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Where to Stay in Lucerne: 7 Best Areas & Neighborhoods

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Lucerne, known as Luzern to the Swiss, is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland, with its breathtaking natural scenery like the Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne, and medieval architecture. Conveniently located in central Switzerland just an hour from Zurich, Lucerne is a popular destination for Europeans and Americans.

Lake Lucerne is one of the city’s main attractions, with its irregular shape, four arms, and numerous bends. The steep mountains of Rigi and Pilatus also border the town. The train station is also conveniently located for travel within the town to and from Lucerne.

While parts of the historic city have a medieval feel with the 14th Century Museggmauer (Musegg Wall) and the Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), there is plenty of modern luxury. For example, you can stay along Lake Lucerne at one of the many luxurious hotels or resorts and admire the stunning view.

The Old Town (or Alstadt) is often considered the most popular area of Lucerne, with its historical roots, rich culture, incredible art, and delectable dining.

But, all of the city’s areas have unique traits that make them special. One important thing to note is that the city is very pedestrian-friendly, and many attractions are within walking distance of the area’s hotels.

Lucerne Aerial Scenery
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Whether traveling to Lucerne on a romantic getaway, a solo trip to the mountains, a family vacation, or with your adventurous, outdoorsy friends, knowing where to stay in Lucerne can be overwhelming. So, we’ve compiled a list of the best areas and accommodations for your travel needs.

We’ve got everything from affordable hotels with dorm-style rooms to luxury hotels in Old Town Lucerne with modern amenities. So, if you want to know your accommodation options and some popular Lucerne attractions, keep reading!

TL;DR

Best Areas to Stay in Lucerne

  • For first-timers/tourists – Altstadt (Old Town)
  • For budget travelers – Tribschen
  • For families – Oberseeburg
  • For nightlife – Neustadt (New Town)
  • For younger travelers – Bruch

Where to Stay in Lucerne, Switzerland

1. Alstadt (Old Town)

Alstadt Lucerne

If you’re heading to Lucerne for the first time, you’ll likely want to stay in Alstadt, also known as Old Town. This area is not only very walkable, but it contains much of the city’s history.

I stayed here at the Renaissance Lucerne Hotel, and everything was within easy walking distance. Plus, we were close to the train station which was super convenient. Read our full Renaissance Lucerne Hotel review for more details on the experience.

If you’re looking for a rich historical and cultural experience against a beautiful backdrop, stay in Old Town! One of the more notable landmarks of Old Town is the 14th Century Chapel Bridge.

This wooden pedestrian bridge is often the first site of many guided tours in the area, so it should be one of your first stops, too! When you walk across the oldest covered bridge, look up and see the art at the top of the covered bridge. It’s breathtaking!

If you see towering twin spires across the river, you’re at the Church of St. Leodegar. This historic church showcases an antique organ and displays intricate carvings and beautiful artwork.

Lucerne Chapel Bridge
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

And if you get hungry after walking across the bridge, the Lake Lucerne promenade is the perfect spot for a quaint meal with a beautiful view. Many restaurants here, from Mediterranean, French, Italian, and Swiss.

You can pay your respects to the Swiss guards who died during the French Revolution at the Lion Monument, within walking distance of the bridge. Located on the north side of the river, this monument of a wounded beast is a very moving piece.

There are also many squares in Old Town, from Kornmarkt to Weinmarkt. Both are delightful, with old shops, fantastic art, and trendy bars and restaurants. And Kornmarkt, once a grain trading exchange, is now home to the town hall, Rathaus.

When visiting Lucerne for the first time, staying in Old Town Lucerne is a must for its central location. But if you can’t find the perfect Lucerne accommodation here, you can always visit Old Town via car, bus, or train station.

