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Renting A Bike In Lucerne

Are you planning to rent a bike in Lucerne? If so, here is a step-by-step guide on everything you need to know about cycling in Lucerne and choosing the right bike.

If it’s still too complicated, stick to the end where we reveal a simple yet unique way to experience Lucerne that hasn’t crossed your mind until now.

 

 

Welcome to Lucerne, undeniably the most picturesque city in Switzerland that perfectly blends nature and urban charm. Lucerne’s compact size and well-maintained infrastructure make it incredibly bike-friendly. The city has an impressive network of dedicated cycling paths that wind through its historic streets, along the shores of Lake Lucerne and into the serene countryside. Cycling allows you to explore at your own pace, discovering hidden gems and soaking in views that might be missed when traveling by car or public transport. The terrain around Lucerne is diverse, offering routes suitable for all levels of cyclists. You can easily go from one side of the city to the other in less than an hour. It’s also an eco-friendly way to explore the city and its surroundings.

If you are looking for a leisurely ride along the lakefront or more challenging trails through the mountains, Lucerne has something for every biking enthusiast and offers a unique way to experience its breathtaking landscapes, historic sites and vibrant culture.

Let’s dive in and cover everything you need to know about biking in Lucerne including what to see, bike sharing vs bike rentals, finding a rental bike, guided bike tours and practical tips for biking to help you plan your next visit.

 

 

 

 

What to See on a Bike

Lucerne is packed with stunning sights that are best explored on two wheels. Biking is a convenient way to see the city and allows you to see iconic landmarks in a short amount of time with the freedom to make stops along the way – maybe for some cheese and chocolate. Here are some must-see spots to add to your biking itinerary:

Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke): Start your journey at the iconic wooden bridge adorned with beautiful paintings. It’s one of Lucerne’s most photographed landmarks and a great spot for a scenic ride.

Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee): Cycle along the lake’s promenade for breathtaking views of the water and mountainous backdrop. There are plenty of spots to stop and enjoy a picnic or a refreshing swim.

Musegg Wall: Ride up to the Musegg Wall, a well-preserved old city wall with nine towers. It’s a bit of a climb, but the panoramic views of the city and lake from the top are worth the effort.

Richard Wagner Museum: Located in the former residence of the famous composer, this museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens – a spot for a peaceful break from the bustling city.

Lion Monument: A short ride from the city center, the poignant Lion Monument is carved into a sandstone rock and commemorates the Swiss Guards who were killed during the French Revolution.

Swiss Transport Museum: For a fun and educational stop, visit the Swiss Transport Museum. It showcases the history of transportation with interactive exhibits that are enjoyable for all ages.

The Old Town (Alstadt): Pedal through Lucerne’s Old Town cobblestone streets, charming squares and historic buildings. Highlights include the Town Hall, the Jesuit Church and the fascinating Gletschergarten. The Old Town is a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly area where you can immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage and vibrant atmosphere.

 

Chapel Bridge, Lucerne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bike Sharing vs Bike Rentals: What’s the Difference?

Bike sharing has gained popularity in recent years and can be found all over Switzerland. Bike sharing systems allow users to borrow bikes for short periods, typically for point-to-point trips. The bikes are readily available at docking stations across Lucerne where you can pick up a bike at one station and drop it off at another. Ideal for quick trips and urban commutes, bike sharing is designed for short, one-way rides and typically used for local commuters. Most systems have user-friendly apps that enable you to locate, unlock and pay for bikes with ease. Bike sharing is generally affordable, especially for short trips.

Pros:

  • Easy access: With numerous docking stations, bikes are easy to find and return.
  • Cost-effective for short trips: Ideal for short distances and quick errands.
  • Integrated with public transport: Complements public transportation systems, making it easier to cover the first and last mile of your journey.

Cons:

  • Time limits: Usage is often capped at 30 to 60 minutes per trip before extra fees apply.
  • Availability: Bikes may not always be available, particularly during peak hours.
  • Urban focus: Typically limited to city centres and urban areas.

