City Manager Lucerne

City Manager Lucerne

Michelle Oberholzer

Good To Know

1. Lucerne is the cultural nexus of Central Switzerland and is situated in the Swiss Prealps. The lake and the mountains form a breathtaking panorama and make picturesque scenery for your memory pictures.

2. Official and common written language is German. The main spoken language though is Swiss German (a variety of Standard German). Hello (formal) = “Grüezi” [groo-e-tse], Thank you = “Merci” [mairsi]. Most people speak a second language, mostly English or French.

3. Lucerne has a medieval character, especially the Old Town. The old town walls, the famous chapel bridge and countless murals let you emerge in centuries past.

Easiest, quickest and cheapest way to get from the airport to Lucerne is by train. From any airport there are several direct connections per hour.
A one-way-ticket for an adult from Zurich (Kloten) airport is around CHF 29.00, from Basel (Euroairport) it is 37.40. From Geneva (Genève aéroport) the cheapest ticket is the Swiss Transfer Ticket for CHF 141.00 which includes the journey from the airport (or border station) to Lucerne and back.
Children under the age of 16 travel at half price and children under 6 who are accompanied by a parent travel free of charge.
Another option for tourist is the Swiss Travel Pass for CHF 179.00 which includes free travelling around in Switzerland for three days by rail, bus or waterways (except mountain railways: 50%).

Police: 117
Ambulance: 144
Taxi: +41 41 310 10 10 (Taxi Hess), +41 76 577 66 55 (McTaxi), +41 41 360 55 55 (Taxi Olé)

Lucerne is a small town and easyly walkable. Lucerne is generally safe (even at night) and there are no no-go-areas.
Taxis are quite expensive in Lucerne, resp. in Switzerland (around CHF 20.00 for a 10min-ride). Thus for your city trip we recommend the bus. A short distance ticket (max. six stations) costs CHF 2.50 and is valid for a one-way trip within 30 minutes. A single ticket is CHF 4.00 (children under 16: CHF 3.00; children under 6: free) and it is valid for one hour. Mostly a day-ticket for transport zone 10 pays: CHF 8.00 (children under 16: CHF 6.00; children under 6: free). All Highlights (except Mount Lucerne and Mount Rigi) on MyCityHighlight are within that zone 10.
Tickets can be purchased with cash or credit card at the ticket machines you find at almost every station.

- Food specialties: Chügelipastete: puff pastry stuffed with veal, pork, and mushrooms in a cream sauce, usually served with noodles and "Ärbsli & Rüebli" (= peas & carrots), "Buure" -Bratwurst (= “farmer's bratwurst”): pork sausage, usually served with rösti (fried patties made of grated potatoes), Fondue (cheese fondue, but there are also meat versions - fondue chinoise and fondue bourguignon), Raclette, Lucerne gingerbread, Birnenweggen (traditional pastry with a filling of dried pears), "Lozärner Rägetröpfli" (= “Lucerne rain droplets”): chocolate pralines filled with "Chriesiwasser" (= cherry brandy), Countless different types of bread, from light to dark, with yeast or sourdough, with seeds or nuts, etc.
- Drink specialties: Rathaus beer, Luzerner beer, "Hahnenburger" (= tap water)
- Typical meal times: "z'Mettag" (= lunch) is usually between 12:00 and 13:30. "z'Nacht" (= dinner) about 18:00 to 20:00.
- Tipping: Not necessary, but always welcome. For a cup of coffee that costs 4.20, for example, you can round up to 4.50. At a meal, the tip may also be more generous. Indicative amount: 5-15% is most common, but there is no fixed percentage to pay. If you didn't like the food or were not satisfied with the service, then you don't have to tip.
- Is the tap water safe to drink? The tap water is of excellent quality and you can find a lot of water fountains around the city to fill up your bottle.

- Cup of coffee: 3.50 to 4.50
- Lunch at a restaurant: 18.00-25.00
- Taxi basic charge 6.00 plus 3.80 per kilometer

Where to go out:
Most bars and clubs where you can party the night away are located on the main streets and near the train station. Venues further away (e.g. concerts in Sedel) often offer a bus shuttle service from the train station.

Opening times:
Some smaller bars close (on working days) as early as 0:30, bigger clubs often open until 4:00 or 5:00.

Shopping areas:
In the alleys of the old town you'll find all kinds of clothes and shoes, Swiss Army knives, watches, books, etc. in smaller stores and larger department stores or branches of international brands.
You can find fresh and regional produce at the weekly markets (Tuesdays and Saturdays) along the river, or in Lucerne's Market Hall (1 Buobenmatt, next to the city theatre).
If you love multicultural flair, don't miss out on exploring the numerous small shops on Baselstrasse.

