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Zurich to Lucerne Train: All You Need To Know

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Lucerne is one of the most popular destinations in Switzerland. The majority of first-time visitors choose Lucerne as their destination. This article will provide all the information you need about traveling by train from Zurich to Lucerne.

Image of Lucerne
Image of Lucerne by TouringSwitzerland.com

For visitors to Switzerland, Lucerne is one of the best options. 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.

This article will answer all your questions about the train journey from Zurich to Lucerne

Overview: Navigating Swiss Trains

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.

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Getting tickets from RailEurope is convenient while 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 GetFrom Zurich to Lucerne

Image of the Zurich to Lucerne Train (Interregio 70) by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of the Zurich to Lucerne Train by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of the Train from Zurich Airport to Lucerne by TouringSwitzerland.com

If you are coming from the Zurich Airport, take one of the next trains to the Zurich main station (Zurich HB). Several trains come every hour and stop in Zurich so just hop on the next train after buying a ticket from the ticketing office or one of the ticket machines.

Image of Lucerne Train Station
Image of Lucerne Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com


As soon as you reach the Zurich Train Station (Zurich HB), check the big blue display boards in the middle.  You can find the train number and platform number on the station signs. Furthermore, the trains will be marked on the front and the sides with which route they are traveling. 

To get from Lucerne to Zurich, you can take one of the following direct trains:

  • IR 70 to Lucerne
  • IR 75 to Lucerne

You can also hop on the IC 2 to Zug, then switch to the regional train that heads to Lucerne from there.

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How Long Is the Train Ride From Zurich to Lucerne?

The following table shows the train ride duration from Zurich to Lucerne and the other way around (updated December 2023):

RouteDuration (fastest)
Zurich – Lucerne41 minutes
Zurich Airport – Zurich – Lucerne1 hour 3 minutes
Lucerne – Zurich41 minutes
Lucerne – Zurich – Zurich Airport1 hour 3 minutes

Is the Train From Zurich to Lucerne Scenic?

Unfortunately, the Interregio train from Zurich to Lucerne is not the most scenic train route. It runs through the tunnel connecting Zurich and Thalwil. Then again another tunnel toward Zug.

There are parts of the train ride where you get a good view of Lake Zurich. As the train speeds towards Lucerne, it will also pass Rotsee Lake. The journey is still short and beautiful. 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 Linethe Glacier Expressand the Bernina Express. Another interesting train is the Historical Train that goes from Davos to Filisur.

Image of Bernina Express by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of Bernina Express by TouringSwitzerland.com

Your other options in detail are the following:

  • Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. You would take a train from Zurich 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. 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 is 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 Zurich to Lucerne Cost?

Here are the train ticket prices from Zurich to Lucerne (updated December 2023):

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Zurich – Lucerne27.0013.50
Zurich Airport – Lucerne31.0015.50

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

Image of Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne by TouringSwitzerland.com

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.

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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.

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