Bike rental services allow you to rent bicycles for longer periods, ranging from a few hours to several days or even weeks. These services are typically offered by bike shops or specialized rental companies. With flexible rental durations, you can rent a bike for as long as you need, making it a better option for travellers. Rental shops offer a diverse range of bikes, including mountain bikes, road bikes, e-bikes, and touring bikes and can be tailored to your preferences with add-on options such as helmets, locks and child seats.

Pros

  • Extended use: No time limits, allowing you to enjoy longer rides and explore at your own pace.
  • Wide selection: Access to a variety of high-quality bikes suited for different terrains and purposes.
  • Personalized service: Receive tailored advice and gear to enhance your biking experience.

Cons

  • Cost: Renting a bike for an extended period can be more expensive than bike sharing.
  • Fixed locations: You usually need to return the bike to the same rental location.
  • Availability: Popular bikes may be in high demand, especially during peak seasons.

 

Finding a Rental Bike

Spotting a bike in Lucerne is easier than finding cheese in Switzerland, but finding a rental can be a little tricky for a first timer. Many hotels and guesthouses in Lucerne offer bike rentals for their guests and can be a convenient option if you prefer to start your ride directly from your accommodation, so be sure to ask your concierge.  However, here are our top recommendations to help you find everything from a sturdy mountain bike to E-bikes that’ll make you feel like you have superhuman legs.

Nextbike: Nextbike stations can be found all around the city of Lucerne offering 24/7 bicycle or e-bike hire. It’s super simple: download the Nextbike app, register and scan the QR code and enjoy the first 30 minutes of your ride free. Want to ride longer? Rates for a classic bike and e-bike vary.  Be sure to park the bikes at a designated station to avoid extra service fees.

Price: Classic bike = 1 CHF/15 minutes or E-bike= 2 CHF/15 minutes

Website: https://www.nextbike.ch/en/

Rent-A-Bike: With a variety of e-bikes, city bikes, mountain bikes and children’s bikes, you can book online or directly at Lucerne train station. From there, you will be given a confirmation ticket and you’ll need to head to Caritas Velostation Lucerne located close to the train station to pick up your bike rental.

Price: Varies depending on the type of bike and duration of the rental; head to the website for price information.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri – 08:00-19:00 and Sat-Sun – 13:00-17:00

Address: Lucerne Train Station – Bahnhof SBB Lucerne, Zentralstrasse 1 6002 Luzern

Caritas Velostation – Frohburgstrasse 5, 6002 Lucerne

Website: https://www.rentabike.ch/home

 

Meeting point for Rent-A-Bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continental Park Hotel Luzern: The Continental Park Hotel is only a 4-minute walk from the train station and is the first Swiss Bike Hotel in Lucerne. They offer a small range of bike rentals which can be hired by hotel guests as well as locals or tourists. Rocky mountain bikes and E-mountain bikes are available for half-day or multiple day hire. A christiana cargo bike is also available for hire, equipped with an electric motor and has a cargo box which fits two children up to a max of 5 years.

Price: Full price list can be found here

Contact: For any enquiries, call +41 41 228 90 50 or email hotel@continental.ch

Address: Murbacherstrasse 4, 6002 Lucerne

Website: https://www.continental.ch/en/bike-hotel/bike-rental/

Continental Park Hotel Luzern

BikeLokal Lucerne: BikeLokal is a bike shop that offers a wide range of rental bikes including road bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes, E-bikes and kid’s bikes. They also offer bike accessories which can be rented. Located in the city centre and only a 4 minute walk from the Lion monument or approximately 13 minute walk from Lucerne train station.

