The boat ride included with the Gotthard Panorama ticket has fabulous view of the Luzernsee

Frankfurt to Luzern / Lucerne by train

How to take the rail journey from Frankfurt (Main) to Luzern



From Frankfurt Main Hbf to Luzern

Travel Information

Final Destination: Milano

The train also call at: Basel and Olten

Connect in Basel for Delemont and Biel

Connect in Olten for Geneve, Lausanne, Visp and Brig

The train will reverse direction on departure from Basel SBB station.

If the timings of this direct train don't suit making the journey by connecting in Basel SBB station from the Frankfurt (Main) to Basel trains is comparatively straightforward.

1 x direct train per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date (usually)

Note that bookings do NOT open 6 months ahead.

This train is usually scheduled to depart from Frankfurt Main daily at 08:06, so target that departure time when looking at this journey.

On the DB Bahn booking site look for the journey which:

  • has 0 in the Chg. column
  • has EC in the Products column.

Seat Reservations:

Book 1st class ticket journey tickets on DB Bahn and your seat reservation is included - but they're optional when booking 2nd class tickets, or if you will be travelling with a 1st or 2nd class rail pass.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
DB from €39.90

DB Guide

DB is the national railway operator in Germany, so its website can be used for booking journeys by German express trains; the ICE and IC trains and it doesn't charge booking fees.
It also sells tickets for journeys by direct trains on all international routes from Germany regardless of whether DB is operating the train service.

It also sells an extensive range of end-to-end journeys which involve making connections both within Germany and in neighboring countries, but journeys between Germany and Britain cannot be booked on DB.

A key feature of DB website worth keeping mind is that it offers 1st class ticket purchasers complimentary seat reservations on journeys both within and to/from Germany.
Seat reservations for daytime in both 1st and 2nd class can also be booked separately from tickets.

Two types of ticket have recently been made available;

  1. Cheaper 'Young' tickets which can only be booked by those aged 15-26 on the travel date.
  2. Flexi Plus tickets, which are now the most expensive type of ticket, but they're the only type of 2nd class tickets which DO include a seat reservation.
Omio from €39.90

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Trainline from €39

Trainline Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

High Speed (partial journey)

Good to Know

ShowMeTheJourney has also observed ETR 600 trains being used for this service, but after April 2020 the plan is for the new Swiss Giruno trains to be used on this route.

Note that there is no return direct train FROM Luzern TO Frankfurt.

The train will spend around 30mins travelling on the two sections of high speed line between Mannheim and Offenburg, but this is a pleasant rather than particularly scenic journey - though the views from the window do become a tad more picturesque, once the train heads south from Basel.
Towards journey's end, over on the left, the train will pass by the Sempachersee.

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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.