiting?

Absolutely, Lucerne is worth visiting! It is a charming town with a scenic lake, remarkable landmarks, and easy access to Mount Pilatus. Visitors can discover history with the Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument. Also, enjoy numerous relaxing & adventurous activities solo or with their families.

In this blog post, I share all the remarkable things and beautiful experiences you can have in Lucerne–which I think can be your reasons to visit. Let’s get started!

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As a mountain lover and history lover/old-world architecture enthusiast, I can think of Lucerne as one of the perfect cities to live in. And, of course, one of the most beautiful places to visit!

At the same time, Lucerne is even more enticing to visit with the bucket list attractions, only a boat ride or train ride from the city. Like, what do you think of riding the steepest rack railway in the world or using Europe’s highest exterior elevator?

Watch this video to spark your wanderlust to visit Lucerne:

Ultimately, the old-world feel, panoramic views, and bucket list attractions are, in summary, the main reasons why you should visit Lucerne, in my opinion. Learn more by reading my 15 reasons to visit Lucerne:

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Reason No. 1: Lucerne is the heart of Switzerland

The first reason why you should visit Lucerne is simple: It is absolutely effortless to visit wherever you are in Switzerland, even if you’re from northern Italy or southern Germany.

How? Because Lucerne is in the heart of Switzerland and it’s connected to the major railways of Switzerland and Europe.

Beautiful skyline of Lucerne
The beautiful skyline of Lucerne

Let’s make Basel, Bern, Zurich, Strasbourg, and Milan our examples (click the link of each city to see why they are also worth visiting):

  1. From Bern/Basel, you can quickly reach Lucerne with just a direct train ride that lasts slightly more than an hour. 
  2. Let’s say you are coming from Zurich; you can even reach Lucerne much faster with a 45-minute single train ride.
  3. Are you visiting Strasbourg, the capital of Europe, and then going to Lucerne? Travel time is only around 2 hours and 45 minutes with a single train transfer in Basel.
  4. From Milan, travel time is slightly over 3 hours by train (with a transfer at Arth-Goldau). Anyway, Milan is more than a fashion capital.

Learn more about these cities here:

The articles from the links open in a new tab. You can read them later if you want.

At the same time, Lucerne is not out of the way to more beautiful destinations in Switzerland (i.e., Interlaken and Zermatt) if you are starting your journey in Bern or Zurich. Choosing to visit Lucerne over other places (i.e., St. Moritz and Davos) can save you hours of travel time on your journey to Switzerland.

Learn more about Interlaken and Zermatt here:

Did you know? You can reach Interlaken from Lucerne in less than 2 hours with just a single train ride. If you only plan a short visit to Switzerland, Interlaken can be your best day trip from Lucerne (or Zurich).

If you need help visiting Switzerland, here’s an article to give you an idea of how you can spend 3, 7, 10, or 14 days in Switzerland. You can save money on public transportation in Switzerland using the Swiss Travel Pass if you will be traveling in Switzerland for a week or more.

Do you want ideas on how much time you must spend in Lucerne? Click the link to see a summary of how much time is needed for each attraction in Lucerne and sample Lucerne itineraries.

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Reason No. 2: Lucerne has a beautiful location

Lucerne does not only have a strategic location, but it also has a beautiful location. It sits beside Mount Pilatus, Mount Rigi, and Lake Lucerne—which is why you should visit Lucerne. Expect to see not only stunning views but also fun activities you will really enjoy!

View of Mount Pilatus and Lake Lucerne
View of Mount Pilatus and Lake Lucerne

Lucerne is the city that will let you enjoy nature. You can walk by the lakeshore and feel relaxed with the gentle waves or hike in the mountain and be awe-struck by the jaw-dropping scenery.

Before you decide to visit Lucerne for its scenic views/mountains/lakes, make sure to compare it first with other lakeside towns in Switzerland like Thun and Montreux. You can learn more about Montreux (10 reasons to visit) here and discover Thun (7 things to do) here.

You might also want to see other cities near the Swiss Alps from this post. There I also discussed Brig and Sion—cities in the canton of Valais. They can be your strategic home base for visiting some of the most beautiful villages/small towns in the Swiss Alps.


If Lucerne’s location is beautiful, wait until you see the things inside the city. They are truly compelling to see, something not to be missed on your Switzerland trip.

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Reason No. 3: Kapellbrucke (Chapel Bridge)

One of the things that we must not miss seeing in Switzerland is the Chapel Bridge. It is the icon of Lucerne and the main reason you should visit Lucerne!

