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Best things to do in Canton of Lucerne

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Switzerland  /  Canton of Lucerne

Top 15 things to do in Canton of Lucerne

1. Lake Lucerne, Lucerne

See the Alps by taking a guided boat tour on , located in the heart of Switzerland. The lake covers a total area of over 114 sq km (44 sq mi), much of its shoreline rising steeply into the surrounding mountains. Most of the visitors choose to experience this picturesque region by taking a trip on one of the paddle steamers linking the tucked-away resorts spread along the lake's shores. You can also circumnavigate the lake by road, which follows a scenic route and passes through several tunnels. However you choose to travel, be sure to visit the mountain meadow on the far southeastern shore of the lake, the birthplace of the Swiss nation.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $30 › Learn more about Lake Lucerne

2. Mt Pilatus, Kriens

For panoramic views of Lucerne and the surrounding region, take the world's steepest cogwheel railway to the top of Mt Pilatus. During medieval times locals believed that a dragon lived at the summit of this soaring massif; several 17th-century accounts tell of a winged creature flying between the mount's caves. Today the towering mountain draws visitors with its walking trails, which range from extremely steep and challenging scrambles for serious adrenaline junkies, to easy hikes for everyone else. On clear days the hiking paths offer views that stretch as far as the Black Forest in southwestern Germany. You can also reach the summit by riding the aerial cableway or the panorama gondola, departing from the town of Kriens. The cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm only operates from mid-May till mid-November. The cable-car and gondola from Kriens up to Pilatus operates also in winter.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $67 › Learn more about Mt Pilatus

3. Chapel Bridge, Lucerne

See Europe's oldest covered footbridge and view the collection of paintings depicting various scenes from Lucerne's rich history at Chapel Bridge. An age-old bridge spanning the calm waters of the Reuss River, the 14th-century wooden structure once formed part of a defense system built to protect the city from possible enemy invasions. As you walk across it, look up to see the paintings on the interior triangular frames, added in the 17th century. Next to the bridge stands a 40 m (140 ft) tall octagonal tower, formerly a prison and torture chamber. Don't forget to bring your camera: the bridge and its tower count among Switzerland's most photographed historic monuments, drawing architecture buffs from distant corners of the world.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $16 › Learn more about Chapel Bridge

4. Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Day Trip from Lucerne

FROM $290
Travel to the top of Europe and admire the soaring peaks of the Swiss Alps on this 9.5-hour Jungfraujoch day trip from Lucerne. Take a scenic drive through high mountain passes to picturesque Lauterbrunnen with your guide. Board the cogwheel train and travel up to Kleine Scheidegg, beneath the famous Eiger North Face. Alight at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Jungfraujoch — Europe's highest railway station at a dizzying 11,333 feet (3,454 meters). Explore the Ice Palace and enjoy panoramic views over the mighty Aletsch Glacier from the observation terrace.
Suggested duration: 9h 30min
Tours from $290 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Rigi, Lucerne

Surrounded by three lakes, Rigi once inspired painter J.M.W. Turner to create a series of works studying its changing views and blue sunrises. Known to many as the "Queen of the Mountains," the Alpine massif features a towering summit 1,798 m (5,898 ft) above sea level. A year-round tourist destination served by one of Europe's oldest mountain railways, the idyllic region draws a growing number of nature lovers with an extensive network of walking trails and ski slopes. Gear up and tackle the mountain's hiking paths all the way to the summit, or sit back and enjoy the sweeping views on the cable car that departs from the small town of Kussnacht.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $82 › Learn more about Rigi

6. Lion Monument, Lucerne

Carved in rock to commemorate the Swiss soldiers who died during the French Revolution, the touching Lion Monument inspired Mark Twain to call it "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world." Designed by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen in 1819, the colossal monument depicts a mortally wounded lion taking his final breath in a sheltered stone lair, his front paws resting against the broken symbols of the French monarchy. Surrounded by lush trees, the dying lion seems far removed from the city's noise, his facial expression one of heart-rending agony. Don't forget your camera.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $4 › Learn more about Lion Monument

7. Pont Spreuer, Lucerne

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Pont Spreuer

8. Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Lucerne

FROM $166
Enjoy a day of Alpine adventure in Switzerland on this half-day, summer trip to Mt Pilatus from Lucerne. Begin your journey toward the skies with a 30-minute panoramic gondola ride to Fräkmüntegg, and then hop aboard the aerial cableway for your ascent to the summit of Mt Pilatus. Relax at your leisure on the peak or take a short hike to make the most of the stunning scenery below. Descend to Alpnachstad aboard the world's steepest cogwheel train and cruise out onto Lake Lucerne to admire the views from the water.
Suggested duration: 5h 30min
Tours from $166 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Verkehrshaus der Schweiz, Lucerne

