With about 80,000 residents, Lucerne isn’t one of Switzerland’s largest cities, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in other areas.
The city is located in the central portion of the country about 30 miles south of Zurich, in a region known for its abundant lakes and stunning natural beauty.
Despite its relatively small size, Lucerne is an economical, cultural, and historical hub that draws business and leisure travelers from all over the world.
Below are 15 of the best tours of Lucerne and the surrounding areas that rank highly on the itineraries of many visitors.
1. Lucerne’s Best Walking and Boat Combo Tour
Featuring one of the most stunning mountain backdrops of any city in the region, Lucerne offers nature-loving guests incredible views of the nearby Swiss Alps.
The city is also dotted with lakes and pedestrian-friendly streets, both of which make for fun ways to experience things from different perspectives.
On this three-hour tour, guests will visit a number of historic monuments, learn about Lucerne’s impressive architecture, and get up close and personal with some of the city’s most photographed attractions.
Tours include a one-hour boat excursion on the lake, a leisurely walk through Old Town, and a lift ticket to Lucerne Castle.
2. Private Guided City Tour of Lucerne
For those who’ve just arrived in town, private small-group tours are a great way to get your bearings quickly without spending an arm and a leg and getting lost in the crowd on a large tour.
After rendezvousing with their guide, walkers will set out to explore the City of Lights’ most famous landmarks, including bridges, historic fortress walls, churches, and public squares.
Tours meet at a convenient central location. At each stop along the way, guests will benefit from their guide’s insights that will touch on history, culture, and recommendations for other things to see and do while in town.
3. 2-Hour Gourmet Lunch Cruise on Lake Lucerne
Beautiful Lake Lucerne is one of the area’s premier natural attractions. For those who don’t mind taking to the water, guided boat tours abound.
This 2-hour gourmet lunch and cruise combo tour has a decidedly upscale feel.
It departs just before lunchtime and affords guests unobstructed views of the lake, city, and the distant Alps before they’ll enjoy a memorable three-course meal prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Tour boats and routes may vary depending on the season and weather, but guests will have the option of indoor and outdoor seating and viewing areas.
Due to their relatively short duration, tours leave ample time for other city activities on the same day.
4. 2-Hour Walking Tour to Old Town and Chapel Bridge
Thanks to its modest size and the proximity of many of its most iconic attractions, Lucerne is one of those cities that really should be experienced on foot.
Tours begin in the quaint and historic Old Town area, where guests and their guide will explore several premier sites, like the Chapel Bridge and its impressive octagonal water tower, the Culture and Congress Center, and a few idyllic public squares.
Though Lucerne is especially known for its historical attractions, it also features contemporary architecture, exclusive shopping districts, and trendy art and food scenes—all of which are easily accessible by pedestrians, so don’t be shy about asking your guide for recommendations.
5. E-TukTuk City Tour
From the comfy back seat of an electric tuk-tuk, visitors to Lucerne can see many of the city’s most notable attractions in under two hours.
Tours get underway at the Culture and Congress Center, which is one of the city’s most architecturally significant buildings.
From there, guests and their guide will visit some additional nearby sites, like Seebrücke and Chapel bridges, the Church of St. Leodegar, and the Lion Monument – or Löwendenkmal.
Tours don’t include entrance fees, but many guests choose to revisit some of the sites on their own when the tour is officially over.
6. 1-Hour Must-See Express Lucerne Tour
What, you might ask, could I possibly see in just an hour on a guided tour of Lucerne?
Surprisingly, a lot. There’s really no better way to immerse yourself in a culture and see things from a street-level perspective than with a guided walking tour.
After a brief meet and greet with their guide at the city’s train depot, guests of this value-packed 1-hour tour will embark on a walk that will include some of Lucerne’s most notable attractions.
Guests will explore parks and monuments, historic sites, and architecturally unique buildings, all while learning about the city’s history, people, and fun neighborhoods in which to dine and shop.
7. 3-Hour Essential Photography Tour
Lucerne is a particularly photogenic city, and on this 3-hour tour, amateur shutterbugs will follow their experienced guide’s lead as they endeavor to capture some of the city’s most spectacular attractions.
Tour highlights include Chapel Bridge and the Culture and Convention Center, but also ones that typically fall under the radar of many larger tour groups.
It’s these hidden gems that often steal the show; at each stop, the guide will describe the things you’re seeing and give helpful tips to make sure each photograph is the best it can possibly be.
Tours get underway late morning and are finished by mid-afternoon.
