Many people fly to Switzerland and land at Zürich Airport. Although there are several nice attractions and things to do in and near Zürich, you may want to explore other areas of Switzerland. Another popular destination in Switzerland is Lucerne. If Lucerne is on your travel plan for Switzerland, you have several ways to get from Zürich to Lucerne. Let’s explore the transport options to allow you to choose the best modes of transportation from Zürich to Lucerne for your next trip to Lucerne as we all have different travel needs.
Why visit Lucerne, Switzerland?
Lucerne is located in central Switzerland. It is the capital city of the canton of Lucerne. Lucerne has a population of about 82,000 people, making it the most populous city in central Switzerland. It is a hub for culture, media and transport with many train connections to other Swiss destinations. Lucerne is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.
Lucerne is located on the shores of Lake Lucerne from where you can view Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi, two of the mountains in the Swiss Alps. Mount Pilatus is known for its unique cogwheel railway experience. You can complete a spectacular cable car ride with great views once you leave Mt Pilatus – definitely worth every cent! The city has several top attractions, including the Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument. Lucerne’s old city is also worth a visit with beautiful traditional Swiss houses. The Lucerne City Train is a convenient way to see Lucerne and to learn about the city.
You may feel confused when you see some guide books or websites spell Lucerne as Luzern. If you are wondering is Lucerne the same as Luzern, Luzerne is the German spelling and Lucerne is the French or English version used by many tourists.
Looking for a hotel? Try the Hotel PickWick in Lucerne with a beautiful view of Chapel Bridge.
You can easily use Lucerne as the base from which you explore Switzerland as it is near popular areas, such as Interlaken and cities such as Lausanne, Montreux and Lugano. Alternatively, you can do a Lucerne day trip as part of a private tour or by yourself if you are staying in Zürich.
How to get from Zürich to Lucerne: your transport options
If you are travelling from Zürich to Lucerne, you can choose between different modes of transport. Switzerland’s public transportation is excellent, but private travel options are also available.
Taking the bus to get from Zürich to Lucerne
Taking a bus ride from Zürich to Lucerne is the cheapest way to get to Lucerne. The Zürich Bus Terminal is located 650 metres from the main train station in Zürich. There are three busses per day and a bus ticket costs between $2-$4 for a single trip but also takes the longest.
The bus trip takes about 90 minutes and you will arrive at the Lucerne Carparkplatz Inseliquai, which is the bus station. You can buy cheap bus tickets here for different bus companies, including ALSA, FlixBus, MarinoBus and RegioJet. The Carparkplatz Inseliquai is around the corner from Lucerne’s Train station. For the cheapest bus tickets, click here!
From Zürich to Lucerne by train
Train journeys in Switzerland is for many tourists the best way to travel through Switzerland. You can find free WiFi at train stations and some trains also offer free Wifi for you to use during your train journey. Some trains have power outlets you can use to charge your electronic devices. Many trains have a bistro car where you can dine or purchase snacks to munch on while enjoying the panoramic views from the train.
The train journey from Zürich’s main station or Zürich Hauptbahnhof (Zürich HB) to Lucerne takes about 40 minutes and a train ticket costs between $25-$45 for a single trip, depending on the time of day you travel and also the class of travel you choose. The trains run at intervals of 30 minutes and you will never have to wait long for the next train if you miss one! Most of these train journeys is a direct train trip between the two cities and you won’t need to transfer trains anywhere.
To save money on train travel in Switzerland, considering purchasing a Swiss travel pass that gives you discounted rates on train travel and attractions in Switzerland. There is a variety of travel passes to choose from, such as passes for consecutive travel days or for non-consecutive travel days. Using these passes can save you a significant amount of money while travelling through Switzerland. You can book train tickets online as long as you have one of the world’s main credit cards. Click here to book the cheapest train tickets!
Taking a taxi
You can take a taxi to complete the journey. It will take about 40 minutes and cost you around $240-$300. Although this may be one of the fastest ways to travel between Zürich and Lucerne, it is also the most expensive way to complete the journey.
Using a rideshare
Using a rideshare is another way to travel cheaply if you are a budget-conscious traveller. The journey’s duration is just over an hour and will cost you $3. There is one rideshare opportunity daily and you will be dropped off near the Lucerne Train Station.
Hire a car and drive yourself
You can rent a car in Zürich and drive to Lucerne yourself. This will cost you between $7-$10 and the journey takes approximately 37 minutes. Having a rental car does allow you to make stops at smaller towns along the way and this may make your journey longer.
Do a private tour to Lucerne
If you want to do a Lucerne day trip, you can choose from a variety of day trips from Zürich, including:
- A Mount Titlis day tour from Zurich
- A day tour from Zurich to visit Mount Pilatus and Lucerne
- A day trip from Zurich to Lucerne with an optional Yacht cruise
Travelling from Zürich Airport to Lucerne
There are no international airports in Lucerne. If you are flying to Switzerland and want to visit Lucerne first, your best option is to fly to Zürich International Airport, also known as Zürich Flughafen in German. The Zürich Airport is the airport closes to Lucerne. From Zürich Airport, you can make use of the following transport options to get to Lucerne:
From Zürich Airport to Lucerne by bus
Taking the bus from Zürich Airport to Lucerne is the cheapest way to get to Lucerne. There are three busses per day and a bus ticket costs between $8-$10 for a single trip. The bus trip takes about 90 minutes and you will arrive at the bus depot in Lucerne, which is a 6-minute walk from Lucerne’s Train station. For the cheapest bus tickets, click here!
From Zürich Airport to Lucerne by train
Taking the train from Zürich Airport to Lucerne Station takes approximately 70 minutes to cover the distance of 64.4 kilometres. A train ticket will cost you between $28-$50 for a single trip, depending on the time of you day you travel and also the class of travel you choose. You can also visit Lucerne on a day trip and do a return trip to Zürich Airport. The train between these two destinations run every hour.
For most of the train journeys from Zürich Airport to Lucerne you may have to change trains at either Zug or Zürich, depending on the route you take. Taking this train journey, you will arrive at Lucerne Train Station, right next to Lake Lucerne. From here it is an easy walk to most of the famous landmarks, such as the Lion Monument or Chapel Bridge. You can also board a boat tour to either Mt Pilatus or Rigi from near the Lucerne Train Station. Click here to book the cheapest train tickets!
Taking a taxi to Lucerne
You can take a taxi from Zürich Airport to Lucerne. This will cost you between $310-$380 per trip, which will take 45 minutes. It is one of the most expensive ways to complete this journey and may not be for your if you are a budget-conscious traveller.
Use a towncar
Another option for travelling from Zürich Airport to Lucerne is taking a towncar. This is not a budget option, but it is one of the fastest ways for the journey. It will cost you between $55-$110 and will take 45 minutes.
Rent a car and drive yourself
You can rent a car from Zürich Airport to complete the trip to Zürich. The costs will vary between $9-$13 and will take 45 minutes. Although this is more expensive than taking a bus, it is the transport option that will give you the most freedom to stop and explore urban areas or small towns along the way.
Where to stay in Lucerne
Here are some options for accommodation in Lucerne: