10 Beautiful Things That Makes Lucerne so Lovely & Charming

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What are my favorite destinations in Switzerland? As someone who loves getting lost in old places and visiting the mountains for tranquility and adventure, I ended up falling in love with three destinations in this country.

First is Bern. I adore its beautiful architectural landmarks and old-world picturesque views. Second is the Jungfrau Region. Its heaven-on-earth scenery (Lauterbrunnen) and its epic free adventures (Grindelwald) are a must! Unreal natural beauty it is. And the third? It’s Lucerne — a fantastic Swiss city that combines slices of Bern and the Jungfrau Region. It’s a beautiful place… and to me, it’s what a Utopian city looks like.

Well, Lucerne is beautiful in a sense that it’s visually appealing, breathtaking, and somehow inspiring. Profound. It’s hard to explain, but I believe you’ll understand it perfectly when you explore its unique experiences and attractions or simply wander through the city’s notable landmarks on a walking tour of the old town.

However, to appreciate Lucerne’s visual appeal, no effort is needed. You don’t have to spend two days in Lucerne or have a three-day getaway to get an idea how beautiful Lucerne is. During a 1-day visit, just take a few steps from the train station after you arrive, and there you’ll already spot the Chapel Bridge — one of the many things that make Lucerne visually inspiring! There’s more to discover, though. Let me share them with you now.


Here’s the visual summary of Lucerne’s beauty


1. Chapel Bridge — A Unique & Beautiful Landmark

Arriving by train in Lucerne, you can expect to see a beautiful landmark in Lucerne right away. That is the Chapel Bridge… and it is Lucerne’s most iconic and famous landmark. The entrance to the Chapel Bridge is a 5-minute walk from Lucerne’s train station. But, you should be able to spot the Chapel Bridge a few steps from the train station as you move closer to Reuss River.

The Chapel Bridge makes Lucerne beautiful because its quaint look perfectly matches the old city. Made of wood, you can feel that “you’re really visiting an alpine settlement” when you see it. You know, wood is a readily available and sustainable building material in the alpine region.

Chapel Bridge during the golden hour in Lucerne, Switzerland
Chapel Bridge during the golden hour
What’s so notable about the Chapel Bridge?

The Chapel Bridge is actually a world record, thus a bucket list destination! This is why you would really want to see the Chapel Bridge on your Switzerland trip. Did you know? The Chapel Bridge is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe and the World’s oldest surviving truss bridge.

This beautiful bridge even dates back to the 14th century! Although it was mostly destroyed in its fire incident in 1993, it was rebuilt immediately and finished a year later. Today, this famous bridge in Lucerne is the photographer’s favorite. I bet you would not be able to resist taking photos of the Chapel Bridge, especially during warmer months when it is embellished with colorful flowers along its length. 

Don’t forget to read tips so you can make the most of your visit to the Chapel Bridge.

2. Unique Triangular Paintings — Artistic Glimpse To The Past

What you may not know yet, but the Chapel Bridge is more than just the oldest surviving truss bridge in the world. It is a gallery of historically important paintings in Switzerland. These paintings inside the Chapel Bridge are approximately 400 years old and are indeed special. Why? Because they have a triangular shape and were painted on a technique, you can’t find anything similar anywhere else so quickly. 

Other people call them gable paintings because they are placed under the triangular truss roof of the Chapel Bridge. At the gables, these paintings beautifully preserve the history and culture of Lucerne or Switzerland in a distinctive way. They make Lucerne an enticing destination for wanderers, historical urban explorers, or history buffs.

Gable paintings in Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzeland
Gable paintings in Chapel Bridge
Interesting facts + more photos of gable paintings

Did you know that you can also find similar paintings at Spreuer Bridge? It is another covered wooden bridge across the Reuss River. However, in Spreuer Bridge, the gable paintings do not directly depict history, but they form a cycle of paintings called the Danse Macabre (Dance of Death). The cycle of Danse Macabre in the Spreuer Bridge is known to be one of the largest in the world.

Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
Spreuer Bridge
Danse Macabre in Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
Danse Macabre in Spreuer Bridge
Another Danse Macabre in Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
Another Danse Macabre in Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne
Skeletons clearly depicted in a Danse Macabre gable painting in Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
Skeletons clearly depicted in a Danse Macabre gable painting in Spreuer Bridge

You can learn more information about the gable paintings of Lucerne in the resources section at the end of this post

3. Fountains In The Squares — Lovely Gems In The Old City

I used to think I could only find beautiful fountains in Bern in all of Switzerland. But it turned out I was wrong. Lucerne also has a few of these ornate fountains, which are gems that make Lucerne a beautiful city. 

