Lucerne is a destination like no other, from the impressive mountain ranges surrounding the city to the beautiful lake breeze and remarkable architecture. This city has everything on offer, and I can honestly say there is nowhere in the world that I have been quite measures up to it. Mountain adventure and fun sit side by side with good food, history and culture. There is no end to the experiences on offer here.
Lucerne is truly enchanting and is famous for its captivating Chapel Bridge, the lake and the old city walls that have been beautifully preserved. Long years of history, traditions and culture have been kept alive in the city and surrounding mountains. All of this combined makes this a city that should sit right at the top of your bucket list.
Things to do in the city
Take a stroll around the old town and enjoy the wonders of the architecture. This has to be done on foot to fully appreciate all of the beauty Lucerne has to offer. The cobbled streets are mainly flat, and it is a walkable town, so put on some comfy shoes and explore. There is a treat for the eyes everywhere you look with no end of historic buildings. From timber frame houses, Florentine, and even Neo-Gothic architecture, the region’s history is visible everywhere.
Many of the buildings have brightly coloured facades and pictures adorning the walls that tell the family’s story of those who lived there or the type of business they ran. Many of the best attractions here are located in the old town and are pretty close to each other.
Kapellebrucke or Chapel Bridge is located in the old town, and it is one of the most photographed landmarks in the city. The bridge itself dates back as far as 1333 and is a diagonal wooden structure. One of the best things about the bridge is that the roof comprises triangles that hold paintings dating back to the 17th century and are still intact.
Another beautiful bridge in Lucerne is the Spruer Bridge. The Spruer is a wooden footbridge constructed in 1408, and like Chapel Bridge, it also has a wooden roof. From the Spruer, you are privileged to have a stunning view of the city, and there are paintings adorning the walls that depict the dance of death.
The Lion of Lucerne monument and the Glacier Park tell stories of the city’s heritage. The monument pays homage to the fallen soldiers of the Swiss Guard who died in 1792 defending the Tuileries in Paris. The Glacier park itself holds fossils and shells that show the city millions of years ago was a very different place.
Lucerne holds the Swiss Museum of Transport, which is a fun way to spend the day, and there is no shortage of vintage cable cars for you to try out while you’re here. Of course, no visit to a Swiss city would be complete without a shopping trip for watches and chocolates.
When I am here, an absolute must for me is a trip to the Musegg wall for a breathtaking view of the city. The wall and its nine towers are the remains of the medieval fortress that once protected the city from attack. The wall dates back to the early fifteenth century and can be admired from below, but the views from above are well worth the climb.
It is only fitting that such a historical and cultural city be the hub for some of the world’s best modern art collections. The Sammlung Rosengart is an art collection that is on display to the public. There are stunning examples here by Kadinsky, Renoir and even Pablo Picasso.
Day trips from Lucerne
The lake and the mountains surrounding the city make Lucerne the ideal base to explore the region further. There are many day trips on offer and a range of transport options. I highly recommend taking a cruise on the lake. There are lots of cruise options, from small crafts to large sailing boats and even steamboats. Many cruises offer dining options, and they provide fantastic food using local produce that you can enjoy in the most stunning surroundings.
Its proximity to the mountains makes Lucerne ideal for hiking. Mt Rigi and Mt Pilatus both have miles of hiking trails and views to blow your mind. Our favourite way to travel to Mt Rigi from Lucerne is by boat and cogwheel train. Other options are available, but somehow the bus and regular train seem dull in comparison.
Mt Pilatus can also be accessed by boat and cogwheel train or bus and cable car. The travel options alone are an experience in themselves. Mt Pilatus is home to one of the most exclusive hotels in all of Switzerland. Park Hotel Vitznau looks like a fairytale castle overlooking the most beautiful lake I have ever seen.
Mt Titlis is another mountain surrounding Lucerne that is well worth a visit. You can walk along the 100 metre long suspended bridge that gives the feeling of flying over the peaks at the top. Snow caves, toboggan rides, hiking, snowboarding and a whole host of winter sports activities await you when you visit Lucerne.
I’m sure by now you are all eager to pack your bags and head to Lucerne for some hot chocolate fondue, snowboarding and hot springs. No matter your preference, Lucerne is a year-round city that offers experiences not to be missed in every season. Lucerne is definitely in top five destinations in Switzerland.