5 Things to Do in Lovely Lucerne
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | September 25th, 2016
Situated beside a stunning lake and surrounded by an impressive mountain range, Lucerne is located in the heart of Switzerland. Best known for its well preserved medieval architecture, Lucerne has become one of the most visited cities in all of Europe. Here is a list of the top five sights to see in lovely Lucerne.
Named after the nearby St. Peter's Chapel, Chapel Bridge, or Kapellbrücke, was built in the early 14th century to help fortify the city. Today, it remains the oldest covered bridge in Europe. Diagonally crossing the Reuss River, the beautiful bridge connects Old Town and New Town. Its intricate design isn't the only impressive quality, 17th century artist Hans Heinrich Wägmann also created exquisite paintings depicting Swiss history along the interior of the roof. When in Lucerne, be sure to take a stroll across this famous bridge, and marvel at this spectacular creation.
Lake Lucerne Cruise
A boat cruise around Lake Lucerne is a glorious way to see the city. Whether you chose a paddle boat for two, or a romantic sunset dinner cruise (with Swiss Folk music), you'll experience Lucerne at an enjoyable and relaxing pace.
Dine Along the Reuss River
Lucerne has a variety of riverside restaurants, each one offering traditional Swiss dishes and its own breathtaking view of Chapel Bridge. One of my favorites is definitely Des Alpes Restaurant. The food is superb, and the views are perfection.
Built in 1667, and dedicated to Frances Xavier, the Jesuit Church is the first Baroque-style church built in Switzerland. Sitting along the banks of the Reuss River, the church has unique architecture and a stunning interior. If you're lucky, you may catch the organs playing one of their daily musical performances.
Pilatus Day Trip
Climb aboard the world's steepest cogwheel train and spend an afternoon at magnificent Mt. Pilatus. Mt Pilatus is the 7,000 foot mountain that overlooks Lucerne. There are two easy ways to get there. You can either ride the cable car from Kriens, or take the cogwheel train from Alpnachstad. The cogwheel train is really neat because it has a 48% grade, the steepest in the world. I recommend taking a boat cruise from Lucerne to Alpnachstad, from there take the cogwheel train to Mt Pilatus, and then take the cable car down to Kriens. From Kriens, it is an easy ten minute train or car ride back to Lucerne. I recommend taking this route, or visa versa, that way you can experience both the cable car and the cogwheel train.
When to go: The best months to visit Lucerne are May through September when the daytime temperatures sit comfortably around 70° F / 21° C. The months of November through March are cold and wet, with the best chance of snowfall coming in January. The shoulder months of April and October can be a lovely time to visit. Days are cool, and the crowds are low. Something to remember, Lucerne gets a decent amount of rain year-round, so be sure to pack an umbrella or rain coat just in case.
Where to stay: I only did a day-trip to Lucerne, so I recommend checking out TripAdvisor for hotel options in the area.