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Beautiful, lakeside Lucerne is a romantic, historic city, with an almost mythical feel to it. The views, over the dark lake to the alps, the wonderfully preserved medieval old town, the graceful waterfront promenades, the pretty bridges and this city’s penchant for emotive music all combine to make it a magical place to stay. And people have been raving about visiting it since Mark Twain, Queen Victoria, Goethe and Wagner spread the word of its charms in the 19th century. Unsurprisingly you’ll find some of the best places to stay in Lucerne for those with a romantic trip in mind on the shores of the lake or overlooking the city. But if you’re here seeking out the history and culture of this city, then you might find your choice of the best places to stay in Lucerne are closer to the centre of town by the Altstadt (Old Town) - which is about 20 minutes stroll from most of Lucerne’s other highlights.
The two exceptions to this rule of a 20 minute stroll are Lucerne’s Lido and the Swiss Transport Museum, which are definitely both worth a visit - especially if you’re visiting in the warmer months.
Some of Lucerne’s other treasures include:
- the Kapellbrücke or Chapel Bridge, which is a 14th century wooden covered pedestrian bridge spanning the Reuss River in a sort of long, historic dogleg:
- the beautiful, emotive Lion Monument, a ten metre long sculpture carved into the rock commemorating the Swiss soldiers who died defending King Louis during the French Revolution - it’s very Aslan dying on the stone table;
- the Sammlung Rosengart, the museum of Angela Rosengart, a Swiss art dealer and personal friend of Picasso, which houses a number of his works along with those of Chagall, Cézanne, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Modigliani and Renoir;
- and the Kunst and Kongresshaus Luzern (KKL), an amazing collection of concert halls and an art museum.
- Lucerne also has the remains of some impressive city ramparts, which you can still patrol, from tower to tower,
- a museum to Richard Wagner, occupying his former home, a history museum and Switzerland’s largest Planetarium.
- If you enjoyed the Kapellbrücke you should also tread the boards of the smaller, but all original Spreuerbrücke (the original Kapellbrücke burned down in 1993).
One of the reasons Lucerne’s tourist trade was born so early is that it’s in a great central Swiss location, and it’s well connected by the Swiss Railway. As well as travelling easily to Bern, Zürich, Engelberg and Interlaken, you’re also close to the alps and the snowy paradises of Mount Titlis and Mount Pilatus.
The city is a popular destination year round. So if you want to secure one of the best places to stay in Lucerne, don't leave it till the last minute to book.
For a City Break
- The Art Deco Hotel Montana offers wonderful views of the city and the lake beyond, from its position on a city centre hilltop. It also offers 66 chic, comfortable rooms, decorated in the promised Art Deco style - and some with balconies, and an award winning restaurant and popular bar.
- The Hotel Schweizerhof is perfect for a luxurious city break. Right on the lake-side it's just a short stroll from the centre of town. All rooms are individually decorated, there are two restaurants to choose from and a lovely spa.
The Most Romantic Places to Stay in Lucerne
- The Grand Hotel National is a wonderfully glamorous institution directly overlooking the lake. There are 41 opulent rooms, decorated to the nines with antiques, then views across the lake and into the mountains. There’s also a dining experience for every occasion, from casual to fine.
- Or you might try the Chateâu Gutsch? A renovated 19th century castle with 27 rooms decked out with four-poster beds, Swiss artworks and bold fabrics. Some of them also have private terraces with stunning views of the city and the lake beyond it.
For great value
- The Hotel is an small but strikingly modern hotel, designed (by award-winning French architect, Jean Nouvel) to be a fashionable yet comfortable space. The facilities are excellent and the location is ideal. Plus the room rate starts from around £145 per night.
Best Hotels in Lucerne
The Hotel, Lucerne 25 rooms from $189Lucerne
Designed by award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, The Hotel's simple, striking name is matched by its interior. The hotel has been conceptualised as a fashionable but comfortable space, with excellent facilities such as a restaurant, bar, concierge service and great location in central LucerneDesigner - Every room designed by French star architect Jean NouvelConference facilities - 12 conference rooms availableShort fly breakSights nearby - Well located for major sights.
Art Deco Hotel Montana 66 rooms from $306Lucerne (Adligenswilerstrasse 22)
An art deco hotel perched on a city centre hilltop, offering spectacular views of the mountains and the lake. Rooms are chic, comfortable and artistically decorated with a blend of contemporary and 1920's style and balconies. An award winning restaurant and a popular bar on site.Foodies - The Scala Restaurant has been awarded 15 GaultMillau points, enjoy a fine gastronomic experience.Local exploring - Situated in the heart of Luzern, overlooking the lake and surrounded by restaurants and shops.Honeymoons - The penthouse spa suite is perfect for honeymooners offering lovely views of the Swiss Alps.Sights nearby - Visit the Chapel Bridge, Water Tower, the Spreuer Bridge and the Musegg Wall with its nine towers.Recommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
Chateau Gutsch 27 rooms from $351Lucerne
A stylishly renovated 19th century castle, with chic modern décor. Rooms come with four-poster beds, bold fabrics, Swiss artworks, and private terraces offering stunning views of Lucerne and the lake. The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and the bar has an extensive list of fine wines.Romantic Break - The vibrant rooms ooze a funky luxe feel with in room bathtubs, spectacular views from private terraces and fourposter beds.Active Holiday - Mount Rigi is great for hiking, walking and climbing, and is close to the Engelberg Ski Area.Local exploring - In a superb location, ideal for exploring the historic town of Lucerne.Sights nearby - The 14th century Chapel Bridge and the 19th century Lion Monument cannot be missed.
Grand Hotel National 41 rooms from $365Lucerne
A gloriously glamorous Lucerne institution overlooking the lake and with far reaching views of the mountains. Opulent rooms filled with antiques and emblazoned with gold and beige hues. A wide choice of dining experiences from casual to fine-dining. Ideal for a romantic weekend getaway.City Style - Bask in the lap of luxury in this grand French Renaissance inspired hotel, on the banks of Lake Lucerne.Sights nearby - Marvel at the Chapel Bridge and octahonal Water Tower, Switzerland's most photographed historical monument.Great walks - Wander along the banks of Lake Lucerne taking in the city sights and the impressive Alpine views.Swimming Pool - Indoor pool.
Hotel Schweizerhof, Lucerne 101 rooms from $447Lucerne
A stylish, five-star hotel overlooking Lake Lucerne. Each room is individually decorated drawing inspiration from specific artists, musicians and writers. There are two restaurants to choose from and guests can relax in the hotel's spa. A great hotel for business trips.Business meetings - With excellent conference facilities and a central location, it's the ideal spot for business meeting in Lucerne.Local exploring - Right in the heart of Old Town of Lucerne, next to the lake, it's perfectly positioned for exploring.Sights nearby - Just a short stroll from the old town and monuments such as Chapel Bridge, Musegg Wall and Lion Monument.Spa