Zurich To Lucerne Travel Options (Train, Car & Taxi)

zurich to lucerne

Lucerne, Switzerland is, without a doubt, one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Switzerland, and for good reason.

It is a stunning lakeside and riverside town with great hotels, restaurants, activities, and reaching views across the lake into the Alps, what’s not to love? Some people struggle to decide between Lucerne or Zurich, but you should certainly do both!

The most common way for tourists to visit Lucerne is via Zurich but what is the best way to get there from Zurich? In this article, we take a look at all the different public transport options from Zurich to Lucerne so you can choose the best journey and transportation for you.

Key Takeaways

  • By Train: Takes between 40-50 minutes, 2nd class is CHF 12.50
  • By Car: Takes approximately 45 minutes with no traffic

Zurich to Lucerne by Private Transfer

One of the easiest and most convenient ways of getting from Zurich Airport to Lucerne is via Private Airport Transfer. All you have to do is spot your private driver in the arrivals hall via their clear sign with your name on it.

They will lead you to either a private car (for smaller groups) or a private minivan (for larger ones). They also have infant seats if you require one.

The driver will then whisk you straight to your hotel in Lucerne. They know the fastest routes and how to avoid traffic jams! And, they will work to your schedule.

Zurich to Lucerne by Train

Zurich train
Zurich trains

Train travel is probably the easiest and most convenient way to get from Zurich to Lucerne. Swiss train operators are notoriously efficient and the train from Zurich takes you through stunning countryside in both comfort and style.

Train Ticket Prices (Zurich to Lucerne)

Ticket prices vary depending on whether you are getting a 1st or 2nd class ticket, one-way ticket or return. You can also find lower-priced tickets online, especially if you book in advance using SBB’s Super Saver.

From Zurich HB (CHF)From Zurich Airport
2nd Class One Way12.5015.00
1st Class One Way22.0026.50
2nd Class Return25.0030.00
1st Class Return44.0053.00
Train Ticket Prices – Zurich to Lucerne

From Zurich Airport (Zürich Flughafen)

If you are landing at Zurich Airport you can take a direct train from the airport to Lucerne. The journey takes roughly an hour and ten minutes.

The direct services run from 05:38 am and continue to depart every 30 minutes until 23:38 meaning no matter what time you land, you should be able to get a direct train. You can also take a train from Zurich Airport and change trains in Zurich HB to Lucerne outside of these times.

From Zurich Main Train Station (Zurich HB)

If you are staying in Zurich, there are direct trains to Lucerne from the main station which take just 40 or 50 minutes depending on the service.

Swiss trains are highly efficient and Zurich HB – Lucerne trains run every 25 – 35 minutes from the station with a total of 41 trains per day running this route.

The earliest train to Lucerne train station is at 5:35 am and the last train is at 23:35.

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Things to Do in Lucerne: Your Ultimate Guide

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Where to buy train tickets from Zurich to Lucerne

When buying your train ticket from Zurich to Lucerne, you have quite a lot of options. You can either buy your train ticket

  • from ticket machines at the station
  • via the SBB App
  • buy them online from SBB or other providers.

How long does it take to get from Zurich to Lucerne?

Zurich trains and railways
Zurich trains and railways

Depending on the train journey you choose and the train station you depart from in Zurich, you will be at Lucerne train station within 1 hour and 10 mins or just 40 mins. The train journey is much faster from the Zurich HB station.

Zurich to Lucerne Train Schedule

The first train from Zurich HB departs at 5:35 am and the last train departs at 00:08 am with over 40 trains running throughout the day. You can view the full schedule here.

Lucerne train times from Zurich Airport are a little different. The first train departs at 5:38 am and the last train departs at 23:38. There are other options if you don’t mind changing train stations on the way and you can find all the information you need at www.sbb.ch.

When should you book train tickets?

If you are a budget-conscious traveler and are looking for the cheapest tickets you can find, be sure to book your train ride as far in advance as you can.

Cheap tickets are advertised first and there are only so many available, so the earlier you make your booking, the more affordable your journey from Zürich to Lucerne by train will be.

You can, of course, just buy your train ticket right before the next train departs which allows for a spontaneous trip to Lucerne.

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Things To Do In Zurich: History, Culture, and Swiss Delicacies

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Zurich to Lucerne by Taxi

Taxi in Zurich
Taxi in Zurich – Image courtesy of eGuide Travel

Sometimes it is much more convenient to hop in a taxi from the airport rather than wrestling bags down to the train station. This is especially the case when traveling with kids too!

You will find everything you need to know about traveling from Zürich to Lucerne via taxi. It is a bit more expensive than taking the train but if you are in a large group, it becomes a lot more economical.

How much does it cost to travel from Zurich to Lucerne by taxi?

Taxis are another option when traveling from Zürich to Lucerne but they are far more expensive than using the train companies.

Zürich to Lucerne will cost you around 180 euros for a taxi. This can be a taxi that seats between 3 and 10 passengers depending on your group’s size. If you are traveling as a group of 10, then 18 euros per person is a similar price to pay for the journey from Zürich to Lucerne by train.

How long does it take to get from Zurich to Lucerne?

Zürich airport to Lucerne is a 67 km drive that usually takes around 50 minutes meaning your journey time in a taxi will be similar to taking the train from Zürich to Lucerne but 20 minutes faster than taking the train from Zürich airport to Lucerne.

Zurich to Lucerne by Car

zurich car
Cars in Zurich

You can, of course, grab a rental car and drive from Zürich to Lucerne. This is a handy option if you would like a car in Lucerne in order to explore the surrounding towns, sights, mountains, and countryside.

Let’s take a look at how much rental cars cost and where you can rent them.

How much does it cost to rent a car from Zurich to Lucerne?

Car rental costs vary considerably depending on multiple factors including the length of the rental to where you plan on leaving the car when you are done with it.

On average, expect to pay around 40 euros per day for a small rental car, and then to leave it in Lucerne and not bring it back to Zurich is about an extra 40 euros on top. You will also have to pay for the fuel from Zürich to Lucerne too.

Where can you rent a car in Zurich?

You can either rent a car from the airport or collect a car from Zurich city center. There are lots of different car companies to hire a car from and you are best off booking them online via either www.rentalcars.com or www.discovercars.com .

How long does it take to get from Zurich to Lucerne?

The drive from Zürich airport to Lucerne is around 67 km and takes about 50 minutes. If you are leaving from Zurich city center, then the journey is only 52 km and takes around 40 minutes.

Related Reading

Lucerne vs Zurich: Which Swiss City Is Right For You? 

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So, What’s The Best Way To Get From Zürich to Lucerne?

The best transportation option from Zürich to Lucerne depends on quite a few different things such as whether you are traveling solo or as a small group of 3, with a large group and or kids, and whether you want a car to explore the surrounding areas of Lucerne with.

If you are in a small group, the train is the most cost-effective way to get to Lucerne and probably the most convenient too.

For anyone traveling in a large group with less able travelers and kids, a taxi is going to make your life a lot easier and will be of a similar cost to the train so long as your group is 6+ people.

If you want a car to explore with, then this is your best option but it is not worth renting a car just to get from Zürich to Lucerne as it is more hassle than it is worth. Just grab the train.

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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