Located in the alpine scenery of central Switzerland, Lucerne makes the good place to explore the country. Yes, there is many reasons why I am loving this small charming city of Lucerne surrounded by spectacular view of the hills, lake and country side. This is not just a great place to live but a great place for visitors to enjoy. While traveling around European countries, Lucerne was one of the list of the countries that I wanted to tick-off my priority bucket-list. With a population of just below 85,000 people makes this beautiful seaside city of Lucerne located in the alpine scenery of central Switzerland a beautiful holiday destination. Owing to its location on the shores of Lake Lucerne and its outflow, the river Reuss, within sight of the mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Apls defines Lucerne has long been a destination for tourists all over the world.
Just steps from the waterfront of Lake Lucerne was the Hotel Europe where I stayed for few days while exploring this beautiful city. The exterior of the hotel was colourful and modern. Having the room with own balcony I took advantage of the incredible views. Within walking distance to most restaurants, cafes and shops along the river, meant that I didn’t require any transportation at all unless I went on tours. Lucerne is a small city and visitors to the area can walk to most places unless you plan to visit attractions outside the city area.
After a long day of driving, I started to unwind in my hotel room without having any dinner for the evening as I tried to refresh myself for the next hectic few days in Lucerne.
My favourite Lucerne Attractions
Staying for few days in Lucerne, my daily routine were fully scheduled with tours booked for every single day to see some of the best attractions in Lucerne.
The following day began with a tour of Mt Pilatus where I took a journey up this very steep hill and down by aerial cable-car. Mt Pilatus is a mountain massif, made up for several peaks overlooking Lucerne. The highest peak is Tomlinson located about 1.3 km to the southeast of the top of the cable car and cog railway station. The top of the mountain can be reach with the Pilatus Railway and it is the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, from Alpnachstad. Mount Pilatus considered to be the icon of the city and getting to this place is an adventure in itself. Riding on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway that only operates between May and November was terrific and terrifying experience at the same time. What a thrill it was standing on top of Mt Pilatus and definitely it was the highlight of my Swiss experience. I felt like, I was almost reaching up to the clouds and yes, I was truly was on top of the world. This breathtaking view was unimaginable
Making your way around the top of the mountain gives you an incredible and stunning 360 degrees view of Lucerne – city, lakes, countryside and the mountains. It is an attraction that every Lucerne visitor must see and experience and cannot be missed. However, taking the gondola downwards was far more terrifying than the journey upwards on the train.
Lion of Lucerne
I took time to visit this carved lion which has a significant piece of history attached to it which is worth knowing. It shows that the Lion of Lucerne is a sad, touching tribute to Swiss soldiers who tried to protect the royal family during the French Revolution. The memorial features a dying lion carved into sandstone at a pond at the east end of Lucerne. American author Mark Twain called the statue “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”. It memorialises more than 800 Swiss guards who died protecting King Louis XVI and his family at Tuileries Palace and who later died in a French prison. Sadly, only about 100 soldiers managed to escape the massacre. This stone sculpture was created in the 18 century to honour the death of Swiss and it is widely regarded as one of the most moving and poignant sculptures in the world.
Lake Lucerne was few steps away from the front of the hotel I staying so taking a boat around the lake was something I couldn’t go by. It is just absolutely incredible with the views. This Lake Lucerne is the country’s fourth largest lake. It offers Lucerne visitors many ways to enjoy its fjord-like beauty with mountains that descend right to the shoreline. Without a doubt, this lake especially is scenic on either a pretty summer day or a winter night. Taking this boat ride on a clear and calm day without any winter clothing provided me with the best view of the area. It is a great way to set on the afternoon cruise with a glass of wine and cheese platters kept coming is something that no-visitors should miss.
Not far from the hotel was the Old Town and Chapel Bridge. I strolled along the paved footpath beside Lake Lucerne with nicely manicured plants gave me great appreciation of the place and a whole sense of warm charming of the city. This medieval Chapel Bridge is probably the most photographed site in Lucerne. It just look like any ordinary bridge in the city but with an understanding of the history, this landmark bridge was built in the 14th century, until it burned in 1993. It was considered the oldest wooden bridge in whole of Europe. This bridge was promptly rebuilt and is a picturesque as ever. It is absolutely amazing to see both at night and day. This restored bridge features more than 100 pictures of Lucerne life in the 17th century hanging from the rafters. This covered bridge crosses the River Reuss diagonally. Though, it is named for nearby St. Peter’s Chapel, the bridge is also known as Kapellbrucke.
Following the hectic days of tours and sightseeing, it was time to get down on my knees and do shopping. Leaving Lucerne without shopping means there is something wrong with you. This city is definitely a shoppers paradise for any visitors to Lucerne. From clothing to watches, there is always something for your taste. Being keen on swiss-made watches, this was the place I couldn’t miss out on.
From what I have seen and done after doing tours and sightseeing, Lucerne is absolutely a stunning city to visit, thanks to the surrounding mountains and the glistering lake borders it. This beautiful city has a great number of great views and picture-perfect sceneries but it has a delightful medieval quarter which adds to the charming feel. Walking through winding alleys of the old town weaving their way along the banks of the river that runs through the centre and strolling along the waterfront in the sun is simply heavenly. This city is packed with historic architecture and museums and with the surrounding region boasts natural attractions like Mount Rigi and of course, Lake Lucerne.
This city is definitely the place whether you’re planning an active holiday or just focusing on the culture, Lucerne is home to several options that suit any travellers needs. After spending some time in this pretty city before heading to some other places – taking a cruise on the gorgeous blue lake (Lake Lucerne), seeing colourfully painted medieval homes, visiting farmlands and villages, train ride up to iconic Mt Pilatus and gondola ride, shopping and just gazing at the mountains gave me the place to indulge the senses. This city’s attractions has provided plenty of opportunities to me and many other tourists has added to my own praise.
From a personal perspective: In our travels, we learn to be aware that we are visiting different countries with different experiences. These experiences we have in different locations throughout the world is something that can only be felt when we travel. Travelling does broaden our mind and perception on many things, whether it is good or bad in our eyes, it brings experiences in our travels. Let’s be part of them and join in for the ride of fun
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