See Related: Where to Stay in Zurich

2. Tribschen

Tribschen Scenery
Heinsdorff Jularlak / Shutterstock.com

If you want to stay in Lucerne, which is fun and offers budget accommodations, you’ll find that Tribschen is the perfect spot! It’s only two miles from the city center, but it’s got a more peaceful vibe than the busyness of Old Town, making it a great place to relax.

This area was formerly Lucerne’s Red Light district, but don’t be afraid, as those days are long gone. The area is now full of lakeside shops, hotels, and apartment buildings.

One of the most famous attractions in Tribschen is the Richard Wagner Museum. This villa was home to the famous 19th-century German composer and is now a fascinating museum. However, if you plan to visit the Wagner Museum, it must be during the spring, summer, or fall, as the museum closes in winter.

Lucerne Aerial Scenery
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Whether visiting in the peak of summer or the snowy winter, you can have year-round fun at Eiszentrum Luzern. This arena is perfect for hockey, curling, ice skating, and even building snow sculptures!

For some traditional Swiss fare like Sous vides Lendenstück vom Schwein, stop by Wirthaus Zum Unterlachenhof. Or, try a delicious gourmet pizza at Peperoncini Tribschen.

If you’re hoping to get some sun while in Lucerne, a trip to Ufschotti Park is a must. This local gem is perfect for sand, sun, and swimming in Lake Lucerne.

And whether you’ve got kids with you or not, you may want to put Inseli Park on your itinerary. It’s the perfect place to feed the ducks, look at the water, have a picnic, and relax.

So, if you plan to stay in Lucerne and hope for affordable accommodation options, Tribschen is a good place. It’s still centrally located and close to the historic Old Town, with budget accommodations and mid-range hotels for your Swiss vacation.

3. Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus Observation Deck
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

While there are several luxury hotels in Lucerne, they aren’t grouped in any particular area of town. Instead, you’ll find some luxury hotels in Old Town and spread along the Reuss River and the lake district.

However, the Mount Pilatus area combines breathtaking scenery, family-friendly outdoor recreation, and modern luxury. You can also stay at the top of the mountain at the superbly-rated Hotel Pilatus-Kulm.

The “Golden Roundtrip” is the best way to get to the summit from Lucerne. This roundtrip special includes a ferry from Lucerne to Alpnachstad, where visitors will take the cogwheel to the peak. Then, once you’ve finished at the top, you ride the cable car to Kriens. Finally, you’ll head back to Lucerne by bus.

While at the summit, enjoy the 360-degree views from Mount Pilatus on the observation deck. However, two additional decks are above the Observation Deck, Esel and Oberhaupt. So, while it’s only a 5-minute walk upstairs, the views are even more incredible.

If you’re hoping to hike, take the trail to the highest point at Pilatus, the 2129-meter Tomlishorn. While it’s only a 2.5km round trip, the path gets tricky in the second half with large rocks and stairs.

Mount Pilatus

If you’ve got kids, you’ll probably want to stop at the Fraumüntegg station, where there’s a fun rope adventure park. Kids will also love the summer toboggan over 1,000 meters long! The next stop at Krienseregg also has a fantastic playground for burning off any extra energy.

It is worth the trip if you stay at the Hotel Pilatus-Kulm or their elegant restaurant. They serve regional Swiss specialties with five-star service.

While the Mount Pilatus area isn’t the only part of Lucerne with luxury hotels, it’s a perfect mix of luxury accommodations, outdoor fun, and comfortable rooms in the Swiss Alps. If you’re planning to stay in Lucerne but aren’t sure where to have the most outdoor fun, consider the Mount Pilatus area.

See Related: Things to Do in Interlaken, Switzerland

4. Littau

Littau Aerial View

Located just west of Lucerne, Littau is in the foothills of the mountain range. Only recently did this suburban area merge with Lucerne, but it’s just a quick ten-minute drive to the city’s center. Littau is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a safe area to stay in Lucerne, whether traveling solo or with a group.

