Irene Clunie, City Breaks Specialist

"Lucerne is filled with photogenic lakes and mountains, right in the heart of Switzerland. Explore this natural beauty by taking a cable car excursion and make sure you bring your cameras, so you can capture the breathtaking scenery! Art and museum lovers will appreciate the fantastic Bourbaki Panorama, a 112 metre circular painting preserved since the 19th century – a total must-see."

Lucerne at a glance

Located in the heart of Switzerland, Lucerne is an attractive destination. With its breathtaking lakeside setting and mountains close at hand, this postcard city is full of cultural events, charming squares, open-air markets and diverse boutiques. A great base for day trips, Lucerne is close to a number of sights and activities, from visits to the mountain resort town of Engelberg and the bustling city of Zurich to cable car rides up Mount Pilatus and paddle steamer cruises on scenic Lake Lucerne.

Established early on as a jurisdiction of Murbach Abbey in the 9th century, Lucerne declared independence in 1178 and gained an important status along the Gotthard trade route. The city’s strategic location on the Ruess River has created a number of historic sites, including Chapel Bridge, one of the world’s oldest wooden covered bridges and the landmark Water Tower, built around 1300.

Art and culture enthusiast will enjoy the collection of 20th century art at the Sammlung Rosengart Gallery and find an impressive gallery and concert venue at the beautiful KKL Luzern. A remarkably preserved collection of frescos remains in the Medieval Quarter where a network of passages, streets and squares allow visitors to soak up the charming atmosphere of the old town.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Picturesque setting
  • Weekend short break
  • Historic attractions

Getting around

Lucerne is a small city with interesting sites and scenic views easily accessible by foot or bike.

The city’s transportation operator, VBL, runs busses and trolleys that also give easy access to different parts of the city and suburbs.

Shopping 

The pedestrianized streets of the Old Town combine with a great selection of fashion boutiques, department stores, jewelry shops, and perfumeries to provide a shopping experience to suit every taste. Enticing artisan markets are open several times a week throughout the city selling a variety of handcrafted items as well as fresh produce, flowers and fish.

Dining in Lucerne

Aside from popular regional dishes based on fresh produce, cheese and wild game, Lucerne’s ever growing international food scene provides a variety of dining choices from Italian pizzerias and Mediterranean seafood restaurants to Indian, French and Chinese cuisine.

The experience of dining in Lucerne is as memorable as the food with elaborately decorated luxury halls, scenic lakeside vistas and panoramic mountain views all offering a different dining atmosphere to enjoy.

Must-try local dishes

  • Luzerner Chügelipastete – a puff pastry filled with veal and mushrooms
  • Roeschti – grated, fried potato cakes, often mixed with diced onions or garlic
  • Birnbrot – a puff pastry filled with candied or alcohol soaked pears as well as raisins, walnuts and cinnamon

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice 
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 80,501
Languages German
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Distance from airports
Zurich 60 km