Price: Full price list can be found here

Contact: For any enquiries, call +41 41 420 16 04 or email luzern@bikelocal.ch

Address: Löwenstrasse 7, 6004 Luzern

Opening hours: Tue – Fri – 11:00 – 19:00 and Sat – 09:00-17:00

Sunday and Monday – Closed

Website: https://bikelocal.ch/

BikeLokal Luzern

Guided E-Cargo Bike Tour

Prefer a guided tour with a local expert guide? Take the hassle out of finding and renting a bike and join Lucerne’s #1 experience on a Loop Tour.  On this tour, you will escape the tourist traps on the world’s first E-Cargo bike and the only one in Switzerland. These rickshaw style bikes are equipped with electric assist, making them super easy-to-pedal and a fantastic option for everyone including solo travellers, couples, families and groups.

On the Hidden Gems Lucerne Tour, you will begin your 3 hour journey to the hidden spots around Lake Lucerne from Caritas Velostation, located next to Lucerne’s central train station. The tour includes a fun quiz where you can learn more about the Swiss culture, history and geography with your local tour guide.  You’ll have the opportunity to take a break for photos, grab a typical Swiss snack while enjoying a magnificent view of Mount Pilatus and the stunning Swiss Alps. It’s a must-do activity when visiting Lucerne and truly a one-of-a-kind experience in Switzerland.

By the end of the tour, you will be become a Swiss citizen. Don’t believe me? There’s only one way to find out! Book here for a fun, engaging and unique biking tour.

Check out Terry’s blog on her Loop Tour experience: https://travelingterry.com/ecargobiketourinlucerne/

Price: 159 CHF for adults and 69CHF for children aged 2-12 years

Availability: Daily tours departing at 9am and 2pm

Address: Caritas Velostation – Frohburgstrasse 5, 6002 Lucerne

 

Locals and tourists exploring the hidden gems of Lucerne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interactive quiz with local tour guide

Practical Tips for Biking

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a first-time rider, keeping these tips in mind will help ensure a safe and pleasant journey through the city.

Wear a Helmet: Choose appropriate biking gear and always wear a helmet. It’s like insurance for your head—boring, but essential. Plus, helmets make you look like a pro, even if you’re just wobbling around town.

Traffic Rules: Switzerland takes it traffic laws seriously. Although Lucerne is bike-friendly, remember to follow traffic rules. Stay in designated bike lanes, obey pedestrian zones and don’t shy away from using hand signals. In busy areas like the Old Town, be mindful of pedestrians and ride at a safe speed.

Hydrate: Carry a water bottle and remember to stay hydrated especially on longer rides or hot days. Swiss fountains are your best friend – fresh, clean, drinkable water on tap and ready to refill on the go!

Fuel your ride: Pack snacks. Energy bars are great, but don’t miss out on local treats.  Think Swiss cheese, chocolates, and pastries. You can stop at local cafés along your route – Swiss hospitality is second to none, and a mid-ride fondue? You’re biking, so the calories don’t count.

Maps and apps: Use biking apps like Komoot or Strava. They’re handy, and you’ll look like a biking professional – possibly even be mistaken for a Swiss local.

Local advice: Don’t be shy—ask locals for tips. Swiss folks are friendly and might even share some secret spots. Plus, you get to practice your “Grüezi” (hello).

Weather-proof: Lucerne weather is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get so it’s best to be prepared for anything from sunshine to showers. Although unpredictable, always check the weather forecast before heading out and plan accordingly.  Use the MeteoApp to give you the most accurate weather updates in Switzerland.

Layer up:  Temperatures can vary from hour to hour so it’s best to dress in layers so you can peel off or pile on as needed. Layering also helps you stay comfortable throughout your ride.

Rain gear: Carry a lightweight rain jacket. If you do get caught in the rain, just pretend you’re in a dramatic European film. Embrace it.

Biking in Lucerne isn’t just a mode of transport; it’s an immersive way to experience the city’s natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. As you prepare to explore Lucerne, consider renting a bike or booking a guided tour to uncover the city’s hidden gems and experience this enchanting Swiss city from a unique perspective. It’s a fantastic way to stay active, helping you to burn off the extra calories whilst indulging in Swiss cheese and chocolate!

Happy cycling!

 

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