Perfect 2 Days In Lucerne Itinerary

One of Switzerland’s most scenic destinations, the beautiful city of Lucerne sits among the snow-topped mountains on Lake Lucerne.

It has a fairytale charm that attracts visitors from all over the world, drawn by its medieval old town, striking architecture, and alpine scenery.

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There are also some great museums to suit every area of interest, from art and music to history and transport.

If you’re visiting the city for the first time and hoping to see the best of Lucerne in 2 days, you might be wondering which attractions to include on your itinerary.

So we’ve done the work for you and put together a handy guide for spending a weekend in Lucerne. It includes our suggestions for the best things to do each morning, afternoon, and evening of your visit.

We’ve also recommended some of our favorite places to eat and stay, helping you make the most of your time in this charming city.

Lucerne city, Switzerland

Day 1

On the first of your two days in Lucerne, you’ll be exploring the cobbled streets of its old town before heading out to experience the Swiss mountains in all their beauty.

Morning

The best place to start your morning is Lucerne’s iconic Chapel Bridge. This covered wooden walkway was originally constructed early in the 14th century and is the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge.

A devastating fire in 1993 destroyed much of the structure and many of the 17th-century paintings in the ceiling pediments – in fact, you can see damage from the fire on the paintings that remain.

But the bridge itself has been completely renovated and restored to its former glory.

Next to the bridge, you can see the 34-meter-high Water Tower, so named because of its location rather than its function. It has a distinctive red octagonal tiled roof and once formed part of the city’s defenses.

These days it’s home to the Lucerne Artillery Association and has a souvenir shop on the ground floor.

There is a second, less famous bridge to see too. Known as Spreuer Bridge, it’s located nearby and is the oldest timber bridge in the country.

Like Chapel Bridge, it contains artwork and you can see 45 paintings of the Totentanz (Dance of Death) inside.

Just across the river is the baroque Jesuit Church. Whilst it has an attractive exterior, the true beauty lies inside and you can see a gorgeous frescoed ceiling, lavish altars, and lots of gleaming white marble.

Lucerne chapel bridge, Switzerland

The Lion Monument is another ‘must-see’ in the Old Town. Carved into a cliff, it serves as a memorial to all the Swiss soldiers who died during the French revolution as they tried to protect the Tuileries Palace in Paris.

Right next door to the monument is the fascinating Glacier Garden. The site shows how Lucerne was once filled with glaciers and contains fossils and potholes from that period.

The Garden also has an observation tower offering great views across the city and an Alhambra Mirror Maze that’s lots of fun for kids and adults alike.

Depending on how much time you have left, there are a few more attractions in the old town you might want to see.

These include the ancient Church of St. Leodegar, the Musegg Wall that once formed part of the city’s fortifications, and the Bourbaki Panorama – an enormous painting by Edouard Castres created in 1871.

Afternoon

After lunch in town it’s time to head out into the alpine landscape with a visit to Mount Titlis. Located at over 3,000m above sea level, it’s the largest of the mountains in the region.

Getting there is relatively straightforward and the journey only takes around 45 minutes.

You need to travel by train from Lucerne to Engelberg station, where you can meet the first of two cable cars for the remainder of the journey.

The second – the Rotair – is a very unique experience. It is the first revolving cable car in the world and rotates a full 360⁰ as you ascend, so you can enjoy panoramic views without moving a muscle!

Whilst the scenery from the top looks amazing and more than worth the trip, there are actually lots of activities to enjoy there, too.

One is the Glacier Cave, a 150m ice cave bathed in a soft turquoise-blue light. The temperature inside is -1.5˚C and some of the ice is up to 5,000 years old.

Another cool experience is the Cliff Walk, a 100m suspension bridge located 3,041 meters above sea level and 500 meters off the ground! It’s only a meter wide and is thrilling to cross!

Finally, check out the Ice Flyer, a fun chair lift that gives you the feeling of flying over the glacier and allows you to see it from a whole new perspective.

Evening

After several hours in the bracing mountain air, you’ll be more than ready for a delicious dinner at the Old Swiss House restaurant.

Located inside a traditional Swiss building dating back to 1859, it is famous for its Wiener schnitzel, which the chefs prepare right at your table!

It’s an attractive venue, too, filled with gilt-framed artwork, rich wood paneling, beautiful fabrics, crystal glassware, and antique furniture.

Lucerne in the evening, Switzerland



Day 2

On the second of your 2 days in Lucerne, you’ll be cruising the scenic lake and visiting a variety of the city’s museums, including the best of them all – the Swiss Transport Museum.