Chapel Bridge
Chapel Bridge

It is a covered wooden footbridge with interior paintings fixed on the roof of the bridge. These paintings depict the lives of the people in Lucerne way back 17th century when these paintings were created.

You can find fascinating discoveries as you walk inside the bridge from the paintings it has. Nevertheless, it’s a very picturesque landmark with a unique architecture!

Going to Chapel Bridge crosses three items on your bucket list:

  1. First, you will be visiting the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe.
  2. Second, you will set your feet on the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge.
  3. Third, you will come across the historical Wasserturm (Water Tower).

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Reason No. 4: Museggmauer (Musegg Wall)

A historical thing to behold, a place of the past you can explore—this is Musegg Wall, another compelling reason why visit Lucerne. It is where you can realize your fantasies, either Harry Potter or King Arthur or the Lord of The Rings…

The towers, the wall, and the battlements will surely help you visualize life in medieval times.

Towers of Musegg Wall
Towers of Musegg Wall

The Musegg Wall, together with its nine towers, will show you Lucerne’s historic fortification. This fortification looks like a crown hugging the Old town of Lucerne. You might not be able to discern it from the wall, but you can at least see the beautiful townscape of Lucerne by climbing the towers attached to it.

This 800-meter-long wall has been standing for more than 600 years now. It is the best-preserved defensive wall in Switzerland and one of the longest.

In Europe, you can find several towns and cities like Lucerne that, even today, have their fortifications still intact. I recommend you check the following places and see how spectacular their “preserved” medieval walls are:

  1. Carcassonne (France) — has a medieval center with 2-layer fortifications. 
  2. Aigues-Mortes (France) — is one of the most beautiful villages in the south of France. It has a rectangular-shaped wall with massive gates. You can climb the ramparts to see a pink sea. 
  3. Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Germany) — a fairytale town in Franconia filled with half-timber framed houses inside its gorgeous medieval walls.
  4. Bergamo (Italy) — a charming city in northern Italy with scenic views from its Venetian walls.

Links open in a new tab. These articles can help you decide if Lucerne is worth it for its Musegg Wall.

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Reason no. 5: Zytturm

Zyt is one of the nine towers (Nolli, Mannli, Luegisland, Wacht, Schirmer, Pulver, Allenwinden, and Dachli) of Museggmauer.

It is actually a clock tower built in the 15th century, constructed not for defense but for the people in the city. This shall complete your throwback experience when you visit the wall.

Zytturm in Lucerne

In today’s world, where clocks no longer have hands but screens, seeing a clock so big with rotating hands seems to be a strange thing to behold already. It’s just mind-blowing how time itself changed the way we create and read clocks.

Anyway, the Zyt clock tower is incredible to check with its fresco painting seen from the south. The mural was painted way back in 1596, showing two giants holding the face of the clock.

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Reason no. 6: Meggenhorn Castle

If you have realized your medieval stories fantasies from Musegg Wall, it is time to make the fairy tales you watched during your childhood come to life.

Lucerne has Meggenhorn Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Switzerland. It is another good reason why you should visit Lucerne.

Meggenhorn Castle
Meggenhorn Castle

Not only is Meggenhorn Castle magical, but it also has scenic views from its site. Perched on a hillside on a peninsula south of Lucerne, Meggenhorn castle lets you see the town, lake, and mountains in a panoramic view.

It is a romantic place to be, so don’t forget to bring your special someone here! Actually, Musegg Castle has a museum and a beautiful vineyard. There, you can stroll around with your love and tell all the sincerest most heartfelt words you’re keeping inside.

I’m positive you can feel even a little bit of “magic” when visiting Meggenhorn Castle. But suppose you really want to visit castles. In that case, I suggest you travel to southern Germany and visit the Bavarian Alps instead.

There, you will find Neuschwanstein Castle perched on top of a hill. It’s an epic destination that will not only fill you with awe but also give you numerous photo opportunities. 

You may also want to visit Colmar in Alsace, France. It’s a town packed with picturesque streets—both sides are flanked by half-timber framed houses. Within an hour from Colmar, you can visit a castle comparable to Neuschwanstein Castle.

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Reason no. 7: Lido Luzern

Indeed, the lake would give you tons of activities. One of them is, of course, playing and relaxing in the water. Lucerne has a lakefront facility called Lido Luzern, offering you a pool and a beach where you can hang out and get a fantastic vacation!