If you have been to Bern or other cities in Germany, these fountains in Lucerne may look familiar. They have a well or through, and in the middle is a pillar often adorned with sculptures and colorful flowers. When I checked Lucerne’s old city, I found three fountains I think you’d also like to see. These fountains are called Fritschibrunnen, Weinmarktbrunnen, and Neptunbrunnen. 

Neptunbrunnen, Weinmarktbrunnen, and Fritschibrunnen in Lucerne, Switzerland
Neptunbrunnen, Weinmarktbrunnen, and Fritschibrunnen
Fun facts, photos, and location of the beautiful fountains in Lucerne

There are hundreds of fountains in Lucerne, but the most notable are found in the squares of the old city. The water from these fountains is so clean that you can drink from them directly. This is why you may see people refilling water bottles from these fountains.  Believe it or not, these fountains in Lucerne have provided fresh water to the city residents for more than 600 years!

Like the residents, you can also get water from these fountains for free. According to my sources, the water from the fountains comes from an alpine lake at the foothill of Mount Pilatus. 

Let’s say you visit the Chapel Bridge and cross the River Reuss from Bahnhofstrasse to Rathausquai. Then the first beautiful fountain in Lucerne that you’ll find is Fritschibrunnen. It is located in Kapellplatz, a few steps from the northern entrance of the Chapel Bridge.

Of the charming fountains in Lucerne, Fritschibrunnen is the most colorful. This fountain has a hexagonal trough and an intricate column decorated by splendid masks of Fritschi and his wife. On top of the column, you’ll see the statue of the standard-bearer. 

Sculptures of masks in Fritschibrunnen in Lucerne, Switzerland
Sculptures of masks in Fritschibrunnen
Beautiful elaborations at the base of Fritschibrunnen's pillar in Lucerne, Switzerland
Beautiful elaborations at the base of Fritschibrunnen’s pillar
Fritschibrunnen's fountain spout in Lucerne, Switzerland
Fritschibrunnen’s fountain spout

Strolling westward, you may stumble upon Weinmarkt, a beautiful square where Weinmarktbrunnen is. The last time I saw the fountain, it was unpainted, yet it still appeared imposing because of its gothic architecture. Its column looks like a spire of a church, though.

From Weinmarkt, if you continue walking westward, you’ll reach Mühlenplatz. It’s the part of Lucerne where Neptunbrunnen is. You can find Neptunbrunnen at the far corner of this square—the part where you can already see the Reuss River. Neptunbrunnen is a beautiful fountain for its body, elaborated with Renaissance-style embellishments. Based on its name, I assume the figure on top of the fountain is the Greek god Poseidon.

In case you’re visiting Musegg Wall, you might like to drop by Speuzerbrunnen. It’s a simple fountain in Musegg, outside the old city and a few steps from the Musegg Wall. Speuzerbrunnen has a sculpture of a face with water spouting from its mouth. You might want to come here as it’s a fantastic vantage point for taking photos of Musegg Wall, particularly Schirmerturm.

4. Murals Of The Houses — City Beautiful Decoration

For me, Bern’s the most beautiful city in Switzerland in terms of city architecture. It is pretty visible from the places with the best views in Bern. However, in some ways, Lucerne’s old city looks more charming. It’s more apparent in the squares of Lucerne’s old city. Aside from the city’s elaborate fountains, here you can find the houses with murals, which some people call Lüftlmalerei. They are mesmerizing.

Wait, what? Lüftlmalerei? Lüftlmalerei is a German folk art characterized by the use of bright colors and intricate designs, often depicting religious or historical scenes, on the façades of buildings. Here are some examples:

Where are these beautiful houses in Lucerne?

In pictures, these building murals in Lucerne’s old town do not look as impressive as they should because you can’t see their real size. But, just imagine, these Lüftlmalerei artworks cover the entire facade of a three or four-story house. Masterpieces like these require both talent and tremendous effort!

If you want to see the most impressive house in the old city of Lucerne, I suggest going to Hirschenplatz. There are 5 houses in this square with murals on their facades, but two of them are absolutely imposing. 

