A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Lucerne vs. Bern for Attractions, Nightlife, Old Town, and Families

Should you visit Lucerne or Bern?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Lucerne and Bern. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Lucerne

Lucerne is a scenic, active, and cultural city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Bern

Bern is a cultural, historic, and charming city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Lucerne and Bern: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


How is Lucerne different from Bern?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Bern and Lucerne. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Lucerne or Bern Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Lucerne
Bern

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Bern and Lucerne.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Lucerne. Top sights in town include the famous Chapel Bridge, the Lion Monument and the town walls and towers. There are also a number of museums including the Swiss Transport Museum and Museum Sammlung Rosengart.

Bern offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and Bern Cathedral.


Is Lucerne or Bern Better for Food?

Lucerne
Bern

Both Lucerne and Bern offer good local cuisine and restaurants.

Lucerne is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Food is expensive around town, but there are some unique specialties like fondue, br├Ątwurst, and of course, chocolate. It's nice to sit out by the river and enjoy a hearty meal while you soak up the view.

Bern offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Is Lucerne or Bern Better for Nightlife?

Lucerne
Bern

The vibe at night is comparable in Lucerne and Bern.

Many people head to Lucerne for the nightlife scene. The city has some of the best nightlife in Switzerland, with many lively clubs, bars, and pubs. There are also many local events that hosted in town and bring in a crowd.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Is Lucerne or Bern Better for its Old Town?

Lucerne
Bern

Visitors enjoy the old town areas in both Lucerne and Bern.

Lucerne has an old town worth visiting. Sitting on the water's edge, this old town has a number of historic buildings and the beautiful Chapel Bridge.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

Is Lucerne or Bern Better for Shopping?

Lucerne
Bern

If you're looking to go shopping, Lucerne and Bern both offer plenty of spots.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Lucerne. The city is filled with high end shopping opportunities with everything from boutique shops to major chains. Popular items to purchase in town include chocolate, watches, jewelry, and Swiss army knives.

Bern is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.


Is Lucerne or Bern Better for Families?

Lucerne
Bern

Both Lucerne and Bern are family-friendly destinations.

Lucerne offers lots of family activities. The city is filled with history and there are a number of playgrounds around town. If the weather's warm, you can also take a swim in Lake Lucerne. Many kids enjoy escaping the city and doing a day trip to the amazing Mt. Titlis, or other peaks that are nearby.

Bern is a very family-friendly place to visit. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Is Lucerne or Bern Better for Couples?

Lucerne
Bern

Lucerne and Bern both fun destinations for a couple.

Lucerne is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. The city has many pleasant square, excellent restaurants, and a romantic atmosphere that makes for a great couple's getaway. There are a number of nice hotels to choose from as well.

Bern is a very popular place to visit for couples. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Is Lucerne or Bern Better for Public Transit?

Lucerne
Bern

Lucerne and Bern both offer public transit to get you around.

While Lucerne offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a comprehensive system of buses around town.

Public transit in Bern is fairly effecient and thorough. There are trams and buses that run around town.

Is Lucerne or Bern a more walkable city?

Lucerne
Bern

Lucerne and Bern are similar when it comes to walkability.

Lucerne is a somewhat walkable city. The major tourist areas are fairly walkable if your hotel is in a convenient location.

Bern is very walkable. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.


Should I spend more time in Bern or Lucerne?

How long in Lucerne or Bern?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Lucerne and Bern. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Lucerne is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Bern is 1-3 days.


  • How many days in Lucerne or Bern? Ideal Length of Stay
    Lucerne 1-3 
    Bern 1-3

One day in Lucerne or Bern?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Lucerne. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

In Bern, you'll find nightlife and food. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A weekend in Lucerne or Bern?

Lucerne is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

In Bern, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Bern has to offer.

Five days in Lucerne or Bern?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the scenic destination of Lucerne. This city offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Bern is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Lucerne or Bern?

The scenic city of Lucerne offers nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Bern. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Bern. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Which city is cheaper, Bern or Lucerne?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Lucerne is $170, while the average daily cost in Bern is $198. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Lucerne and Bern in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lucerne $109
    Bern $128
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lucerne $218
    Bern $256
Compare Hotels in Lucerne and Bern

Looking for a hotel in Lucerne or Bern? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Lucerne


Hotels in Bern


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Lucerne Hotel Prices and Bern Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lucerne $9.94
    Bern $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lucerne

Also for Lucerne, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private transfer from Lucerne City to Lucerne Train Station: $110
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Business Car: $118
  • Private Transfer from Lucerne City to interlaken City: $174
  • Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Business Car: $191
  • Between Basel and Luzern: One-Way Private Transfer: $193
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Luxury Van: $207
  • From Canyoning in Interlaken w/ Return Transfer: $239
  • Rafting in Interlaken with Return Transfer from Lucerne: $239
  • Zurich Airport: Private Transfer to/from Lucerne: $240
  • Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Luxury Van: $251
  • Private transfer from Lucerne City to Zurich Airport: $271
  • ZRH Airport - Lucern City (Transfer Service): $287

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Zurich City - One Way: $661
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Basel City - One Way: $586
  • Private transfer from Bern City to Zurich Airport: $416
  • Private Transfer from Bern City Center to Zurich City Center: $318
  • Geneva: Premium 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Bern: $277
  • Premium Private 1-Way Transfer to/from Interlaken: $250
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Bern City - One Way: $105

Is it cheaper to fly into Lucerne or Bern?

