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24 Hours in Lucerne Itinerary: How to Spend One Day in Lucerne, Switzerland (2023)

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Have you been looking for the best 24 hours in Lucerne itinerary? I’ve got you covered!

In Lucerne, there is something for everyone – no matter what your interests are or how much time you have. From breathtaking mountain views and picturesque lakeside strolls to historic sites and world-class museums, you will never run out of things to explore.

I was lucky enough to spend 24 hours in Lucerne during my trip to Switzerland, so a lot of this is coming from first-hand experience. I want to make sure you’re able to have as a great of a trip as I did.

No matter how limited your time may be in Lucerne, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience! With a little bit of planning and a lot of enthusiasm, you can make every second count during your 24-hour visit here!

Here’s how to spend 24 hours in Lucerne!

🤩 Want to experience the best of Lucerne with a guide? Check out this walking and boat tour!

Day 1 Lucerne Itinerary: Lake Lucerne, Spreur Bridge, & More

Enjoy breakfast at Mill’Feuille

If you’re looking for a great breakfast spot in Lucerne, head to Mill’Feuille! Of all the incredible places to eat in Lucerne, this one tops the list. With delicious coffee and a range of European breakfast items, it’s the perfect way to start your day.

Plus, its central location makes it easy to find when exploring the city. So why not enjoy a meal here and get your day off on the right foot?

This is the perfect way to start off your 24 hours in Lucerne.

Go inside the Jesuit Church

People sit inside a white church.

Visiting the Jesuit Church in Lucerne is a great free activity for travelers! As the first big Baroque church north of the Alps, it’s a beautiful site to visit. Constructed in the 17th century, its stunning architecture makes it a must-see destination for all history buffs and lovers of art.

Plus, being so centrally located in the city makes it easy and convenient to find! It’s the best place to leisurely stroll to after enjoying a hearty breakfast.

I visited the Jesuit Church in Lucerne, and I could not believe my eyes. It was the most beautiful church I had ever seen! It was filled with ornate details and rosey colors. I felt so lucky to be able to experience such a magnificent structure, and that feeling stayed with me for days after.

Walk across Chapel Bridge & Spreuer Bridge

A bridge stretches over a blue lake.

Visiting the Jesuit Church in Lucerne is an absolute must for any traveler. But it isn’t the only attraction worth seeing in this beautiful Swiss city. Two of the most popular bridges, Chapel Bridge and Spreuer Bridge, offer travelers stunning views and unique experiences.

Spreuer Bridge is a wooden footbridge that runs over the gorgeous turquoise water, allowing visitors to walk along its length, admiring the view of the town as they do so.

Chapel Bridge, meanwhile, is a covered bridge which crosses over Reuss River. This bridge is especially notable due to the paintings on its ceiling, making it a must-visit for any interested in history or art. It’s also said to be Europe’s oldest covered bridge!

Enjoy a Lake Lucerne Boat Cruise

A white boat on water surrounded by mountains.

Lake Lucerne boat cruises in the morning are a great way to take in the sights of the area and get to know the culture up close and personal. So, consider booking one as your last morning activity on this 24 hours in Lucerne itinerary. It’s a perfect way to explore all that this stunning region has to offer without having to trek for miles on foot.

With an experienced local guide, you will be able to learn about the history of the bridges, take in picturesque views, and get insights into what life is like here.

Plus, you can sit back and relax in comfort while your guide takes care of all the details. There’s no better way to experience the beauty of Lake Lucerne than from the deck of a boat!

🤩 This 1-hour Lake Lucerne cruise is perfect since it starts right at 11 a.m. allowing you to cruise in the morning before lunch!

Have lunch at Wirtshaus Taube Luzern

For travelers searching for a cozy and inviting spot after an amazing Lake Lucerne cruise, Wirtshaus Taube Luzern is the perfect place to dine. Situated right by the water, this restaurant serves classic Swiss dishes with unbeatable service.

With incredible hospitality and top-notch quality food, it might be a bit pricier than other meals you’d find in the area, but it’s definitely worth every penny. You can’t leave without trying their most famous dish, rosti.


Where should you travel next?

Spend the afternoon visiting Mt Pilatus & taking the gondola ride

View of nearby mountains and lakes from the top of a mountain.

With just 24 hours in Lucerne, you can’t miss out on a stop to Mt Pilatus.

Mt Pilatus is one of the most-visited scenic mountains in the area, offering breathtaking views across the alpine landscape, so go out there for the afternoon! A great way to explore this stunning place is by taking a tour and taking in all it has to offer.

