Holidays in Lucerne

Combine culture and nature on a walking holiday to Lucerne – a little city perfectly placed for exploring the mountainous Lake Lucerne region

The picturesque city of Lucerne is poised on the banks of one of Switzerland’s largest lakes – the sprawling Lake Lucerne. It’s a locale that’s inspired royalty, poets and composers, who have all gathered here, leading to a boom in grand hotels and villas. Lucerne is an incredibly walkable city of barely 250,000 residents, with streets leading past frescoed cafés and museums in the car-free Old Town. Just don’t forget the world beyond while on your wanders. Polished paddle steamers leave Lucerne bound for villages like Weggis and Vitznau, and the local mountains of Rigi and Pilatus Kulm are adorned with exceptional hiking trails.

Here there be dragons: Mount Pilatus

Local people once believed that dragons lived in the caves and crannies of Mount Pilatus. And if you look closely, the set of peaks does look like a dragon spine reclining on the edge of Lucerne. The dragon theme continues on the mountaintop with scavenger hunts, storied trails and kid-friendly zip lines. There are also footpaths like the Flower Trail, and forest tracks and alpine moors, as well as climbs for experienced mountaineers. You can get to Pilatus by gondola and cable car starting in Kriens – or from the village of Alpnach for a ride on the steepest rack railway in the world - you can do it all with the Golden Round Trip which includes a boat trip between Alpnach and Lucerne.

Lake Lucerne

Ferries and historic paddle steamers carry passengers around the many-armed Lake Lucerne, stopping at the small ports that decorate the shores. Hop off at the pretty town of Weggis for Mount Rigi - nicknamed Queen of the Mountains - it's a hiking paradise with 120 kilometres of varied walking trails to explore and lake views to enjoy. Alternatively, book onto a lunch cruise, pick up a paddle board to explore the water at your own pace, or for a day of ultimate luxury, book a trip to the Bürgenstock Alpine Spa.

Lucerne: the city of bridges

Lucerne is one of the most walkable cities in Switzerland. Highlights include the much-loved Chapel Bridge that reaches over the River Reuss, the old city walls, the villa museum dedicated to Wagner, and the Church of St Leodegar, which sits its gothic spires on the site of an old Roman basilica. Need a breather? Take your pick of waterside bars and restaurants for a fruit brandy in view of the mountains, alfresco dining is a bit of a theme in Lucerne. “En guete!” as they say in the Alemannic dialect spoken here.

Getting around Lucerne – and beyond

Trolleybuses trundle around Lucerne’s city streets, while motor buses head into the hilly suburbs and villages beyond the city limits, and a funicular hoists view seekers up to Château Gütsch, the fairy-tale hotel perched above Lucerne. Meanwhile, the railway station is the gateway to big-name Swiss cities such as Zurich and ferries and paddle steamers bob at the quay next to the station - you can't come to Lucerne and not head out onto the water.

Why book a summer holiday in Lucerne with Inghams?

At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of Lake Lucerne's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.

With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Lucerne include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team overseas can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.

Added value

Half price rail, bus and boat travel with the Swiss Half Fare Card (worth over £100 per person)

Free 'Lucerne Visitors Card' Great for sightseeing with unlimited use of Lucerne's public buses up to zone 10 for access to various attractions (issued locally)

Swiss Family Card Included - free travel for children under 16 on mainline trains/buses/boats in Switzerland when accompanied by a parent

24/7 support & tailored advice from our local resort team

All holidays include flights or trains from the UK and train transfers

Hotels in Lucerne

  • from£1159pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4.5 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 62 Rooms
9 Beach Club

From Hotel Montana's peaceful hilltop location, you have incredible views over the city and lake to the mountains beyond. Eat in the award-winning restaurant, and enjoy lazy days by the water on the Beach Club terrace. A private elevator gives easy access to the waterfront.

