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Switzerland (Lucerne) Travel Guide

We had heard from many people that Lucerne was an amazing place and we really had to visit if we had the chance.  So we made sure to plan our trip accordingly!  We took an early train from Interlaken to Lucerne (Approx 2h30) so that we had a full day in this city.  Luckily we were only flying out from Zurich (45 min) the next evening, so I could gather enough info to write this Lucerne Travel Guide.

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Lucerne is well known for the Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) which was built in the first half of the 14th century as part of the city’s foundations.  There are a few other bridges as well, which allow you to cross the Reuss river which flows into the majestic Lake Lucerne.

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Upon arrival in this city one could immediately feel an easy-going yet lively vibe.  It is a modern city with a rich history and scenic delights. I would really love to go back and spend some more time exploring this place!

Lucerne Travel Guide

Right in front of the Central train station is the Bahnhofplatz.

To Stay:

As I previously mentioned in my Switzerland Travel Guide, we got a great deal when booking via booking.com to stay at the Tourist Hotel so we were able to stay on the river bank in the city.  We had a lovely view from our little balcony and we opted for an included breakfast which gave us a good lining.  I guess we were just really lucky, we also got an upgrade whilst staying at this hotel.  They moved us into this spacious 3 bedroom apartment!  (Tip:  Book ahead of time, in off-season 😉 )

Here we also got a Visitor card, which gave us some great discounts.

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The Tourist Hotel on the left end

To See:
After checking in and a quick refresh we started exploring the city.  We were close to the Musegg Wall so we started there.  The wall connects 9 towers of which the first one was built in 1535.  Four of these towers are open to the public and will give you a really nice view of the area when climbing to the top.  From there we walked towards Museumsplatz in search of the Lion Monument.  First stopping for an afternoon snack at Bachmann’s which quickly became one of our favourite spots.
The Lion Monument – “The Dying Lion of Lucerne” – is carved out of rock and commemorates the Swiss Soldiers who died attempting to protect the Tuileries Palace in Paris during the French revolution.  It has been described by Mark Twain as “the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world”.
Lucerne Travel Guide Monument

The Lion of Lucerne

From here you can either go into the Glacier Garden (CHF 15) or stroll through the scenic part of the city which leads past Hof Church to Lake Lucerne. This church is Lucerne’s parish church and especially noteworthy is Mary’s Altar and the souls’ altar.
Lucerne Travel Guide

Hof Church

Lucerne Travel Guide

Lake Lucerne

 Lucerne has so many squares (platz) to explore, each with its own character, history and little shops.

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One of the most pictured bridges is the Chapel Bridge, in the center of the hustle and bustle and overflowing with tourists.  It is a beautiful sight as the clear water flows underneath it. When visiting at night, the whole bridge lights up!

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I would suggest:

Not knowing where to start, take a free walking tour of the city. Or do your own.  It is very easy to navigate and you will be able to see all the attractions in about half a day.  Plan your route according to where you live and where you would like to end up.  If you have more time here, plan an excursion.  Go up Mount Pilatus, or visit the sandy beaches on a summer day. See more ideas here

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Eat & Drink

  • We found this trendy spot right on the river bank close to our hotel : Mill’feuille which had such a lovely vibe and seemed like a local favourite!

  • As we are still in Switzerland, I mentioned previously : Cheese fondue & Real Swiss Chocolate

  • Beer is still cheaper than wine 🙂
  • Max Chocolatier will give you too many chocolate options!  (p.s They have Lindt flavours you won’t find anywhere else!)

Good to know:

  • The Swiss currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF) but they accept Euros in most places.  We found it was better to either pay in Franc or swipe the card as they assume the Euro and the Franc to be equal but our exchange rate does not always agree!

  • The public transport in Switzerland is excellent! You can really go anywhere you need to go.  It is very useful to download the SBB app and purchase the tickets you need via the app keeping an eye out for the super saver deals! If you need help figuring this out, just pop me a mail!  We saved such a huge amount by using this! Some tickets you even get more than half price off.

  • Their grocery stores are easily accessible everywhere and are good to shop at if you want to save a bit!  The most well-known chain is Migros.

  • This time of year (October – November) it is a bit rainy in Switzerland as it is just before the snow in December / January.  So pack warm, and be prepared for rain.

  • We picked up our Visitors Card when we checked in to our hotel, but you can get one on arrival at the train station!  Which makes for very easy traveling on all public transport.

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Next stop is Amsterdam!

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