Lucerne at a Glance
Moving to Lucerne
About the City
The city has grown steadily over the last 60 years, and although it had a total population of just over 80,000 people in 2013, it is still one of the most heavily populated areas in Central Switzerland. As with much of Switzerland, a large proportion of the population is bi-, or tri-lingual. Although the official language in the area is the Swiss dialect of German, the abundance of tourists and business travelers means that many of those working in public services or retail have extremely high standards of spoken English, and often also French. Signage in the city is often provided in more than one language, too.
There is a large expat population living in the city — coming from a whole range of different countries, and make up around 25% of the total population. Although the largest groups of expats are predominantly moved to Lucerne from neighboring European countries, there are also notable Asian and African communities.
In 2013, a census recorded over 4000 German nationals living in Lucerne — putting them at over 5% of the total population. Italians made up a further 3%, whilst expats from Portugal, Serbia, Kosovo and Spain each represented between 1–2% of the total population of the city.
Climate in Lucerne
The average temperature in Lucerne varies considerably during the year. Winter months see an average of five snowy days, and temperatures are typically around 0°C between December and March.
In contrast, the summer months are notably warmer, with average temperatures up to 20°C, and highs of 25-30°C in the height of summer. Rainfall is moderate throughout the year, with July being the sunniest month. In general, expatriates moving to Lucerne can look forward to over 200 hours of sunshine each year.
Getting to Lucerne
Lucerne is easily accessible by train, plane, or road. Zurich airport is just a 50 minute car journey from Lucerne, and it is also well connected by frequent trains. Note that border control is in operation if you are traveling into Switzerland by road or rail from another European destination.