Most of the Lüftlmalerei or murals on the facades of some buildings in Lucerne has a historical or religious motif, excluding the facade of Restaurant Fritschi in Sternenplatz. It has the most bizarre artwork; instead of saints, there are witches; instead of soldiers, there is a plant with a face. It’s modern mural art.

You may also want to see Pfistern Restaurant and Hotel des Balances for spectacular Lüftlmalerei from other places in Lucerne’s old city.

5. Lion Monument — A Stunning Memorial

As mentioned in the beginning, I think Lucerne is beautiful in several ways. Aside from its scenic and charming appearance, I think Lucerne is profoundly beautiful. Why? Because it has a very meaningful landmark—the Lion Monument.

For me traveling is learning, an activity for self-improvement; I feel sad when people only travel to show off. In my opinion, the Lion Monument is an opportunity for every traveler to make their trip fruitful. This is why I think this monument is a beautiful destination in Lucerne.

The emotion of the Dying Lion, Lucerne, Switzerland
The emotion of the Dying Lion
What is the Lion Monument all about?

The Lion Monument in Lucerne, Switzerland, is a large sculptural work commemorating the Swiss Guards killed during the French Revolution. It’s a remarkable landmark, artwork, and memorial that even Mark Twain was moved by its sorrowful appearance. Mark Twain said in his travelog, A Tramp Abroad, the Lion Monument is “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” 

Reflecting on the story behind the Lion Monument, you’ll realize that it does not only remind us about the sacrifice of the Swiss Guards. It also causes us to awaken our sense of bravery, loyalty, and dedication to duty.

Aside from this “deep” outlook of beauty towards the Lion Monument, there’s no doubt that this memorial is indeed a stunning work of art! One of the most striking features of the Lion Monument is its size and scale, as it is carved into a massive block of stone. Believe it or not, the Lion Monument is 10 meters long and 6 meters wide!

The detail and craftsmanship of the sculpture are also notable, as the lion is depicted in a dramatic and lifelike pose with a face that can move people’s emotions.

Do you want to visit it? Here’s everything you need to know about Lion Monument.

6. Interiors Of Jesuit Church — Spectacular Architecture

Lucerne is beautiful because it also has places having marvelous architecture. And if you’re an architecture enthusiast visiting Lucerne, it’s the Jesuit Church you must see. For me, the Jesuit Church is a surprising landmark. Outside, it looks underwhelming with its simple baroque facade. But that impression quickly changes when you enter the church. 

In my opinion, the most eye-magnetizing part of the Jesuit Church’s architecture is its ornate rococo stucco ceiling. Its pastel colors and intricate, elaborate designs, such as scrolling, floral patterns, and curving lines, create a light and heavenly atmosphere. Here’s what the Jesuit Church looks like outside and inside:

Oh, by the way, what is the Jesuit Church all about? 

The Jesuit Church in Lucerne is a Catholic Church that was constructed in the second half of the 17th century to strengthen the presence of Catholicism in the region. 

The church was designed in the baroque style, which helped to highlight Catholic traditions, particularly through its ornate decorations and focus on the veneration of saints. The choice of the baroque style was likely motivated by the desire to assert the distinctiveness and importance of Catholicism in the face of the spread of Protestantism.

See how beautiful Jesuit Church’s interiors are. (Photography tips included!)

7. Facade Of Hofkirche — The Picturesque Church

Hofkirche, or the Church of Saint Leodegar, is another beautiful place or church that you can visit in Lucerne, aside from the Jesuit Church. It is located on the eastern part of the old city; it should be easy to see from Seebrücke, Schweizerhofquai, or anywhere along the shore of Lake Lucerne.

I think it is the most eye-catching building in Lucerne’s skyline when sightseeing along the shores of Lake Lucerne, thanks to its twin pointed spires. It’s also the most picturesque because of the mix of gothic and gorgeous German Renaissance architecture, most visible on its facade.

My impression of the Church of Saint Leodegar

For me, the best part of visiting Hofkirche happens when you walk towards its entrance. You will be immediately struck by the elegance of its German Renaissance facade and sky-scraping twin gothic towers.

The intricate wood carvings, frescoes, and sculptures on the main portal are sure to catch your eye and draw you in to explore the church’s beauty further. Even if you don’t end up going inside, the main portal alone is sure to impress and amaze you with its craftsmanship and artwork.