8. Wine Tasting at a Traditional Lakeside Winery
Few things are more memorable than a relaxing cruise on Lake Lucerne followed by a wine tasting within view of the lake and Swiss Alps.
After a 30-minute cruise full of fresh air and breathtaking scenery, guests will take a short walk to one of the city’s most-loved wineries.
The winery features both traditional and contemporary varieties that come in a number of colors and flavor profiles to appeal to a wide range of palates.
Tours include a local guide who’ll also provide participants with professional photographs to commemorate their experience.
From beginning to end, tours last about four hours.
9. Lucerne and Engelberg Tandem Paragliding Flight
Though it’s not for the faint of heart, paragliding is often one of the most exhilarating and memorable experiences of many visitors’ vacations.
Don’t worry if you lack in paragliding experience, because each participant is matched with a trained pilot who’ll take care of all the tricky details like take-offs and landings.
From above, guests will see things from a bird’s eye view that those stuck on the ground can only dream of.
Depending on the weather, tandem flights may take place at some easily accessible locations between Lucerne and Engelberg.
Packages include film and photos so you can re-experience the event later with friends and family.
10. Chocolate Tasting with Lake Trip and City Tour
In a neverending quest to outdo their counterparts, the providers of this tour have included a chocolate tasting with both guided lake and city excursions.
Tours begin with a 45-minute tasting inside one of Lucerne’s premier chocolate boutiques. Guests will not only eat but also learn about how chocolate is made and its significance to local culture.
Next, it’ll be time for a one-hour boat cruise and a city walking tour, which includes a lift ticket to Lucerne Castle that is perched on a hill overlooking the city.
Expect to see attractions like Chapel Bridge and enjoy panoramic views of Lake Lucerne and the Alps.
11. 1-Hour Historical Tour with Night Watchman
In centuries long past, night watchmen patrolled the streets of Lucerne after dark. For visitors with a yen for eclectic evening tours, they still do.
Tours get underway near Chapel Bridge, after which guests and their guide will begin their exploration of the city.
In addition to viewing many of the city’s most notable attractions, guests will learn about Lucerne’s most prominent historical figures and eerie and macabre events in the past that may have them looking over their shoulders for the rest of the evening.
Tours cover about a mile and go ahead rain or shine, so wear appropriate clothes and shoes.
12. Mount Pilatus Day Photo Tour from Lucerne
Climbing nearly 7,000 feet into the cool Swiss air above, Mount Pilatus is one of the area’s most awe-inspiring natural features.
This full-day tour option from Lucerne begins with a cruise along Lake Lucerne, after which guests will make their way into the countryside, where they’ll travel by rail, cableway, and gondola to take in Switzerland’s amazing beauty.
For amateur photographers and all-around lovers of the great outdoors, this tour is an excellent option because it covers lots of ground.
If the spirit moves them, participants may also take a short hike to a mountaintop vista point before descending and returning to Lucerne.
13. City Biking and Walking Tour
For fit and energetic visitors who prefer to burn calories while seeing Lucerne’s sights, this city biking and walking tour would be a great fit.
Participants can choose whether they’d like a mid-morning or early afternoon start, and have the luxury of meeting their guide at their hotel.
After a short walk to pick up their bikes, guests will get a road safety briefing as well as an overview of the attractions they’re about to see.
Tours include stops at centrally located sites like Chapel Bridge, a Jesuit Church from the 17th century, and a palace built to resemble an Italian palazzo.
14. Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide
Though it’s most well-known for its natural beauty and historic sites, Lucerne is also one of the country’s art hotspots and features a variety of cultural attractions as well.
The KKL is the city’s art epicenter. It holds a variety of events every year that draw crowds from all over the continent.
Tours include the services of a knowledgeable local guide who will lead guests to parts of the city that don’t get much tourist traffic, where they’ll discover galleries, museums, and artist’s workspaces.
Participants will also discover local event venues, trendy eateries, and places where the bohemian crowd tends to hang out after hours.
15. Architectural Walking Tour
Lucerne is known for its impressive architecture that seamlessly blends elements of the old and new.
This engaging and educational walking tour focuses on the city’s rich architecture and explores a number of prominent attractions, as well as a few that aren’t so well-known.
Guests will also learn about Swiss culture and get a good idea of how the city is laid out, which will help later on when they strike out on their own.
Tour highlights include the KKL Lucerne building and the emblematic Musegg Wall.
Tours last about 90 minutes and meet at a central location.