Summer Break In a stunning Swiss city: Lucern

We recently spent a week in Lucern ( Luzern in German) including taking day trips to nearby cities, villages and towns. Lucern is located in central Switzerland and is now one of my favorite city in Switzerland. A beautiful lakeside city with crystal-clear waters, colourful buildings, beautiful architecture, and majestic mountains.

view from a cog railway

QUICK INFORMATION

Language: The four national languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian and Romansh. However, the majority of the local population are German-speaking.

Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)

Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted. For longer stays, it is cheaper and more convenient to have Swiss francs. You can pay with Euros in many hotels, shops, rail stations and gas stations, however, smaller shops, market stalls, kiosks, etc. only take payment in Swiss Franc.

Transportation: When traveling around Switzerland, the train system is very efficient along with other means of public transport. You can purchase your train tickets online in advance of your trip on the SBB website or at the airport and train stations. There are several kinds of train travel pass to take advantage of should you wish to visit other areas of Europe.

One of the most efficient train system

Safety: Widely regarded as one of the safest countries in the world. Due to Switzerland’s geopolitical position, it doesn’t put it at risk of terror. In addition, due to its high standard of living means crime is low and equality is high.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Lucerne is a year-round destination and June to September is the peak season, since the weather is most pleasant. During the months of July and August, everything is open and busy so the prices are high. Likewise during winter period where people travel for winter sports, prices are high due to Christmas and New Year bookings so it’s better to book several months in advance.

BUDGET

Switzerland is an expensive country to travel around which is why you will see it is often overlooked while visiting Europe. You can cut costs down if you stay in hostels, cook most of your meals or buy the ready made food at the groceries and using local transport only when necessary. You’ll notice that food is quite expensive as well as accommodation. However, our experience here has been phenomenal and worth it as it is one of the most amazing city we have been to.

PUNCTUALITY

Most people in Switzerland are punctual. For instance, we made it by a minute, the ferry to Mt. Rigi was taking off. If you are to board a ship by a certain time, you have to arrive by that time or you will miss it.

Got onboard just in time!

THINGS TO DO

The best way to explore Lucern is by foot, The old town and all the main sights are within walking distance of the rail station.

LAKE LUCERN: Known as the “Lake of the Four Cantons,” Lake Lucern can’t be missed. Beautiful sparkling blue water and surrounding snow-capped mountains with swan-lined waterfront. The views while walking along the lake are breathtaking. You can take a day trip or a dinner cruise.

CHAPEL BRIDGE: This wooden bridge was built in the 14th century and Europe’s oldest covered bridge. Chapel Bridge is located close to the train station and serves as a symbol of Switzerland’s medieval town. Also referred to as Kapellbrücke, the bridge is named after nearby St. Peter’s Chapel. Go early or late in the day to avoid tourists. Don’t miss the Chapel Bridge ceiling – it features paintings depicting 17th century life.

LION MONUMENT: The Lion Monument was erected in 1821. This monument depicts a dying lion and commemorates the Swiss soldiers who were killed during the French Revolution.
You can also join a walking tour for a full history of this fascinating monument.

Lion Monument

THE OLD TOWN: The Old Town in Lucerne is one of the best preserved in Switzerland. All of the old centre is free of traffic. Take a leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets and admire the colourful buildings. You will find the Italian Renaissance Town Hall which was built in 1602.

MOUNT RIGI: One of my memorable experiences in Switzerland was hiking on Mt Rigi. We took the scenic circle route by taking the boat from Lucerne to Vitznau, where we board the cogwheel train to Rigi Kulm to an elevation of 5898 Ft ( 1,798 meters). The cogwheel train is Europe’s first cog railway, and one can ride in restored cars dating back as far as the railway’s beginning. Some of the steam engines date to the 1920s. Going up and down, the views were spectacular and the views stretch all the way to the Black Forest in Germany. Also on the hike up, lies green landscape with meadows, grazing cows with bells.

JESUITS: This is Switzerland’s first large church in the Baroque style was built for the Jesuits directly on the left bank of the Reuss between 1666 and 1677. I didn’t check out the interior but learned it was updated to the Rococo style in 1750, with an outstanding painted ceiling and ornate faux marble side altars. There is also a schedule for concerts on the church’s magnificent organ.

Jesuits

OTHER THINGS TO DO

  • Glacier Garden, a museum containing kettle basins dating from the last Ice Age.
  • Mount Pilatus is considered an icon of the city. You can ride on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway or you can opt for gondolas or aerial cableways.
  • The Swiss Museum of Transport is Switzerland’s most popular museum

FOOD

Lucene is packed with all kinds of delicious dining. Along the shore of Lake Lucern are plenty of restaurants and cafe. Since they are in the tourist area, expect to pay high prices.

Sciffrestaurant Wilhelm Tell- The old paddle steamer Wilhelm Tell has been around for nearly 110 years, It’s now a lovely floating restaurant and bar
View from The Mexican Rooftop Bar & Food

I hope you enjoyed my list of Things to Do in Lucerne, Switzerland. This is the first part of my series on my trip to Switzerland, which was more spectacular than I had imagined. You can expect blogs on Interlaken, Gruyeres, Rheinfall, Zurich, Bern, and Geneva coming soon!

Have questions or need help planning a trip to Lucerne? Leave me a comment below!

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