Lucerne has an extensive public-transportation system. You can go almost anywhere by train, boat, or bus. It can also be worthwhile to purchase a subscription for the entire transport system instead of paying for each ride separately. You can inquire about the different options at the Lucerne Municipal Transport Services (Verkehrsbetriebe VBL/SBB). In Lucerne and its surrounding areas the subscription is called a Passepartout.
The SBB (Swiss Railway System) Halbtax-Abonnement is also very useful: you can use it to buy half-price tickets for the trains, boats, and certain mountain railways.
Children up to 6 years of age can ride free in all public transport vehicles with an accompanying adult. Children and young persons from 6 to 16 years of age pay only half fare. The Junior ticket (Juniorkarte), which costs CHF 30 per year, is very practical: it permits children to ride free of charge with their parents or grandparents.
The township of Lucerne provides a limited number of reduced-price day-tickets (Tageskarten) for public transportation. You can obtain further information at the SBB and VBL counters at the Lucerne train station, at the öko-forum, Umweltberatung Luzern or by using the following link:
+ Reservation system for Community day-tickets
Lucerne’s transportation system is very well developed. You can find schedules for almost all public transport connections on the SBB website (Fahrplan) (bus, train, S-Bahn, boat, and other systems), some of them extending outside of Switzerland’s borders.
The VBL (Fahrplan) is responsible for the routes and schedules of the bus connections in the city of Lucerne and surrounding areas.
If you want to find the most direct route across the Lake of Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee), you can use the SGV schedule (Fahrplan). Be sure to note that the schedules differ depending on the season.
There are a number of places where you can rent a bicycle by the hour or the day in Lucerne. Some are free of charge but require a deposit, others charge a small fee. You will need to provide identification. Some major sources are: Nextbike.ch, rentabike.ch, and Publibike at the Lucerne train station.
+ SBB: Information on bicycle rental fees
+ Information on bike-riding in Lucerne
You do not need to pass a test or obtain a special license to ride a bicycle on the street, but you do need to observe the standard traffic regulations.
Safety in road traffic is an important topic for bicycle riders as well as motorists. Take care to keep your bicycle in roadworthy condition – well-adjusted brakes, head- and taillights, adequate tire pressure, etc. And whenever possible, always use a bike helmet.
There are bicycle parking areas all over Switzerland; you should always park your bike there. There is also a supervised bike facility at the train station.
+ Information über locations of bicycle parking areas
You can register for the driving test if you fulfill the following requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must have taken an officially recognized emergency first-aid course and passed an eye test by an ophthalmologist or authorized optician.
- You must have passed a written test on traffic regulations.
- You must have taken driving lessons on the road with a driving instructor.
The application for the road test is usually submitted by the driving school or the instructor.
Further information on learning to drive:
Would you like to compare driving schools and prices?
ch.ch - learning to drive
You can use your foreign driver’s license for a maximum of 12 months after your arrival in Switzerland. Then, at the latest, you will need a Swiss driver’s license.
You can obtain all the relevant information regarding your driver’s license as well as the necessary application forms from the Road Traffic Department for the city of Lucerne.
If you come from a country that has a reciprocal agreement with Switzerland to recognize their driver’s licenses, you simply need to provide the required documents; you will then be given a Swiss driver’s license.
If you come from a country that does not have reciprocal recognition of driver’s licenses with Switzerland, you will have to successfully pass a test-drive or complete another driving examination.
If you want to learn to drive a motor vehicle, you will need a learner’s permit. This will be issued by the Road Traffic Department (Strassenverkehrsamt), provided you have passed a written theory test. The student driver must be accompanied by a person who has completed their 23rd year of age and has had a valid driver’s license for the appropriate type of vehicle for at least three years.
You can obtain all the relevant information regarding your driver’s license from the Road Traffic Department for the city of Lucerne.
Further information on motor vehicles and driver’s licenses:
There are several companies in Switzerland where you can rent a car or participate in car-sharing. If you need a car for a few hours at a time, you can join the Mobility cooperative. Mobility has vehicles of various sizes and categories stationed at numerous locations in Switzerland. In order to use them, you must be a member of Mobility.
+ Mobility: further information
+ Rent a car from the Swiss railways (SBB)
These are additional car-rental firms in Lucerne:
Parking regulations in the city of Lucerne require parking fees and restrictions on permitted time in public parking areas.
The parking card regulation limits the duration of parking in all parking areas in the city of Lucerne. Persons who want to leave their vehicle for longer than the indicated limits allowed are long-term parkers and must pay the appropriate fee.
+ further information
Inquiries regarding parking cards can be addressed here:
Stadtraum und Veranstaltungen
Winkelriedstrasse 12a, 6002 Luzern
Telephone: +41 (0)41 208 78 02