If you’re in Littau, you shouldn’t miss Mount Pilatus. It is steep and towering at over 2,000 meters above sea level. To get to the top, you can take the world’s steepest mountaineering cog railway and see breathtaking views of Lucerne.

If you visit in the summer, a trip to Zimmereregg Forest swimming pools will cool you down. Located in the middle of a forest, this outdoor swimming pool features three water slides – an 86-meter, a tumble-wave water slide, and a jump slide! Kids and adults will love this swimming center!

You’ll find most shopping and restaurants along Luzerner and Thorenberg Streets. Many highly rated restaurants are located in this area, from Thai to Italian and, of course, Swiss.

Take a hike, walk, or run in the Gütschwald forest for fresh air and natural beauty. There are many trails in the woods, depending on your abilities!

Littau is a great location for couples, families, and even solo travelers; the area is safe and beautiful and has several mid-range hotels with spacious rooms. So, if you plan to stay in Lucerne, Littau is a wonderful city to consider!

5. Oberseeburg

Lucerne Scenery

If you travel to Lucerne with kids in tow, consider staying in Oberseeberg. This area is located in eastern Lucerne, with fabulous views of the lake and Mount Pilatus. There is stunning scenery, and the district has plenty of family-friendly fun, including a museum, parks, hotels, and beaches.

While there aren’t many tourist attractions in this part of Lucerne, you’ll find a trip to the Swiss Transport Museum a fun family trip! You’ll learn about the history of transportation, from rails to roads and air to water.

Swiss Museum of Transport Building

And while you’re at the Swiss Museum of Transport, check out the hexagonal building that houses over 300 works of art by famous Swiss artist Hans Erni.

Stop by the Musikpavillion am Nationalquai to admire the architecture while resting in the venue’s shade. This outdoor performance hall often has live shows, but even if you don’t catch one, it’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the river.

One of the main attractions in this district is Lucerne’s Lido, with its sandy beach, heated pool, playground, beach volleyball courts, and restaurant. And if you don’t want to swim, you can lie back and take in the stunning views of Mount Pilatus, Bürgenstock, and the Stanserhorn mountains. Wherever you stay in Lucerne, a visit to Lucerne’s Lido is worth the trip!

There are several dining options in this area of Lucerne, from self-service to fine dining. You’ll find casual dining at the Lido Beach House, Seehaus Grill, and Mercato, and more upscale dining at Seebrise Luzern.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Lucerne while traveling with kids, Oberseeburg should be at the top of your list. With its proximity to the city center, views of the mountains, local attractions, and accommodation options at an affordable price, you can’t go wrong!

See Related: Things to Do in Zermatt, Switzerland

6. Neustadt (New Town)

Lucerne Houses and Skyline

If you’re looking to stay in Lucerne to see the sights but also have the option for fun nightlife, you’ll want to stay in Neustadt (New Town). This lively neighborhood is centrally located across the Reuss River from the historic Old Town and west of the Lucerne train station.

Neustadt has cars, clubs, cafes, hotels, art galleries, boutique shops, and cinemas. So whether your idea of nightlife is dancing at a club or having a glass of wine outdoors, Alstadt has you covered.

If you’re looking for some culture, head to Lucerne Theatre, which features dance, opera, and drama productions. This almost 500-seat venue was opened in 1839 and has featured live shows for all ages since opening.

Whether traveling with kids or not, stopping at Vögeligärtli Park is worth the trip! This popular green space, meaning the “Bird Garden,” was named after the aviary built in the park in the early 20th Century.

And, if you’re looking for a place to stop and enjoy a bottle of wine or some food, Cornerspot Neustadt Park is an excellent place to enjoy it! The colorful chairs and fantastic location make this a fun and trendy place to relax.

Have you worked up an appetite? Dine at the Neubad Bistro at a former indoor swimming pool site. This restaurant offers a delicious Sunday brunch and includes daily lunch and dinner options, snacks, and drinks.

