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.
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.