Lucerne River With Castle In Background
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Lucerne With Kids: Our Switzerland Family Vacation

With its picturesque old town, snow-capped mountain peaks, and breathtaking lake, it’s no wonder Lucerne is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

We arrived to Lucerne after spending time in the Oberland area on our Switzerland family vacation, before heading to our next stop in Italy.

Lucerne Train Station View Of Lake

What to See in Lucerne with Kids

Chapel Bridge and Water Tower

Lucerne Chapel Bridge

This wooden bridge, built during the Middle Ages, stretches across the Reuss River and connects the old town with the newer parts of the city. You can’t miss it, and it’s a great place to take some pictures.

The adjacent Water Tower adds a touch of medieval charm to the scene. Stroll across the bridge and enjoy the captivating paintings from the 17th century, depicting scenes from Lucerne’s history.

Explore Old Town Lucerne

Old Town Lucerne

We spent most of our first day in Lucerne just exploring Old Town

This well-preserved medieval heart of the city is a delight to explore on foot. Meander through the charming, narrow streets, marvel at the colorful frescoes adorning the buildings, and let the kids roam free in the pedestrian-only zones.

Musegg Wall

Musegg Wall (Museggmauer) In Lucerne

The Musegg Wall (Museggmauer) is a well-preserved medieval fortification in Lucerne, Switzerland.

It was built in the 14th century as part of the city’s defensive system and remained an iconic landmark. The wall stretches for almost 1 kilometer and features nine towers, each with a unique design and history.

Four of the nine towers are open to the public, allowing you to climb to the top and enjoy panoramic views of the city and its picturesque surroundings:

  1. Schirmer Tower: This tower houses a small exhibition on the history of the Musegg Wall and offers splendid views of the old town.
  2. Männli Tower: Climb the narrow wooden staircase to the top of this tower for a different perspective of Lucerne and its landmarks.
  3. Zyt Tower: This tower is home to the oldest city clock, built in 1535. The clock still operates today and has the privilege of chiming one minute before all the other city clocks.
  4. Wacht Tower offers an interesting view of the Reuss River and the surrounding landscape.

Jesuit Church

Jesuit Church Lucerne

Constructed in the 17th century, the Jesuit Church, church held considerable importance during the Counter-Reformation movement, as it aimed to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s influence in response to the Protestant Reformation.

The outside has beautiful sculptures and intricate stonework. The interior is equally impressive, with stunning frescoes, ornate stuccowork, and magnificent altarpieces. The church’s magnificent pipe organ is one of the largest in Switzerland.

Lion Monument

Lion Monument Lucerne

We also walked to the Lion Monument one of the most famous things in Lucerne. The lion is a poignant tribute to the Swiss Guards, who lost their lives during the French Revolution.

Swiss Museum of Transport

The Swiss Museum of Transport is an interactive museum offering exhibits on trains, planes, and automobiles.

We always try to visit at least one museum in other countries, and this is definitely worth the visit if you have the time. The downside is it’s not right in Lucerne, but a short bus or taxi ride outside town.

Mount Pilatus

Reach the summit of Mount Pilatus via the world’s steepest cogwheel railway or a cable car ride, leaving your kids wide-eyed with excitement. At the top explore the Glacier Cave, or try some winter sports.

Mount Rigi

Mount Rigi, the “Queen of the Mountains,” is another great winter excursion for families. Accessible via a scenic boat trip and a train ride, the summit has winter activities like snowshoe trails, cross-country ski trails, and even an ice-skating rink.

For a unique experience, book a night at the Rigi Kaltbad Mineral Baths & Spa and rejuvenate in the soothing thermal waters.

Mount Titlis

For a truly unforgettable winter experience, head to Mount Titlis. The breathtaking journey begins with a boat ride across Lake Lucerne, a train ride, and finally, a trip on the world’s first revolving cable car, the Titlis Rotair. Once at the summit, treat yourself to mesmerizing views of the Swiss Alps, explore the Glacier Cave, and traverse Europe’s highest suspension bridge. Kids will love the snow park, where they can go tubing, sledding, or play in the snow.

Lake Lucerne Cruise

A Lake Lucerne Cruise across the lake’s calm waters is a great way to see the region’s stunning scenery. Choose a shorter round trip, or a first-class trip with a 3-course lunch.

Winter Sports

Lucerne and the surrounding mountains offer many winter sports. From skiing and snowboarding to sledding and ice skating. Many resorts, such as Rigi Scheidegg and Mt. Pilatus, offer beginner-friendly slopes and rental equipment, making it easy for everyone to enjoy the fun.

