Lucerne, Switzerland is a small city known for its preserved medieval architecture and stunning views. The colorful, quaint city sits on Lake Lucerne amid snow capped mountains. The views are magnificent. In fact, everything about this friendly European city is incredibly beautiful. The kind of place you won’t want to leave anytime soon.
The gateway to Central Switzerland, Lucerne is nearby popular tourist spots such as Mount Pilatus and Stanserhorn, making it a popular stop for tour groups which is how I found myself in this lovely city. I spent two days in Lucerne, and below are the highlights.
I am finally getting around to writing about my summer travels. As soon as I returned from spending two weeks in Europe, I went on a cruise with my sister, then packed up the house, moved to Florida and became Tati’s legal guardian. The last few months have been a whirlwind. Please forgive me for the delay in sharing my summer fun with you.
At the end of May, I went on a 14 day European tour with EF Educational Tours. The tour was set up by one of the teachers at my nieces high school, and I enthusiastically volunteered to tag along as a chaperone. We flew from Atlanta to Zurich overnight, and after settling in at Hotel Twing in Hasliberg, made our way to Lucerne. By the way, Hotel Twing was quite lovely and the drive to get there was gorgeous.
The Lion Monument was our first stop in Lucerne.
This impressive monument is dedicated to the memory of the Swiss mercenaries, who in service to Louis XVI King of France, were killed during the French Revolution in Paris when the Tuileries were invaded on August 10, 1792, or who were guillotined on September 2nd/3rd, 1792.
Across the street from the monument is one many souvenir shops that you will find in Lucerne. I did a fair amount of shopping the 2 days we were in Lucerne, purchasing things for family like Swiss Army Knives and decadent Swiss chocolates. There were also some fantastic clothing shops in this city, and for every budget.
I loved the ancient stone walls, curved streets, and gorgeous May blooms. The city’s colorful Altstadt (Old Town) is bordered on the north by 870m Museggmauer (Musegg Wall), a 14-century rampart. A part of the rampart walls built in 1386; the wall is still almost entirely intact. There are nine towers, and three towers are open to the public.
Saving my energy for the 2 weeks, I didn’t climb the many steps to any of the towers. However, some in our tour group did and said the incredible view was well worth the effort.
The city of Lucern is adorned with many public fountains and sculptures.
There are many hidden gems and things to see. For instance, the Zeitturm [Clock Tower] which is one of the nine towers in The City Wall of Lucerne.
I particularly enjoyed some of the old city squares. Historical buildings clad in frescos border the Old Town on the right bank of the River Reuss at a few of these picturesque squares.
When in Lucerne, you never know when a marching band might pass you by. This was such a treat!
There are beautiful pedestrian bridges in Lucerne that cross the Reuss River, such as the Rathaussteg Bridge pictured below. Look up and you’ll see a 19th-century fairy-tale castle that overlooks the city from the top of a top of a 1,600ft hill.
Initially built in 1888 by architect Emil Vogt as a private residence, Château Gütsch, is now a five-star hotel.
Chapel Bridge and Water Tower mark the upper end of the medieval bridgehead city of Lucerne where the waters of Lake Lucerne flow into River Reuss. Chapel Bridge is the oldest wooden bridge in Switzerland dating back to the middle of the 14th century (first written record in 1367).
It is also one of very few covered wooden bridges to have old paintings under their roofs, and sadly I didn’t get any decent pictures of this.
This was my incredible view when I stopped for a cup of coffee one afternoon. All along the river you will find many lovely places to have a coffee or dine outdoors. The weather was absolutely perfect for this the end of May.
Below are just few of my favorite shots taken along the River Reuss:
There was a Starbucks in Lucerne that I just love, and I show you this picture because it is is the prettiest Starbucks storefront I have ever seen. Even with the construction going on to one side, it is quite lovely.
I loved every minute that I spent in Lucerne, Switzerland. Late spring to early summer is such a great time to visit. The food was fresh and delicious, the shopping was great, and the rich history and scenery of this city was second to none. Two days wasn’t nearly enough time to spend in Lucerne, but that’s how it goes when you are traveling with a tour group.