Explore the history of transportation and dream about its future possibilities at Verkehrshaus der Schweiz. The interactive museum features more than 3,000 displays, narrating not only the past and present story of transport and mobility, but also providing a glimpse of the future possibilities of traveling and communicating in outer space. In addition to galleries devoted to all types of land, sea, and air vehicles, the museum houses an IMAX theater and planetarium. When you get tired of train engines, cars, and space capsules, head to the museum's chocolate-themed exhibit, designed to inform visitors about the origin, production, and transportation of one of Switzerland's most famous exports. Save time by buying your tickets online.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $20 › Learn more about Verkehrshaus der Schweiz

10. Lucerne Station, Lucerne

Catch a train, do some shopping, or take a behind-the-scenes tour at Lucerne Station. Conveniently situated in the center of the city, this lakeside station serves as one of Switzerland's major hubs of domestic and international railway traffic. Originally opened in the 19th century, the station suffered major damage during a 1971 fire. Reconstructed in the 1980s, it now features a sprawling concourse designed by distinguished Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The heart of the restructured station, the multi-level concourse provides access to an underground shopping mall selling everything from books and newspapers, to fine watches and designer clothes. To see how the station works behind the scenes, take a guided tour of its signal boxes and control centers.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $33 › Learn more about Lucerne Station

11. Altstadt Luzern, Lucerne

One of Switzerland's best-preserved medieval quarters, Altstadt Luzern attracts visitors with its maze of narrow streets, cobbled passages, and public squares. Located just north of the Reuss River and surrounded by the remains of Lucerne's medieval city walls and towers, the old quarter features an idyllic lakeside promenade flanked by a string of half-timbered buildings with elaborately decorated fronts. The pedestrianized Old Town contains most of the city's major cultural attractions, including the oldest wooden footbridge in Europe. This easily recognizable landmark serves as a convenient starting point for sightseeing tours.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $23 › Learn more about Altstadt Luzern

12. Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich

FROM $191
For a full day of alpine summer splendor, make for the mountains on this guided roundtrip from Zurich to central Switzerland's Mount Pilatus. Your full-day guided tour includes a gondola and aerial cable car ride, the world's steepest cogwheel railway and a cruise on Lake Lucerne.
Suggested duration: 9h 30min
Tours from $191 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Museum Rosengart Collection, Lucerne

Admire the works of 19th- and 20th-century masters at Museum Rosengart Collection. Originally a private art collection belonging to Siegfried Rosengart and his daughter Angela, it is now housed in the former Swiss National Bank and open to the public. Discover over 300 pieces by more than 20 different artists, including substantial collections of works by Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. Tour the collection for a chronological exhibit of Picasso's paintings to see how his talent evolved. The museum, which opened to the public in 2002, offers private tours in English.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $1,037 › Learn more about Museum Rosengart Collection

14. Glacier Garden Lucerne (Gletschergarten), Lucerne

Built around a glacial pothole from the last glacial period, Glacier Garden Lucerne (Gletschergarten) outlines the town's history. Fossilized mussels and palm leaves tell the story of how the area sits on what was a subtropical beach 20 million years ago. A multimedia show and interactive exhibits recap the history of the planet and the city itself. View the oldest large-scale mountain relief in the world. Explore the surrounding park with its walking paths and plants from different periods. On you way, notice different versions of yourself when you pass through the mirror maze, and then climb the observation tower for a panoramic view of the city.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Glacier Garden Lucerne (Gletschergarten)

15. Mount Titlis Eternal Snow Half-Day Trip from Lucerne

FROM $166
Visit the summit of Mt Titlis on an afternoon tour from Lucerne, where spectacular mountain vistas and a range of snow-themed attractions await. After arriving in Engelberg, ride on the aerial cableway to the summit of Mt Titlis for roughly two hours of free time. Entry to acclaimed glacier attractions such as the rotating Titlis Rotair gondola, Titlis Glacier Park, Ice Flyer chairlift, Glacier Cave and Cliff Walk — Europe’s highest suspension bridge — are all included (weather permitting).
Suggested duration: 5h 30min
Tours from $166 › More about this tour at viator.com ›