This entire mountain overlooks Lucerne. Be sure to check the weather beforehand to make sure that you’ll actually be able to see out and take in the view. Sometimes the area can get foggy which can make the area look completely different!

If you do want to get there on your own, it’s completely possible and will offer you a bit more flexibility. Consider booking this ticket to cover your transportation – you can pick when you’d like to go.

🤩 Check out this tour to Mt Pilatus from Lucerne which leaves at 12:30 pm in the summer!

Have a fondue dinner at Stadtkeller

People dipping sticks into fondue.

If you are visiting Switzerland, you really can’t miss trying authentic fondue! Luckily, this is an experience you can enjoy at Lucerne’s Stadtkeller. Enjoy a late night out (they’re usually open fairly late so you can still stop by after visiting Mt Pilatus) and treat yourself to a delicious dinner made with the finest ingredients.

The atmosphere is inviting and lively—you’ll often find live music occasionally adding to the ambiance of the room.

Best Time to Visit Lucerne

Exterior of a swiss building with red on it.

Lucerne has long been a top destination for tourists year-round, but the best time of year to visit is during spring and fall. Not only are prices for accommodation lower, but the weather is also more pleasant than during the summer months. Plus, you can enjoy all the great attractions Lucerne has to offer with fewer crowds than usual.

I personally visited Lucerne in early spring and instantly fell in love with it – the small town charm together with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lake! I especially enjoyed being there without other tourists around.

Where to Stay in Lucerne

Empty cobblestone street lined with historic buildings.

Lucerne is a great destination for travelers, with a variety of neighborhoods to choose from.

Old Town (Alstadt) is perfect for first-time visitors, offering breathtaking views of the city itself. It’s really centrally located with lots of charm. Consider staying at Hotel Des Alpes which is central and near the train station.

New Town (Neustadt) is perfect for visitors who enjoy the nightlife, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs. Stay at the ritzy Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern for a great night’s rest.

For travelers on a budget, Tribschen offers an array of affordable lodging options. Or you can stay at the budget-friendly ibis budget Hotel Luzern City – we always stay at ibis budgets when traveling. They’re unfussy but comfortable.

All three neighborhoods offer great experiences and stunning views that make Lucerne one of Switzerland’s top tourist destinations.

Getting Around Lucerne

A wooden bridge stretches over the water.

Lucerne is an incredibly walkable city, so if you’re staying centrally, the best way to get around is by foot. The city’s well-maintained cobbled streets and scenic lake views make navigating by foot a pleasure

But if you find yourself going further than you’d like to walk, there are local buses and trains that will take you almost anywhere in the area. To save money on transport costs, get a Visitor Lucerne Card, which will allow for unlimited use of public transport within the city limits.


Blue river drips over into a mini waterfall.
How many days in Lucerne?

One day in Lucerne is enough to explore some of the most iconic sights in the city, including the historic Chapel Bridge, Old Town, and Lake Lucerne.

What is the best way to get around Lucerne?

The best way to get around Lucerne is by foot since it is quite compact. Most attractions within the city center are just a few minutes away from each other by walking. Public transportation is also available if needed.

How much money do I need for one day in Lucerne?

The amount of money you need for a day in Lucerne will depend on your activities and budget. If you are looking to travel on a budget, there are plenty of options available, such as inexpensive restaurants and attractions. You can also find lodging, transportation, and activities that allow you to stick to your budget. However, if you’re looking for a more luxury experience in Lucerne, the costs may increase accordingly. Hotels range from mid-range to five-star accommodations, with prices increasing with the level of luxury. Some activities such as boat rides or excursions may require additional fees depending on the tour company you choose.

What is there to do in Lucerne?

Lucerne is well known for its picturesque scenery and outdoor activities. You can explore the city’s beautiful Old Town, which features cobblestone streets and historic buildings such as the Chapel Bridge and Jesuit Church. Outdoor adventures like hiking, skiing, kayaking, and zip-lining are all available in the area around Lucerne. Additionally, you could go on a boat tour of Lake Lucerne or visit one of its many museums.

How do I get to Lucerne from Zurich?

There are several ways to get to Lucerne from Zurich. You can take the train, which takes about an hour. You can also take a bus or rent a car, both of which will take about the same amount of time and cost as the train.

Final Thoughts: Lucerne in One Day

Overall, Lucerne offers a wealth of experiences and activities for visiting travelers. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll along the banks of Lake Lucerne or taking in the sublime views from Mount Pilatus, don’t miss out on a perfect day in Lucerne.

Seize the opportunity to explore this majestic city and fully immerse yourself in its culture. Go ahead and plan your 24 hours in Lucerne – you won’t be disappointed!

Check out our Zurich + Lucerne vlog!

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