At a glance
- Largest city: Lucerne (81'000 inhabitants)
- Specialities: Chügeli pâté, Älplermagronen, Zug cherry cake
- UNESCO World Heritage: Various pile dwellings
- Hotel industry: 421 hotels (12'347 rooms)
- Overnight stays/year: 3'86 million
Central Switzerland is also known as the original Switzerland because legend has it that the Swiss Confederation was founded there in 1291. Wilhelm Tell, Gessler, the Hohle Gasse, the Rütli: everything is located in Central Switzerland.
Today, Central Switzerland comprises the cantons of Lucerne, Zug, Schwyz, Obwalden, Nidwalden and Uri. And this region around Lake Lucerne is as diverse as it sounds. There are the Mediterranean-style promenades along the lake, the green hills that tower over Lake Lucerne, some gentle and some as steep cliffs. The countless Alps are some of the most beautiful hiking paradises in Switzerland - not just the classics Pilatus and Rigi. Here you will find some of the best hotels in Switzerland.
Lucerne is the cultural centre of the entire region
The cultural and tourist centre of the Central Switzerland and Lake Lucerne region is Lucerne, the seventh largest city in Switzerland with just over 80,000 inhabitants. Lucerne attracts domestic and foreign tourists alike, as the city offers an enormous number of sights in a small area. Among the most famous are the Chapel Bridge, the Jesuit Church and the Museum of Transport.
Lake Lucerne Sports Paradise
In winter, various skiing areas attract visitors. The advantage of these central Swiss ski slopes is that they are quickly accessible from the conurbations and are somewhat smaller and more familiar than those in the Grisons or Valais regions. Engelberg-Titlis, Hoch-Ybrig, Sörenberg, the Mythen region and Melchsee-Frutt are the most popular ski areas in Lake Lucerne Region. Hiking is very popular in summer. There is hardly a mountain around Lake Lucerne where you can't hike and be enchanted by the breathtaking panorama with lake, green hills and snow-covered Alpine peaks.
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Lucerne and Lake Lucerne in summer
The Rütli is a place that stands for the identity of the Swiss Confederation like no other. According to legend, it was here, on the shores of Lake Lucerne, that the three original cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden swore the Rütli oath in 1291. Switzerland was born, so to speak. We recommend travelling by boat. There are connections from Brunnen, Flüelen and Lucerne. After arrival, you can reach the Rütli on foot or with the Treib funicular.
Klewenalp hiking paradise
Not far from the Rütli is the Klewenalp. This hiking paradise is located at an altitude of 1,600 metres above Beckenried and offers a wonderful view of Lake Lucerne. Our tip: From Emmetten take the cable car to Stockhütte. From there there is a beautiful hiking trail (5 ½ hours; 20 km) up to Klewenalp. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, take the post bus to Beckenried and then the cable car directly to Klewenalp. On Klewenalp you can take the flower trail, where 250 photos document the variety of wild flowers. The 2 to 3-hour trail is easy to master.
Place: Beckenried / Emmetten
UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch
The Entlebuch, a region between Berne and Lucerne, is the first biosphere reserve in the world to be established by popular vote and with the participation of the local population. In the Entlebuch you can find recreation in an intact and unspoilt natural environment with a very diverse flora and fauna. Did you know that 20% of all Swiss raised upland moors are located in this region.
Lucerne and Lake Lucerne in winter
Hans Erni Museum
Part of the Museum of Transport in Lucerne is dedicated to the Swiss artist Hans Erni, who died in 2015 at the age of 106 and who worked almost daily in his studio. Erni had already received a first prize for arts in 1928 (annual competition of the Académie Julian). Erni's artistic career was longer than most people's entire lifetime.
Swiss Holiday Park
In Morschach, above Lake Lucerne, you will find the largest leisure resort in Switzerland, the Swiss Holiday Park. The sports and wellness facilities are almost limitless, which makes Swiss Holiday Park an ideal destination for families, friends, couples, young and old. Climbing, swimming, horse riding, badminton, squash, tennis, table tennis and fitness are just some of the sports activities on offer. Recreation can be found thanks to the wide wellness offer. Among other things, various wellness baths, massages and saunas are offered.
Skiing in Andermatt
After the railway tunnel through the Gotthard was opened in 1882, Andermatt lost its importance as a place on the route over the Gotthard pass. The 1,400-people village in the Urseren valley only regained national and even international importance with the investments of the Egyptian entrepreneur Samih Sawiris, who had a tourist resort built a few years ago. Today the Andermatt-Sedrun ski area, known as the "Ski Arena", is one of the most modern and popular resorts in Switzerland.
Places in the Lucerne Region and Lake Lucerne
Do you already know the classic peaks of the Central Swiss mountains, the Rigi and Pilatus? Then a trip to Stans is worthwhile. With just over 8,000 inhabitants, the municipality is the capital of Canton Nidwalden. The highlight is the 1,898-metre-high Stanserhorn, to which a funicular leads. Not just any funicular, but the oldest funicular in the world with a pincer brake. There is also a cabriolet cable car so that you can perfectly enjoy the 360-degree panorama during the ride.
In the capital of the canton of Uri, situated south of Lake Lucerne at 450 m above sea level, the attitude towards life in the Alps already mixes a little with the influences of the south. The architectural style of the houses, the narrow alleys and the beautiful squares are - in the middle of the foothills of the Alps - already reminiscent of Ticino. Tip: Visit the Tell monument, the church St. Martin, the Historical Museum or the Church Treasure Museum in Altdorf.
The city of Zug lies between the tourist magnets of Zurich and Lucerne. So it is sometimes a little forgotten, although Zug offers a lot. Our tip: take a walk along the lake from the harbour square to the seaside resort of Seeliken. Along the way you will come across the Alpenquai pavilion, the so called Catastrophe Bay, the government building and Landsgemeindeplatz, as well as the Lower Old Town, which is an inviting place to have a cosy drink.
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