EXACTLY How to Get from Zurich to Lucerne in 2024

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Have you been wondering how to get from Zurich to Lucerne? I’ve got you covered!

This picturesque journey is brimming with breathtaking Swiss landscapes. Having travelled on this mesmerizing route firsthand, I can’t wait to share my personal experience, tips, and insights with you all.

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THE BEST WAY: Train from Zurich to Lucerne – 41-60 Minutes

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) operates the route between Zurich and Lucerne. Direct trains are available, making the journey smooth and hassle-free. The average travel time is between 41-60 minutes, depending on the type of train you choose. Trains operate from 05:35 until 00.08.

zurich to Lucerne
The train from Zurich to Lucerne – Views from the window.

The main train station in Zurich is Zurich Hauptbahnhof (Zurich HB), which is located in the city center. Tram services run from all over Zurich to Zurich HB including train services from Zurich Airport.

In Lucerne, the main train station is Lucerne Hauptbahnhof, conveniently located in the heart of the city.

This is the way I chose to travel from Zurich to Lucerne.

lake Lucerne
Views of Lake Lucerne from nearby Lucerne train and bus station.

Ticket prices: Booking train tickets in advance is recommended, as it can save you money and guarantee a seat on your preferred train. Tickets can be purchased online or at the train stations. Ticket prices range from CHF 15 (second class) to CHF 30 (first class) when booked in advance. I booked my tickets with RailEurope.

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Zurich to Lucerne – 1 Hour

Renting a Car in Zurich and Driving to Lucerne

Exploring the Swiss landscapes at your own pace is an experience worth savoring. Renting a car in Zurich and driving to Lucerne takes approximately 1 hour via the A4 motorway, covering a distance of 52 kilometers (32 miles). The advantage of this option is the flexibility to make pit stops and explore attractions along the way.

Several car rental companies operate in Zurich, offering a variety of vehicles to suit your preferences and budget. Rental offices can be found at Zurich Airport, the central train station, and other locations throughout the city. Some popular car rental companies in Zurich include:

  1. Europcar
  2. Hertz
  3. Avis
  4. Sixt
  5. Budget

🚗 Check Car Rental Availability for Your Dates Here >>>

Tips for Driving from Zurich to Lucerne

Before embarking on your journey, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with Swiss traffic rules and regulations. Keep the following tips in mind while driving:

  1. Drive on the right side of the road.
  2. Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers.Children under 12 years of age or shorter than 150 cm must use appropriate child seats.
  3. Speed limits vary and are strictly enforced. Pay attention to road signs indicating the speed limit.
  4. Swiss motorways require a vignette (toll sticker), which can be purchased at border crossings, gas stations, and post offices.

Parking Options in Lucerne

Upon arrival in Lucerne, you’ll find various parking options, including public parking garages, street parking, and parking lots. Some hotels offer private parking facilities for their guests. Familiarizing yourself with parking regulations and fees is essential to avoid fines.

🤩View Hire Car Availability for Your Dates Here >>>

Carpooling and Ridesharing – 1 Hour+

You can find carpooling options on local websites like BlaBlaCar, Poparide and Swiss forums. This is a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to travel.

Keep in mind that you may need to be flexible with your travel times and meeting points when opting for carpooling. Don’t forget to communicate with your driver in advance to confirm the details of your trip and any shared costs involved.

person driving Mercedes-Benz car during daytime

Zurich to Lucerne by Bus – 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

If you’re looking for an affordable and comfortable way to travel from Zurich to Lucerne, consider taking the bus. The journey usually takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, offering a balance between cost and convenience. Buses typically run several times a day, providing you with multiple options for departure times.

Several bus companies operate on the route between Zurich and Lucerne, offering a range of services to cater to different preferences and budgets. Some popular bus companies include:

FlixBus: A popular European bus company providing affordable and comfortable services with free Wi-Fi, power outlets, and ample legroom.

PostBus Switzerland: A well-known Swiss bus company offering services between Zurich and Lucerne. PostBus buses are known for their punctuality and comfort.

🚌 Zurich and Lucerne Bus Stations

Arriving into Zurich

Buses usually depart from Zurich Bus Station, located close to the central train station, and arrive at Lucerne Bus Station, which is just outside the main train station in Lucerne. Both stations are conveniently located within walking distance of the city centers, providing easy access to local transportation and nearby attractions.

🤩Get Your Bus Ticket Here >>>

Guided Tours from Zurich to Lucerne

My first time in Lucerne

If you’re travelling to Lucerne to stay overnight, this is not the best option for you. I hoped to do this and realised that some of the stops were after Lucerne.

The idea was to book a daytrip from Zurich and not take up on the return transfer. However, if you are not staying in Lucerne, a guided trip from Zurich to Lucerne may be the best option for you.

This way, you’ll see Lucerne AND more of Switzerland’s stunning sights. These tours may be suited to older kids better. If you’re travelling to Lucerne with kids under 7, consider staying overnight and visiting at a slower pace.

