23 Best Lucerne Attractions


Lucerne is known as a mini-repli­ca of Switzer­land. His­to­ry, cul­ture and, of course, breath­tak­ing land­scapes make up its main attrac­tions.


What to do in Lucerne

Lucerne attracts with a com­bi­na­tion of urban archi­tec­ture and Swiss nature. Life here does not stop all year round, offer­ing guests and locals to vis­it var­i­ous places and events: farm­ers’ mar­kets and fes­ti­vals on the lake, rid­ing on the water sur­face in a boat with a pic­turesque view of Mount Pila­tus.

Walk­ing along the streets of the old town or along the prom­e­nade with swans, as well as vis­it­ing antique shops, will appeal to lovers of the glo­ri­ous past and his­tor­i­cal events.

Lucerne also offers ancient church­es and cathe­drals, beau­ti­ful streets with “gin­ger­bread” hous­es, fortress walls and oth­er attrac­tions to lovers of antiq­ui­ty.

Lucerne is also a city of large-scale musi­cal events. The most famous in the world is the Sum­mer Fes­ti­val, which today is already 75 years old. The world’s best orches­tras, con­duc­tors and musi­cians come to the city for a 30-day cel­e­bra­tion of the arts. Past guests have includ­ed the Vien­na Phil­har­mon­ic Orches­tra and the leg­endary pianist Martha Arg­erich.

A sim­i­lar small­er fes­ti­val in March focus­es on reli­gious music, while the Piano Fes­ti­val in Novem­ber gath­ers both jazz and clas­si­cal tal­ent.

natural attractions

Lake Lucerne

osero lucern

The fourth largest lake in the coun­try offers trav­el­ers unspoilt nat­ur­al beau­ty. The pond is equal­ly beau­ti­ful on a sum­mer day and a win­ter night, when the Christ­mas lights of Lucerne are reflect­ed in the water sur­face. The lake is sur­round­ed by majes­tic moun­tain peaks.

Tourists make cruis­es on it on old pad­dle steam­ers. Bicy­cle and skat­ing paths are laid along the coast, as well as places for swim­ming and recre­ation. Fas­ci­nat­ing views of the lake open from the moun­tain slope.

Mount Rigi

mountain rigi

Among the moun­tain ranges around Lake Lucerne, tourists call Rigi the most impres­sive. The sec­ond name of the peak is the “Queen of the Moun­tains”. The mas­sif was formed dur­ing the move­ment of the earth­’s crust sev­er­al cen­turies ago. Vis­i­tors appre­ci­ate its beau­ty and empha­size that it is bet­ter to walk near the moun­tain on a clear day.

Rigi is unique in that it is sur­round­ed by three lakes: Lucerne, Zuge and Lauerz. To reach the top, you can use the rail­way or take a ride on the cable car. The hik­ing route around the pic­turesque peak takes 4 hours.

Mount Pilatus

mountain pilatus

Anoth­er moun­tain range, Mount Pila­tus, con­sists of sev­er­al peaks. The high­est peak is Tom­lin­son (2128 meters). The moun­tain became famous in the 19th cen­tu­ry when the Swiss com­pos­er Richard Wag­n­er wrote an arti­cle about it in a mag­a­zine. Lat­er, Queen Vic­to­ria made the ascent to the sum­mit on horse­back.

A trip to Mount Pila­tus is an adven­ture in itself: trav­el­ers ride on the most orig­i­nal rail­way, oper­at­ing from May to Novem­ber. Oth­ers choose gon­do­las or the funic­u­lar, which is avail­able all year round.

glacial garden

lednikovo sad

Near the Lion Mon­u­ment is a nat­ur­al object dis­cov­ered by sci­en­tists in 1872. This is a group of cracks in rock for­ma­tions that were cre­at­ed dur­ing the last ice age 20,000 years ago.

