Lucerne Mini Guide
Why go to Lucerne?
Lucerne was voted fifth most popular tourism destination in the world in 2010 by Tripadvisor. The spectacular mountain ridges and idyllic lake and river location makes Lucerne a spectacular city to visit. Whether driving, hiking, boating or walking around the beautiful city there is something for everyone.
Where is it and How Do I Get There?
Lucerne is situated slightly north of central Switzerland on the shore of Lake Lucerne. The city sits on the Reuss River which feeds the lake. The nearest airport is Zurich
and will take you about an hour by car to reach Lucerne city from there. We have lots of information on driving in and around Lucerne, this content
provides latest news and reviews from car hire companies, rules of the road and what you need to know before driving in Switzerland.
What’s the Story?
Early history dates Lucerne to 750 and the name probably derives from the Celt word for settlement on marshy ground.
What to See and Do in Lucerne
Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a wooden covered fortification bridge first erected in the 14th century is thought to be one of the earliest bridges in Europe. This bridge was almost destroyed by fire and if you look carefully you can spot the new from the old wood. Admire the Museggmauer, an immaculately preserved ancient wall. Take a look at the Wasserturm tower which has previously been a prison, treasury, lighthouse and is now a meeting house. Visit the KKL Culture Centre at night to see the extraordinary light and water displays before going inside to see the exhibitions held there. The former home of the composer Richard Wagner is also a museum. Paddle steamer excursions will take you around the lake and trams to the highest ridges.
Carnival time every year is the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, a fantastic array of flamboyance, music and party. There are festivals; classical music, Blue Balls (punk, jazz, blues), jazz, Rose d'Or (television), Fumetto (comedy) and cheese. With show jumping, the rowing world cup and much more to entice at certain times of the year.
Where Can I go in a Hire Car?
Take a road trip to see the various mountain ranges, Pilatus, Titlis, Riqi and Bürgenstock. Verkehrshaus the Swiss Transport Museum also has an on site IMAX theatre and is a great short car ride, especially in not so fine weather. Visit the lakes - eight of them: Lucerne, Sempach, Hallwil, Baldegg, Zug
, Aegeri, Lauerz and Sarnen. Glasi Hergiswil is glass factory and museum in Hergiswil.
Shopping and Souvenirs
There is ample boutique shopping available and Lucerne is a great place to find a good quality watch. Markets are held every week for fresh produce.
What Sort of Things Can I Eat?
Luzerner Chügelipastete is diced veal and creamy mushrooms with puff-pastry and is widely available as a local dish. Taste some holey Swiss cheese at the local markets.
After Dinner Options
Try the Konzerthaus Schüür, Boa, Jazz Kantine, Rathaus Brauerei, Schüür, Tribschenstrasse Sedel, St Magdalena, Eisengasse Wärchhof for a wide range of bars and music venues. Look out for the Luzerner Bar Guide, all you need to plan a quiet or raucous evening in the city.
Find yourself a copy of the comprehensive what’s on guide Kultur Kalender available at the tourist information and local cafes.
Lucerne, or Luzern as it is locally known, is a beautiful city set in a wonderful location. On the shores of Lake Lucerne, it has the Swiss Alps as a background. Lucerne city itself has many sights worth seeing including the world famous Chapel Bridge, dating from the 14th century and restored 25 years ago after a fire.
If you’ve hired a car in Lucerne then a tour around the lake or up into the mountains makes for a great day trip. Take the cog railway up to the top of Mount Pilatus for a stunning view from the top over Lucerne and beyond.