A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Lucerne vs. Grindelwald for Nightlife, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Lucerne or Grindelwald?

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 Grindelwald. 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 active, cultural, and historic city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Grindelwald

Grindelwald is a breathtaking, beautiful, and adventure-filled town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the hiking, skiing, and nightlife.

Lucerne and Grindelwald: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for shopping


Is there more to do in Lucerne or Grindelwald?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Lucerne. Although Lucerne and Grindelwald are popular destinations, Lucerne has more sights and attractions for tourists. Lucerne is very popular for its museums, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, and big city activities, while Grindelwald attracts visitors for its skiing, hiking, and small town charm. Lucerne is famous for it's wooden bridge, its waterfront setting, and the many nearby alpine day trips. It is also well known for The Chapel Bridge. Grindelwald is famous for its stunning views, beautiful hikes, and breathtaking scenery.

The Chapel Bridge
The Chapel Bridge

How is Lucerne different from Grindelwald?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Lucerne or Grindelwald Better for Skiing?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Grindelwald is great for skiing. However, Lucerne is not a skiing destination.

Grindelwald draws a large crowd in the winter for its impressive snow skiing opportunities. Most of the skiing in the area is best for intermediate level skiers. There are also some places for beginners to ski, but not a lot of options for advanced skiers. The resort is relatively large with 30 lifts and some cross country skiing options as well.

Lucerne is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Lucerne or Grindelwald?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Lucerne is well known for its museums and landmarks. However, Grindelwald is not particularly known for its historical sights.

Many visitors head to Lucerne specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Grindelwald. If you happen to have poor weather, there are very few indoor activities around town. The area is all about the views and the outdoor setting, so weather is key when visiting.

Is the Food Better in Lucerne or Grindelwald? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Both Lucerne and Grindelwald offer nice 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.

Grindelwald offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. You'll find a casual pizza joint, a cafe, fine dining, and a handful of other restaurants in town.

Is Lucerne or Grindelwald Better for Nightlife?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Lucerne is well known for its evening party scene. Also, Grindelwald is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.

Lucerne is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. The city has some of the best nightlife in Switzerland, with many lively clubs, bars, and pubs. There are also many local events that are hosted in town and bring in a crowd.

If you're looking for night time activities Grindelwald has a few options to choose from. You'll find the most bars of any of the Jungfrau ski resorts in town. Most are attached to a hotel and offer a nice place to enjoy a drink in a laid back setting.


Is Lucerne or Grindelwald Better for its Old Town?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Lucerne is well known for its historic old town charm. However, Grindelwald does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Lucerne. Sitting on the water's edge, this old town has a number of historic buildings and the beautiful Chapel Bridge.

Grindelwald does not have a historic old town.

Is Lucerne or Grindelwald Better for Hiking?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Grindelwald is very popular for hiking. However, Lucerne is not a hiking destination.

Grindelwald is well-known for its hiking and trekking. Hiking in the area offers spectacular views of the Bernese Alps including Wetterhorn, Eiger, Jungfrau, and Breithorn. There are trails that cater to all levels and hiking is the best way to explore the countryside.

Lucerne is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Lucerne or Grindelwald?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Lucerne is well known for its shopping areas. However, Grindelwald is not particularly known for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity 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.

Grindelwald is a good destination for shopping. There are places to pick up sporting equipment that you may have forgotten. Many shops are seasonal and the turnover is frequent as the tourist season ebbs and flows.


Is Lucerne or Grindelwald Better for Families?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Grindelwald is great for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Lucerne is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Grindelwald. The area is filled with outdoor adventures like hiking, ziplining, and cog railways. There are hikes for every age and skill level and older kids will enjoy the ropes courses and other outdoor activities.

Lucerne is a family-friendly place to visit. The city is filled with history and there are a number of playgrounds around town. Also make sure you pop in a chocolate shop so that everyone can enjoy a sweet treat. 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.

Is Lucerne or Grindelwald Better for Couples?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Lucerne and Grindelwald both high quality destinations for a couple.

Lucerne is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. The city has many pleasant squares, 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.

Grindelwald is a very popular place to visit for couples. Most people don't visit for the town itself, but instead for the many outdoor adventures in the area. Couples that enjoy hiking and skiing will appreciate a visit to this beautiful alpine setting.

Is Lucerne or Grindelwald Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Grindelwald is great for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Lucerne is not a good destination for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Grindelwald. There are a decent number of hostels in the area, so the town makes a good base for backpackers.