It is a fun activity, especially when it is sunny! People say it is bliss to be there, observing the snow-capped mountains afar (including Mount Pilatus), with ice cream and coffee served fresh by the resort’s cafes.

It’s definitely paradise. See the animals like swans and seagulls splash around, and steamboats cruise flap the Swiss flag in the breeze. Overall it is ideal for family trips or vacations.

I can compare Lake Lucerne with Lake Garda in Italy. It is the largest lake in Italy, and it also has a beach, scenic mountain views, and beautiful towns and villages on its shores. You should see Lake Garda if it is the lakeside’s adventurous fun, relaxation, and visiting villages/castles excite you.

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Reason no. 8: Mount Pilatus

If you can see Mount Pilatus from the beach, you also have to see the beach from Mount Pilatus. The view from the top is panoramic—another reason why you should visit Lucerne.

Pilatus Railway in Mount Pilatus
Pilatus Railway in Mount Pilatus

You don’t have to hike to the top of the 2000-meter-plus Mount Pilatus just to see the jaw-dropping views. Going up the mountain is fun. Actually, it is another check on your bucket list!

Actually, you’re not only going to have fun, but you’ll be thrilled, as well. It’s all because you’ll be riding Pilatus Railway going to the summit, the steepest rack railway in the world! It has an average gradient of 35% and a maximum of 48%. Breathtaking!

Riding such engineering marvels (Pilatus Railway) excites me as an engineer. For me, they are bucket-list-worthy things to do or experience. Why? Because I can understand how hard and complex it is to make such structures.

You can find two more engineering marvels in Switzerland that can also take your breath away!

The first is the Jungfraujoch which you can visit from Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. It is the most elevated railway in Europe.

The second is the Klein Matterhorn Aerial Tramway in Zermatt. It is the highest cable car in Europe (3883m).

In Chamonix, France, you can find the second-highest cable car in Europe. It climbs visitors to a peak near Mont Blanc—the highest mountain in the Alps.

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Reason no. 9: Frakigaudi toboggan run

If you think the fun ends after climbing Mount Pilatus using the steepest railway and seeing the panoramic views from the top, you have to think again. Because there, near the top of Mount Pilatus, another reason why you must visit Lucerne awaits.

Frakigaudi Am Pilatus (toboggan run) is waiting for you there at the height of Mount Pilatus. From the top, you will travel down the mountain, 1350 meters down the slope.

Encounter steep turns, enter dragon holes, and fly over two inbuilt jumps! As you slide down, you can see dramatic views of the alps. The whole toboggan run will make you feel like flying, swerving in the wind.

In fact, if you try Frakigaudi Am Pilatus, you’ll be crossing another item on your bucket list. Because it is the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland! You just have to be there in the summer to try this super fun activity.

Lucerne isn’t the place in Switzerland where you can have fun by riding a toboggan run. You can also find another in Kandersteg—a beautiful town in Bernese Oberland near the stunning Oeschinen Lake.

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Reason no. 10: Hammetschwand Elevator

Continue checking items on your bucket list in Lucerne! Check out Hammetschwand Elevator in Burgenstock plateau across the lake. Absolutely, it would be your reason why you would recommend Lucerne to your friends.

View from Hammetschwand Elevator overlooking Lucerne
View from Hammetschwand Elevator overlooking Lucerne

Hammetschwand is the highest exterior elevator in Europe.

It will give you stunning views of the town, lake, and mount Pilatus from a new perspective. And if it is foggy down below, ride the elevator. You will see a stunning heavenly sea of clouds from above there in Hammetschwand.

The top station is situated at 1132 meters above sea level. The elevator will send you to the highest station at a speed of 3 meters per second. That’s incredibly fast. It is one of the fastest in the world.

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Reason no. 11: Laderach Chocolatier Suisse

Activities in Lucerne are “absolutely” fun things to do and why we should visit Lucerne. Yet, eating sweets is enjoyable in Lucerne too! Of course, it’s Switzerland! But, here in Lucerne, you can find one of the branches of Laderach Chocolatier Suisse. A chocolate paradise.

By the time you enter, you will be welcomed by the soothing chocolate fragrance. There are shelves and tables of chocolate bars emitting an alluring smell. They go straight to your head, saying: “Common buy and eat me; I’m the best chocolate your taste buds will ever sense!”

However, the store is in a touristy area, so it could be very crowded. The staff will serve you pretty fast, by the way, some reviews said. Just don’t go here very hungry, or these chocolates will eat your budget away.

