Getting around Lucerne


Here's how to get around in Lucerne. In the city we recommend public transport, even for car enthusiasts: it's safe, reliable and gets you everywhere within no time - without having to worry about traffic jams and parking slots.

Jump to:

Public transport

City transport

Lucerne’s public transport network includes buses and local trains. The ticket system is fairly simple: Lucerne’s regional network is divided into zones. You don’t buy tickets for a trip, but rather for a zone. Lucerne city is zone number 10 which includes all of the city and part of the agglomeration (e.g. municipalities of Kriens, Emmenbrücke, Meggen, Littau). Tickets are valid in the chosen zones on buses and local trains. As a visitor, zone 10 is most probably all you'll need, as all the sights and even the bus ride to the valley station of the cable car to popular Mount Pilatus is within this zone. A day pass for zone 10 valid for a calendar day costs 8.20Sfr (half-fare 6.20Sfr), a single ticket valid for 1 hour 4.10Sfr. Children under 6 travel for free, 6 - 16 year-olds pay the so-called half-fare (which actually is 3.10Sfr). Short distance tickets for up to 6 stops with​in half an hour are 2.50 (no half-fare). All these tickets can be purchased with cash or credit cards at the ticket machines you find at almost every stop (switch to English on the first screen). You can also purchase tickets via an App for your smartphone called Fairtiq (available for iPhones and Androids). It's simple to use and available in English. After registering your credit card, you simply have the check in when you start your journey and check out when you finish it. The app then charges you automatically the right amount for the journey to your credit card. It will always charge you the most favourable tariff (i.e. if the costs of a single journey exceeds the cost of a day pass, it will charge you the cheaper day pass). The Visitor Card Lucerne that comes for free with an overnight stay in one of the city's hotels includes free use of buses and trains within the city (zone 10). If you get caught without a valid ticket, it’s 90Sfr. For all questions about public transport, get advice at the Lucerne City Transport (VBL) sales points at the main train station (in the underground shopping area) or at the bus stop Schwanenplatz.

City transport in Lucerne runs roughly from 05:00 - 00:30. City transport in Lucerne runs roughly from 05:00 - 00:30. There are night buses called nachtstern ( on Fri/Sat and Sat/Sun nights to surrounding areas (like Kriens or Littau), which leave from the main train station. The tickets for 7Sfr or 10Sfr can only be bought from the driver. Day passes and any other tickets aren't valid.


The punctuality of trains in Switzerland is legendary. You can almost set your watch to the departure times. The train network is fast, reliable and extensive. For getting around in Switzerland, trains are your best option - from Lucerne there are connections to all the major Swiss cities at least once an hour. The state-owned train company is called SBB. For time tables refer to Tickets are sold on vending machines (switch them to English on the first screen) and at the counters in Lucerne main train station. You can purchase single and return tickets. Children up to 5 travel for free, from 6 - 16 years they pay the half-fare. If you plan on travelling around Switzerland a lot, get a half-fare card for one month for 120Sfr - and travel for half the fare on all public transport. Or get a Swiss Travel Pass which is valid for all kinds of public transport (216 - 458Sfr, depending on duration) and free entry to many museums ( If you plan on travelling a lot in Central Switzerland and pay a visit to more than one of the famous mountains a Tell-Pass is a good option for you. Ask for advice at the train station. If you board a train without a valid ticket, you will have to pay a fine of 90Sfr. If you know when and where you want to go beforehand and have a certain flexibility, you can save up to 70% on your journey with so-called Supersaver Tickets, only available online. Click here to find out how to get them.

Domestic Intercity Buses - Swiss Express

For the first time in history, domestic intercity buses finally began operating in Switzerland in summer 2018. Previously, Switzerland did not license domestic intercity buses to protect its extensive train network. Now Eurobus Swiss-Express operates three domestic lines, two from east to west (St. Gallen - Zurich - Geneva and Zurich - Bern - Montreux) and one from north to south (Basel - Zurich - Luzern - Lugano). There are usually at least two connections each day and each route has around eight stops. Standard tickets are half the price of a train ticket for the same route and sometimes even cheaper offers are available. The Swiss half price public transport card is valid on these buses. Travel times are considerably longer than by train, but they are a good option if you want to save some cash and time isn’t a factor, especially for routes such as Lucerne to Zurich or Lugano and Zurich to Bern, Geneva, Basel or St. Gallen). Check connections and book tickets on its website. -> 

Swiss Express stopped to operate on November 15, 2019. 


In Lucerne, Switzerland, hailing a taxi is akin to calling upon a knight in shining armour, but instead of a horse, you get a car, and instead of a lance, a meter. Navigating the picturesque streets of Lucerne by taxi is a breeze, provided you remember a few golden rules. First off, don't try to flag down taxis on the street like you're hailing the mothership - it's frowned upon. Find a taxi stand or use your phone to summon your carriage.

Speaking of phones, while you might be tempted to discuss the beauty of the Kapellbrücke with your driver, keep in mind they might prefer the beauty of silence or the local radio station. Fares in Lucerne, much like the city itself, are charming yet premium. Ensure your wallet is prepared for a fairy-tale ending, which in this case means no surprises when it comes to paying. And here's a quirky tip: if you're lost in the Swiss German dialect, a smile and a polite "English, please?" will go a long way.

Remember, in Lucerne, taxis aren't just a mode of transport; they're your introduction to Swiss efficiency, punctuality, and perhaps, a bit of luxury – especially if you end up in one of those fancy electric taxis that glide through the streets as smoothly as a swan in the lake.

Here are some companies if you want to order a taxi:

RFTaxi, (+41) 41 320 18 18,
takes credit cards.
McTaxi, (+41) 76 577 66 55,
Taxi Hess, (+41) 41 310 10 10,

The ridesharing service Uber also operates in Lucerne. You can order your ride over an app on your smartphone. Fares are usually significantly cheaper than standard taxi fares, but on the downside you'll be supporting Silicon Valley vulture capitalists and their race-to-bottom dystopian vision for our society. Can your conscience handle that? If so, you've almost certainly already got the app, so don't need any further info from us.


Getting around town by bicycle is popular in Lucerne, and when the weather nice it's a good option for visitors too.

Car rental

All you need to rent a car in Switzerland is a credit card, an ID and a valid licence.  Some companies do however also require a minimum age and minimum driving experience.
Put our app in your pocket
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE