Top 10 Attractions in Lucerne, Switzerland
Welcome to Lucerne! This city in Central Switzerland is famous for its pleasing architecture and unique panorama. Being nestled at the shores of Lake Lucerne, it has been a popular tourism destination for decades and I recommend you consider a visit on your trip to Switzerland! Although not being the largest of towns in Switzerland, Lucerne's attractions count among the most popular in all of the country.
Chapel Bridge, the most popular of Lucerne's attractions
This is maybe one of the most famous bridges in the world. It is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and the centre piece of Lucerne. Adjacent to the bridge there is the iconic tower that had many uses so far, the most notable one: Being a jail.
You can't miss the chapel bridge when you are in Lucerne as it is just at the end of Lake Lucerne, close to the train station, open 24h day and it's free!
Cruise on Lake Lucerne
Lucerne has a fleet of steamships (paddle steamers) that are 100+ years old. They are a perfect way to explore Lucerne from the water. Alternatively you can take your cruise to go to Mt Pilatus, Mt Rigi and even the birthplace of Switzerland. Cruises start from the pier located next to the train station.
In summer, the sunset cruise is very popular to grasp the last sun rays kissing Lucerne good night.
Mount Pilatus is what makes Lucerne so pretty. I bet that without the mighty sight onto this mountain with its many faces and moods, Lucerne would not be the same. From the top you get a magnificent view onto the city of Lucerne and the lake. You can access the mountain top from two sides. Either by cable car from Kriens (adjacent to Lucerne) or from Alpnachstad by cogwheel train.
There is a hotel on the peak of Pilatus. If you sleep up there you get to witness one of the most stunning sunrises Switzerland has to offer!
Also, if you like to make the most of Pilatus, then you may book a "Golden Roundtrip Pilatus" where you get a ticket for a cruise on Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, the ride up from there and the ride down to Kriens. This is a good day trip if you want to take it easy.
The lion monument is a must-see attraction in Lucerne. Carved into a huge rock that was shaped by a glacier, the lion monument symbolises the sacrifice, courage and loyalty when Swiss soldiers that were protecting a deserted palace during the French revolution. This decoy to save the last king of France is an important piece of Swiss history as it combines many Swiss values with the will to serve.
The monument is located a 5 minute walk away from the lake at Löwenplatz or can be reached with Bus 1 from the train station. The lion monument does not have an entry fee. I recommend that you visit the Glacier museum next door that shows the history of glaciers in Switzerland and their importance of shaping the region around Lucerne.
Lucerne Old Town
Lucerne has got one of the prettiest old towns in all of Switzerland. Of course a lot of credit goes to the Chapel Bridge that gives a distinct feel to the old town. While many tourists only visit the river front and their restaurants in Lucerne, I recommend you take a turn into an alley and visit even more of the old town of Lucerne that is just hidden behind to find architecture marvels and quirky shops.
Museggmauer (Musegg Wall)
The Musegg Wall is located on a hill behind the old town of Lucerne and the remainder of the city wall. Built in 1300, this almost 900m long wall has many watch and gun towers. Some of them can be visited for free and once at the top visitor get a pretty view over Lucerne. The entrances are a bit hidden but if you keep walking up in the old town or you ask a friendly local, you will eventually find this hidden gem of Lucerne. It is closed during the winter months.
Spreuer Bridge (Spreuerbrücke)
This bridge is the little sister of Chapel Bridge and to be found more downstream of the River Reuss. Both bridges look very similar, though Spreuer Bridge is much shorter. Back in the days it was used to dispose chaff from the wheat mills close by. Today it is famous for its paintings depicting death.
KKL Luzern (Concert Hall)
If you are into classical music, then a visit to KKL Luzern is a must as they have a hall that is engineered in a way so you get a sound experience you've never had before. If you just would like to look at it from the outside, then you're in for a treat as well as the architecture is fantastic and the floating roof is an engineering marvel. If you choose to go on a cruise on Lake Lucerne you will come by here because the piers are just located in front of the building. KKL is located just by the train station of Lucerne.
A Walk on Nationalquai
It's a quay located by Lake Lucerne and the most famous stretch to go for a walk and to enjoy the beautiful scenery that's surrounding Lucerne. It has got its name from a five-star hotel called Hotel National. So here on Nationalquai, you can walk all the way down there
to the Museum of Transport and back. This is a wonderful walk. You see Mount Rigi, you see Bürgenstock of course Mount Pilatus!
Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche)
The Jesuit Church is probably the prettiest church in Lucerne. You can either look at it during dinner from the restaurants at the opposite side of the river or you can visit the inside of it too.