But the finds found inside are much more inter­est­ing. The fos­sils of shell­fish and palm branch­es clear­ly show that about 20 mil­lion years ago this place was the shore of a sub­trop­i­cal sea. After the tour, you can go for a pic­nic in a near­by park.

Architectural monuments

Chapel Bridge

chasovenni most

The medieval bridge has long been a favorite tourist attrac­tion in Lucerne. Pho­to shoots are reg­u­lar­ly held here, the main object of which is the bridge itself. It was built in the 14th cen­tu­ry but burned down in the 90s.

The work of the reen­ac­tors made it pos­si­ble to restore the build­ing to its for­mer beau­ty, which is admired by tourists today. About 100 pho­tographs from the life of the city and images of its patron saints are exhib­it­ed on the restored bridge. The cov­ered bridge cross­es the riv­er diag­o­nal­ly, which dis­tin­guish­es it from sim­i­lar struc­tures.

Monument to the Lion

pamiatnik livu

The Löwen­denkmal or Lion of Lucerne Mon­u­ment was carved from nat­ur­al stone in mem­o­ry of the Swiss sol­diers who died defend­ing King Louis XVI dur­ing the French Rev­o­lu­tion. It was carved by Lucas Ahorn in 1820 and is 10 meters long.

The posi­tion of the wound­ed, sad lion is so touch­ing that Mark Twain called it “the sad­dest and most touch­ing piece of stone in the world.” There is rich sym­bol­ism in the work: a lion lies on a bro­ken shield with a lily of the French roy­al fam­i­ly, and behind it is anoth­er one — an intact shield with the Swiss coat of arms.

Spreuer Bridge

most sprayer

There is anoth­er medieval bridge in Lucerne. It is locat­ed down­stream, oppo­site the west­ern cor­ner of the Old City. The 15th-cen­tu­ry Spreuer has a struc­ture sim­i­lar to the Chapel Bridge, with a roof, design ele­ments and 17th-cen­tu­ry paint­ings attached to the ceil­ing ped­i­ments. The roof pan­els also fea­ture 56 17th-cen­tu­ry paint­ings by Cas­par Meglinger show­ing the impact of the bubon­ic plague on soci­ety.

Despite the sim­i­lar­i­ty, this bridge has its own char­ac­ter­is­tics, which is why it is pop­u­lar among tourists. Accord­ing to leg­end, medieval vil­lagers threw wheat chaff into the riv­er from this bridge – hence its name.

Villa Dreylinden

villa dreiniland

One of the most mem­o­rable excur­sions. Green hills and a fairy-tale cas­tle hid­den between them cause a storm of emo­tions among tourists. Today it has become the home of a music col­lege, and music is con­stant­ly heard from the win­dows.

Not only the cas­tle itself is remark­able, but also the ancient park on its ter­ri­to­ry. It’s worth spend­ing a few hours here. An Eng­lish-style park with many old trees, flower beds and a pic­turesque cave.

Nine Museggmauer towers

deviat tower

For a bird’s eye view of Lucerne’s rooftops, sparkling lake and moun­tain ranges, take a walk along the old city walls built in 1386. But the best panoram­ic views are from the tops of the nine tow­ers lined up in a row.

Today, only three of them are open to the pub­lic and can be freely climbed. This is a his­tor­i­cal place, part of the old city, and the Zit tow­er was built by Hans Luther.

Interesting places, entertainment and shopping

Old city

stari city

The streets of Old Lucerne are adorned with ele­gant build­ings, some of which have been stand­ing here since the Mid­dle Ages. You can trav­el back sev­er­al cen­turies, wan­der through the cob­ble­stone streets and admire the fres­coes that adorn the facades of almost any house. The entire old cen­ter is free of traf­fic, which allows tourists and tour groups to move freely.

deer park

park deer

The menagerie has been oper­at­ing since 1614 and is one of the old­est attrac­tions in Lucerne. The 6500 m² park has three enclo­sures, each for 25 deer. They can be looked at and fed with the per­mis­sion of the rangers with hay or grass.