Book your visit here:

For some, especially food travelers, Laderach Chocolatier Suisse is one of the best things to do in Lucerne. If you’re one of them, I’d instead visit Gruyeres. In Gruyeres, you can taste a unique cheese and eat unlimited chocolates in Maison Cailler Swiss Chocolate Factory.

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Reason no. 12: Churches

If you have Christian faith, eating (see the previous section) and having fun will not only be your reason why visit Lucerne. There are beautiful churches in Lucerne you can admire and, at the same time, where you can pray to be thankful for all your blessings.

Interiors of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne
Interiors of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne

There are three notable churches in Lucerne:

  • Franciscan Church – See the majestic interiors and the beautiful pipe organ.
  • Jesuit Church – See the first “large” Baroque church built in the early 16th century in Switzerland, located north of the Alps.
  • Hofkirche St. Leodegar – See the most important example of a church building from Switzerland’s Renaissance period.

These churches are still a place to see if you’re not Catholic. The interiors and architecture are impressive. Sometimes there are concerts inside the churches.

Overall, visiting the churches will be an excellent way to learn about the culture that shaped Lucerne and Europe in general.

If you like visiting Churches, you should not miss the following cities:

  1. Paris — for Sainte Chapelle (see more beautiful landmarks in Paris).
  2. Florence — for Florence Cathedral (see all the best reasons to visit Florence).
  3. Venice — for Saint Mark Basilica (see all the beautiful buildings in Venice).

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Reason no. 13: Museums

If you’re with your family, a fan of art, or a history bug, you must visit Lucerne. There are no fewer than 15 museums in Lucerne which you can explore. One of them is the Sammlung Rosengart which exhibits the works of the famous Picasso.

If you feel that you need to see more artwork, there’s Kunstmuseum Luzern to see. It is a museum containing 500 years of Swiss art. Basically, everything that’s between today and Renaissance – they’re essentially in Kunstmuseum Luzern.

But if you’re looking for something “cool,” the Swiss Museum of Transport is the place to be. See exhibitions of all forms of transport from cars to trains to ships and even aircraft! It’s one of the exciting contrasts you’ll see in Lucerne.

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Reason no. 14: Lion Monument

One reason why many want to visit Europe is that they want to experience its rich history. In Europe, history is not only written in books.

Figuratively and literally, history is embedded in every corner of the continent. And in Lucerne, you’ll find traces of history set on a rock.

Autumn colors in Lion Monument, Lucerne
Autumn colors in Lion Monument

The memorial is called The Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne. It is a sculpture carved out of a wall created by Bertel Thorvaldsen. He hewed the monument in the 1820s to commemorate the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792.

The Lion Monument in Lucerne depicts a giant dying lion, ten meters long and six meters in height. It is found at the east end of the medieval town, situated above a pond.

Never miss the best things you can learn about Lucerne with the fun and insightful trips below. The guides ensure you discover the important pieces of history about Lucerne.

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Reason no. 15: Old Town

Finally, the Old Town of Lucerne. For me, it is the ultimate reason why you should visit Lucerne. It is not only historical but photogenic as well. This part of the city is full of medieval structures built beside the lake.

Really, it’s the part of town that will deplete your camera’s storage.

Afternoon at Old Town Lucerne
Afternoon at Old Town Lucerne

Here are a few of the structures that are worth checking out here in Old Town Lucerne: Lucerne Railway Station, Ritter Palace, Jesuit Church, Chapel Bridge, Rathaus (Town Hall), Pfistern Guild Hall, Dornach House, St. Matthew Church, and Church of St. Leodegar.

The Chapel Bridge and the Town Hall are the two most iconic landmarks of Lucerne’s old town.

The Town Hall really caught my attention, though. It is a picture-perfect structure that sits elegantly on the right bank of the Reuss River. It highlights Renaissance architecture and Emmentaler-style roofs.

So, those are my 15 reasons why you should visit Lucerne! If you think Lucerne is worth visiting and want to stay in Lucerne for 2 days or more, you can use this link to find the best hotel deals in Lucerne

The hotel browser has a map feature that can help you find the hotels in the most convenient place for you. Also, the hotels with the best views. Lastly, don’t forget to check my Lucerne sample itineraries to help you decide how long you must be in Lucerne.

If you need more ideas about where to go next in Switzerland, check my articles:

  1. Swiss Countryside Photos to Inspire you to visit Switzerland
  2. 14 Special Things About The Swiss Alps That Make It Famous

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Lucerne, Switzerland

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