Set on the left bank of the River Reuss, the Lucerne Old Town is encircled by medieval walls and watchtowers and connected to the right bank by two covered wooden bridges: Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) and Spreuer Bridge (Spreuerbrücke). The narrow streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site are lined with half-timbered houses and 15th-century buildings.
An atmospheric backdrop for walking tours, pedestrianized Lucerne Old Town holds many of the city’s top sights, such as the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge. The district is commonly visited as part of day tours from Zurich, which typically include visits to nearby natural attractions, including Alpine mountains and lakes.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Lucerne Old Town is a must for sightseers, with its charming historical streets providing ample photo opportunities.
- Wear comfortable shoes; the streets can be uneven and walking is the only means of transport.
- Much of Lucerne Old Town is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
To get here from Zurich, ride the train from Zurich Main Station. Trains depart regularly and take around 45–60 minutes. From the station, it is just a short walk to Lucerne Old Town.
When to Get There
Visit in summer for warm weather, boat cruises in the sun, and green Alpine scenery. In winter, tourist numbers are lower, as are temperatures. Providing you don’t mind wrapping up warm, you can enjoy Christmas markets and views of the snow-covered Swiss Alps. One of the best times to visit is during the annual Fasnacht carnival celebrations, which take place in February or March and feature street parties and parades.
Things to Do Nearby
If you have free time during your visit to Lucerne Old Town, consider checking out some of the other nearby attractions. You can take a boat tour on Lake Lucerne, or ascend Mount Pilatus, Stanserhorn, or Mount Rigi by cogwheel train or cable car for panoramic views of the Alps of Central Switzerland.