On the ter­ri­to­ry of the park there are infor­ma­tion boards with a descrip­tion of the Euro­pean vari­ety of the red deer. On request, you can take an orga­nized tour of the park with a guide. It also includes a num­ber of recre­ation­al activ­i­ties.

Cultural and Congress Center

kulturno kogressivni center

All kinds of con­certs are held in this cen­ter: from clas­si­cal and pop music to rock and blues. In the sum­mer, dur­ing tra­di­tion­al fes­ti­vals, the hall is full every day, in the rest of the year it is eas­i­er to get to con­certs.

The Lucerne Cul­tur­al and Con­gress Cen­ter was cre­at­ed by Jean Nou­v­el and was built between 1995 and 2000. A fea­ture that imme­di­ate­ly catch­es the eye is a flat roof over­look­ing the embank­ment. Beneath it is a com­plex dom­i­nat­ed by a first-class con­cert hall. It is designed for 1800 seats and has impec­ca­ble acoustics.

nuclear bunker

nuclear bunker

The mas­sive bunker is hid­den under Lucerne and can be accessed from the Son­nen­berg High­way Tun­nel. Built in the late 70s, it was ready to pro­vide enough space for the city’s 20,000 inhab­i­tants in the event of a nuclear attack. How­ev­er, there was no need to evac­u­ate the pop­u­la­tion.

Now that the Cold War is over, vis­i­tors can take tours of the bunker every last Sun­day of the month. Trav­el­ing through this under­ground time cap­sule will allow you to see the whole com­plex with hos­pi­tal wards and a decon­t­a­m­i­na­tion sta­tion, laun­dries and mas­sive ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems.

cheese shop

sirni store

Chäs Barmet­tler is a unique store locat­ed near Löwen­platz. It is focused pri­mar­i­ly on tourists. It offers a wide selec­tion of Swiss cheeses, fon­due ingre­di­ents and fresh­ly baked cheese pies.

Old recipes and adher­ence to tra­di­tions make the store’s prod­ucts very pop­u­lar. Most of the vari­eties are not easy to find out­side of Europe, so if you are in these places, you should def­i­nite­ly try them and take some­thing with you.

Allmend indoor water complex

vodnii complexes

This is not just a pool, but a whole water par­adise. There is enter­tain­ment for guests of all ages. For the adven­tur­ous, there is a chil­dren’s pool and a 55-meter slide. You can choose from five pools of dif­fer­ent sizes and tem­per­a­tures, depend­ing on whether you want to swim, dive, just relax or get a water mas­sage.

Mod­ern archi­tec­ture and large win­dows pro­vide plen­ty of day­light and panoram­ic views of Mount Pila­tus and sur­round­ings.

central park

centralni park

The park is locat­ed between the Cen­tral Library and the Con­ti­nen­tal Park Hotel. Con­ve­nient trans­port inter­change allows you to get here from any­where in the city, regard­less of the time and day of the week.

In the park, you can have a great time with­out leav­ing the city: have a pic­nic, sun­bathe in the sun or sit under shady trees. Many take the oppor­tu­ni­ty and prac­tice yoga on the green lawns.

Cultural attractions and museums

Swiss Transport Museum

musei transporta

This is more than just a col­lec­tion of cars. The Swiss Trans­port Muse­um is per­haps the most famous in the coun­try. Opened in 1959, it is inter­ac­tive, show­cas­ing the his­to­ry of the auto­mo­tive indus­try through theme parks, inter­ac­tive sta­tions, exhibits and films.

The col­lec­tion includes more than 3,000 objects spread over an area of ​​more than 20,000 square meters and demon­strates the devel­op­ment of rail, water, road, air and space trav­el. The muse­um also has a plan­e­tar­i­um, a choco­late fac­to­ry and Switzer­land’s largest 3D cin­e­ma.

