15 Lovely Things to Do in Lucerne in Winter (+ Christmas Tips)

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Are you looking into booking a trip to Lucerne in winter? This guide details the best things to do during winter in Lucerne… and more!

Are you planning your trip to Lucerne last minute?

If youʻre booking your trip to Lucerne last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

🇨🇭 Top Experiences and Tours in Lucerne:

  1. Full-day tour to Mount Titlis (I’ve done this tour- amazing!)
  2. Tandem-Paragliding flight in Lucerne (winter adventure tour!)
  3. Mount Pilatus roundtrip tour with cable car ride 

🛌  Top Hotels in Lucerne:

  1. Villa Maria (my top pick in the city!)
  2. Hotel Felmis (close to Lake Lucerne!)
  3. Appartements Hofquartier
  4. Hermitage Lake Lucerne (excellent views of the lake)

🚗  Visiting Lucerne independently? Be sure to book your rental car ahead of time to ensure availability!

Lucerne is a dreamy destination regardless of when you decide to visit. But, winter is especially beautiful!

The temperatures are cold… but on the milder side of things but since you’re so close to the mountains, you can escape into a winter wonderland with ease!

Visiting Lucerne in winter
Visiting Lucerne in winter

There are also many day trips that make Lucerne a fantastic base for a winter trip.

Did we miss any of the best Lucerne winter activities in this guide? Let us know in the comments!

Temperatures During Winter in Lucerne

Lucerne is one of the top winter destinations in Switzerland but the temperatures stay relatively mild during the winter months!

While the mountains will have much colder temperatures, here are the averages for Lucerne.

  • Lucerne in November: highs of 8 C (46 F), lows of 1 C (34 F)
  • Lucerne in December: highs of 4 C (40 F), lows of -1 C (29 F)
  • Lucerne in January: highs of 3 C (38 F), lows of -3 C (27 F)
  • Lucerne in February: highs of 5 C (41 F), lows of -3 C (27 F)
  • Lucerne in March: highs of 10 C (50 F), lows of 1 C (33 F)

Snowfall in Lucerne

You can be expected to see some snow during your visit to Lucerne, especially if you visit around December through February. 

On average, the snowy season in Lucerne lasts between November and March, with December averaging the most snow per year.

Winter in Lucerne is really beautiful!
Winter in Lucerne is really beautiful!

It is a wonderful snowy location during the winter where you can find plenty of winter activities, such as skiing and snowboarding.

Best Things to Do in Lucerne in Winter

1. Take a Day Trip to Engelberg and Mount Titlis

Mount Titlis is a mesmerizing peak surrounded by a breathtaking landscape of glaciers and endless snow of the Swiss Alps at an elevation of 3,238 meters above sea level.

Take a five-and-a-half-hour excursion that includes a rotating cable car, a chair lift, and winter activities. Begin the journey with a scenic drive from Engelberg toward the mountain.

As you ascend towards the glacier world, you will be greeted with amazing views of massive ice boulders and deep cracks and steep crevasses of the glacier, which can be seen entirely from a Rotair revolving cable car.

Hanging out at the top of Mt Titlis-1
Hanging out on Mt Titlis

Upon reaching the peak of Mount Titlis, you will be welcomed with an unforgettable panoramic view of the Swiss Alps from a sun terrace.

The heart of the mountain can be explored by visiting its Glacier Cave, or by taking the Ice Flyer chair lift to reach Glacier Park. Afterward, you can snow-tube until the end of your trip.

>> Click here to check Mt Titlis tour rates and availability

2. Visit Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) and the Old Town

The charming Kapellbrücke, also known as Chapel Bridge, gracefully stretches over the river Reuss, nestled in the heart of the Old Town.

Dating back to its opening in 1333, this covered wooden footbridge holds the esteemed title of being Europe’s oldest of its kind.

Originally built as a fortification component, the Chapel Bridge now stands as an iconic landmark, enticing visitors with its historical allure.

Inside Chapel Bridge
Inside Chapel Bridge

What truly sets the Chapel Bridge apart are the captivating paintings adorning the triangular frames beneath its roof.

These intricate artworks vividly depict a tapestry of tales from the city’s rich history.

From the legends of the esteemed patron Saint Maurice to the captivating life and demise of Saint Leger, these pictorial panels were added centuries later, seamlessly becoming an integral part of the bridge’s cultural significance and inherent charm.

Walking across the Chapel Bridge offers you to step back in time with its views of the historic town.

