Hello Shirley! The Lucerne area is absolutely beautiful. Maggie already pointed out a few must-sees and I fully agree with her. I'd recommend to visit viewing points such as Mount Pilatus
, which can be reached from Lucerne by cable car or through a spectacular cog train ride from Alpnachstad, and Rigi
above lake Lucerne. Cog trains ride up here as well and Rigi offers a wide view of the surrounding snow-capped mountains; it's even called 'Queen of the mountains'. Mount Titlis
at Engelberg is very pretty as well, just as the train ride up to Engelberg. Cheaper options, but beautiful nevertheless, are the Stanserhorn
from Stans and Bürgenstock
. And last but not least: make a boat trip over lake Lucerne
. Short walks can be made along the shores of the lake. Some examples are Kehrsiten (at the foot of Bürgenstock) - Stansstad and Bauen - Seelisberg (via the viewing point Rütli). The latter walk does require some climbing, but it's not too hard. A visit to the beautiully situated town of Seelisberg can be recommended anyway; it can also be reached by bus.
As for rail passes: a 3 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass
might be an option for you. It allows free travel on a 3 days and discounts on remaining days. You could use your free travel days for the Swiss part of your inbound trip from Rome, for your outbound trip to Germany and for one of the days in Lucerne on which you'll be making a longer journey. On the remaining day of your stay, a 50% discount would apply. You're right in supposing that a Swiss Flexi Pass offers unlimited travelling on these 3 free travel days indeed, which means that you'll be able to hop on and off trains, buses and boats (which might come in handy if you'll be making boat trips). For mountain trains and cable cars (such as Pilatus, Rigi and Titlis) free travel doesn't apply, but discounts. The same goes for the Swiss Saver Pass
, which offers free travel on a number of consecutive days. A 4 day Swiss Saver Pass would in that case be valid for the Swiss Part of your inbound trip from Rome on July 25, for your stay in Lucerne on July 26, 27 and 28 and for the Swiss part of your outbound trip on July 28. A 4 day Swiss Pass would be slightly more expensive than a 3 day Swiss Flexi Pass, but as it offers unlimited travel on 4 instead of 3 days, this might eventually turn out to be cheaper if you travel quite intensively around Lucerne as well.
A Tell Pass
would offer 2 days of free travel around Lucerne, but of course it wouldn't be of use for your inbound and outbound train trips, which are quite expensive. You could combine a Tell Pass with a Eurail Select Saver Pass
As your stay is relatively short, and as you don't seem to plan that many long journeys, it may be worth considering yet another option: the Swiss Half Fare Card
, which offers 50% discount on almost all trips in Switzerland. It would be valid for your inbound and outbound trips and for trips made from Lucerne. In many cases where only a few and rather short trips are involved, the Swiss Half Fare Card turns out to be the cheapest solution. You should realize though that, other than the Swiss (Flexi) Pass, the Swiss Half Fare Card doesn't give the freedom to hop on and off trains, buses and boats, as you'll always have to purchase discounted tickets.
To be sure which pass is best, calculations should be made, and these depend on your exact travel plans. Instructions on this can be found in our rail FAQ