Getting around Lucerne Explore Lucerne

Public transport in Switzerland is extensive, reliable, safe and easy to use. It is simple to get around without a car. Enjoy significant savings with many discounted passes available for youth, pensioners, and families, and take advantage of day trip combination offers. Switzerland is also very bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Public transport in Lucerne

Public transport information for the Lucerne area is available from Verkehrsbetriebe Lucerne (DE). All public transport modes in the region are included. The Passepartout (DE) is a monthly or yearly pass enabling travel on all buses and trains in the zones that you purchase it for (including Cantons Obwalden & Nidwalden). A day pass is also available. Main railway stations will provide more information. 

Bus tickets are available from ticket machines or from the underground shop at the train station. Night buses  (DE) run on Friday and Saturday evenings between 01:00 and 04:00. Note: You always need an additional ticket for the night buses and trains, even if you have another pass such as the GA travelcard. Buy tickets before boarding night trains and buy them from the bus drivers on night buses. 

Boats, for cruising and commuting, leave regularly from the landing stage opposite the train station. They can also be hired for private use.

Taxis can be pricey but one operator you can call is Hess Taxi (DE).

 

Travel passes and basic tips

There are several common travel passes that are useful for families and individuals. A few include the Half-Fare pass, Junior pass, GA pass and day passes. Check out this article on the Swiss public transport system to learn about standard regulations and ticket options. Also, keep an eye out for frequent seasonal and holiday offers from SBB/CFF.

Here are a few helpful tips to get you started on Swiss public transport:

  • You must purchase your ticket before boarding (exceptions made for rural routes with no machine at the stop).
  • Children under six years of age travel for free.
  • Travelling with a dog: Dogs over 30 cm tall (about 12 inches) need to pay second-class half fare (there are also day cards and GA passes for dogs). Small dogs can travel for free in a carrier or basket.
  • Travelling with a bicycle: You are required to buy a supplementary bike ticket. You can bring your bicycle or unloaded bike trailers onto most SBB/CFF trains, private railways and PostBuses. Folded bikes can be stored as hand luggage for free. Note: Capacities for bicycle transport may be restricted during peak traffic periods.
  • Utilise the excellent SBB/CFF apps for iPhone and Android.

 

Cycling in Lucerne

Like the rest of Switzerland, Lucerne is a great place to get around by bicycle. Lucerne Tourism gives some excellent suggestions for cycling routes. Additionally, visit Veloland, Bikemap and Routeyou to find national, regional, and local cycling routes in English, as well as maps and other useful information. Nextbike (DE) is a membership program that allows hiring and dropping off of bicycles at various locations in the city.

 

Lucerne on foot

Lucerne is a compact city and easy to explore on foot. Fox Trails are a fun way to explore the town and the city organises some very interesting guided city tours. There are also several jogging routes around the city. 

 

Parking in Lucerne

Parking can be difficult to find in Switzerland. For most street parking you must buy a ticket from the meter. Blue zones allow free parking up to 1 hour with a parking disc marking your arrival time in the window (buy this at the post office). You can also find parking at most main SBB/CFF stations. 

Check parking.ch to locate parking lots before you arrive in the city. You can also try out the Lucerne parking iPhone app to find open parking spots. 

Park and Ride (DE) is a system aimed at reducing traffic in the town centre. Car parks are located on the outskirts of town and you can purchase daily, monthly and yearly passes to park your car there. Mobility car sharing is a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to owning a car.

You may also be interested in the article on Driving and owning a car in Switzerland. 

 

Photo:swiss-image.ch/Andy Mettler

Author: Luzia Imbach

Luzia is a relocation consultant with Packimpex, working in the Zug and Lucerne area. She is Swiss and lives in the area of Luzern. Luzia travelled the world, working as a flight attendant for Swissair during 12 years.

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