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Although Switzerland has stunning Alpine mountains, there’s another jewel few would miss: Lucerne. Lucerne, in German-speaking Switzerland, has a pretty waterfront, shops, and nearby mountains. Two iconic landmarks can also be found here – the Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument.
Maybe you’re planning to stay in Lucerne but would like to see something else nearby that’s not on Lake Lucerne. Perhaps you’d like to see a pretty old town or castle somewhere else in Switzerland. There are lots of beautiful towns near Lucerne that are easy to get to. Many are just an hour or two away.
You can read about 8 beautiful towns near Lucerne below.
The Swiss canton of Aargau contains the walled city of Zofingen, home to an ancient monastic settlement. It used to be a settlement of the Celtic Helvetii. The House of Frohburg also built a monastery here in the 11th century. You can get to Zofingen in thirty to forty minutes from Lucerne.
Zofingen has ten of its buildings listed as Swiss heritage sites of national importance. Zofingen’s Old Town is also one of the best-preserved in Switzerland. 470 meters long by 225 meters wide, the old town has the shape of a rectangle. There are front and back alleys, and narrow alleyways provide cross-connections.
How do you get from Lucerne to Zofingen? From Lucerne, take the direct train to Zofingen. The train journey from Lucerne to Zofingen takes 31 minutes. Zofingen is accessible from Lucerne in 39 minutes by car.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Zofingen|
|* Walled old town of Zofingen|
* Villa Rustica Zofingen with its Roman mosaic floors
* Small Monastery at Klösterligasse 2
* Historic Museum Zofingen
* Art Museum Zofingen
* Zofingen Wild Animal Park and Aviary
Aarburg is not only a beautiful old town recognized as a Swiss Heritage Site. It also has wonderful and relaxing hiking trails along the river Aare and a baroque museum from 1750. It’s close to Zofingen, so you can visit Aarburg and Zofingen on the same day.
The Aarburg fortress is a nationally recognized cultural asset and is currently used as a youth center. Public tours are available every Saturday at 2:00 PM from spring until autumn. For more information, click here.
How do you get from Lucerne to Aarburg? From Lucerne, take the train to Zofingen. In Zofingen, take the connecting regional train to Aarburg-Oftringen. The train journey from Lucerne to Aarburg takes 44 minutes. Aarburg is accessible from Lucerne in 37 minutes by car.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Aarburg|
|* Aarburg fortress|
* Aare river
* Baroque Museum
If you would like to read more about Aarburg, you can check out this article: The Picturesque Town of Aarburg, Switzerland.
In Lenzburg, you’ll find Lenzburg Castle, one of Switzerland’s most important hilltop castles. Lenzburg Castle’s museum and exhibitions show 1,000 years of castle history. There are various rooms in the castle showing how families lived from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. There is a children’s museum up on the top floor, where your kids can pretend to be princesses or knights, do arts and crafts, and more.
The small town with medieval Old Town of national importance is discovered at the heart of the Lenzburg castle region; home to the Lenzburg, Hallwyl, Wildegg, Brunegg and Habsburg castles.– MySwitzerland.com
Another interesting attraction in Lenzburg is the Stapferhaus, a place to discuss today’s pressing issues. There are changing exhibits there.
How do you get from Lucerne to Lenzburg? From Lucerne, you can take the direct train to Lenzburg. You can also go via Zofingen or Rotkreuz. The direct train journey from Lucerne to Lenzburg takes 1 hour and 18 to 23 minutes. Lenzburg is accessible from Lucerne in 51 minutes by car.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Lenzburg|
|* Lenzburg Castle |
* Lenzburg’s Old Town
* Esterli Tower (Esterliturm)
* Aabach River
* Stapferhaus Museum
If you would like to read more about Lenzburg Castle, you can check out our article Lenzburg Castle: Stepping Back in Time to Medieval Switzerland.
