There’s no place like home
Choosing a place to live in a new city is often confusing, especially in a place where much information is focused on the tourists. The following is some information on Lucerne’s suburbs to help you decide where to live in this beautiful town.
Furtherst east from downtown, this is a typical family area. With the transport museum, tennis centre, Lido and its playground, this suburb is becoming increasingly popular with expats.
With some of the nicer villas in town is the most exclusive area in Lucerne. Offering the same spectacular views is the Lützelmatt/Halde (6006) area, close to the St Anna Hospital and the private Dietschiberg golf course, this is a lovely residential area and is very popular with older people seeking a quieter neighbourhood.
If you like city life, then Hochwacht/Zürichstrasse is for you. You can visit Bourbaki Cinema for a foreign film, sip a cappuccino or visit the many bakeries and restaurants there. The old town and lake are at your doorstep too.
The Altstadt/Wey is fairly quiet at night as long as you don’t live directly above a restaurant. A warning though – if you are not able to sleep through a brass band playing on your doorstep (or don’t care to join in the fun), you will need to book a trip far away for the carnival week in February.
Somewhere with even more entertainment is Hirschmatt/Kleinstadt, made up of beautiful stone apartment buildings, with cinemas, supermarkets, the alfresco river area and the convenience of the train station nearby. The main problem here is finding parking space. However, the train station is only a few minutes’ walk away and buses run on all sides of the suburb.
Formerly the red district this area is living a renaissance. You will find many newer apartment buildings and business opening up. It is quieter here and has an intimate vibe. Perhaps the best thing is the proximity to the lake with Lucerne’s beach; a grassy area called Ufschötti.
The further along Tribschenstrasse you go, the more suburban and family-friendly it becomes with Langensand/Matthof sandwiched between the forest and lake. The Schönbühl shopping centre is at your doorstep.
This area is popular with young renters and families. There are several neighbourhood restaurants, yoga and dance schools, supermarkets and a Caritas for second-hand hipster browsing.
Sternmatt/Hochrüti (6005)/ Allmend/Obergrund (6005)
Up the hill towards the Biregg forest is the Sternmatt/Hochrüti area. Very residential, Sternmatt feels like a little village and is a stone’s throw area from the newly built football stadium and swimming pool in the Allmend/Obergrund area; the newly built twin towers offer apartments with arguably the best views in the area but there are less ostentatious homes around for rent too.
If you are looking for peace and quiet, the Ober-/Untergütsch suburb is surrounded by forest and overlooks the city making it perfect for families. There aren’t any restaurants or even bakeries but it is only twenty-minutes to walk all the way down the hill. Buses run regularly too.
At the bottom is Bruch/Gibraltar, a cool and cosy area with a number of original cafes, bars and boutiques, several restaurants, ethnic supermarkets, as well as regular ones. Being nestled between the main street leading to the highway out of town and the Gütsch hill, the area has an intimate feel and a neighbourhood vibe.
Otherwise, there is ‘ethnic’ Basel-/Bernstrasse, with its sari shops and African hair-dressers. Many young people live in the area and enjoy the bars and nightlife. With over 50%, this area has the highest concentration of foreigners.
You can’t get much closer access to the highway then living in the Ibach area, which probably explains why this neighbourhood only has 610 inhabitants. The main attraction here is the Canton Hospital, providing every medical service.
However right next to it is the Maihof/Rotsee area, offering views onto the Rotsee Lake. It has larger apartments and easy access to downtown, making this neighbourhood great for families.
Beyond the historic wall is Bramberg/St Karli (6004), central yet residential this is a much sought after area for pensioners and families alike.
Is behind the Lion Monument , a residential area with stunning views of the lake and mountains. There are several parks and wooded areas for exploring, making it perfect for families or lovers of the great outdoors.
Lastly, the town of Littau recently merged with Luzern and, as such, is now considered as a neighbourhood. It extends well into the rural hinterland as well as part of the main industrial area but still offers a town centre and easy bus access into downtown. A fourth of the entire Lucerne population live here. This area offers cheap rental opportunities making it attractive for young families and students.
Each suburb provides something different and there are even more areas to explore just outside of Lucerne. If you are a celebrity or CEO, you could move to the Bel-Air of Lucerne – the suburb of Kastanienbaum, where from your villa, you will have a 360-degree view of the lake and the unending mountains, or try the quaint town of Meggen, also very popular with expats.
For more information showing what steps are required to rent an apartment in Switzerland and to find real estate websites, log onto our Living in Luzern website.