Our vision is to take you on day trips to cities around the world. Featuring the best local hangouts so you can experience life like a local on your adventures. Join us for A Day In Lucerne, Switzerland.
The lakeside city of Lucerne offers breathtaking views, starting from our train ride in from Munich, Germany. I was awaken by a pat on my shoulder, followed by my partner exclaiming 'you need to see this view!' We spent the next half hour pressing our phones against the train window to get clear photos of the otherworldly scenery.
This is Lucerne.
STAY || The Tourist City & River Hotel
Nothing fancy, but offers the best breakfast spread included in our hotel stay. We got into the city quite late, and after chatting up the receptionist, we were surprised with a three-bed room instead of a two-bed room, meaning we had tons of extra space. It also helps that the windows open to a spectacular view.
HISTORY || Kapellbrücke
Kapellbrücke, 6002 Luzern
A 204-meter bridge spanning across the Reuss River, the Chapel Bridge is the longest, covered wooden bridge in Europe. The brick, octagonal Watch Tower adjacent to the bridge, along with the Chapel Bridge, serves as a symbol of Lucerne. The Watch Tower isn't open to the public, and has been used as a prison and torture chamber in the past, but is now used as a private club room for a traditionalist association.
A collection of 17th-century paintings inside the bridge depict various historic scenes of the city, but was unfortunately the bridge and most of the art were destroyed in a fire in 1993. The bridge and paintings were restored, but there are still some missing paintings along the bridge.
HISTORY || Spreuer Bridge
The Spreuer Bridge is another covered wooden footbridge in the city, also spanning the Reuss River. We crossed this footbridge upon our arrival into the city by train, as our hotel was on the other side of the river. we paused to take photos of the numerous paintings found along the bridge.
ARCHITECTURE || Church of St. Leodegar
St. Leodegarstrasse 6, 6006 Luzern
The Church of St. Leodegar is a Roman Catholic Church built from 1633 to 1639. The white stone interiors is richly decorated with gilt statuary and altars. The sunshine pouring in and reflecting on the ornate wooden wooden pews are truly a sight to behold.
A majestic organ is installed at the read end of the Church, its silver pipes shining bright in the warm sunlight.
ART & HISTORY || Lion Monument
Denkmalstrasse 4, 6002 Luzern
Next, take a walk uphill to find the Lion Monument, which commemorates the massacre of the Swiss Guards during the French Revolution in 1972, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace.
The monument is carved onto the cliff face, portraying a lion impaled by a spear. The inscription above the Lion Monument, 'Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti', means "To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss". The inscription below the sculpture lists out the names of the officers. Though it takes a bit of a walk to find this spot, the tranquil environment, still as the water reflection, invites you to stay awhile.
ARCHITECTURE || Jesuit Church
Bahnhofstrasse 11A, 6003 Luzern
The Lucerne Jesuit Church is the first large baroque church built North of the Swiss Alps. The beautiful white pillars with the polished, marble alters and peach pink accents causes one to pause and contemplate its beauty.
Wouldn't you agree?
RELAX || Lake Cruise
We spent the rest of our the afternoon aboard the lake cruise, which took us around Lake Lucerne, with various stop points for passengers to hop off and take trams to ascend the surrounding mountains. Visitors who are avid skiers and/or snowboarders can take the trams up to the various nearby mountains to enjoy a day of skiing on mountains that are part of the renowned Swiss Alps, such as Mt. Rigi.
Sadly, with our day trip we didn't have enough time to make the trip up to the mountains and visit several of the spots on our list, so we opted to spend our time on the lake cruise to take in the majestic views of the mountains.
A cafe and restaurant offer food and drink aboard the boat, and we had our fair share of sweets during the 2-hour cruise. What can be better than taking a vacation day to be spent on the lake, with stunning views of one of the world's most famous mountain ranges?
DINNER || Zunfthausrestaurant Pfistern
Kornmarkt 4, Lucerne 6004
After a long day of walking, we retired to our hotel to ask the front desk what they would recommend for dinner. They directed us to a cozy restaurant, where the tables next to us were filled with jolly men playing a friendly game of cards, and co-workers sharing a few beers.
Since we were in Switzerland, of course we had to try the cheese fondue, which used a strong alcohol base, which left us staggering to make our way back to the hotel afterwards. A tip on dressing correctly for the winter weather, make sure you have a light T-shirt underneath for the temperature indoors, and a heavy overcoat to retain heat while you are outdoors. We found the heat from the piping hot fondue and the body heat generated from consuming the alcohol in the fondue to be a bit overpowering with our heavy layers.
Of the various cities we visited during our Europe tour, we found Lucerne to be the most relaxing, with its quaint pastry shops, waterside cafes, cozy restaurants and unrivalled natural beauty, we could have used a few more days in this scenic city. We recommend Lucerne as a much-needed 'break' in between bustling cities, as you will greatly appreciate its ability to calm, recharge, and revitalize you for more travel ahead.