Lucerne on a budget | What to see and do

How do you get around Lucerne? Lucerne is a charming picturesque city a 45-minute drive out of Zurich. Is Lucerne worth a visit? Lucerne is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever travelled to.

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Lucerne is the capital of the canton of Lucerne, one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, a spectacular place to visit in Europe. The city is known for its medieval architecture, scenic lake views, the Chapel Bridge, a wooden bridge built-in 1333. The city, Luzern in German, is located on the shores of Lake Lucerne and Reuss River that flows over the city.


Three swans in the Lake of Lucerne and a panorama of the city in the background
The Lake of Lucerne is the fourth largest lake in the country. The lake has a total area of 114 km² (44 sq mi) and a maximum depth of 214 m (702 ft)
  1. Visit the old town, wander around the shops and restaurants, walk on the cobblestone streets, admire the stunning architecture of the medieval buildings and historic churches the city hosts.
  2. Visit the Tourist information office of Lucerne. The office is located in the platform 3 in the building of the main train station. The staff of the agency is very helpful and welcoming, will provide you with advice and information on how to have a great time in Lucerne. You can buy your tickets, purchase postcards and souvenirs.
  3. Walk by the lake, cycle around Lucerne, enjoy the stunning views the city offers.


  1. Take a stroll by the lakeside promenade, Lake Lucerne or ‘Vierwaldstättersee’ as Germans call it. The “Lake of the Four Forested Cantons” brings you to the iconic Chapel Bridge.
A panorama view over the Lake of Lucerne and the Old city of Lucerne
A relaxing boat cruise is a great opportunity to discover the picturesque lake of Lucerne
  1. The Chapel Bridge is known as Kapellbrücke. Kapellbrücke is an impressive wooden pedestrian bridge over Reuss River. The Chapel Bridge is Lucerne’s most popular landmark. The bridge is a sight of great history, got its name by Saint Peter’s Chapel. The Chapel was built in 1333, is one of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe. Beyond the scenic views the Chapel bridge offers, the inside part is even more impressive. Make sure to look up at the top of the bridge to view the impressive paintings and amazing artwork displayed.
  2. The Farmers Market takes place every Saturday in the city centre. You will find the Market near Chapel Bridge. The Farmers Market is a busy open market where you can buy a great selection of cheese and local products, bread, flowers, chocolate cakes, pastries, vegetables, meat, spices and herbs. Visit the market to taste local goodies in budget prices.
  3. Join a free walking tour. The walking tour takes 1.5 to 2 hours. You will explore the most popular highlights of the city of Lucerne.
  4. Visit St. Leodegar Cathedral, located in the heart of the city. The building is well preserved and considered to be one of the most popular sights of the city. The Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church, which was founded in the mid-8th century.
A boat and swans ready to fly over the lake of Lucerne
The Reuss river has a length of 164 kilometres, it is the fourth largest river in Switzerland
  1. Visit the dying Lion Monument, one of the saddest monuments, stone- exhibits in the world. The Lion of Lucerne monument represents the bravery of Swiss soldiers that were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution. The Lion was designed by the Danish artist, Bertel Thorvaldsen. The dying Lion is a monument of great history, located in a peaceful surrounding within walking distance from the Chapel Bridge.
  2. Visit Konsipark (Dreilindenpark). The beautiful park is located near the city centre. Walk up to the hill, follow the path through the village houses, take a lovely stroll in a peaceful neighbourhood. The Konsipark is the ideal surrounding to relax and enjoy a panorama of Lake Lucerne and stunning views to the mountains. A music school is located within the park. Bring your picnics and enjoy a day of fun. You will come across 4-5 benches in the front park offering splendid views, if you are lucky enough to sit on one of them.
 Cruise boats and people walking in the port of Lucerne
If you plan to visit Mount Pilatus take the boat from Lucerne port to Alpnachstad. Change to the cogwheel train to the Pilatus. Then take the cable car down to Fräkmüntegg and change to the gondola to Kriens
  1. Visit Kunstmuseum. The museum displays a collection made up of Swiss art from portraits to landscape and animal exhibitions, colourful collages, paintings, drawings, animations and sculptures.
  2. Relax and enjoy a 1-hour cruise in Lucerne onboard a yacht.
  3. Visit Mount Rigi, also known as Queen of the Mountains. Switzerland is synonymous to nature and breathtaking landscapes. Rigi is a mountain of the Alps, located near Lucerne. The views within the area and into the central Alps are breathtaking. Book a Round Trip from Lucerne here.
  4. Visit Mount Pilatus, a mountain composed of several peaks, of which the highest (2,128.5 m (6,983 ft)) is named Tomlishorn. Book a guided tour here.
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Take the boat from Lucerne to Vitznau. Change to the cogwheel train to Rigi Kulm. Then take the cogwheel train down to Rigi Kaltbad and change to the cable car down to Weggis.


Take the boat from Lucerne port to Alpnachstad. Change to the cogwheel train to the Pilatus. Then take the cable car down to Fräkmüntegg and change to the gondola to Kriens


  • What did the locals suggest? A coffee and a cake or pizza in Heini, a popular bakery and coffee shop, offering a great variety of cakes, desserts, chocolate, pizza, breakfast options, cookies, high quality of the coffee. Heini is always busy mostly at the weekends. Order a delicious Quiche Lorraine.
  • The World cafe is located on the fourth floor of Kunstmuseum. Read your book, grab a coffee, taste a snack, order a light dinner while you gaze across the Lake Lucerne.
Murals and paintings displayed in Kapellbrücke Bridge in Lucerne
Kapellbrücke bridge named after St. Peter’s Chapel, is one of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe


Is it worth getting the Swiss Travel Pass? If you plan a long term stay in Lucerne, would like to visit attractions, museums and commute by train then buying the travel pass is a wise choice. What you will get is unlimited travel by train, bus and boat, unlimited travel on premium panorama trains, unlimited use of public transport in more than 90 towns, free admission to more than 500 museums e.t.c.


A lion dying momunent sculpture placed in a rock in the city of Lucerne
Mark Twain described the lion monument as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”

How much spending money do you need for a day in Lucerne? Following the budget things I recommend you should plan to spend 35 – 40€ per day on your holidays. This post recommends additional tours and activities to get the most out of your holidays in Lucerne.

This post was most recently updated on July 16th 2020.

8 thoughts on “Lucerne on a budget | What to see and do

  1. I’d love to visit Lucerne! I didn’t realize there was so much to do around the lake though, so thanks for all the tips and info! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a lovely post and lot of things to do in Lucerne. I had been there many many years ago, I am sure a lot is changed now. But what hasn’t changed is the lake, chapel bridge and the mountain Views at the background.

    Liked by 1 person

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