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
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
3. The Jesuit Church (Jesuiten Kirche)
The 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
Switzerland 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
6. Hofkirche St. Leodegar
St. 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
Lucerne 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
Pilatus, 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)
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
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!