Rosengart Collection

kollekcii rosengart

The city’s most famous cul­tur­al land­mark is housed in a neo­clas­si­cal build­ing. Here, vis­i­tors can see a large col­lec­tion of the Swiss art deal­er and friend of Pablo Picas­so — Angela Rosen­gart.

It also fea­tures the work of the Impres­sion­ists and Clas­si­cal Mod­ernists, includ­ing Renoir, Clie, Cezanne, Mon­et, Cha­gall, Kandin­sky, Miró, Matisse and Modigliani. But the crown­ing achieve­ment is a col­lec­tion of 200 pho­tographs by pho­tog­ra­ph­er David Dou­glas Dun­can, which cap­ture the last 17 years of Picas­so.

Panorama of Bourbaki

panorama burbaki

Near the Lion Mon­u­ment and the Glac­i­er Gar­den on Lev­en­platz is a land­mark that is almost 140 years old. Swiss artist Edouard Cas­tre paint­ed a panora­ma of a defin­ing moment in the Fran­co-Pruss­ian War in the ear­ly 1870s.

Against the back­ground of a snowy land­scape, the defeat­ed French army wan­ders into Switzer­land in search of shel­ter. Cas­tres worked as a Red Cross vol­un­teer dur­ing the war, so he could remem­ber these paint­ings vivid­ly. In Panora­ma Bour­ba­ki there is a small muse­um that also con­tains oth­er mil­i­tary-themed paint­ings.

Richard Wagner Museum

musei vagnera

This muse­um ded­i­cat­ed to the famous com­pos­er is locat­ed in his for­mer home in Trib­schen, on the south shore of Lake Lucerne. Wag­n­er lived in this house for 6 years, dur­ing which he wrote at least two immor­tal works.

Some of Wag­n­er’s musi­cal col­lec­tions are kept here, such as a portable organ and rare pho­tographs, paint­ings, let­ters and valu­able scores. The ori­gin of most items dates back to the 15th cen­tu­ry. The prop­er­ty is under state pro­tec­tion, and the house itself is con­sid­ered a his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment.

Churches and temples



The medieval basil­i­ca was burned down dur­ing the Thir­ty Years’ War in the 17th cen­tu­ry. The city did not accept the loss and, despite the ongo­ing war, built a new church. She became one of the few erect­ed in that peri­od.

The archi­tec­ture is in the late Renais­sance style, but it has ele­ments of the orig­i­nal church: a cou­ple of tow­ers, as well as medieval dec­o­ra­tions in the inte­ri­or. The altar, cre­at­ed in 1500 from black mar­ble, was saved from fire, and the carved choir stalls have been pre­served since the rebuild­ing of the church in the 17th cen­tu­ry.

Jesuit church

esuitskaya cerkov

This church was built in the 17th cen­tu­ry — just a few decades after the Hofkirche. The facades are made in the Baroque style, which served as a kind of oppo­si­tion to the char­ac­ter­is­tic build­ings of such Protes­tant cities as Gene­va and Zurich.

The Jesuit Church was designed by archi­tects from Aus­tria and Italy and con­se­crat­ed in 1677. That is, from the begin­ning of con­struc­tion to the com­ple­tion of work, about a cen­tu­ry passed. Inside, the walls are rich­ly dec­o­rat­ed, and the two side chapels are dis­tin­guished by intri­cate stuc­co work.

Monastery of Engelberg

monastir elgenberga

In the cen­ter of the moun­tain vil­lage of Engel­berg is a qui­et monastery. Since 1120, the monastery of St. Bene­dict opened here. Its heart was a small baroque church with a high altar and the largest organ in Switzer­land.

Today about 30 monks live and work in the monastery. It has a func­tion­ing sec­ondary school and a gym­na­si­um. Stu­dents of dif­fer­ent nation­al­i­ties attend class­es and live here. Tourists come to admire the ancient archi­tec­ture and get acquaint­ed with the local way of life.


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