Ever wondered what it would feel like walking through a postcard? Pack your bags and head to Lucerne, cause this city is stitched together by postcard views. You’ll undoubtedly enjoy Lucerne with its stunning lake and river views and ample hiking opportunities. Don’t forget to bring a fat wallet though, cause you won’t get far without reaching deep into your pockets. The exorbitant prices (for literally everything) may be the only downside to visiting Switzerland. I’m a budget traveler at heart so it was kind of painful spending so much money. My main reason for visiting was to see my cousin who moved to Lucerne, so at least I could save a lot on accommodation. Luckily the snow capped mountains, rolling green hills and the clear turquoise water quickly made me forget about the excessive amounts of money disappearing from my bank account. Here’s what you can do during a weekend in Lucerne, Switzerland prettiest city!
Lucerne is probably most famous for its wooden bridge that stems from the 14th century. The Kapellbrücke has become an icon for the city as I’m sure you’ll understand seeing how pretty it is. It’s the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe. When you cross the bridge you’ll find paintings on the inside originating from the 17th century.
When you stroll along the Reus river that flows though the heart of Lucerne you can’t miss this baroque church. It was the first large Baroque church in Switzerland North of the Alps.
Explore Old Town
Lucerne center is not big, but its picturesque little streets are very enjoyable to wander through. One of my favorite places for a coffee and croissant in the morning was Mill’feuille. It has a lovely outside terrace with a view over the Reus river.
Walk the Museggmauer/ City Wall
When you’ve made your way through the city center, climb up the first tower for a stunning view over Lucerne. It is possible to walk parts of the wall and to climb some of the towers. This wall originates from the Middle Ages and at the moment four towers are still open to the public (Schirmer, Zyt, Wacht, and Männli).
Visit the famous lion
I was surprised at the size of this monument when I saw it in real life for the first time. It was bigger and more impressive then I’d expected. This dying lion in this tragic monument was carved into the rock to commemorate Swiss soldiers who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Mark Twain once accurately described it in his travelogue as: “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
Get Ice cream at Amorino
Besides the fact that the ice cream here is delicious, it is also beautifully crafted into a rose. The shop is close to a beautiful Boulevard that leads you around part of lake Lucerne.
Drink a cocktail at Gutsch
Gutsch is a castle up the hill with an amazing panorama view. It serves as a hotel, but in the bar you can go and enjoy one of their fancy cocktails with a view of Lucerne. If you don’t feel like walking you can take a little train up to the castle. If you’re looking for a luxury experience and a unique place to stay, consider booking a room at Chateau Gutchs. You’ll have the best view!
There are several ways to see the famous lake. If you’re staying in Lucerne you could take out a paddle boat out on the lake for an hour. However, if you’re planning on hiking Rigi you’ll have to take the boat to the starting boat anyway. Therefore this is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
Hike Pilatus, Rigi or both!
There are a few mountains around Luzern that are more than worth a visit. The most famous and most though hike is Pilatus. Don’t feel like an entire day of hiking? There is the possibility of taking the cable car up! If you’re on a budget though, you may want to consider the workout, because it will save you a lot of money! If you’re coming from Luzern a roundtrip to the top of the Pilatus will cost you around €88/$102. I unfortunately didn’t get to go all the way up, because it was so incredibly cloudy, I would not have seen anything. The hiking was still more than worth it though!
Where to Stay in Lucerne?
Pilatus Kulm: Stay at the iconic mountain hotel at 2132 meters above sea level! You’ll get an unbelievable view and experience.
Mandarin Oriental Palace: If you’d rather stay in town instead of the Mountains, you could have a luxury experience at the Mandarin Oriental Palace. An incredible 5 star hotel with a view of lake Lucerne. It’s located right in the historic center.
Backpackers Luzern Switzerland is not really a budget destination, but if you’re looking for a more economical option. Have look at this place! It’s located in a quiet neighborhood close to the lake.