Here are the best options:

Lucerne & Mount Pilatus Day Tour – 9.5 Hours

landscape photography of mountain

Depart from Zurich Main Station and journey through scenic landscapes alongside Lake Lucerne, stopping briefly at the Lion Monument. In Lucerne, explore the main sights before heading to Kriens for a thrilling ride on panoramic gondolas and cable cars up Mount Pilatus, standing 2128 meters above sea level.

Marvel at the breathtaking alpine vistas and descend on one of the world’s steepest funiculars to Alpnachstad. Conclude your adventure with a relaxing one-hour boat cruise across Lake Lucerne and a bus ride back to Zurich.

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Lake Lucerne and Engelberg from Zurich – 9.5 Hours

a snowy mountain range

Discover the charm of the Swiss Alps on a day trip from Zurich to Lucerne and Engelberg. Board a comfortable, climate-controlled bus and journey along the picturesque alpine road, passing the shimmering waters of Lake Lucerne.

Enjoy an hour of free time to explore the lively city of Lucerne before continuing to Engelberg, a quintessential Swiss village.

Visit the stunning Baroque church within the Engelberg Monastery, built by Benedictine monks in 1120. Spend three hours strolling through the village, shopping for souvenirs at a local cheese shop, or hiking through the breathtaking Alpine landscape.

Optionally, take a scooter ride in summer or a toboggan ride in winter, before returning to Zurich.

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Rigi and Lake Lucerne from Zurich

gray house under cloudy sky during daytime

Experience the captivating beauty of the Swiss Alps on a partially guided day trip from Zurich, featuring a cable-car ride, cogwheel train, and boat cruise.

Begin with a bus journey through the Albispass to Lake Lucerne and the resort-town of Weggis, situated at the foot of the Rigi. Ascend the “Queen of the Mountains” via cable-car to the baths and spa on its slopes, marveling at the panoramic views of the 13 surrounding lakes and central Swiss mountains.

Explore the Rigi on foot in summer or by sleigh in winter, and then descend on the world’s oldest funicular to Vitznau.

Conclude your adventure with a scenic boat ride across Lake Lucerne, taking in views of the Rigi from the charming old town, before returning to Zurich by bus.

Book This Tour >>>

Day Trip to Lucerne with Optional Yacht Cruise

lake lucerne
Seeing the Lucerne lake for the first time – near the train station

Embark on a day-long excursion to the charming old town of Lucerne from Zurich. Travel over the Albispass and along the stunning Lake Lucerne, arriving at the picturesque town for a guided tour of its most important sights, including the Chapel Bridge, Town Hall, Jesuit Church, and concert and congress centers.

Enjoy six hours of free time to immerse yourself in Lucerne’s culture and traditions. Visit museums like the Verkehrshaus or Rosengart, take a boat trip on Lake Lucerne, or explore the city on the City-Train. Meander through the picturesque backstreets and alleyways of the old town, and experience unique shopping opportunities

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Tips for Travelling from Lucerne to Geneva


Luggage Storage

Luggage storage options are available at Lucerne and Zurich stations.

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The Swiss Travel Pass

Offers unlimited travel on trains, buses, and boats throughout Switzerland for a selected number of days, plus free admission to over 500 museums. This is great value if you are planning to do LOTS of exploring during your trips. Make sure you add up the cost of the attractions and trains on your trip to see if the pass is worthit.

🤩Get Your Travel Pass Here >>>

Swiss Half Fare Card

Provides a 50% discount on train, bus, and boat travel within Switzerland for 1 month. This is perfect if you have a longer stay in Switzerland. Childeren under 16 travel free is an adult has this pass.

Saver Day Pass

Offers unlimited travel on public transport for a day at a discounted price when booked in advance.

Interrail and Eurorail Passes

Interrail (for European residents) and Eurail (for non-European residents) passes offer a cost-effective and flexible way to experience the Lucerne to Geneva route and beyond. There are different types of passes available. T

he global pass covers 33 European countries, suitable for those planning extensive travel across Europe.

This can be flexible (e.g. 7 days within a month) or continuous for 15 days to 3 months. The one country pass is ideal for focusing on a single country.

The scenery of Lake Lucerne from nearby Lucerne Train and Bus Station

Zurich to Lucerne FAQs

How long does it take to travel from Zurich to Lucerne?

The journey time between Zurich and Lucerne is typically around 45-60 minutes, depending on the type of train you choose.

Can you travel from Zurich Airport to Lucerne by train?

Yes, you can travel from Zurich Airport to Lucerne by train. Simply take the train from Zurich Airport to Zurich HB and then catch a direct train to Lucerne.

What is the distance from Zurich to Lucerne?

The distance between Zurich and Lucerne is approximately 52 kilometers (32 miles).

Read More on Switzerland:

Read More – Switzerland with Kids

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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.