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Lucerne is one of the most popular destinations in Switzerland. The majority of first-time visitors choose Lucerne as their destination. The choice is excellent. A beautiful, easily accessible town with good tourist infrastructure and great information, Lucerne is sure to impress.
Logistical concerns come up inevitably. Particularly for those who want to travel by rail in Switzerland, there are several specifics concerning train travel. What is the best way to get from point A to point B? Does it offer scenic views? So on and so forth.
As one of the most populous and visited cities in Switzerland, people who are in Geneva might consider visiting Lucerne by train. Traveling by train in Switzerland is an easy, comfortable, and impressive journey. So I would definitely recommend traveling by train between Geneva and Lucerne.
This article will answer all your questions about the train journey from Geneva to Lucerne.
You can start by visiting the SBB website: www.sbb.ch. Using the website, you can type in your departure and arrival destinations. It will then guide you to where and when you need to be. An app is also available for iOS and Android devices.
If you wish to pay half the fare for all your train rides in Switzerland, a Half Fare Discount Card (1-month validity) is available on www.sbb.ch. This allows you to travel for half the price on all SBB routes and most other railways during the duration of your discount card.
Using the Swiss Pass, you get unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat in Switzerland. Over 500 museums are also free or discounted, and there are free or discounted excursions to mountain summits.
Getting tickets from RailEurope is a convenient option if you’re traveling within Europe and/or visiting multiple countries. Having been in operation since the 1930s, RailEurope‘s extensive history, user-friendly website and mobile apps, flexible currency payment options, commitment to customer satisfaction, and strategic partnerships with leading rail operators, collectively establish it as a reliable and trustworthy platform for booking European train travel.
You can obtain from RailEurope the following travel passes:
- Swiss Travel Pass – choose between continuous or flexible Swiss train passes for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days. The perks? unlimited use in over 90 Swiss cities, free admission to more than 500 museums, and discounts on mountain railways and cable cars. You also get discounts on high-speed Lyria trains between France and Switzerland as well as Nightjet trains that go through Switzerland. See RailEurope for more information.
- Eurail Global Pass – unlimited train travel to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for non-EU residents
- Interrail Global Pass – access to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for citizens and permanent residents of the EU
How To Get From Geneva to Lucerne
You’re best off taking the direct train from Geneva to Lucerne. You can take the train directly from Geneva or Geneva Airport. The same train leaves Geneva Airport and stops in Geneva. Then it leaves for Sursee, Zofingen, Bern, Fribourg, and other towns before stopping in Lucerne.
There are direct trains from Geneva and Geneva Airport to Lucerne. I highly recommend taking the direct train that leaves once per hour from either place.
You can also travel via Olten if you miss this direct train. Also, there are regional trains that go to Lucerne via Bern, but I don’t recommend this route because it’s 20 to 30 minutes slower than direct trains and trains that go via Olten.
How Long is the Train Journey from Geneva to Lucerne?
It typically takes give or take 3 hours to travel by train from Geneva to Lucerne (updated December 2022).
|Route||Estimated Travel Time (Direct Train)|
|Geneva Train Station (Genève) – Lucerne||3 hours 2 minutes|
|Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport) – Lucerne||3 hours 12 minutes|
|Lucerne – Geneva (Genève)||3 hours 1 minute|
|Lucerne – Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport)||3 hours 11 minutes|
Is the Train From Geneva to Lucerne Scenic?
Unfortunately, the Interregio train from Geneva to Lucerne is not the most scenic train route. It is a fast, commuter train connecting the cities of Lucerne, Bern, Fribourg, Lausanne, and Geneva.
There are parts of the train ride where you get a good view of Lake Geneva. In the grand scheme of things, however, it is still not the most scenic train route.
Other Scenic Trains
In case you would like to check out other scenic trains, then there are more scenic trains recommended below. These are the Golden Pass Line, the Glacier Express, and the Bernina Express. Another interesting train is the Historical Train that goes from Davos to Filisur.
Your other options in detail are the following:
- Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. You would take a train from Geneva to Lucerne, then change to Interlaken. This is sometimes referred to as the east end of this route. The Golden Pass has panorama coaches and is scenic.