Let me give you a visual tour of the Church of Saint Leodegar (plus everything interesting I’ve discovered) !

8. Musegg Wall — Scenic Views Of The City

As a fan of movies and series set in the middle ages, the castles, medieval walls, and towers are, for me, the beautiful destinations to turn my fantasies into reality. If we are the same and you’re visiting Lucerne, Zytturm and Musegg Wall are fantastic places to go.

Zytturm is one of the nine remaining medieval towers of the Musegg Wall, which is Lucerne’s outer fortification built in the 14th century. The wall is a remarkable landmark in Lucerne because no other structure in Switzerland is as intact as this today.

Nölliturm and Mannliturm of Musegg Wall in Lucerne, Switzerland
Nölliturm and Mannliturm of Musegg Wall
Zytturm and Luegislandturm of Musegg Wall in Lucerne, Switzerland
Zytturm and Luegislandturm of Musegg Wall
What to expect in visiting Musegg Wall

I think Musegg Wall is a beautiful place in Lucerne because it’s an excellent example of medieval defensive architecture, a time-transporting landmark, and offers scenic views of the city and mountains. It’ll surely transport your imagination back centuries to the scenes of armies, swordsmen, and knights. That’s more likely the case when you start walking along the ramparts and see the views of the countryside to the north. 

Let’s say you’re really in the ramparts currently. If you look south, you’ll be rewarded by the scenic panorama of the city. The view from the ramparts of the Musegg Wall reaches as far as the Swiss Alps, beyond Lake Lucerne.

Here’s a mini guide to Musegg Wall and why you should visit it during a trip to Lucerne.

9. Lake Lucerne — Idyllic Scenery

As you may already know, Lucerne sits beside a lake named after itself—Lake Lucerne. And without a doubt, it’s the reason why Lucerne is beautiful. The lake provides a calming natural backdrop for the city. I suggest going to Reussteg bridge for a panorama that includes the old city, Lake Lucerne, Chapel Bridge, and Jesuit Church. It’s where you can clearly see the beauty of Lucerne because of Lake Lucerne.

Indeed, it’s an eye-pleasing view: the charming old city plus the clear, blue waters of Lake Lucerne, surrounded by verdant green hills and snow-capped mountains. Actually, if you like, you can take a boat ride in Lake Lucerne to see all the idyllic scenery in Lucerne. 


Do you want to see what the available activities in Lake Lucerne are? You can check this list. You can find a 1st class cruise with a gourmet lunch, a simple boat cruise with a city tour, or a 1-hour cruise on a panoramic yacht here.

10. View From Mount Pilatus — Breathtaking Beauty

One of the mountains that adds to the beauty of the panorama of Lucerne’s skyline is Mount Pilatus. This mountain is a beautiful backdrop for some landmarks in the city, especially when it is capped with snow. With Mount Pilatus, I think the Jesuit Church and the Chapel Bridge look more picturesque.

There’s no other direct way that Mount Pilatus makes Lucerne a beautiful city when it comes to the city’s appearance. But Mount Pilatus undoubtedly gives a beautiful travel experience that one can easily have from Lucerne. What’s that experience? It’s seeing the heaven-on-earth view of the Alps.


Note: There are a lot of things I want you to know about Mount Pilatus, though. Aside from beautiful scenery, there are other beautiful reasons why Mount Pilatus is a compelling destination.

More Information

Alright! I hope these details are sufficient to showcase the beauty of Lucerne. If you’d like to look deeper into some of the topics I’ve mentioned in this post, the links below would be an excellent starting point.

Hey there! Thanks for reading. I sense that you’re visiting Lucerne soon. If that’s true, and you haven’t booked any hotels yet, please check my partner’s hotel and booking website. It’s my favorite tool for finding the best hotel deals, which include free cancellations, perks, and discounts. The link is an affiliate link, however. If you book using it, I may earn a small commission without any extra cost to you. It’s a great way to help me write more helpful content like this. Think of the commission as your free donation to WanderInEurope. Thank you very much for your support!

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If you need help locating the attractions in Lucerne, my map of Old Town Lucerne could be helpful! And if you’re looking for more ideas on how to spend an extended weekend or a week-long Switzerland trip, I have both a 4-day and a 6-day Switzerland itinerary for you. These itineraries focus on Lucerne and other destinations near Lucerne — perfect for a journey in central Switzerland.

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