3. Try Out This Swiss Chocolate Adventure Experience

Enter the Swiss Chocolate Adventure attraction located at the Swiss Museum of Transport and embark on a multimedia journey on a traveling cart.

With an audio guide, you can learn about the history of Swiss chocolate, and how it is produced, transported, and sold whilst pulling up to 10 different displays.

Learn everything from how chocolate was discovered and how people first cultivated cocoa beans to how the finest chocolate industry in the world centralized in Switzerland is made and sent to confectionary stores all around the world.

The multisensory ride will bring your senses to life, with aromas, sights, and flavors coming together for an immersive experience.

You will also be given your own free sample of the delicious chocolate to eat or take home with you.

The multimedia journey lasts about half an hour, and the cart you’ll be seated in resembles that of a chocolate cube.

>> Click here to check chocolate tour rates and availability

4. Get Festive at the Lucerne Christmas Market at Franziskanerplatz

Franziskanerplatz is transformed into a small town of colorful wooden houses within Lucerne’s Old Town during Advent every year.

The Christmas market features the largest Advent wreath in Switzerland more than three meters in diameter on the Franziskaner fountain and is decorated with hundreds of baubles and lights with candles reaching a height of four meters tall at its side.

Lucerne Christmas Market - KlavdiyaV - Shutterstock
Lucerne Christmas Market – KlavdiyaV – Shutterstock

The craft market presents an assortment of homemade products in the middle of the historic Old Town, from handmade jewelry, paper goods, accessories, and mobile phone bags, to holiday treats and figures.

The vendors in the hut alleys and cozy chalets offer a variety of cheese dishes and fondue as well as Christmas gift shopping along the backdrop of Inseli Park and Lake Lucerne.

Vögeligärtli City Park also has a cozy winter village with numerous stalls of artfully crafted gifts offering a great opportunity for a stroll in Lucerne’s new town.

5. Explore the Swiss Museum of Transport (Verkehrshaus der Schweiz) 

The Swiss Museum of Transport stands as Switzerland’s most frequented museum, providing a showcase of the nation’s diverse transportation systems.

Encompassing an expansive area of over 20,000 square meters, the museum boasts an impressive collection of 3,000 exhibits.

You’ll be treated to a myriad of attractions beyond the realm of transportation, with a silver screen at the film theater and cinema, and a multimedia adventure in the Media World.

Swiss Museum of Transport - Heracles Kritikos - Shutterstock
Swiss Museum of Transport – Heracles Kritikos – Shutterstock

The largest planetarium in the country is hosted at the museum and it offers an awe-inspiring 360-degree view of the celestial wonders above.

In the Media World, you can witness the remarkable journey of cocoa beans transforming into the renowned Swiss chocolate with the Swiss Chocolate Adventure.

The documentaries presented are featured in XXL format screenings, which are the largest screenings in the country.

There is also an expansive outdoor area boasting a delightful playground and a serene lake, providing the perfect setting for relaxation and recreation.

Address: Lidostrasse 5, 6006 Luzern

6. Go Ice Skating at Eiszentrum Luzern

During the winter months, Eiszentrum Luzern offers a delightful opportunity for ice skating enthusiasts.

The ice rink is well maintained and is a venue for all skill levels, with modern facilities and equipment rentals.

The renowned ice center serves as a popular destination for ice-related activities during the winter season, ranging from activities for individuals to those with families or groups.

The smooth ice surface provides an ideal setting for gliding, twirling, and practicing various skating techniques.

Popular games like curling and ice hockey can also be provided for at the rink.

Eiszentrum Luzern is surrounded by the stunning snow-covered landscapes of Lucerne and its welcoming environment has cups of hot beverages and snacks ready to warm you up.

Address: Eisfeldstrasse 2, 6005 Luzern

7. Take a Cable Car or Cogwheel Train to Mount Pilatus 

Take an aerial cable car to the top of Mount Pilatus. After jaw-dropping views from your ascent, you can explore the Alpine scenery at the top of the mountain with a few trails and easy hikes. 

The trip starts with a comfortable coach ride to Kriens from Lucerne, where you’ll then climb the panoramic gondolas to Fräkmüntegg to board the aerial Dragon Ride cable car up the mountain. 

Enjoy the views on the panorama terrace and take a break whilst relishing the views from atop the mountain. The top of Mt. Pilatus reaches a height of 2,132 meters above sea level!

Cogwheel Train to Mount Pilatus
Cogwheel Train to Mount Pilatus

There are restaurants at the top as well for you to enjoy a wonderful lunch before leaving. This makes this such an epic Lucerne day trip, even during the winter months!

