LUCERNE - GETTING AROUND

On Foot

Lucerne is a perfect city to get around on foot. The Old Town is tiny, and most other interesting sites are within 20 minutes or so walk.

By Public Transportation

Navigating the city of Lucerne is easy. City buses and local trains make up the public transportation network. 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 municipalities. 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 24 hours costs about 8.20CHF (half-fare around 6.20CHF), a single ticket valid for 1 hour is about 4.10CHF. Children under 6 travel for free, 6 - 16 year-olds pay the so-called half-fare. Short distance tickets for up to 6 stops within 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 favorable 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 a fine of bout 90CHF.

There are no intercity buses in Switzerland as the train system provides plenty of connections to many destinations in Switzerland. To make trips to the countryside in the mountains where there are no trains, refer to www.postauto.ch.

City transport in Lucerne runs roughly from 5:00 am - 12:30 am. There are night buses called nachtstern (www.nachtstern.ch) on Fri/Sat and Sat/Sun nights to surrounding areas (like Kriens or Littau), which leave from the main train station. The tickets for 7CHF or 10CHF can only be bought from the driver. Day passes and any other tickets will not be valid.

By Train

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 www.sbb.ch. 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 120CHF - 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 - 458CHF, depending on duration) and free entry to many museums (www.swisstravelsystem.com). 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. Ask for advice at the train station.

By Boat

Lucerne sits at the north end of the Vierwaldstättersee, one of the busiest waterways in Switzerland, for travel information from Schwyz, Flüelen, Weggis, and outbound points see the schedule www.lakelucerne.ch.

By Taxi

There are around 500 licensed taxis in Lucerne and in general they are clean, safe, reliable……and expensive. It`s typically easy to get one, even in rush hours. The city sets the following maximum fees for taxis: initial fee is about 6CHF, 3.80CHF/per 0.6 miles up to 20CHF, 3.50CHF/0.6 miles above 20SCHF, waiting time 66CHF per hour. Most companies charge the maximum. Taxi drivers have to and usually do use their meters. Cheating is rare.

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

By Bicycle

Getting around town by bicycle is popular in Lucerne, and when the weather is nice it is a great option for visitors too. Nextbike is a bike sharing system where you can pick up bikes at any of the one of 70+ locations in town around the clock, either by calling the hoteline or using their app or website. When you entere the bike`s number in the app, it gives you the number code for the bike lock, and off you go. Fees are charged to the credit card you provide when you register online. For more information visit www.netbike.ch.

Bike rentals are also available at the main train station. The cost is about 29CHF/half day and increase from here.

By Car

All you need to rent a car in Switzerland is a credit card, an ID and a valid license. Some companies do however also require a minimum age and minimum driving experience.

Driving is not recommended in the city center of Lucerne; parking is difficult and the many one-way streets make navigation complicated. However, should you wish to rent a car and tour outside of the city or the mountainous countryside, getting a car is a better option.

If you do have a car, and if your hotel doesn`t offer parking facilities and valet parking, there are a few parking bays on the street. For a long stay we would advise you to park in the city center car parks or in one of the P+R`s on the outskirts of the city.

On-street parking in Lucerne:Paid parking applies to just a few parking bays in the city center area of Lucerne on Monday-Sunday every hour per day. Parking rates Zone 1 is about 2.50 CHF /hour, Zone 2 is about 1.00 CHF/hour. Or, in the blue zones you can park 1 hour for free with a Swiss blue parking disc. For a longer stay you can buy a day pass for about 20CHF. The Swiss Blue Parking Disc can be bought cheaply at most Corner Stores.

P+R Lucerne: Cheap parking is set to the many P+R`s located on the outskirts of town. Parking costs about 4.00-6.00CHF/day. Parking for up to 7 consecutive days is permitted. Public transportation (train or bus) into town is available.

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LUCERNE - GETTING AROUND

On Foot

Lucerne is a perfect city to get around on foot. The Old Town is tiny, and most other interesting sites are within 20 minutes or so walk.

By Public Transportation

Navigating the city of Lucerne is easy. City buses and local trains make up the public transportation network. 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 municipalities. 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 24 hours costs about 8.20CHF (half-fare around 6.20CHF), a single ticket valid for 1 hour is about 4.10CHF. Children under 6 travel for free, 6 - 16 year-olds pay the so-called half-fare. Short distance tickets for up to 6 stops within 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 favorable 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 a fine of bout 90CHF.

There are no intercity buses in Switzerland as the train system provides plenty of connections to many destinations in Switzerland. To make trips to the countryside in the mountains where there are no trains, refer to www.postauto.ch.

City transport in Lucerne runs roughly from 5:00 am - 12:30 am. There are night buses called nachtstern (www.nachtstern.ch) on Fri/Sat and Sat/Sun nights to surrounding areas (like Kriens or Littau), which leave from the main train station. The tickets for 7CHF or 10CHF can only be bought from the driver. Day passes and any other tickets will not be valid.

By Train

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 www.sbb.ch. 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 120CHF - 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 - 458CHF, depending on duration) and free entry to many museums (www.swisstravelsystem.com). 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. Ask for advice at the train station.

By Boat

Lucerne sits at the north end of the Vierwaldstättersee, one of the busiest waterways in Switzerland, for travel information from Schwyz, Flüelen, Weggis, and outbound points see the schedule www.lakelucerne.ch.

By Taxi

There are around 500 licensed taxis in Lucerne and in general they are clean, safe, reliable……and expensive. It`s typically easy to get one, even in rush hours. The city sets the following maximum fees for taxis: initial fee is about 6CHF, 3.80CHF/per 0.6 miles up to 20CHF, 3.50CHF/0.6 miles above 20SCHF, waiting time 66CHF per hour. Most companies charge the maximum. Taxi drivers have to and usually do use their meters. Cheating is rare.

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

By Bicycle

Getting around town by bicycle is popular in Lucerne, and when the weather is nice it is a great option for visitors too. Nextbike is a bike sharing system where you can pick up bikes at any of the one of 70+ locations in town around the clock, either by calling the hoteline or using their app or website. When you entere the bike`s number in the app, it gives you the number code for the bike lock, and off you go. Fees are charged to the credit card you provide when you register online. For more information visit www.netbike.ch.

Bike rentals are also available at the main train station. The cost is about 29CHF/half day and increase from here.

By Car

All you need to rent a car in Switzerland is a credit card, an ID and a valid license. Some companies do however also require a minimum age and minimum driving experience.

Driving is not recommended in the city center of Lucerne; parking is difficult and the many one-way streets make navigation complicated. However, should you wish to rent a car and tour outside of the city or the mountainous countryside, getting a car is a better option.

If you do have a car, and if your hotel doesn`t offer parking facilities and valet parking, there are a few parking bays on the street. For a long stay we would advise you to park in the city center car parks or in one of the P+R`s on the outskirts of the city.

On-street parking in Lucerne:Paid parking applies to just a few parking bays in the city center area of Lucerne on Monday-Sunday every hour per day. Parking rates Zone 1 is about 2.50 CHF /hour, Zone 2 is about 1.00 CHF/hour. Or, in the blue zones you can park 1 hour for free with a Swiss blue parking disc. For a longer stay you can buy a day pass for about 20CHF. The Swiss Blue Parking Disc can be bought cheaply at most Corner Stores.

P+R Lucerne: Cheap parking is set to the many P+R`s located on the outskirts of town. Parking costs about 4.00-6.00CHF/day. Parking for up to 7 consecutive days is permitted. Public transportation (train or bus) into town is available.