Solothurn is generally regarded as Switzerland’s most beautiful Baroque city. Solothurn is definitely worth the trip from Lucerne. Getting to Solothurn is easy, and it’s a very pretty town. Combining French charm with German practicality, Solothurn also offers a wide range of contemporary art and entertainment.
The town of Solothurn is also the capital of Solothurn canton. The city is situated along the Aare River and at the southern end of the Jura mountain range. It lies between Biel/Bienne and Olten. Bern is just 43 kilometers away from it.
You can walk through the old town and see historical monuments, patrician houses, and strong fortifications. There are lots of small shops and restaurants here. The city is home to several cultural events that transcend regional significance, including the Solothurn Film and Literature Days.
How do you get from Lucerne to Solothurn? From Lucerne, take the train to Olten. In Olten, take the connecting train to Solothurn. The fastest train connection from Lucerne to Solothurn takes 1 hour and 2 minutes. Solothurn is accessible from Lucerne in 1 hour by car.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Solothurn|
|* St. Ursus Cathedral|
* Solothurn’s Old Town
* St. Verena Gorge and Hermitage
* Jesuit Church of Solothurn
* Weissenstein mountain
* Museum of the Old Arsenal
* Solothurn’s Clock Tower
If you want to discover some of Solothurn’s best attractions, then be prepared for an adventure. You can read more in this article: Solothurn – 9 Best Things to Do in this Beautiful Baroque City.
Einsiedeln is a town popular not only among Catholics and pilgrims wanting to see the famous Benedictine Abbey and the Black Madonna but also among all other visitors wanting to view this 300-year-old baroque monument. The interiors are splendid and culturally meaningful. A garden and a horse stable can also be found on the abbey grounds. It takes about an hour to get to Einsiedeln from Lucerne.
Guided tours of the monastery organized by Einsiedeln Tourism are available daily (except Sundays and public holidays) and cost CHF 18 per adult.
The town of Einsiedeln itself is charming and filled with small shops, hotels, restaurants, and bakeries. Our favorite is Bäckerei Schefer. There is also a national ski jumping center with four hills located in Eschbach, Einsiedeln.
How do you get from Lucerne to Einsiedeln? From Lucerne, take the train to Biberbrugg. In Biberbrugg, take the connecting regional train to Einsiedeln. The fastest train connection from Lucerne to Einsiedeln takes 1 hour and 7 minutes. Einsiedeln is accessible from Lucerne in 57 minutes by car.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Einsiedeln|
|* Einsiedeln Abbey |
* Einsiedeln’s Old Town
* Einsiedeln’s Christmas Market
If you would like to read more about Einsiedeln, check out our article: Einsiedeln – The Most Famous Monastic Village in Switzerland.
It’s one of the top destinations in Ticino, the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland – Bellinzona. And while you might not realize this, Bellinzona is actually easy to reach from Lucerne. You can get there by direct train in 1 hour and 24 minutes.
Bellinzona is known for its three castles (Castelgrande, Montebello, Sasso Corbaro). The three castles, the defensive wall, and ramparts of Bellinzona have been listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2000. It is an incredibly beautiful and historically rich place.
With its rare example of medieval military architecture that includes multiple castles in the Alpine region, its excellent state of conservation, and its historical influence in managing the entire Ticino valley, the town of Bellinzona deserves a visit.
How do you get from Lucerne to Bellinzona? From Lucerne, take the direct train to Bellinzona. The direct train journey from Lucerne to Bellinzona takes 1 hour and 24 minutes. If you take the Gotthard Panorama train, it takes 2 hours and 42 minutes because it passes by the panoramic route instead of the Gotthard Basis Tunnel. Bellinzona is accessible from Lucerne in 1 hour and 50 minutes by car.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Bellinzona|
* Castello di Montebello
* Castello di Sasso Corbaro
* Piazza Nosetto
If you would like to read more about Bellinzona, check out our article Bellinzona: Everything You Need To Know.