Lucerne is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Prices are high everywhere in the area but there are a few hostels that attract backpackers. It's also possible to find free activities like swimming in the lake or simply wandering around town. Prices at restaurants are very high, so you'll do best to pick up food at supermarkets and prepare your own meals. Because it's a larger city, there are options that you might not find in smaller towns around Switzerland.


Is Lucerne or Grindelwald Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Lucerne and Grindelwald both offer nice 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.

Grindelwald has a few public transit options. There are local buses that travel around the region.

Is Lucerne or Grindelwald a more walkable city?

Lucerne
Grindelwald

Lucerne and Grindelwald are nice 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.

Grindelwald is somewhat walkable. Most places in town can be reached on foot but there can be a lot of traffic on the main thoroughfares.

For even more information, also check out Is Lucerne Worth Visiting? and Is Grindelwald Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Grindelwald or Lucerne?

How long in Lucerne or Grindelwald?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Lucerne or Grindelwald to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Lucerne than Grindelwald because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Lucerne, and 1-2 days is enough time in Grindelwald.

Families should spend more time in Grindelwald than Lucerne. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Grindelwald, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Lucerne than Grindelwald. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Lucerne that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Grindelwald than Lucerne if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Grindelwald.


  • How many days in Lucerne or Grindelwald? Ideal Length of Stay
    Lucerne 1-3 
    Grindelwald 1-2

One day in Lucerne or Grindelwald?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the active city of Lucerne. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Grindelwald is a small town with plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. This town 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 Grindelwald?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the scenic destination of Lucerne. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Grindelwald might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Grindelwald has to offer.

Five days in Lucerne or Grindelwald?

The historic city of Lucerne offers shopping and museums. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Grindelwald is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. 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 Grindelwald?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Lucerne. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Grindelwald. Since Grindelwald is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Switzerland, The Best 2-Week Tours in Switzerland, The Best Bicycle Tours in Switzerland, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Switzerland.


Which place is cheaper, Grindelwald or Lucerne?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lucerne is $218, while the average daily cost in Grindelwald is $245. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Lucerne and Grindelwald in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lucerne $139
    Grindelwald $144
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lucerne $278
    Grindelwald $288
Compare Hotels in Lucerne and Grindelwald

Looking for a hotel in Lucerne or Grindelwald? 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 Grindelwald


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 Grindelwald Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lucerne $13
    Grindelwald $54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lucerne

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

  • Bad Ragaz Resorts to Zurich Airport ZRH - Departure Transfer: $126
  • From Canyoning in Interlaken w/ Return Transfer: $264
  • From Zermatt Private Day Trip with Transfer: $2,251
  • INTERLAKEN Private Transfer from Zurich Airport: $765
  • Private transfer from Zurich airport to Lucerne: $563
  • Lucerne to Zurich Airport Private Transfer (Local drivers): $298
  • City Highlights Private Tour with Transfer: $1,069
  • Private Transfer Lucerne, Basel or Bern to Zurich Airport by Van: $242
  • Private Transfer between Lucerne & Engelberg / Mount Titlis: $180
  • Private Transfer between Lucerne & Grindelwald/Lauterbrunnen: $332
  • Private Transfer between Lucerne & Milan, Italy: $844
  • Private Transfer from Lucerne City to Lucerne Train Station: $109

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Grindelwald

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Grindelwald:

  • Grindelwald/Wengen to Malpensa Airport (MXP) - Departure Transfer: $204
  • Grindelwald/Wengen to Geneva Airport (GVA) - Departure Transfer: $183
  • Grindelwald/Wengen to Zurich Airport (ZRH) - Departure Transfer: $89

Is it cheaper to fly into Lucerne or Grindelwald?

Prices for flights to both Grindelwald 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 $63
    Grindelwald $59

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lucerne

For Lucerne, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Lake Candlelight Dinner Cruise: $145
  • Private Swiss Cooking Class in Kriens with a Professional Chef: $164
  • From Zurich: 2-Day Mt.Titlis including 4-course dinner: $506

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lucerne $35
    Grindelwald $61
Typical Entertainment Prices in Lucerne

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


  • 1 Day Bicycle Rental
    $35
  • The Swiss Transport Museum Entrance Fee
    $36

Tours and Activities in Lucerne

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.26
  • Smartphone walking tour - cool Lucerne old town: $4.50
  • Revealing Self-Guided Reading City Tour: $5.63
  • Lucerne Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Tour: $6.53
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.53
  • Scavenger Hunt and Self-guided Walking Tour: $7.88
  • Uncover Lucerne's Secrets: In-App Audio Tour: $11
  • Revealing Self-Guided Audio City Tour: $11
  • Private Lucerne View and Photo Walking Tour: $12
  • Porrentruy Secret Tour: $13
  • Swiss Chocolate Adventure Experience: $20
  • Private city tour in lucerne : $22