And, of course, if you’re staying in Neustadt for the nightlife, you’ll want to visit Brooklyn Club & Lounge or Das Schwarze Schaf, where you can dance and party the night away. If you’re feeling more sophisticated, stop at Bar Capitol, where you can enjoy cocktails and relax.

So, if you want to stay in Lucerne for the nightlife, Neustadt is the best place to stay! You can still access tourist attractions across the river from Old Town Lucerne, like the Chapel Bridge and other historic buildings. And stay in one of the most unique hotels in the area – the Capsule Hotel, as long as you don’t mind small spaces.

7. Bruch

Historical Museum Lucerne Building

Bruch is one of the trendiest areas to stay in Lucerne, although it was once the city’s cattle market. Now, the hippest and trendiest twenty-somethings find Bruch the most incredible place to stay in Lucerne. Located just northeast of Neustadt, this cozy neighborhood features trendy restaurants, unique hotels, boutique shops, cool bars, and quaint cafes.

If you’re looking for a little bit of culture, stop by the Historical Museum Lucerne, where you can listen to one of their docents give a gripping theatrical tour. Or, if you’d prefer a self-guided tour of the 3,000 artifacts, you can scan any of the artifacts’ bar codes to learn more. This museum will walk you through the history of central Switzerland.

As one of the trendiest establishments in Bruch, Madeleine is worth a visit! This fun venue is a bar mixed with a club, with comedy shows, live music, and overall fun.

Are you craving some Mediterranean cuisine? If so, Tapas Cabanas should be on your list, with seafood, Mediterranean, and Spanish menu options. But, of course, if you’d rather have local Swiss cuisine, try the highly-rated Jodlerwirt or Restaurant & Bar Drei Koenige.

Go shopping at Mimoa for handmade everyday products, or peruse the incredible selection of books at Stocker – The Book House in Lucerne.

And for one of the most incredible river views, stop by the Penthouse Bar. This two-story rooftop bar is exceptional for cocktails and looking at the stars. If you want to stay in Lucerne, with lively nightlife and affordable hotels within walking distance, you may consider Bruch.

FAQs

What are the best places for families to stay in Lucerne?

When planning where to stay in Lucerne, you must know that the city is very pedestrian-friendly and has a train station, bus transport, and bikes available. So, no matter where you stay in Lucerne, you can visit other parts. That being said, if you’re hoping to stay and play in the same area, you’ll find either Mount Pilatus or Oberseeburg quite family-friendly, with the best hotels, including family rooms.

What are the best romantic hotels to stay in Lucerne?

One of the best luxury hotels for couples in Lucerne, Switzerland, is the historic Hotel des Balances (a former guild hall), with its elegant rooms, romantic atmosphere, and private bathrooms. If you want to stay in Lucerne on the lake, you shouldn’t go wrong with the five-star hotel Schweizerhof Luzern.

This luxurious hotel offers rooms and suites and is family-owned. Another option on Lake Lucerne is the Grand Hotel National Luzern, a luxurious hotel within walking distance of the train station, Old Town Lucerne, and the oldest covered bridge, Chapel Bridge.

What are the must-see attractions in Lucerne?

Lucerne, Switzerland, is a magical place with historic buildings, Lake Lucerne, the Swiss Alps, and plenty of hotels to fit budget travelers and luxury-seeking tourists. Much of the city is surrounded by 14th-century architecture, such as the Chapel Bridge and Musegg Wall, which are must-see attractions. However, your stay in Lucerne wouldn’t be complete without visiting Lake Lucerne or the peak of Mount Pilatus.

Where should you stay in Lucerne for parties and nightlife?

If you’ve got the nightlife bug, you’ll want to stay in Lucerne, within walking distance of some of the best clubs and bars. While there are bars everywhere in town, you’ll have the most fun in Bruch or Neustadt (New Town Lucerne). You’ll find some of the best hotels near the popular nightlife spots.

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