  • from£959pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    3.5 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 96 rooms
Hotel Waldstaetterhof, Lucerne, Switzerland - hotel exterior.jpg (1)

Right by the train station and near the waterfront is the grand red-brick Hotel Waldstätterhof - a great base if you're planning to explore. Rooms are cosy, modern, and comfortable. Meals are excellent, with a great choice of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 48 rooms
Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne - Lounge area

In a great location close to the centre is this unique Swiss Historic Hotel. With a 500-year history, the Wilden Mann is full of original features, from the winding corridors to the occasional creaking floorboard; Walk in. Be enchanted. You might well find yourself wanting to come back again!

Travel information

All our holidays include return travel either by flight or train, and then a transfer between the airport or railway station and Lucerne.

All departures are on Saturdays, Wednesdays or Fridays with stays from three - 14 nights.

On arrival into Lucerne station, for most hotels, there will be a hotel shuttle or taxi to take you to your hotel. Some hotels are close enough to the station to walk, please see individual hotel pages for details.

Travel by air

Flights to Geneva or Zurich airports are available from eight UK airports.

Flights to Zurich:

Fly from




Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14


Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14

London City

Wed, Fri

5, 7, 9, 12, 14



7, 14


Wed, Fri

5, 7, 9, 12, 14

Transfer time from Zurich airport: approx. one hour by rail. Your journey may involve a change of trains.

Flights to Geneva:

Fly from




Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14


Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14


Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14


Fri, Sat

6, 7, 13, 14


Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14


Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14

Transfer time from Geneva airport: approx. three hours by rail. Your journey may have a change of trains.

On arrival into Lucerne station, for most hotels, there will be a hotel shuttle or taxi to take you to your hotel. Some hotels are close enough to the station to walk, please see individual hotel pages for details.

Flight supplements may apply and are based on seven nights of midweek/weekend departures. 

Travel by train

We offer holidays by train to Lucerne, which depart on Saturdays for seven or 14 days. The journey takes around 14 hours from London St. Pancras and you'll be able to enjoy the change of scenery out of the train window as you journey through France and into the Alps of Switzerland.

The provisional outbound timings are:




London St Pancras



Change at Paris

10:20 (Gare du Nord)

14:22 (from Paris Gare du Lyon)

Change at Basel


onward travel by train

Onward travel from Basel: the transfer from Basel to Lucerne will be by train. The journey will take around one hour. There are some direct trains from Basel to Lucerne. If you're not on a direct train your journey will have one change of trains.

On arrival into Lucerne station, for most hotels there will be a hotel shuttle or taxi to take you to your hotel. Some hotels are close enough to the station to walk, please see individual hotel pages for details.

For your return journey, you will travel back to Basel on Saturday morning by train. The journey takes around one hour. There are some direct trains from Lucerne to Basel. If you're not on a direct train your journey will have one change of trains.

The provisional inbound timings from Basel are:





travel to Basel by train


Change at Paris

17:38 (Gare du Lyon)

19:12 (Gare du Nord)

London St. Pancras



Swiss Half Fare Card

The Swiss transport network is an excellent combination of trains, mountain railways, cable-cars, boats and buses that make it a pleasure to get around and explore at your own pace. 

Swiss Half Fare Card included for all Inghams guests

The Swiss Half Fare Card is included in the price of your holiday and is sent to you as part of your rail transfer tickets. This card can be used around Switzerland for up to 50% discount on various modes of transport - so make sure you keep it with you. It also gives free travel to children from 6 to 15 years old, when accompanied by a parent with the Family Card.

Tell Pass - pre-bookable

Tell Regional Pass (pre-bookable)

2 consecutive days, from £171 (2nd class)
5 consecutive days, from £225 (2nd class)
10 consecutive days, from £287 (2nd class)

Individual upgrades to 1st class tickets payable locally.

