A Walking Tour of Luzern

Start at the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum, near the train station, which gives you a beautiful view of all the places you'll see in Luzern. Walk down Pilatusstrasse to see the impressive modern-art collection at the Sammlung Rosengart.

Cut north to Bahnhofstrasse, taking a left to the modern bridge, the Rathaus-Steg, and head north to the Altes Rathaus, across the bridge. This late-Renaissance building is on Rathausquai, the city's main avenue.

Turn left and climb the stairs past the ornately frescoed Zunfthaus zur Pfistern, a guildhall dating from the late-15th and early-16th centuries, to the Kornmarkt, where the grinding din of the grain market was once heard. Cut left to the Weinmarkt, a fountain square.

Leave the square from its west end, turn right on Kramgasse, and head west across the Mühlenplatz to the Spreuerbrücke, an unlikely exhibition space for dark paintings of the plague.

Crossing the bridge to the left bank you'll find a pair of museums, the Natur-Museum and the Historisches Museum.

From the end of the Spreuerbrücke, cut back upriver along Pfistergasse, veer left on Bahnhofstrasse, and turn right into Münzgasse to the Franziskanerkirche.

Return to Bahnhofstrasse and head to the Jesuitenkirche. Continuing east past the Rathaus-Steg Bridge, you'll see the Kapellbrücke, the oldest bridge of its kind in Europe.

After crossing the Kapellbrücke, break away from Old Town through thick pedestrian and bus traffic at Schwanenplatz to Schweizerhofquai.

Double back and take the first right, St. Leodegarstrasse, to the Hofkirche.

Go back down the church steps, doubling back on St. Leodegarstrasse, turn right, and continue on to Löwenstrasse.

Turn right and walk up to Löwenplatz and the Bourbaki-Panorama, which dominates the square with its mix of Victorian and modern architecture.

Beyond the plaza, up Denkmalstrasse, is the Löwendenkmal, called by Mark Twain "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world."

Immediately adjoining the small park that shades the lion lies the Gletschergarten.

Return down Denkmalstrasse and, at Löwenplatz, turn right on Museggstrasse, which cuts through an original city gate and runs parallel to the watchtowers and crenellated walls of Luzern, constructed around 1400.


The Old Town is easy to navigate and ideal for walking. You can take in the sights on this route in about three hours; to this add another hour each to see the Natur-Museum and Historisches Museum, and time to linger at the Kapellbrücke and the Löwendenkmal. Both the Natur-Museum and the Historisches Museum are closed on Monday.

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