Lucerne places to visit

My wife and I are spending 7 days in Lucerne beginning May 3. Could someone give us some suggestions on the best places to see and visit to make the most of our time here. We already acquired a 4 day swiss pass and have a hotel already booked (free to us) so we plan on using Lucerne as our "base of operations". Thanks
Kevin Crow Red Bluff, Ca

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

A lot of the best experiences are a bit weather-dependent. But what I would do on the first nice day is the Rigi loop: lake boat to Vitznau; cogwheel train up to the top at Rigi Kulm; stop for lunch and a walk; ride the train (or hike if you prefer) back down to Rigi Kaltbad; take a walk there on the Flower Trail or others; ride the cablecar back down to the lake (very exciting) at Weggis, and ride a boat back to Luzern. All of this is fully convered with a Swiss Pass.

Posted by Kevin
Red Bluff, Ca
13 posts

Lola Thanks for the tip. Would these activities require using one of our "days" on the 4 day pass?

Posted by steven
white plains, ny, usa
650 posts

Kevin , If you take the Vitznau excursion ( which we loved ) ,try to make a point of riding one of the restored early twentieth century lake steamers either going out to Vitznau or on the return to Luzern ,We came back on the " Stadt Luzern " of 1928 , and the paddle steamers add a certain je ne sais quoi to an already wonderful day . Also ,in Luzern , the Museum of Transport will thrill any railroad buff , and the Rosengart Collection ,near the Bahnhof , is a world class museum of early twentieth century art ( Picasso , Monet , Leger , Klee , Matisse , etc . ) Your pass includes admission to the Rosengart and 50% off the Transport museum . The Richard Wagner Museum just south of the Bahnhof , is also worth a visit .

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

It will usse one of your 4 days if you want it to be fully covered. If you have a "Flex" pass rather than a consecutive-day Swiss pass, you can choose not to use a covered day for this, and then it would be covered 50% (assuming you have already used a covered day). I can explain further if you have a Flex pass. Otherwise the 50% feature is not relevant. Regular fare for "the loop" is 99 CHF. What else would you like to do with the covered days? Berner Oberland? Lugano?

Posted by Kevin
Red Bluff, Ca
13 posts

Lola, A client/friend who had recently travelled there recommended a day trip to Montreux and visiting the castle on Lake Geneva, stopping for an hour or two at Interlaken. The other day, they recommended spending an afternoon in Bern, saying that it was really "quaint old German town" atmosphere. That is all we have to go on for now.Another older friend who was born and raised there recommended Murat (or something like that) and the mountain range south of Interlaken. I am studying French and we are headed to Paris after Switzerland, so I am also hoping to practice my French as much as possible while there.

Posted by Kevin
Red Bluff, Ca
13 posts

I'm sorry, I forgot to mention, we have a flex pass. 4 days to be used within 1 month. Kevin

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Those are excellent suggestions. Luzern to Montreux is 2.5 to 3 hours each way if you go the fast way via Bern; 4.5 hours one way via Interlaken. Chateau de Chillon will take 2-3 hours, well worth the time. So I would save Interlaken for a separate trip and get up into the mountains (Mürren or Wengen) to see the best the area has to offer. So those two, together with the Rigi loop, could be 3 of your four covered days. You still have one more to decide. It is good that you have the Flex Pass as that gives you the most options. Remember that you only get 50% off between the first and last covered days, so be careful how you plan. I would NOT use covered days to get to and from Luzern from Zurich; that journey is too short to be worth covering with the pass.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17783 posts

Kevin, As well as making day trips with your Pass, there are some good sights to see in Lucerne as well. For example, you could: > Take a local walking tour. Ask at the T.I., which is located in the station. They sometimes run bi-lingual tours in both German and English, depending on the group composition. > Visit the excellent Museum of Transport. I could easily spend a full day there, as there's so MUCH to see. > Visit the small park where the famous Lion of Lucerne is located. Mark Twain called it the "saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world". > Walk across the historic Chapel Bridge. > Browse some of the posh stores. Lucerne is an incredibly beautiful city, and one of my favourites. Happy travels!

Posted by Jim
Dallas, Texas, USA
495 posts

Lola and Ken have nailed it. For me, I wouldn't think of of being in Luzern and not going to Murren in the Berner Oberland. You'll love it.

Posted by Kevin
Red Bluff, Ca
13 posts

Thanks for the great suggestions. We are staying at the Renaissance Lucerne Hotel about a block from the train station. We are also flying into Geneva (we are using travel points so Geneva was the arrival city available) so Geneva to Lucerne will be using 2 of our 4 days. Any recommendations for good local restaurants?
Thanks Kevin

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

If you are starting in Geneva, then you could incorporate your visit to Montreux and Chateau de Chillon into your travel between Geneva and Luzern, rather than making a separate (and redundant) daytrip. Doing it on the ereturn would be easiest and most relaxed. You can store your luggage in lockers in the station while you do your sightseeing, then continue to Geneva (assuming your flight out is th enext morning). For dining in Luzern, we like the Opus wine bar. Hopefully it will be nice enough to sit outside.

Posted by Jim
Dallas, Texas, USA
495 posts

We also had a good experience at Opus.

Posted by Mme Eli
XXX
1170 posts

Well Kevin is already on his trip, but I thought I might jump in here with a few questions about Lucerne. Hope you're having a grand time in Lucerne, Kevin :-) Lola, could you tell me if the trip you recommended to Kevin (Rigi), is covered by the Half Fare card (50%)? I seem to see more recommendations for Riji over Mt. Pilatus. Why is that? We will have only two nights in Lucerne, so we are hoping the second day is a good day for the a trip up the mountains.

Posted by Kevin
Red Bluff, Ca
13 posts

Had really nice weather today and spent the day shopping around the old part of town since we are staying about 2 blocks from the train station. Took Rick's advice about dining at the Manora buffet style restaurant that he talks about in his book. For around $20 we had a very nice lunch on the rooftop terrace and it was a much nicer place than I had imagined (I was imagining an old Woolworth's with a cheesy cafeteria and some old stairs to an old tar roof). My wife said that it reminded her of something out of Mary Poppins and by getting there at 11:40 it was practically empty. Thanks for the tip Rick!!!