After exploring the area, descend the mountain on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, and then take a coach back to Lucerne with panoramic views of the Swiss Alps.

>> Click here to check Mt Pilatus ticket rates

8. Get a Cogwheel Train Ticket to Mount Rigi

Europe’s first railway dating back to 1871 leads up to Mount Rigi, the Queen of the Mountains in the heart of central Switzerland.

The rack railway and cable car create a unique combination and an exhilarating outing from the highest Alpine peaks of the country.

The mountain range has an amazing 360-degree panoramic view overlooking the Swiss Alps and lakes. The railway travels from Vitznau up 1,797 meters above sea level to the top of Rigi Kulm.

Mount Rigi
Mount Rigi

You can also travel to the top from Goldau on its north face with the rack railway, where the small cable car going up to Rigi Scheidegg from Kräbel is located.

There is a cable car traveling to Rigi Kaltbad as well, where you can afterward transfer to Rigi Kulm with the rack railway.

All 4 modes of transport for the whole day are included in The Rigi Day Pass, allowing skiers and snowboarders to use the ski lifts on the Rigi. 

>> Click here to check Mt Rigi ticket rates

9. Discover the Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre

The Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre, otherwise known as KKL Lucerne, is a notable cultural and event venue renowned for its architecture created by French architect Jean Nouvel with a sleek glass façade and the careful attention to halls’ acoustics, making the venue a versatile event space for world-class performances.

The building is located along the shores of Lake Lucerne and highlights the surrounding natural beauty.

Various halls in the intriguing building include the famous Concert Hall, which is regarded as one of the best in the world.

Inside the Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre - footageclips - Shutterstock
Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre – footageclips – Shutterstock

Its perfect proportions lay the foundation for the echo chambers and the height-adjustable sound reflector, which all contribute to its ideal acoustics.

Available tours are packed with information about how the KKL Luzern came into being, whereas the venue itself showcases dance performances, theatrical productions, and visual arts exhibitions in addition to music ones.

The vibrant platform hosts both local and international talent throughout the year.

Address: Europapl. 1, 6003 Luzern

10. Go to Carnival in Lucerne

The Lucerne Carnival is unlike any of the others in the region of Central Switzerland.

It starts on the 16th of February and ends on the 21st and it takes place in Lucerne’s Old Town, which is transformed into a giant festival site that hosts live music, dancing, and numerous parades.

The celebration starts off at five in the morning of Schmutzig Thursday with a “Big Bang” in Kapellplatz. This is called the Urknall.

Carnival in Lucerne - RnDmS - Shutterstock
Carnival in Lucerne – RnDmS – Shutterstock

The first parade commences later in the day at 1:45 PM at the Fritschi at the Luzernerhof, whereas the final parade, the Wey, takes place at the same time in Luzernerhof on Güdis Monday.

On the following day on Güdis Tuesday, the giant Monstercorso parade takes place and begins at 7.30 p.m. in Bahnhofstrasse.

You’ll find bizarre costumes of various figures in fantastical masks all throughout town, in the alleyways, just walking around or in the various groups of musicians playing for the crows joyfully.

11. Explore the Lion Monument 

The Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne, is a famous sculpture and rock relief commemorating the Swiss Guards that were massacred during the French Revolution in 1792 at the Tuileries Palace in Paris.

It was carved out of a natural rock face and was designed by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and executed by the Swiss sculptor Lukas Ahorn.

The memorial was completed in 1821 after about a full year of work. It is a significant and culturally important monument and one of the most visited in the country.

Lion Monument
Lion Monument – one of the top Lucerne attractions

The lion portrays deep sorrow as it depicts dying and lying on a shield bearing the symbol of the French monarchy, the fleur-de-lis.

The broken spear in its side and the carving of its mane show master artisanship and contribute to the melancholic atmosphere of the monument as it is surrounded by a tranquil park a few minutes walk away from the Bourbaki Panorama Museum.

12. Take a Guided Tour of the Lucerne City Walls (Museggmauer)

Take a guided walking tour of Museggmauer, Lucerne’s City Walls.

Depart with your guide from the reception of your hotel and head over to the Bourbaki Museum and learn about its historical impact and afterward, you’ll head over to the Lion Monument.

After about a ten-minute walk, you will be led to the hill of the Musegg Wall, which is the preserved part of the city’s outer fortification of the medieval part of town.

You’ll get to see the late Middle Age clockwork of the Schirmerturm and the Zeitturm whilst learning about Swiss history.