Discover the region with this great value pass, which gives you unlimited travel on regional boats, buses, trains and cable-cars including:

  • Free travel to summits Pilatus Kulm, Rigi Kulm and Stanserhorn for fantastic views, open-top cable-car and walking.
  • Free unlimited boat trips around the whole of Lake Lucerne to Weggis, Brunnen, Vitznau, Fluelen and Küssnacht
  • Free trains to Meiringen, Engelberg, Zug and Arth-Goldau
  • Free trip on the Mount Titlis revolving aerial cable-car
  • Free unlimited boat trips on Lake Zug
  • Free unlimited use of city buses in Lucerne
  • Free trip on Mount Titlis revolving cable-car
  • Upgrade to 1st class locally

Prices and supplements are correct at time of publishing but may vary up or down; correct prices will be advised at the time of booking.

Things to do in Lucerne

Things to do in Lucerne

Lucerne's famous Old Town

Along the River Reuss that joins Lake Lucerne, located between City Hall and Chapel Bridge stands the stunning waterfront row of local restaurants and cafés, perfect for daytime treats or evening cuisine. This postcard-perfect strip has beautifully decorated buildings and flower covered balconies.

Cultural and historical experiences

Stroll down the cobbled streets in Lucerne's Old Town as you travel back in time along the beautiful facades. Book a guided city tour or visit the famous Lion monument, a popular landmark in one of the central parks. Pop into the churches to admire stunning interiors, and purchase a museum pass to immerse yourself in the local history and culture.

Shopping and markets

Lucerne is home to many markets and charming boutiques. The colourful Wochenmarkt is held once or twice a week and is full of fresh fruit, vegetables and local cheeses. Other fresh food and drink markets include the Markthalle Luzern and the fish market. And, once a month there is also a craft market and the Monatsmarkt, perfect for collecting memorable souvenirs.

Music Festivals

The ‘Blue Balls’ music and arts festival has some free concerts (approx. 19 - 27 Jul) covering a range of genres and artists. If you are more into classical music, then the International Music Festival (approx. 16 Aug - 15 Sep) is one of the world leading series that has been going since 1938.

Beaches around the lake

Take a visit to Ufschötti, a small swimming beach easily walkable from Lucerne main station. With a reasonable sized lawn you can enjoy a picnic, game of beach volleyball, or lay back and soak up the sun before taking a dip in the lake or tucking into an ice cream. There's plenty of other lakeside lidos to discover too.

Water sports

Glide over the mirrored waters on a kayak, make your way to a nearby village on a stand-up paddle board, sail across the waterway or challenge yourself to some intense wakeboarding. Lake Lucerne is fantastic for its watersport activities, so why not gear up and try something new.

Lake cruises

Hop on one of the steamboats or motorboats and discover the region in no time. With first-class service and onboard dining, the options to choose from and experiences up for grabs are endless. We love the Golden Round Trip from Lucerne, combining a lake cruise with mountain transport to explore Mt. Pilatus. You can even get a discounted fee on the cruises with your included Swiss Half Fare Card.

Mountain Peak day trips

Mount Rigi, Bürgenstock, and Pilatus Kulm surround Lake lucerne. You can reach Mt. Pilatus’ peak by the steepest cogwheel railway in the world or travel by mountain railway, boat and cableway on the Mt. Pilatus Golden Round Trip circular route. Or, head to Weggis and take a trip to Mt. Rigi, "Queen of the Mountains" for some spectacular views. There is also good scope for walking and even cycling on many of these local mountains.

Family activities in Lucerne

Family activities in Lucerne

Activities on Mount Pilatus

Explore PILU-land with the children - a mythical-beast-themed play area where kids can burn as much energy as they like running freely, testing their balancing skills, speeding down the slide or scrambling over the wooden climbing frames. You’ll also be able to have a barbeque here too, so no one will go hungry.

Immerse yourself in an interactive experience at Dragon World. If the weather isn't playing ball, then encounter the virtual dragons through the interactive games and visual effects.

Are you an adventurous family seeking an adrenaline rush? The PILU Rope Park is exceptional and will not disappoint. Join the mountain dragon on the treetop adventure – fit for children aged four and above. If you have daring teens and want more of a challenge, then the higher ropes course is incredible. Who will take on the obstacles first?