Christmas Market

If you visit Lucerne between the end of November or late December, check out the city’s Christmas Market. Set in the historic old town, the market has local crafts, food, and beverages.

Feeding the Ducks and Geese on Lake Lucerne

One of our kids’ favorite thing in Lucerne was something pretty simple: feeding the geese they found near a small park called Inseli Park near the central train station.

Lake Lucerne Geese

Top Hotels in Lucerne for Families

Lucerne is a small town, so staying in the Old Town allows you to enjoy picturesque scenery while still just a 10-minute walk from the train station.

Here are some top-rated hotels in Lucerne that cater to families, each with a rating of 8 out of 10 or higher on Booking.com:

Our top choice

Hotel des Balances

Hotel des Balances is a charming 4-star hotel in the heart of Lucerne’s old town. This historic building offers beautifully designed rooms, some with views of the Reuss River.

Rating: 9.0/10 on Booking.com

Another Great choice

Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern

Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern is a luxurious 5-star hotel located on the shores of Lake Lucerne. The hotel features elegant rooms, a spa, and several on-site dining options.

Rating: 8.6/10 on Booking.com

top Pick close to train station

Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel, Lucerne, is a modern 4-star hotel near the main train station and Lake Lucerne. The hotel offers spacious family rooms, an on-site restaurant with a kids’ menu, and babysitting services upon request.

The location makes it easy to drop off your luggage after arriving at the train station.

Rating: 8.3/10 on Booking.com

Getting Around Switzerland

Swiss Travel Pass

The Swiss Travel Pass is a ticket that lets you travel anywhere in Switzerland on trains, buses, and boats. You also get free entry to over 500 museums and discounts on mountain trips.

The Swiss Travel Pass is available for 3, 4, 8, or 15 consecutive days, making it perfect for short and extended trips. Some of the key benefits include:

Swiss Travel Pass

Swiss Travel Pass

The Swiss Travel Pass is a convenient, all-in-one ticket granting unlimited access to Switzerland’s public transportation network, including trains, buses, and boats. It also includes free admission to over 500 museums and discounts on mountain excursions. The Swiss Travel Pass is available for 3, 4, 8, or 15 consecutive days, making it perfect for short and extended trips. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Unlimited travel on trains, buses, and boats in Switzerland
  • Free admission to over 500 museums
  • Discounts on mountain excursions, such as Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi
  • Free travel for children under 16 when accompanied by a parent with a Swiss Family Card

Regional Pass Bernese Oberland

Regional Pass Bernese Oberland

Travelers in the Bernese Oberland region can use the Regional Pass Oberland. It includes Interlaken, Grindelwald, and Lauterbrunnen.

The pass lets you travel as much as you want on certain trains, buses, boats, and cable cars in the area. It also gives you discounts on mountain trips. It is available for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 10 days within one month, allowing flexible travel planning. Key benefits of the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland include:

  • You can travel as much as you want on certain trains, buses, boats, and cable cars in the Bernese Oberland area.
  • Discounts on mountain excursions, such as the Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn
  • Flexible travel days within one month

The Swiss Travel Pass or the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland depends on your travel plans. If you travel to different parts of the country, consider using the Swiss Travel Pass.

The Regional Pass Oberland might be a better option if you’re only interested in the Oberland region.

For our recent trip to Switzerland, we chose the Oberland Pass. We focused on Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, and Lucerne. All these areas and some of the cable cars were covered.

Swiss Trains

Switzerland is known for a highly efficient train system that covers a large area. The train system is a good way to travel nationwide, especially for families. Traveling by train in Switzerland is safe, reliable, and eco-friendly. Additionally, trains are kid-friendly. Some even have playgrounds!

Swiss trains sometimes have playgrounds on the upper levels. Kids can play and burn off energy there during long journeys.

In this picture, the upper deck had a slide, where our kids spent the ride playing with other kids.

Swiss Train Playground

Swiss trains have beautiful views of the countryside and mountains.

Many Swiss trains offer onboard dining. The train had a dining car during the journey from Interlaken to Lucerne. But, they served snacks instead of full meals.

Swiss Train Dining Car Scenery

Zurich Airport

The closest international airport to Lucerne is Zurich Airport. From there, it’s just an hour-long train ride to Lucerne’s main train station, the starting point for many of the city’s attractions and excursions.

Conclusion

Lucerne offers a blend of history, culture, and outdoor fun. We preferred our stay in the Oberland area (particularly Wengen). The scenery in that area topped everything else we saw on the trip.

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