Lucerne (Luzern in German) is located in central Switzerland. Alemannic Swiss German dialect is the main spoken language in the city. Lucerne attracts a large number of tourists every year primarily due to its proximity to major Swiss Alps attractions. It is centrally located between top Swiss Alps attractions like Jungfraujoch, Mount Titlis and Mount Rigi. The city is also incredibly close to Mount Pilatus, a great hiking spot for tourists. The city also offers local attractions like Lake Lucerne and the Chapel bridge.
Swiss Alps covers about 65% of Switzerland’s surface area and is also known for almost all of the highest mountains of the Alps. Swiss Alps is also known for a lot of glaciers. For glacier enthusiasts, a two-day hike along Aletsch glacier is a dream-come-true experience. Skiing on Swiss Alps is a unique experience owing to its vast expanse. Jungfrau region undoubtedly offers amazing paths for skiing. Mount Titlis is known for world’s highest suspension bridge and ice caves. With such exciting tourist attractions, Swiss Alps attracts a large number of tourists to the country every year. The itinerary on day 1 is focused on covering Jungfraujoch, also known as the top of Europe. A visit to Jungfrau by train lets you get a taste of the countryside of Switzerland.
Itinerary of things to do in Lucerne - Swiss Alps (Day 1):
06:00 am - 08:30 am: Travel by train to Interlaken Ost
08:30 am - 10:30 am: Travel by train from Interlaken to Jungfrau
10:30 am - 03:30 pm: Activities in Jungfrau
03:30 pm - 05:30 pm: Travel by train to Interlaken Ost
05:30 pm - 08:00 pm: Travel by train to Lucerne
08:00 pm - 09:00 pm: Dinner
Jungfraujoch, at 3,466 meters (about 11,371 ft) above sea level, is known as the top of Europe. Jungfrau (meaning maiden, virgin) is undoubtedly the most sought after Alps attraction in all of Switzerland.
The observation platform at the very top provides an opportunity for some amazing pictures. As you get ready to go to Jungfrau, know that this day will end up being one of the longest and most tiring days of your trip. If you are dependent on public transportation, the train ride one way to Jungfrau is about 4 hours and requires a couple of transfers along the way. The drive to Jungfrau from Lucerne (Luzern in German) is estimated to be about an hour and 45 minutes. So, why should you choose the train ride? If you truly want to soak in the beauty of Swiss countryside, lakes, green pastures, mountains and everything else that Swiss has to offer, train ride is your best option. However, you have to reach Lucerne train station before 5:45 am to board the train to Interlaken Ost around 6 am. The ride to Interlaken station is about an hour and 50 minutes. From here, you will board another train to either Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, both of which are about 25 to 30 minutes away. Please note that your Swiss rail ticket is not sufficient to board the train to either locations. So, you will have to buy an additional ticket in Interlaken station to get all the way to Jungfrau.
Get down at Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald and take another train to Jungfrau. The train from both locations go through Kleine Scheidegg, where you get a short stopover at the vista point of Jungfrau.
After you reach Jungfrau, plan to spend anywhere between 4 to 5 hours, which would be sufficient to go to the observation tower, do some skiing, snow-tubing and other fun activities and also grab some lunch. Do not miss out walking through the ice caves and get yourself some great pictures of the ice sculptures, not to mention Scrat, the famous character from Ice Age movie, stuck inside one of those sculptures. After a fun-filled day in one of the coldest peaks of Europe, board the train back to Lucerne between 3 pm and 4 pm to reach around 8 pm.
Itinerary for other days of Switzerland vacation
(Click on each link to explore the detailed itinerary for each day)
Day 3: Things to do in Lucerne and Swiss Alps - Jungfraujoch