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Top 7 Things to Do in Lucerne: The best of Switzerland

By Krishna Teja - June 12, 2020
City view of Switzerland

It’s no secret why Lucerne is so cherished by travellers. The city rests close to Lake Lucerne, framed in heart-lifting scenery. Both the lake and the mountains are always at your fingertips, regardless of whether you feel like a laidback vacation or want to bring out the Adventure in you on the Pilatus or Rigi. Lucerne has got it all. There are many top things to do in Lucerne.

Getting around Lucerne

The city of Lucerne is somewhat small in size and can be explored by walking or by public transportation. Going on a car is not recommended.

The city centre is easily accessed via train or by walking. There are transports to get around also. If you have your own car, just park it aside and enjoy having a walk around the city. Trust us, A step in the town of Lucerne is worth it. Like in many Swiss towns, there is very less traffic, one-way roads and many pedestrian zones across the city.

The train station of Lucerne is called Luzern, which is the local name of the town. This is the place all public transports, including boats, start their departures from. The actual city centre is 5 minutes by walking from that point. Well, Let’s fall back and know the best things to Do in Lucerne while on vacation to Switzerland.

How about we look at the best activities in Lucerne? Then, here we go.

15 Best Things to Do in Lucerne (Switzerland)

1. Mount Pilatus 

Gondola Ride on Mount Pilatus
Image Credits: Unsplash

Pilatus in Lucerne is an incredible sight. It is one of the most visited attractions in Switzerland. Don’t be hypnotized by this 2,128-meter mountain to the south. The peak is immersed with old stories and has the nickname “The Dragon Mountain” after an ancient legend said it was occupied by Dragons with healing abilities. A trip to the top is an absolute must-do experience.

After reaching atop, you will be astonished by the view you’ll get the new “Dragon Ride” aerial cableway, followed by a gondola ride.

2. Old Town 

On the right bank of the Reuss, spend as much time as possible to stroll around Lucerne’s city centre. There’s a sequence of squares by tall painted houses and connected by cobblestone shopping roads. The entirety of the old town is free from traffic, leaving it for the crowds of customers and tourists to walk around and do some shopping in Switzerland. Weinmarkt is the perfect start point which is walled by medieval guildhalls, some with designer painted walls. 

3. Lake Lucerne 

Ferry ride on Lake Lucerne
Image Credits: Unsplash

Lake Lucerne, also known as the “Lake of the Four Cantons”. It is a dazzling water body with an irregular shape that welcomes you to explore.

The uniqueness of the lake is that it has four arms going off at sharp edges, with epic mountains on all sides. Lucerne sits in the northwesternmost part, and you can make for the Luzern Bahnhofquai to get one of five paddle streamers for cruising on the lake.

Ashore, Lucerne’s waterside neighbourhoods were reconfigured during the 1880s for the scenery. The Nationalquai and Schweizerhofquai are refined, leaf promenades followed by hotels and where you can view the lake and high mountains like Pilatus and Rigi.

4. Chapel Bridge 

View from the Chapel Bridge
Image Credits: Unsplash

Crossing the Reuss on the world’s well-established existing truss bridge, and Lucerne’s emblem. This wooden bridge dates from the 14th century and lengths for around 200 meters. 

On the ceiling is the triangular 17th Century artistic creations portraying events from Lucerne’s history. There are currently 30 and used to be a lot more before a fire burnt most of the bridge in 1993. The 35-meter tower that finishes this ensemble is set in the water is built 30 years before the bridge. You can’t go up, yet it’s a sight to enjoy, and there’s a souvenir shop on the ground floor.

5. The Lion Monument 

Crafted into an ancient sandstone, quarry depicts a dying lion. It was designed by a Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and cut in the mid-1820s by Lukas Ahorn. The lion resembles the Swiss Guard, which was massacred while attempting to save Louis XVI at the Tuileries Palace on 10 August 1792 during the French Revolution. There’s a more in-depth representation in work: The lion lays on a broken shield with the fleur-de-lis of the French royalty sovereignty, and behind him is another intact shield with the Swiss coat of arms. Arrive early in the morning to avoid crowds.

6. Reuss River Sights 

Reuss River in lucerne
Image Credits: Unsplash

Lucerne has a second medieval bridge downriver, on the western side of the Old Town. The 15th century Spreuer Bridge is in a similar as the Chapel Bridge, including a rooftop, bracket plan and more of 17th-century works of art on its ceiling. Painted somewhere in the range of 1616 and 1637 these describe a Danse Macabre, and each picture is joined by a depiction and nuances of the angels.

If you go downriver for a while, and you’ll reach the Nadelwehr (Needle Dam). The waterway’s history of floods was consigned to the past in 1852 when this dam was introduced to keep up the level of the lake. It is a simple system, including wooden boards (needles) that are added or removed to manage the current on the Reuss. Just get here and enjoy the beautiful sights.

7. Glacier Garden 

The Glacier Garden is close to the Lion Monument is a natural site that stunned researchers when it was found in 1872. There’s a group of potholes that were shaped during the last ice ages 20,000 years ago. Also, a lot more seasoned than these are the fossils of shellfish and palm fronds from when this place was the shore of a subtropical ocean precisely 20 million years back. These natural wonders are complemented by exhibits, just as an 18th Century alleviation model of Switzerland. 

The best part is here, just see if you can solve the Alhambra mirror maze, made with 90 mirrors and dating to 1896. From that point, take the “Stone of Time” way to the observation tower, giving you spectacular views on Lucerne and Mount Pilatus.

Lucerne is a beautiful city, indeed. It is a must-visit place in Switzerland and attracts a lot of tourists, especially from April till June. Remember to plan your vacation to Switzerland well ahead with Pickyourtrail to grab the best deal in place and have a memorable experience of a lifetime.

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