Museggmauer - the Lucerne city walls during early winter
Museggmauer (city walls)

Afterward, visit the wine market and the city’s oldest fountain and drink pure Pilatus spring water.

Then you can head over through the Furrengasse to Peterskapelle, the first church in the city of Lucerne, dating back to the 12th century when the city was first founded.

Stroll across the Chapel Bridge to the other side of the historic center.

>> Click here to check Museggmauer tour rates and availability

13. Relax at Bürgenstock Resort’s Alpine Spa

The Bürgenstock Alpine Spa offers views all over Lake Lucerne with five pools, saunas, and relaxation rooms expanding to 10,000 square meters.

Choose between the Beauty Lounge, the Spa Boutique, and the iconic outdoor infinity pool with exceptional views of Pilatus, Rigi, and Lake Lucerne heated to 35 degrees.

There is also the outdoor Hollywood Pool and the Indoor Pool, the Floating Pool with saline waters for reducing inflammation and enhancing skin hydration.

The cold eco-pools have three different temperatures to choose from, with 10-14, 35, and cold plunge pools at 16 degrees.

Four saunas provide excellent views of Lake Lucerne whereas the Hammam is designed to detoxify and relieve muscle tension in its Alpine Steambath.

The Spa Garden features the Bull’s Eye Pool Bar, the Roman Pavilion, and the Panorama Garden with grand views of Mount Pilatus. There are thirteen treatment rooms, a gym and fitness room, a hair spa, and a kid’s club. 

Address: Resort Lake Lucerne, Bürgenstock 17, 6363 Obbürgen

14. Admire the Bourbaki Panorama Lucerne

The Bourbaki Panorama Museum stands as a remarkable cultural landmark, commemorating a significant event from the Franco-Prussian War.

This unique museum encompasses a single circular painting, spanning 360 degrees, which vividly depicts the internment of the Bourbaki army, also known as the Armée de l’Est, comprising 87,000 French soldiers seeking shelter in Switzerland during the winter of 1871.

Despite its modest size, the museum’s panoramic artwork transcends the mere portrayal of wartime loss, delivering a profound message of solidarity and the perils of exclusion in today’s society.

It also showcases one of the earliest large-scale humanitarian endeavors undertaken by the Red Cross.

Bourbaki Panorama - Michael Derrer Fuchs - Shutterstock
Bourbaki Panorama – Michael Derrer Fuchs – Shutterstock

Painted by the talented artist Edouard Castres, the panoramic masterpiece measures an impressive 112 by 10 meters.

Interestingly, Castres’ innovative use of the panoramic medium foreshadows the advent of cinema, 360-degree filming, and even virtual reality.

While an entrance fee applies, visitors can enjoy free admission with the Swiss Travel Pass, making it a convenient option for exploration.

Address: Löwenpl. 11, 6004 Luzern

15. Enjoy the Winter Wonderland Festival in Lucerne

Winter Wonderland Lucerne transforms the picturesque Swiss city into a magical winter paradise with sparkling lights and festive decorations amongst snow-covered landscapes.

The Christmas markets have traditional wooden stalls filled with warming drinks, delicious treats, and local handicrafts that are perfect and unique gifts to give during the holiday season.

There are frozen lakes converted to ice skating rinks and there are thrilling ice slides and slopes converted for ski and snowboarding enthusiasts.

There is ample entertainment that includes live music performances, theatrical shows, and festive parades with holiday characters.

Children can meet Santa Claus, participate in craft workshops, and enjoy storytelling sessions.

There are various food stalls and traditional chalets serving everything from waffles and piping hot fondue to aromatic mulled wine and hot chocolate.

Stroll through the markets, the scenic and illuminated nature, and an abundance of winter sports and outdoor activities in the magically transformed Lucerne. 

Things to Do in Lucerne in Winter (On a Map!)

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Where to Stay in Lucerne

If you’re looking for the top places to stay in Lucerne, these are our top picks!

Did we miss any of the best things to do in Lucerne in winter?

Let us know your favorite Lucerne winter activities in the comments!

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Looking for the top things to do in Lucerne in winter? We take you through the top activities during winter in Lucerne - day trips, attractions, and more! | Lucerne winter | Day trips from Lucerne | Switzerland in winter | Winter in Switzerland | What to do in Lucerne in winter | Lucerne things to do | Winter trip to Lucerne | Lucerne in November | Lucerne in December | Lucerne in January | Lucerne in February | Lucerne in March | Christmas in Lucerne

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