Europe's tallest outdoor elevator

Brave the mountain edge cliff walk at the bottom before you start your thrilling ascent up the Hammetschwant Lift, renowned for being the highest outdoor lift in Europe. As you are taken up to 1,132 metres high, a whole new point of view is unlocked – so make sure to have your camera ready.

Klewenalp flower trail

Play a game of I-spy surrounded by up to 120 different flower species. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the three-kilometre circular trail – it's suitable for prams as well. Starting with an exciting hour-and-a-half lake cruise to Beckenried, you’ll then need to take the cable car to the Klewenalp mountain station to start the nature hunt.

Mount Rigi playgrounds

Play areas on Mount Rigi are fantastic. You can use the Swiss Half Fare Card to cross the lake at a reduced rate, where plenty of playgrounds can be found. Take a trip to Rigiland Adventure, Rigi Burggeist, Rigi Scheidegg playground, or visit them all. What more could a child want than a day of playground hopping.

Lucerne excursions

1st class day ticket on Lake Lucerne

From £44, daily
Spend the day cruising the lake, getting on and off as you please, with unlimited travel on the lovely boats.

'Mount Rigi' Roundtrip

From £45, daily
Take a unique ride up to Mount Rigi on the oldest cogwheel railway in the world, to enjoy marvellous views and some easy scenic walking.

Mount Pilatus Golden Round Trip

From £45, daily
A spectacular journey up to the summit of Lucerne’s impressive mountain for wonderful views over the lake.

Guided 'Classic Walking Tour' of Lucerne

From £21, daily

2 hour tour of the old town, including Chapel Bridge.


‘Cabrio’ open-top cable-car at Stanserhorn*

Many more options available locally through your Representative including:

From £40, daily
Reach the summit on this 120yr old funicular route & cable-car for views over 10 lakes, alpine flowers, marmot park and revolving restaurant.

*Bookable locally - price for guidance only. Prices shown include Travel Card discount.

Please note that we act at all times as selling agent for the suppliers of activities & excursions.

Prices and supplements are correct at time of publishing but may vary up or down; correct prices will be advised at the time of booking.


Easy Lucerne is perfect for strolls along the lakeside or the colourful old town. Don't miss the city guided walking tour, which points out the city's most important landmarks.

Moderate Nature lovers should take the boat to Breckenreid for the 'Klewenalp Flower Trail'. Once at the top, the signs take you on a short steep section, but then flattens out as you make your way around Klewenalp, following the wide variety of wild flowers which thrive here (approx. 1hr).

Slightly Challenging Head out of Lucerne to the nearby Rigi mountain near Weggis. The cog railway takes you up to Rigi Kulm and you can walk even higher to get stunning panoramic views. Instead of taking the train back down, walk to Rigi Kaltbad (approx. 1hr 20 mins). Ascending Mount Pilatus by cog railways and cable-car is also a must for inspring views of the lake and Alpine range.

Bernina Express.jpg

This 9 night tour is an excellent overview of Switzerland's special highlights, designed for those seeking a true taste of this stunning country, including unforgettable experiences on two of the most spectacular panoramic journeys in the world, the ‘Bernina’ and ‘Glacier Express’.

Good to know

Walking trails: Access to over 120km of varied walking trails across the Lake Lucerne region

Terrain: Diverse terrain from the expanse of the lake, to rugged peaks and Alpine meadows

Best time to go: end of May to mid October. It can get hot in July and August but a dip in the lake is a great way to cool off

Recommended for: Easy walking, families with teens, nature, activities, sightseeing, food and drink

Fly into: Geneva or Zurich (approx. 2 hours)

Transfer time: approx. 1 hour (from Zurich) or 3 hours (from Geneva) by train (journey may require changes of train)

24/7 Support and advice: In person or over the phone from our local resort team based in Lucerne

Resort card: Swiss Half Fare Card included for all hotels - travel passes are available to pre-book

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