Prices for flights to both Bern and Lucerne change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Lucerne $49
    Bern $48

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lucerne $27
    Bern $27
Typical Entertainment prices in Lucerne

For Lucerne, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • 1 Day Bicycle Rental
    $34
  • The Swiss Transport Museum Entrance Fee
    $35

Tours and Activities in Lucerne

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Lucerne.

  • Swiss Chocolate Adventure Experience at Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne: $19
  • Lucerne Swiss Museum of Transport Entrance Ticket: $39
  • Mount Titlis: Admission Ticket: $52
  • Pearls of Switzerland Cristina Tschuppert Private city walking tour Lucerne: $178
  • Day Trip from Grindelwald First Mountain Adventure: $206
  • Chocolate World Experience and Tasting Private Tour from Luzern: $226
  • Lucerne City Walking Tour in Portuguese (1-2 guests): $231
  • Luzern City Tour with Lake Cruise Private Tour: $231
  • Lake Lucerne Villas & Castles Private Walking Tour: $234
  • Lake Lucerne Castles and Villas Tour: $261
  • Mount Rigi with Lake Cruise Private Tour from Luzern: $279
  • ALL TRANSPORT INCLUSIVE Mt. Pilatus Guided Golden Roundtrip Tour: $280

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • Adventure: Diamond Skull Virtual Reality: $230
  • Bern - Walking Tour with Licensed Guide: $446
  • Bern Capital City Private Tour: $194
  • Bern Capital City Small Group Tour: $90
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45
  • Bern Old City Walking Tour: $491
  • Bern Old Town- Private Tour: $435
  • Bern Private Walking Tour: $366
  • Bern Private Walking Tour with Professional Guide: $497
  • 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour: $72
  • 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour: $162
  • 4-Hour City Tour with Private Guide: $231

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lucerne $17
    Bern $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Lucerne

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Lucerne:

  • Chocolate, Cheese and Wine Tour in Luzern region: $627


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Lucerne and Bern, we can see that Bern is more expensive. And not only is Lucerne much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lucerne would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lucerne and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bern would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bern than you might in Lucerne.


When is the best time to visit Lucerne or Bern?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Lucerne or Bern in the Summer?

Both Bern and Lucerne during the summer are popular places to visit. The city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Lucerne this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Bern for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Lucerne is around the same temperature as Bern. Typically, the summer temperatures in Lucerne in July are around 21°C (70°F), and Bern is about 21°C (70°F).

In Bern, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Lucerne. In the summer, Lucerne often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Bern. Lucerne gets 241 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 250 hours of full sun.

Lucerne usually gets more rain in July than Bern. Lucerne gets 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Bern receives 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Lucerne 21°C (70°F) 
    Bern 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Lucerne or Bern in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Lucerne and Bern. Many travelers come to Lucerne for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to Bern in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Lucerne is generally around the same temperature as Bern. Temperatures in Lucerne average around 13°C (56°F), and Bern stays around 13°C (55°F).

Lucerne usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Bern during autumn. Lucerne gets 120 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 126 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Lucerne usually receives more rain than Bern. Lucerne gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Bern receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Lucerne 13°C (56°F) 
    Bern 13°C (55°F)

Should I visit Lucerne or Bern in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Lucerne as well as Bern. Many visitors come to Lucerne in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to Bern for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Bern can be very cold during winter. Lucerne can get quite cold in the winter. Lucerne is a little warmer than Bern in the winter. The temperature in Lucerne is usually 3°C (37°F) in January, and Bern stays around 3°C (37°F).

In the winter, Lucerne often gets less sunshine than Bern. Lucerne gets 55 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 65 hours of full sun.

Lucerne usually gets more rain in January than Bern. Lucerne gets 77 mm (3 in) of rain, while Bern receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Lucerne 3°C (37°F) 
    Bern 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Lucerne or Bern in the Spring?

Both Bern and Lucerne are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Lucerne for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Bern because of the natural beauty.

In the spring, Lucerne is around the same temperature as Bern. Typically, the spring temperatures in Lucerne in April are around 12°C (53°F), and Bern is about 11°C (52°F).

Lucerne usually receives less sunshine than Bern during spring. Lucerne gets 150 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 164 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Lucerne usually receives more rain than Bern. Lucerne gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Bern receives 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Lucerne 12°C (53°F) 
    Bern 11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for Bern and Lucerne

Lucerne Bern
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in) 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Apr 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
May 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in) 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in) 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in) 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)


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Lucerne vs. Bern Travel Comparison

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