For my birthday this year, I decided to travel to Lucerne, Switzerland and visit the city with a friend from college. It was the perfect weekend trip!
- No matter the weather, the scenery was absolutely amazing. Although I’ve only visited in the spring, you can tell by the way it’s setup that Lucerne is beautiful in every season.
- It’s completely surrounded by mountains, like an island by water. I love mountains, so when I’m in the center of town and can turn any direction to see peaks, it feels pretty special!
- My favorite part was walking along the tree lined path at sunset. The way the sun sets behind the mountains makes for great pictures and a wonderful time to wind down and reflect at the end of a day.
- It’s a small town in that it’s not a concrete jungle (it still maintains mostly original architecture and buildings) and you can find someone that speaks English easily, but it’s NOT overrun by tourists.
- Everything is expensive (food, lodging, etc.), because it’s Switzerland.
- I was hoping to go to Mt. Pilatus, but it’s not that accessible from the town center itself. Definitely plan a whole day to visit the top (by cable car or ski lift) if that’s a main motivation for visiting.
- Lucerne is a good mix of residential and shopping. It’s fairly small, so there’s not a lot to DO (specific tourist attractions, concerts, tours, etc.). It’s not always a bad thing, but it depends on what you’re looking for.
- Bring good walking shoes! This is definitely a town best experienced by walking around and exploring what piques your interest.
If you like to have directions, though, I suggest the route I took:
- Start at the train station.
- Follow the water left after crossing the bridge and move into the shops & plazas areas.
- Keep walking until you come across the first tower (Nolliturm).
- Turn right and walk up the hill toward/following the line of towers (full list below).
- When you get to the last one (Allenwindenturm), go back into the town and visit the Glacier Garden!
- Pack for all weather. Since Lucerne is nestled between a lot of mountains, the weather can change quickly, and you’ll never know when you wish you had an extra scarf or jacket.
IF it happens to snow/rain, you can also spend time in the mall below the train station to people watch, shop, or grab some food!
- Buy your own food from the grocery store and cook in your own kitchen if staying in an Airbnb. Costs quickly add up in Switzerland, especially at restaurants.
- Visit on the weekend to take advantage of the riverfront market!
The best part is sharing all of my pictures with you!
Museggmauer - Old City Wall with 9 Towers. You should climb to the top of at least one!
Nolliturm (start here at the waterfront)
Mannliturm (View from the top seen below)
Zeitturm (pictured right)
Kapellbrucke - Historic Wooden Bridge
All the mountains + tree-lined walking path along the waterfront
Mt. Pilatus - It rained the whole time, so we didn't get to go to the top, but this is the view from our Airbnb!
For more ideas on what to do in Lucerne, on Instagram check out the Lucerne Tourism account (ilove_lucerne) & Martina Bisaz's Switzerland story highlights (kitkat_ch). Or, you can visit Google's Travel Guide!
Overall, I won't return to Lucerne, because I’ve seen all that I wanted (besides Mt. Pilatus). However, I would still recommend a day trip or weekend visit if you’re looking to explore Switzerland thoroughly. The mountains are truly astounding, and the quiet nature of the town was perfect for a relaxing weekend away from work.