Morning

Head to Bridge 7 at Swiss Hofquai this morning where you can board a panoramic yacht for a one-hour Cruise of Lake Lucerne.

An audio guide is provided and you can choose to sit on the upper deck, the main deck, or close to the water on the terrace at the back.

The views from this perspective are great, taking in Meggenhorn Castle, lots of luxury villas, the scenic hilly landscape, and – of course – the deep blue waters of the lake itself.

Once back on dry land take your pick of Lucerne’s excellent museums. If you’re an art fan, check out the Rosengart Collection. You can find it in the former National Bank building on Pilatustrasse.

Inside you’ll see more than 300 artworks, including pieces by the likes of Monet, Cézanne, and Matisse.

There are also more than 100 drawings and paintings by Paul Klee, plus a collection of Picasso’s paintings dating from 1938 to 1969.

The museum is a good place to learn more about Picasso’s life, too, and contains lots of photos of him at work.

If music is your passion, you might prefer to head to the Richard Wagner museum instead.

It is located in the Tribschen district and – through a series of paintings, photos, and letters – helps you learn all about Wagner’s life and his exile from Germany.

You can also see a piano he used whilst composing plus some original music scores.

Afternoon

After lunch, we recommend spending the rest of the afternoon in The Swiss Transport Museum. It may not sound very entertaining but it’s actually one of the best things to do in Lucerne!

The museum first opened in 1959 and once you step inside you’ll soon see why it’s the most visited museum in the country!

It is simply filled with interactive exhibits relating to all aspects of the transport industry, including rail, road, marine, and even air and space travel.

The car collection is fascinating, with examples ranging from vintage models to state-of-the-art racing cars. And there are lots of fun activities to try, making this a great museum to visit with children.

You can step inside a huge revolving cube to see how it feels to be inside a space station, try out the rides, and visit the planetarium and IMAX theatre.

You can also put on a pair of special slippers and walk onto Swissarena, the largest walkable aerial photo of a country in the world!

The Transport Museum is also home to the Swiss Chocolate Adventure, where you can learn how cocoa makes its way to Switzerland for chocolate production.

It’s lots of fun and ends with the opportunity to taste the treats at the Lindt Boutique.

Evening

As your weekend in Lucerne draws to a close, make your way to the legendary Hotel Des Alpes for some traditional Swiss fondue.

Served with mushrooms, olives, potatoes, and chunks of fresh bread, it is some of the best in the city and tastes quite divine!

But the location makes it even better and if you can get a seat on the terrace you’ll enjoy excellent views of the Chapel Bridge as you dine.

Other traditional dishes you might want to try include rosti made from pan-fried potatoes, and Aelpler Magronen (macaroni served Swiss-style).

Lucerne chapel bridge, Switzerland

Are 2 Days In Lucerne Enough?

2 days in Lucerne is the perfect amount of time! The center is small, separated into the old and new towns and connected by bridges.

Everything you need is within a comfortable walking distance, so you won’t need to spend a lot of time traveling.

Don’t forget, though, that you’ll need 2 FULL days to complete this itinerary. If you have a late arrival or early departure time, we recommend adding an extra night to your stay.

Where To Stay In Lucerne

Here are some of our favorite places to stay in Lucerne, with a suggestion to suit every budget!

Best Budget Accommodation

Backpackers Luzern has a great location in a quiet area on the shores of the scenic Lake.

It offers a shared kitchen and common lounge area where you can indulge in a spot of tabletop football with fellow travelers!

All rooms are spacious and beautifully furnished.

Best Mid-Range Accommodation

Hotel Des Alps in the heart of the historic Old Town isn’t famous for just its fondue – it’s also a fabulous place to stay!

It’s located in the pedestrian zone near Chapel Bridge and has great river views. The recently renovated rooms are tastefully furnished, with comfortable beds and tea/coffee-making facilities.

Best Luxury Accommodation

For a real treat, book a room at the magnificent Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern. This elegant family-owned establishment is located right in the Old Town beside the Lake and offers individually furnished rooms.

There are also excellent spa facilities, including a Finnish sauna and a bio sauna, both with beautiful Lake and alpine views. The on-site restaurants, meanwhile, serve Swiss and exotic gourmet cuisine.

Final Thoughts On Two Days In Lucerne

Lucerne is a wonderful city, steeped in history and with an Old Town so beautiful it looks like a scene from a postcard.

If you have been wondering what to do in Lucerne in 2 days, we hope that you have found this itinerary helpful and that you enjoy visiting each of these attractions during your stay.

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