- Glacier Express – Glacier Express is a long journey that starts from Zermatt, home of Matterhorn. It then traverses 291 bridges and 91 tunnels before stopping in St. Moritz. Both Zermatt and St. Moritz are beautiful mountain resorts worthy of a longer stay. The Glacier Express passes by several idyllic mountain villages.
- Bernina Express – Bernina Express is another train route that begins in Chur. Chur is the oldest alpine city in Switzerland and definitely worth visiting. This train route spans 196 bridges. It goes through 55 tunnels and passes 20 beautiful villages in Switzerland. For you to go on this scenic train, you will have to go from Zurich or Lucerne to Chur first.
- Historical Train Davos to Filisur – May through October, vintage carriages are pulled by the century-old crocodile locomotive from Davos Platz to Filisur. The train line covers a total length of 4,200 meters through 14 tunnels and 28 bridges. Its scenic highlights include the Wiesen Viaduct and the Zügen Gorge.
How Much Will the Train Ticket From Geneva to Lucerne Cost?
As of the time of publishing the article (updated December 2022), a single journey ticket from Geneva to Lucerne starts at CHF 40 if you have the Half-Fare card.
|Route||Full Fare (CHF)||Half Fare (CHF)|
|Geneva Train Station (Genève) – Lucerne||80||40|
|Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport) – Lucerne||84||42|
Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?
No, there is no need to reserve a spot on the train. But you can always add this option if that is your wish.
Recommended Hotels in Lucerne
Looking for a hotel in Lucerne? We’ve got some great options below:
- Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern (5-star) – Directly on the lake, this refined hotel is located in the old town of Lucerne. You’ll also find a gym, a spa, and modern furniture amid elegant interiors. A 10-minute walk gets you to the train station.
- Grand Hotel National Luzern (5-star) – A luxurious hotel built in the 1870s. Close to the train station and the historic old town, this hotel has elegant interiors, fantastic lake views, and a swimming pool.
- Hermitage Lake Lucerne (4-star) – Set on the shores of Lake Lucerne, this tranquil hotel is a great place to relax. While it’s a little outside of the city, it has stunning views and refined restaurants. There’s also a beach club with daybeds, lounges, drinks, snacks, and cool music. Party boats are available to rent or you can take public boats that stop right outside the hotel. My family has stayed here and has loved it. I highly recommend it.
- AMERON Luzern Hotel Flora (4-star) – Near the train station and the Chapel Bridge, this hotel has chic rooms and a great breakfast.
- Hotel Rebstock (4-star) – A historic, half-timbered hotel dating from the late Middle Ages, Hotel Rebstock is one of the 16 Unique and Historical Hotels in Switzerland. It is ideally located near the Hof Church, the Lion Monument, and the Glacier Garden.
- Hotel Central Luzern (3-star) – In a central location near the train station, the chapel bridge, the old town, and the Rosengart Collection, Hotel Central Luzern offers bright, clean, recently renovated rooms, as well as a delicious breakfast. The rooms are reasonably priced. As a result of the hotel’s central location, you might hear some noise at night.
- Backpackers Luzern (Hostel) – The Backpackers Luzern is on the shores of Lake Lucerne, in a quiet area. Besides free kitchen facilities and WiFi, this charming hostel has a common lounge area with table tennis and table soccer. Each room has comfortable beds and a balcony. Walking to Lucerne’s train station takes less than 15 minutes.
Related Posts: Lucerne
- Lucerne or Zurich: Which city is better as a base?
- Best Hotels in Lucerne
- Why Lucerne Is Worth Visiting and What to Expect
- 9 Best Things To Do in Lucerne, Switzerland
- Closest Mountains To Visit From Lucerne
- 10 Beautiful Places Near Lucerne
- 8 Prettiest Towns Near Lucerne
- Top 9 Things to Do in Lucerne on a Rainy Day
Related Posts: Trains
- Zurich to Lucerne Train: All You Need To Know
- Lucerne to Interlaken Train: All You Need To Know
- Lucerne to Zermatt Train: All You Need To Know
- Glacier Express or Bernina Express: Which is better?
- Bernina Express Route: Chur to Tirano Train
- How Long Does the Goldenpass Train Take?
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.