Lucerne is a small historic city located in the centre of Switzerland. Known for its medieval and well-preserved architecture, it sits amongst Lake Lucerne and the mountainous Alps. Here’s the top 10 experiences to try out when exploring Lucerne…
1. Take in the views from the top of Mount Rigi
A mountain in the massif of the Alps, Mount Rigi offers spectacular views from over 1,700m above. Getting to the top is accessible both by hiking trails, the Rigi Kaltbad aerial cable car and the unique cog train that offer panoramic views throughout the railway journey. Surrounded by the tranquil Lake Lucerne, at the top there are various viewing platforms as well as a warm and welcoming café. For those after something even more serene, there are even mineral baths and spas available.
2. Walk across Kapellbrücke
Also known as Chapel Bridge, Kapellbrücke is one of the oldest wooden bridges in Switzerland dating back to the 14th century (and also considered Europe’s oldest covered bridge). The bridge is unique because the interior contains a number of paintings under the roof illustrating Swiss local history and culture. During summertime it can be nicknamed “flower bridge” as the bridges wooden panels are lined with colourful and vibrant flowers.
3. Cruise Lake Lucerne
The city of Lucerne sits amongst the scenic Lake Lucerne thats tranquil waterways are surrounded by the mountains of Switzerland’s central Alps. The lake is a great place to take in the breathtaking views as well as enjoy dinner and a drink on the many cruises available.
4. Take the cable car up Mount Pilatus
From Kriens you can enjoy a 30minute trip in the gondolas up Mount Pilatus and over the Krienseregg. Atop Pilatus there are endless activities to enjoy including paragliding, a rope park, and even an ibex safari.
5. Take a moment at Lion Monument
The Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne is a rock installation designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn in the 1820’s by Lukas Ahorn. The dying Lion of Lucerne, the design was carved out in memory of the deaths of the Swiss mercenaries at the Tuleries in 1792. It’s said that when the revolutionary masses attacked the royal Tuleries castle in Paris in 1792 the Swiss mercenary troops tried to defend the royal family to make sure that they could escape.
Mark Twain described the Lion of Lucerne as the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world.
6. Stroll through Old Town Lucerne
Strolling through Old Town Lucerne lets you step back in time and explore the well preserved buildings and laid-back atmosphere just steps away from the rest of the city. Located between the City Hall and Chapel Bridge along the river, there are numerous restaurants and cafés available as well as shopping outlets.
7. Drive though the scenic Klausen Pass
Klaus Pass is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps, and is the first major alpine pass when driving south from Zurich. The pass it quite literally a passage down into the heart of the Alps and also has incredible panoramic views throughout the drive.
8. Learn something new at the Swiss Museum of Transport
Opened in 1959, the Swiss Transport Museum exhibits all forms of transport including rail, automobiles, ships and even aircrafts and is known as the most popular museum in Switzerland.
9. Try cheese fondue
Fondue is a Swiss dish of melted cheese served in a pot over a portable stove (usually hated with a candle) and is eaten by dipping bread into the communal pot using long-stem forks. A dish originating in the Alps, where better to try some creamy Gruyère or Emmental?
10. Experience the sounds of an Alphorn
An alpenhorn is a long wooden wind instrument played like a horn and was used for signalling in the Alps. In Lucerne you can experience the unique sounds of an Alpenhorn – some places even offer fondue servings with a show of the incredible instruments.