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Visit Lake Lucerne
This wouldn’t be a weekend guide to Lucerne if I didn’t mention the iconic Lake Lucerne.
Renowned for being crystal-clear and overlooking the Alps mountain range, it is quite possibly one of the most beautiful things you will ever see. Spend a couple of hours meandering beside the lake and feed some swans, dip your toes in, and lose yourself in the unsurmountable beauty around you.
Explore Lucerne’s Old Town
Town centre of Lucerne. Photo by Amy Aed
Located beside the river Reuss, the old town boulevard in Lucerne is a beautiful place to wander and take in the history. Filled with old buildings, cute bookshops, and some of the cosiest cafes one existence, this is the place to truly indulge in the Swiss way of life. Take it slow and enjoy the chocolate.
Swiss chocolate. Photo by Canva
Visit a Swiss Chocolatier
Speaking of, Switzerland is home to Läderach, a wonderful chocolatier where the air is filled with the enchanting aroma of cocoa, leaving a lingering sweetness on your clothes for hours.
If you’re looking to learn more about the chocolate culture in Switzerland, this is the place to visit. After all, you can’t really say that you’ve travelled to the country until you’ve tried their chocolate!
Stroll Along Chapel Bridge
Chapel Bridge in Lucerne. Photo by Canva
Within the old town is Chapel Bridge, a classic wooden wonder that’s basically the old soul of Lucerne. It’s a world-famous bridge which showcases the significant history of both ancient Switzerland and Christendom in the form of artworks which adorn the interior. You will find that most of the postcards in this area feature the image of this very bridge – and for good reason.
Potholes and Rocks at Glacier Garden
Perhaps a strange one to consider visiting, but worth the journey nonetheless. Explore the Glacier Garden – it’s not just rocks; it’s a peek into Lucerne’s icy past. Who knew potholes could be so interesting?
Go for a Picnic
Embrace the picturesque views by opting for a riverside picnic, packing Swiss chocolate and sandwiches stuffed with local cheeses to snack on. Lucerne provides the perfect backdrop and even in nippy weather, the views will forever be ingrained in your memory.
Conquer Pilatus or Rigi
Mountain walk in Lucerne. Photo by Amy Aed.
Feeling adventurous? Take a boat trip on Lake Lucerne and conquer either Mount Pilatus or Mount Rigi. The views from the top are like something out of a fantasy movie, leaving you completely devoid of words. Make sure to go on a day when the skies are clear, and stay until sunset for a truly unforgettable view.
Lake Lucerne. Photo by Amy Aed.
Wagner’s World by the Lake
Dive into the world of classical music at the Richard Wagner Museum. It’s right by the lake, so you get both culture and a view. What more could you want?
Visit a Local Park
The parks of Lucerne offer a serene escape, adding yet another layer to the city’s wonderful allure. Head down to the marina, where you will find yourself almost completely surrounded by many different dog-friendly parks; making it perfect to both feed ducks, hang out, and stroke some alsatians.
See the Lion Monument
Lion Monument in Lucerne. Photo by Canva
One of the most memorable things in the city is the lion monument – a rock carving commemorating the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution. It’s a really powerful and moving work of art, designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn, and sits shaded by bare tree limbs, glistening in the water below.
Explore the Swiss Museum
Get your geek on at the Swiss Museum of Transport. Planes, trains, and automobiles – it’s a playground for transportation enthusiasts. Plus, the interactive exhibits are wonderful for younger travellers and families.
Take the Felsenegg Cable Car
Mountainside walk in Lucerne. Photo by Amy Aed.
To finalize this weekend guide to Lucerne, I recommend heading over to the Felsenegg Cable Car, the absolute cherry on top to wrap up your Lucerne adventure. Not only is the 803-metre-high view absolutely beautiful, but you can stop off at the restaurant before choosing which of many wonderful Alpine walking trails to wander.
Things to Know Before Visiting Lucerne, Switzerland
- Language: While German is the official language, you’ll find many people speak English, especially in tourist areas. But hey, learning a bit of German never hurts, and locals appreciate the effort!
- Currency: The official currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s advisable to have some cash on hand, especially for small purchases.
- Transport: Lucerne has an excellent public transport system. Trains, buses, and boats make it easy to explore nearby areas. Consider the Swiss Travel Pass for convenience.
- Weather: Switzerland experiences four distinct seasons. Winters can be cold and snowy, while summers are generally mild. Checking the weather forecast before packing is a smart move.
- Events: Lucerne is full of many wonderful events and festivals. Check the local calendar; you might stumble upon a cultural gem!
- Safety: Switzerland is considered to be a safe destination. However, as general travel advice, it’s always wise to take normal safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
And now after reading this weekend guide to Lucerne, you’re ready to explore one of Europe’s most magical of towns!
Author Bio: Amy Aed is a freelance adventurer who loves to write raw, off-the-beaten-track guides to gorgeous places. She is the editor of www.wandering-everywhere.com, a travel blog for explorers, dreamers, and storytellers.
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