Tours and Activities in Grindelwald

Here are a few actual costs in Grindelwald for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Grindelwald First (Top of Adventure) Ticket incl. Cliff Walk: $148
  • Grindelwald First: Cable Car Ticket with Cliff Walk: $138
  • Glacier Canyon Entrance Ticket: $21
  • Indoor Ropes Park Entry Ticket: $42
  • Private tour from Zurich to top of Europe Jungfraujoch: $484

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lucerne $22
    Grindelwald $33

Sample the Local Flavors in Lucerne

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

  • 3 Hour Unique Wine Tour - Half Day in Swiss Alps: $171
  • Lake Lucerne Region Wine Tasting: $281


When comparing the travel costs between Lucerne and Grindelwald, we can see that Grindelwald is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Lucerne Expensive? and Is Grindelwald Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Lucerne or Grindelwald?

Lucerne has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Grindelwald. When comparing the sizes of Lucerne and Grindelwald, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Lucerne or Grindelwald?

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 Grindelwald in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Lucerne as well as Grindelwald. Many travelers come to Lucerne for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, many visitors come to Grindelwald in the summer for the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

Lucerne is around the same temperature as Grindelwald in the summer. The daily temperature in Lucerne averages around 21°C (70°F) in July, and Grindelwald fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Grindelwald. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Lucerne this time of the year. In the summer, Lucerne often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Grindelwald. Lucerne gets 241 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Grindelwald receives 250 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Grindelwald. Lucerne usually gets less rain in July than Grindelwald. Lucerne gets 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Grindelwald receives 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Lucerne 21°C (70°F) 
    Grindelwald 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Lucerne or Grindelwald in the Autumn?

Both Grindelwald and Lucerne are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Lucerne in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Grindelwald for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In the autumn, Lucerne is cooler than Grindelwald. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Lucerne in October average around 13°C (56°F), and Grindelwald averages at about 15°C (58°F).

Lucerne usually receives less sunshine than Grindelwald during autumn. Lucerne gets 120 hours of sunny skies, while Grindelwald receives 152 hours of full sun in the autumn.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Grindelwald. In October, Lucerne usually receives less rain than Grindelwald. Lucerne gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Grindelwald receives 140 mm (5.5 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Lucerne 13°C (56°F) 
    Grindelwald 15°C (58°F)

Should I visit Lucerne or Grindelwald in the Winter?

Both Grindelwald and Lucerne during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Lucerne for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Grindelwald because of the skiing, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Grindelwald can be very cold. Lucerne can be very cold during winter. In January, Lucerne is generally much colder than Grindelwald. Daily temperatures in Lucerne average around 3°C (37°F), and Grindelwald fluctuates around 5°C (41°F).

In the winter, Lucerne often gets less sunshine than Grindelwald. Lucerne gets 55 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Grindelwald receives 119 hours of full sun.

Lucerne usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Grindelwald. Lucerne gets 77 mm (3 in) of rain, while Grindelwald receives 76 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Lucerne 3°C (37°F) 
    Grindelwald 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Lucerne or Grindelwald in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Lucerne and Grindelwald. The spring months attract visitors to Lucerne because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, the small town charm and the natural beauty are the main draw to Grindelwald this time of year.

Lucerne is cooler than Grindelwald in the spring. The daily temperature in Lucerne averages around 12°C (53°F) in April, and Grindelwald fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

Lucerne usually receives less sunshine than Grindelwald during spring. Lucerne gets 150 hours of sunny skies, while Grindelwald receives 176 hours of full sun in the spring.

Grindelwald receives a lot of rain in the spring. In April, Lucerne usually receives less rain than Grindelwald. Lucerne gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Grindelwald receives 152 mm (6 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Lucerne 12°C (53°F) 
    Grindelwald 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Grindelwald and Lucerne

Lucerne Grindelwald
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in) 5°C (41°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Feb 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 6°C (44°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 10°C (49°F) 106 mm (4.2 in)
Apr 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 13°C (55°F) 152 mm (6 in)
May 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in) 17°C (62°F) 194 mm (7.6 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 20°C (69°F) 171 mm (6.7 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 133 mm (5.2 in)
Aug 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in) 22°C (72°F) 166 mm (6.5 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 19°C (67°F) 153 mm (6 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 15°C (58°F) 140 mm (5.5 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in) 9°C (49°F) 120 mm (4.7 in)
Dec 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 6°C (42°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)