4 Amazing Day Trips from Lucerne, Switzerland

Beneath the picturesque Swiss Alps, Lucerne is a classic European town (dating back to the 8th century) with stunning landscapes and architecture. 

Beyond the medieval buildings, there are several great options for those looking to get out of the city, and into nature. From scenic train rides, cruises on the lake, or mountain excursions, there is no shortage of day trips from Lucerne!
I spent time in Switzerland with my mom and sister while on a train adventure through Europe. We spent time in Germany, Austria, and ended our trip here. 

Here is a list of a few Lucerne day trips we enjoyed:

Woman's back as she looks out over the Swiss Alps as seen from Mount Rigi, near Luzern or Lucerne in Switzerland

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Daytrip Idea 1: Mount Rigi

I’m not exaggerating when I say this is possibly the most beautiful place I’ve traveled in my life. The views from this mountaintop in summertime are seriously incredible, even awe-inspiring.
Most organized tours include a scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne to the town of Vitznau. Then, you ride the old mountain railway to the top of Mt. Rigi. Once there, you can hike, visit the chapel, or eat at the restaurant (with incredible views!).

Cows grazing in front of a cabin at the summit of Mount Rigi, a daytrip from Lucerne Switzerland

Many people also then take the cogwheel train to the car-free resort village of Rigi Kaltbad. There is an easy hiking trail there to the Känzeli viewing platform. From there, you can go back down in an aerial cable car to the town of Weggis. This area is incredible and we loved exploring around it!
Swiss chalet in Weggis, Switzerland
Views in Weggis
Getting there Take a ferry out to Vitznau. Then, ride a cogwheel train up to the mountaintop (Rigi Kulm). You can go on your own with a Rigi day pass, or book an organized Rigi day tour. We went on our own and had no issue, but sometimes it’s nice to have someone take care of the logistics!

Daytrip Idea 2: Mount Titlis

Of course all of the Alps are stunning, but visiting here is unique as you have the chance to tube down an ancient glacier!
view of mount titlis, a great daytrip from lucerne
To get here, you ride in a revolving cable car. Once at the top, there is a glacier cave to explore, as well as a suspension bridge. You can also ride the “Ice Flyer” chairlift, and even snow tube!
If you go on your own, you can look into tobogganing. From the Titlis Valley station, go to Gerschnialp, where the “toboggan run” starts (and you can rent a sled there). The run then takes you back down to the bottom station. It’s definitely a super memorable and exhilarating experience!
sledding on mount titlis in switzerland
Sledding on Mount Titlis
Getting there Transport first to Engelberg (via train from Lucerne). Then, take a gondola to Stand. Next, there is a cable car up to the top of Titlis.
You can go with a guided Titlis day trip, or on your own (buy your Titlis admission ticket in advance!). I did a guided trip with my mom, and we liked this as it allowed us to relax and not worry about logistics.

Daytrip Idea 3: Mount Pilatus

Another stunning mountain view, you can hike here to take in the vista. You can go up to the summit, or down the “Dragon Path”, where dragons were thought to live in the Middle Ages. Of course there is a panoramic restaurant there as well!
You can easily visit Pilatus on your own via train, but there are guided Pilatus tours that also include time cruising on Lake Lucerne. 
Getting there Take a bus to Kriens, and ride a cable car to the summit (Pilatus Kulm). You can take the cogwheel train back down the mountain. Fun fact, this is actually the steepest cogwheel train in the world!
World's steepest cogwheel train. Mount Pilatus. Switzerland.
World’s steepest cogwheel train!

Daytrip Idea 4: Grindelwald & Interlaken

Visit the scenic Alpine village of Grindelwald, and have the chance to see the peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. There is a train you can then take from there to Interlaken.
town of grindelwald in switzerland, among the scenic swiss alps
Town of Grindelwald
Part of the Bernese Oberland, this area is known for great shopping! Once in Interlaken, Switzerland’s “outdoor sports” capital, you can again see incredible views, find hiking trails, or take part in adventure activities like bungee jumping or skydiving.
Getting there Take the train to Grindelwald (takes about 3 hours) and on to Interlaken. It’s manageable to go on your own, but guided Grindelwald and Interlaken tours are offered too. This may be a better option, given the drive time by car is shorter.
Town of Interlaken in Switzerland along an alpine lake. This makes an easy day trip from Lucerne!
Town of Interlaken

Lucerne Logistics:

Where did you stay? I stayed at the Hotel Royal while in Lucerne, and had a good experience! It is centrally located and easy to walk everywhere. See more hotels in Lucerne
What is there to do in Lucerne itself? There are plenty of things to do, but here are a few ideas if you’re not sure where to start!
I think my favorite activity was spending time on the water, and of course going to Rigi. Strolling the town itself is plenty memorable though!
Why is the town sometimes spelled as “Luzern”? Well, that’s just the difference between languages. Lucerne is the French spelling of the city, and Luzern is the German.
What language do they speak in Lucerne? Lucerne is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, so the official language is Swiss German (a dialect of German, not a separate language). Everyone there speaks English too, making it very easy for tourists!

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4 great day trip ideas out of Lucerne, Switzerland. Includes Mount Rigi, Pilatus, Titlis, and the towns of Interlaken and Grindelwald.

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