Laufenburg Switzerland is a town in Canton Aargau on the Rhine River directly across from its twin town Laufenburg in Germany. I think it’s pretty neat that you can visit both Laufenburg in Switzerland and Germany in one trip.
…mountain by the waterfall, by the whirlpool, by the rapidsBeat Zehnder: Die Gemeindenamen des Kantons Aargau, on the meaning of laufenburg
A beautiful town also crowned with the famed Wakker prize in 1985, Laufenburg has a beautiful old town with walls and towers. Until 1801, Laufenburg in Germany and Laufenburg in Switzerland were actually just one town.
How do you get from Lucerne to Laufenburg? There are multiple ways to get from Lucerne to Laufenburg. The easiest connection is via Olten and Aarau. From Lucerne, take the train to Olten. In Olten, take the connecting regional train to Aarau. In Aarau, take the bus to Laufenburg. This aforementioned journey from Lucerne to Laufenburg takes 1 hour and 44 minutes. Laufenburg is accessible from Lucerne in 1 hour and 13 minutes by car.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Laufenburg|
|* The old town with its walls and towers|
* The remains of Burg Laufenburg – fell into ruins after the 30-year-war
* Church of John the Baptist
If you would like to know more about Laufenburg, check out our article: Laufenburg, Switzerland: One Town, Two Countries.
Murten, also known as Morat, is located on the shores of Lake Murten. You can take a day trip from Lucerne to this pretty little town in canton Fribourg.
Among the Swiss heritage sites of national significance are Erli 2, Murten’s walls, the Grosshaus at Hauptgasse 43, the Rathaus or town council house, Löwenberg Castle, and the Old School House in Valvenach. There are also prehistoric pile-dwelling houses near Murten at Segelboothafen.
Murten is a pretty small town and you can wander around for an hour or two. You might enjoy a trip around the Three Lakes, sailing from Murten to Neuchâtel, then to Biel/Bienne, passing along the Canal de la Broye and the Canal de la Thielle.
You don’t want to miss the Murten Light Festival if it’s on. It usually happens toward the end of January.
How do you get from Lucerne to Murten? From Lucerne, take the train to Bern. In Bern, take the connecting regional train to Murten/Morat. The train journey from Lucerne to Murten/Morat takes 1 hour and 43 minutes. Murten is accessible from Lucerne in 1 hour and 36 minutes by car.
|Don’t miss these attractions in Murten|
|* Farm House at Erli 2|
* Murten’s City Walls
* Grosshaus at Hauptgasse 43
* Town council house
* Löwenberg Castle
* Boat trip around the Three Lakes region
Final Thoughts: 8 Prettiest Towns Near Lucerne, Switzerland
We have covered some of the best towns to see near Lucerne, Switzerland. The list above is by no means exhaustive. And there are other beautiful places near Lucerne such as Bürgenstock, Weggis, and Vitznau that you can visit.
My favorite from the list above would be Bellinzona. This is because it feels different than most of the other villages in the German and French parts of Switzerland. In addition, Bellinzona’s history makes it very interesting.
Solothurn is also a treat, with its baroque style; it’s one of the prettiest towns in Switzerland.
- Bellinzona: Everything You Need To Know
- Solothurn – 9 Best Things to Do in this Beautiful Baroque City
- Einsiedeln – The Most Famous Monastic Village in Switzerland
- Visiting Murten, Switzerland? Here’s What You Need To Know
- 10 Best Things to Do in Lake Murten, Switzerland
- Laufenburg, Switzerland: One Town, Two Countries
- The Picturesque Town of Aarburg, Switzerland
- An Enjoyable Lenzburg Castle Visit – Aargau, Switzerland
- The 3 Castles of Bellinzona: Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro
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- Top 8 Things to Do in Lucerne on a Rainy Day
- The Story Behind the Lion Monument in Lucerne
- The Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
- When Is the Best Time to Visit Lucerne, Switzerland?
- How to Get From Lucerne to Jungfraujoch: Your Options
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.