The city of Lucerne is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Here you can find top 5 things you can see in the city in one day (or more if you want). The heart of the city is the Lake Lucerne. The old city is indeed built on its bank, and the landscape is completed by the surrounding Alps. When you arrive in Lucerne take some time to sit by the lake to admire the city and Alps in the background. These mountains are easily accessible from Lucerne and are worth visiting if you have time.
Here the top 5 things to see in Lucerne according to me
1. Old Town
The colourful and elegant buildings of the Old Town will bring you back in time, in a fairy-tale atmosphere.
In this city, there are two of the most important churches in Switzerland. The first church is the Hofkirche, which is considered the most important Renaissance church in this country.
The second church is the Jesuit Church, Switzerland’s first large church in the Baroque style. It this picture the church is visible on the left side of the Reuss River, while, on the right side, there is the city hall.
2. Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge)
Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) is the most iconic place of Lucerne. It is a covered wooden bridge that crosses the Reuss River in the heart of the city. This bridge was built in 1333 but it was severely damaged by fire in 1993. Fortunately, it has been completely rebuilt and restored, so that today a perfect copy of the original bridge can be admired.
The iconic feature of this bridge is the octagonal Wasserturm (water tower). Today the tower hosts the gift shop, but, in the past, it was used as a prison or a torture house.
3. Museggmauer (Town Walls)
The North side of Lucerne is surrounded by a rampart wall which was built in 1386 and it is still almost completely intact. From the towers along the wall, it is possible to admire the entire city. Four towers are open to the public: Schirmer, Zyt, Wacht and Männli. The oldest clock of Lucerne is inside the Zyt tower. It was built in 1535 and it chimes every hour, one minute before all the other clocks in the city.
4. Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument)
The Lion Monument is one of the symbols of Lucerne. It represents a dying lion and commemorates the death of 26 officers and more than 700 troops of the Swiss Guards, mercenary soldiers who were killed while protecting King Louis XVI during the attack on the Tuileries in the French Revolution in 1792. The admission to this monument is free.
5. Mt. Pilatus
Mt. Pilatus is located just outside Lucerne and you cannot miss it if you are in the city. The top of the mountain (2119 m) can be reached by two different routes: a cogwheel train from Alpnachstad and a cable car from Kriens, a suburb of Lucerne. I used the cableway, which is divided into two rides. The first ride will bring you from Kriens to the Pilatus-Kulm stop. From there, another bigger cable car will bring you to the summit, from which you can see an amazing view of the Alps and Lake Lucerne.
At the top of Pilatus, there is a restaurant, where you can chill out, and a gift shop. Outside there is a terrace from which you can admire the landscape.
The cable car ride takes about 40 minutes. If you want you can visit the Pilatus summit on a half-day trip from Lucerne. Here you can find cable car prices, and keep in mind that you get a discount if you own a Swill Travel Pass or an Interrail Pass (and of course the Swiss half-fare car).
Top tip: When you are at the top, pay attention to birds which might be attracted by your food!
Here the maps with all the places I suggested in this post.