Lucerne: 5 things to do in a day

Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by

Lucerne is a small town that has everything you would expect from a typical Swiss town: it is charming, romantic and perfect for spending one day.

lucerne view

The medieval architecture of the town and incredible view of Lake Lucerne is for sure something that will amaze you. If you love hiking, if you love the mountains, keep in mind that very close to Lucerne is the famous Pilatus Mountain. You can even take the cable car from Lucerne to the top of the mountain to enjoy the unique scenery that you will never forget. On the other hand, if you love classical music, remember that the city’s annual festival in April hosts world-class musicians.

LUCERNE, HOW TO ARRIVE AND WHEN TO GO

lucerne city

How to easily get to Lucerne? If you have not rented a car then there is only one solution: By train. The train connection from Zurich to Lucerne is very good: fast trains run many times per day and they arrive directly in the center of Lucerne. The train takes around an hour and you can buy the ticket online from here. If you are wondering when to visit Lucerne, there is no good or bad time. During the winter you can enjoy the snow and go skiing in the close-by ski resorts, while in summer and spring you can take a cruise on the lake.

5 THINGS TO DO IN LUCERNE IN A DAY  

The city is small. If you are doing a one day trip to Lucerne you do not need to take a bus to commute. The only attraction that is a bit far is the Swiss Museum of Public Transport. By saying “far” I mean a 30-minute walk from the central train station. If you enjoy walking you can definitely walk there. Keep in mind that bus tickets are not very cheap in Switzerland, so if you can avoid spending some CHF why not?

#1. Swiss Museum of Public Transport 

swiss museum of public transport in lucerne

A museum dedicated to Public Transport may sound boring and surely when you see that the entrance costs 32 CHF (about €29) you will think it would be better to skip it … but don’t! This attraction in Lucerne is totally worth your time! Especially if you are visiting with kids it is a must! Here are some reasons to visit the Museum of Public Transport in Lucerne

  • Because it is the no.1 museum in terms of visits in Switzerland
  • Because it is huge, interactive and has a lot of things to do
  • Because if it’s cold if it’s rainy or snowy you will definitely be looking for some inside activities. So if you are looking for things to do in Lucerne on a rainy day, the museum of Public Transport has to be the first on the list!

train in swiss museum of public transport in lucerne

The museum is very big and is composed of several individual buildings. One building is dedicated to trains, another one to cars, another to airplanes, another one to boats and the last one is dedicated to spaceships! You will definitely need at least 3 hours to see everything. Kids under 6 years old can enter for free and believe me, they will be very happy spending some time in this unique museum!

elikopters

Keep in mind that you can buy the tickets from here in advance.

Let’s continue with the perfect itinerary for one day in Lucerne.

#2. Chapel Bridge -Kapellbrücke – the famous wooden bridge 

lucerne chapel bridge

The Chapel Bridge is the most picturesque point in the city and you can find it on all postcards. It is wooden, constructed in 1365 and is Europe’s oldest wooden bridge. When I was crossing the bridge I was feeling like a little like Rapunzel, a medieval princess that just went down from her castle and is crossing the bridge.. ! It’s a very romantic place as you see not only the beautiful lake but also have a clear view of the Alps.

To be honest with you, the bridge is nice but you will not spend more than 10 minutes there. You will take some nice photos, but the place is very crowded and they are some flies around (!) that can easily annoy you.

#3. Τhe lion monument

lion lucerne

The dying lion is one of Lucerne’s most famous attractions: actually it is a 10-meter long sculpture dating back to 1820–21. It was created by the Danish sculptor Thorvaldson and is dedicated to the Swiss soldiers who died during the French Revolution. The truth is that I was NOT impressed. If you want to take a close look at the lion you have to squeeze yourself between the tourists, various selfie-sticks, and tour guides. In addition, when I visited it (November 2019) they were cleaning the park or maybe they were holding some restyling works and they were a lot of machinery around. Not so photogenic!

#4. Lucerne’s city center

lucern

Lucerne’s city center is very sweet. You can walk around, go shopping or relax for a moment and eat something. It’s also very romantic!

Keep in mind that Lucerne is a very touristic city and quite expensive. If you want to have a good meal, but not spend a fortune, the COOP supermarket has a great buffet where you can have a full meal for around 15 euros.

girl in lucerne, switzerland

#5. The lake Lucerne 

lake lucerne

You cannot leave Lucerne without admiring the beautiful lake. It is, without a doubt, the most impressive sight of the city! You can enjoy the waterfront promenade and admire the Mt. Pilatus. If the weather is good you can even cruize around the lake!

lucerne one day itinerary

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