There may be stunning Alpine mountains in Switzerland, but there is another place that few if any, would miss: the city of Lucerne. In German-speaking Switzerland, Lucerne is a pretty town with a waterfront, shops, and mountains nearby. There are two iconic landmarks here – the Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument.
Since major tourist attractions in and around Lucerne are open all year round, you could visit them at any time. Nonetheless, you still might want to make an informed decision about when to travel to Lucerne.
It’s easy to see why Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s top cities when you see the scenery along the Reuss River and Lake Lucerne with the Alps as a backdrop. Now, if you were wondering when to visit Lucerne, this is the article for you. Here’s what to expect in Lucerne during the different seasons of the year.
When do Tourists Visit Lucerne?
Lucerne is a destination that anyone can go to with friends and family at any time of year. Lucerne is a destination that won’t let you down all year round, no matter what season. Generally speaking, Lucerne has a moderately continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters.
Tourists love Lucerne during summer from June to August, when the lake is warm enough and conducive to swimming.
Summers in Lucerne are busy, but it’s not surprising since it’s the best and hottest time to visit. Go in May or early September if you want it to be less busy than the summer months. Come in January and February for the festivals (Light Festival, Carnival).
Unlike some of Switzerland’s major cities, it doesn’t take long to find all the best places to visit in Lucerne.
Best Time to Visit Lucerne
The best time to visit Lucerne depends on your plans and preferences. I would recommend late May, June, July, August, and early September. This time of year, the bathing season is in full swing, so you might have an option to dip into the lake.
There’s a caveat: it’s going to be crowded, and it might rain. You might get more comfortable avoiding the main summer school holiday of July if you go in early June or late August.
Lucerne in Summer
- Summer lasts from June until September.
- You will get the most sunshine during the summer months, particularly in July and August.
- Heavy rainfall is expected during this period, but rain typically comes late in the afternoon.
- Peak summer temperatures reach almost 25 degrees Celsius in mid-July. The temperatures rarely fall below 13 degrees at night during summer.
- Summer is a popular tourist season in Lucerne, so accommodation and other living conditions can cost a little more.
- For swimming, the best time of year to visit Lucerne would be from July to August. Ufschötti is a great beach near the city where you can simply relax, bathe, and enjoy the sun. It is located right next to the rowing club of Lucerne (See-Club Luzern).
Lucerne in Autumn
- Autumn lasts from September to November.
- In Autumn, the temperature starts dropping and so does the amount of precipitation received.
- Temperatures slowly go down from 20 degrees Celsius in September to 8 degrees in November.
- Expect low visibility when Lucerne is under a sheet of fog. This tends to happen during autumn in lower-lying areas of Switzerland. You will have to visit one of the closest mountains to Lucerne if you want to be above the sheet of fog.
- Restaurants will start serving wild food choices such as venison with spaetzle and mushrooms.
Lucerne in Winter
- Winter lasts from December to March.
- The temperatures average around 7 to 9 degrees Celsius, and snowfall is expected sometimes.
- Rainfall is very low during these months. Lucerne experiences the lowest likelihood of significant rainfall during January, February, and March.
- The weather at this time of year in Lucerne is too cold to be pleasant for warm-weather travelers
- Winter is typically a dreary and gray season in Lucerne, but the appearance of Christmas markets is a delight.
- Lucerne’s Festival of Lights (LiLu) runs from the beginning of January to mid-January after Christmas.
- Lucerne’s Carnival (Fasnacht in German) is celebrated typically during the last two weeks of February.
Lucerne in Spring
- Spring lasts from March to June.
- On a beautiful spring day, it’s a nice time to visit Lucerne because of the pleasant weather. However, the bathing lakes will still be closed, and the water still is too chilly.
- Flowers will start blooming. It’ll be a good time to visit Inseli Park and just chill there.
- This is a maintenance period for cable cars and cog trains. It is recommended to check if these are running before starting your plan.
- It is a great place to hike, although there could be snow on the higher trails at the start of the season.
- Zurich to Lucerne Train: All You Need To Know
- Luzern or Lucerne: What is the Difference?
- What Is Summer Like In Switzerland? Here’s What You Need To Know
- What Is Spring Like In Switzerland? Here’s What You Need To Know
- 9 Best Things To Do in Lucerne, Switzerland
- Glacier Garden Lucerne – An Honest Review
- The Story Behind the Lion Monument in Lucerne
- The Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
- Closest Mountains To Visit From Lucerne
- 10 Beautiful Places Near Lucerne
- Best Guide To Verkehrshaus, Lucerne – What You Need To Know
- 8 Prettiest Towns Near Lucerne
- Lilu Light Festival: Great Symphony of Lights and Sounds
- 10 Best Day Trips from Lucerne
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.