Opening times:
Opening times are usually Mon, Tue, Wed from 8:00 to 18:30, Thur and Fri from 8:00 to 21:00, Sat 8:00 to 16:00. Most shops are closed on Sundays (except for at the main train station and petrol stations).

Migros, Coop, and Denner.

- There is a Littering Law in Lucerne: anyone who throws cigarette butts or other rubbish on the ground can be fined. So use the numerous rubbish bins (or PET or aluminium collection containers). Throwing rubbish in the lake or river is particularly frowned upon. The lake water is drinking water quality; help keep it that way!
- Smoking is prohibited in virtually all enclosed spaces (bars and restaurants). However, some bars have ventilated fumoirs. Since the Kapellbrücke fire twenty years ago, a strict smoking ban has also applied to wooden bridges. In addition, you should resist the temptation to scratch your name or messages into the wood of the Kapellbrücke bridge. This is regarded as gross bad behaviour and guarantees you at best nasty looks from the locals.
- Lucerne is basically very tourist friendly. You can get by without any problems with English and French (with Russian and Chinese as well at some tourist hotspots). Euros (notes, more rarely coins) are accepted almost everywhere, but change is mostly given in Swiss francs.
- If you want to swim in the lake in the summer, the Lido or the Ufschötti (both MyCityHighlights) are recommended. Swimming in the river in the city centre area is prohibited and dangerous (especially above the needle weir).

Hello: Hallo or Salü
Good day (formal): Grüezi or Grüessech
Goodbye: Of Wederluege or Adieu
Thank you: Merci
You're welcome: Bitte
Cheers: Proscht or Santé
Lucerne: Lözärn

With the help of the filter "With free wireless" you find highlights that offer free wireless.
Apart from that free Wifi is accessable in parts of the old as well as parts of the newtown and around the Seebrücke.
You can also access free wifi inside the trainstation (60 min max.). Registration with your phone-nr. required (select network of "SBB", the swiss railway).

In Lucerne you have two possibilities to rent a bike. Either you join nextbike (, where you have various destinations throughout the city. Or you get your bike (also e-bikes and tandems available) at the train station with rent a bike (

Yam Yam, Manora Restaurant, Mill Feuille

My souvenir recommendations

Chocolate Trüffes of Läderach

Chocolate Trüffes of Läderach

Since 1962 Läderach stands for high quality, handmade Swiss chocolate specialties. The headquarters of the chocolate company is located in central Switzerland, near Lucerne. Available at Läderach, Weggisgasse 1, Lucerne.

Läderach Läderach , Weggisgasse 1, Luzern 6000

Pretty accessory from Changemaker Shop

Pretty accessory from Changemaker Shop

Here you will find a nice gift for every man and every woman. It is a fair produced product. Available in Changemaker Shop, Kramgasse 9, 6004 Lucerne

Changemaker Shop Changemaker Shop , Kramgasse 9, Luzern 6004

City Managers favorite places

Restaurant Soul Chicken


Enjoy a delicious poultry in a living room atmosphere in at the soul chicken. In addition you will receive the unmistakable soul sauce (which certainly lives up to its name). Try the soul sauce with...

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Mount Rigi - Queen of the mountains

Adventure, Leisure Time, Guided Tours

Locals call her the "Queen of the Mountains". Enjoy the magnificent view from the top! In addition to the Pilatus, the Rigi offers you one of the most beautiful views of Lucerne and over the Vierwald...

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Schwarzes Schaf


The Black Sheep DJs play music for you that is more than just a blunt dance order. They aim their beats & grooves directly at your soul and in your heart. The stylish location in the middle of the cit...

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Top 10 for first-time visitors



Squares, Parks and Playgrounds

Enjoy a beautiful view in the biggest garden in Lucerne. The Park is located 15 minutes by bus from the city of Lucerne, therefore you won´t find a lot of people at the park - perfect if you're lookin...

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Weekly farmers' market

Shops and markets

Every Tuesday and saturday during summer the historical market places of the old town are revived

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Verkehrshaus Filmtheater


The biggest screen in Switzerland: Enjoy documentary, nature and cinema films in a new dimension. The movie theater also features live broadcasts of operas, ballet and classical orchestras.

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Kapellbrücke and Wasserturm


Oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe (built in 1365). The Chapel Bridge not only marked the outer end of the city when it was constructed, but also served as protection against attacks from the lake...

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Lion monument


The Lion Monument was completed in August 1821 in memory of the Swiss Guards who had died during the French Revolution. With around 1.4 million visitors a year, it is one of the most popular monuments...

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