10 Best Places to Visit in Lucerne!

If you are looking what to do in Lucerne or what to visit, for a weekend visit or lovely getaway, here’s our recommendation:

1. Chapel bridge and water tower

10 Best places to to visit in Lucerne - Chapel Bridge

Its historical roots going back to 750 AD and idyllic location on Lake Lucerne and the river Reuss (with the Swiss Alps as a backdrop), made the city of Lucerne a popular tourist destination as early as 1840 . Its famous Chapel Bridge (the oldest covered wooden bridge in the world) and octagonal water tower are Lucerne’s main hallmarks. They were conceived (together with the 500-year old Musegg wall) as the city’s fortifications. The bridge was rebuilt after a fire in 1993 is decorated with several wonderful paintings, many of which are replicas of the originals burnt during the unfortunate fire.

2. The towers and the wall

10 best places to visit in Lucerne - WallsLucerne is well known for its large number of spectacular medieval towers, that has been well preserved since their construction centuries ago. Located around the Musegg Wall area, the towers rise high over the city, giving great panoramic views of Lucerne, Lake Lucerne, the Reuss River and the surrounding mountain scenery. In total there are nine towers, including one featuring the oldest clock in the city of Lucerne

3. The Jesuit Church (Jesuiten Kirche)

10 best places to visit in Lucerne - ChurchThe Lucerne Jesuit Church is the first large Catholic baroque church built in Switzerland, north of the Alps. Initially the Jesuit College of Lucerne was established in 1577 in Ritter Palace, a building originally erected as a residence for mayor of Lucerne, Lux Ritter. 

Construction on the associated church began in 1667. By 1673 the shell of the church and the main façade were completed. The church was consecrated in 1677, but the onion topped towers were not completed until far after in 1893. 

4. Transportation museum

10 best places to visit in Lucerne - Transport museumSwitzerland not only has one of the best transportation systems in the world but also a unique museum for it, the Transportation museum Lucerne, one of the most popular in Switzerland and #4 on our list of best places to visit in Lucerne. Opened in 1959, the Transportation museum houses exhibits connected with the history of all forms of transportation, as well as paintings and sculptures by the local artist Hans Erni. It also boasts a Planetarium and multi media shows and simulators, making it both educational and entertaining  and a great day trip for visitors of all ages. So if you are interested in the fantastic history of world’s transportation, head to the transportation museum Lucerne.  

5. The Lion monument

Lion monumentAnother landmark on our list of what to do in Lucerne, The Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne, is a rock relief designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn. It features a wounded lion in its painful last moments. Many legends about the heroic role of defending the city circles around. Reality is that it commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris.
Mark Twain praised the sculpture of the mortally-wounded lion as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”.

6. Hofkirche St. Leodegar

10 best places to visit in Lucerne - jesuit churchSt. Leodegar church was founded in the mid-8th century, part of the monastery which in turn founded Lucerne. A Gothic church preceded the existing German Renaissance building, but was largely destroyed by fire in 1633. Only the towers, St. Mary’s altar and a few religious objects remain in the existing 17th-century building. The white stone interior is generously furnished with gilt statuary and altars. Ornate wooden pews comprise the south half of the sanctuary, while simpler wooden seats occupy the north, a reminder of an earlier time when wealthy and poor parishioners worshiped apart. 

7. Rosengart Collection 

10 best places to visit in Lucerne - RosengratLucerne houses the famous “Rosengart Collection” which was formerly the private collection of art dealer Siegfried Rosengart (1894-1985). It features at least 180 works by Picasso and 125 by Paul Klee, as well as 20 other masters of the classic modern period such as Matisse, Cézanne and Monet. The collection was made available to the public in 1992 and is now housed in the former buildings of the Swiss National Bank on Pilatusstrasse.

8. Mount Pilatus

10 best places to visit in Lucerne - PilatusPilatus, is one of the legendary and most beautiful places in Central Switzerland. On a clear day the mountain offers a panoramic view of 73 Alpine peaks. The way to Pilatus is as charming as the mountain itself. If you are arriving to Lucerne main train station, the boat on Lake Lucerne just outside the station will take you to the other side of the lake where you can take a spectacular cogwheel train. It’s simply the steepest one in the world, and it crosses a fierce landscape with impressive rock walls. The view form Pilatus over Lake Lucerne is out of this world!

9. Hammetschwand Elevator (Bürgenstock)

Burgenstock Still with the Lucerne area, the Hammetschwand is a lookout point above Lake Lucerne on the Bürgenstock plateau. The Hammetschwand elevator opened in 1905, and at that time was one of a kind in Switzerland. It is the highest exterior elevator in Europe. Passengers are taken up the 153 metres to the summit of the Hammetschwand at a speed of 2.7 metres per second. For a breathtaking experience and an incredible view of Lake Lucerne, a ride in the Hammetschwand elevator is unbeatable. Before planning your trip please check whether elevator is open. More information here.

10. Mount Rigi 

Mount Rigi train rideAnother must do on our what to do in Lucerne list is Mount Rigi. Mount Rigi’s majestic peninsula on Lake Lucerne is the perfect setting for an authentic Swiss mountain experience with unforgettable views of over 13 lakes and the spectacular snow-capped Swiss Alps. 
The whole massif is almost entirely surrounded by the water of three different water bodies: Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz. To get up the mountain, you can take a charming panoramic train and treat your sight with breathtaking views all the way up!

These are our own picks of what to do in Lucerne and the best places to visit in the city and its roundabouts. We have no doubt you’ll discover even more local gems for yourself! So what are you waiting for? The road is calling! Enjoy and share your discoveries in Lucerne and the wonderful Lake Lucerne!



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