7 Mistakes Tourists Make When Visiting Lucerne

chapel bridge lucerne

Do you want to avoid making the same mistakes many people make when coming to Lucerne?

Then you’re in the right place.

Below, I will show you the top things people get wrong when visiting this stunning city!

1. Not Getting A Little Bit Wet

The old town of Lucerne, and the Chapel Bridge in particular are the highlights of this historic Swiss city.

But don’t let that stop you from getting a little bit wet!

What do I mean by that? Make sure you head out on the water!

Lucerne is right on the lake. Lake Lucerne to be exact. And there are so many ways to have a unforgettable experience on this mesmerising Alpine lake.

You can:

  • Take one of the local ferries
  • Combine a ferry ride with a mountain trip
  • Head out on a lunch or dinner/sunset cruise

Don’t just stick to the city of Lucerne—get a little bit wet and enjoy one of its best features—the lake!

2. Not Climbing That Hill

Musegg Wall Lucerne
Musegg Wall Lucerne

Yes, Lucerne is actually quite flat. So, you won’t have to exert yourself too much while roaming around the city.

BUT, if you want to get the best views in town, you have to get up high – somehow.

There are three fun options available, so you can choose your own adventure:

  1. Climb the medieval Musegg Wall and experience the inside of a clock (on the hour)
  2. Catch the funicular up to Chateau Gütsch and see how the other half live
  3. Climb the wooden tower at the top of the Glacier Garden.

Make sure you do at least one of these to see Lucerne from up high! It’s worth it.

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3. Missing These Stunning Mountains

hammetschwand lift Bürgenstock

Sure, Mount Pilatus and Mount Titlis are two of the best mountain attractions around Lucerne. And I certainly won’t tel you not to experience them yourself.

However, if you have a little more time on your hands or just want to see something most people miss, try these mountain day trips as well:

4. Getting The Wrong Dates

Imagine you have your whole day planned – heading to the top of Pilatus, with a boat ride, cogwheel train and gondola ride thrown in for good measure.

But, when you get to the cogwheel train, you find it is…closed!

WHAT!???

Yes, unfortunately, many of Switzerland’s most popular mountain transport does close for maintenance.

This happens especially between summer and winter and, in some cases, all winter long, depending on the mountain and the transport type.

And you should make sure your planned trip is actually possible:

  • Check the opening times and dates before you go
  • Double-check by emailing the company if you are unsure (or call, they likely speak English)

Don’t ruin that epic mountain trip by leaving it all to chance.

5. Only Buying Obvious Souvenirs

Swatch Omega Moon Watch Collection
Swatch Omega Moon Watch Collection

Everyone loves a Swiss cowbell or a T-Shirt with Lucerne printed on the front.

But why not find something more unique on your once-in-a-lifetime visit to Lucerne?

There are three places I recommend you check out to grab yourself something more unusual to take home:

  1. The Swatch Store – Funky and affordable Swiss watches (Google Maps)
  2. The Victorinox Store – The original Swiss Army Knife company – make your own custom knife (Google Maps)
  3. Max Chocolatier- Top-notch, hand-made chocolates made in Lucerne. (Google Maps)

6. Missing the Best Museums

road signs switzerland

Lucerne is home to some of the most unique and exciting museums in Switzerland. Yes, museums can be fun too!

Take the Transport Museum – it is a huge expanse of actual planes, trains and automobiles. As well as boats, games, interactive exhibits and more. The kids love it (and adults too).

Then there is the Wagner Museum, a house where he lived and composed some of his best music. And it is right on the shores of the lake in a stunning setting with marvelous views.

The Rosengarten Collection is an art-lovers dream with a formerly insane private collection of modern masterpieces on display in a beautiful historic building right in the old town.

7. Having Too Many Regrets

2 day Lucerne itinerary

There is so much to see and do in and around Lucerne, you could absolutely spend a week here.

From the historic old town with the nearby museums, to the stunning Alpine vistas on Lake Lucerne, you will think you have woken up and landed in paradise.

Yes, one day in Lucerne will give you a taste of this wonderful Swiss city, but perhaps you should stay just a little bit longer?

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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