The picturesque Swiss town of Lucerne is a traveler’s nirvana. The glorious scenery of mountains, pretty lakeside views, enchanting old town, charming wood bridges and an almost mythical atmosphere all come together to make this town a truly magical travel destination. I honestly had this town as a throw-away on my travel list; an overnight stopover to get me closer to the next travel destination, with little expectation that it would actually be a destination that I would recommend to others as a must-see. And though I don’t think you need more than a day or two to experience Lucerne, the town was a pleasant surprise and much more exciting than I had originally imagined.
What to see?
Among the many places that must be on your travel wish list include The Sammlung Rosengart – a haven for all art fanciers, the historic Kapellbrücke or Chapel Bridge (perfect for a selfie), the magnificent Mount Pilatus and the spellbinding Old Town with lively squares, quaint streets, pretty locales, and bewitching ambiance. To really experience Mount Pilatus, take one of the ferry boats from Lucerne so you can enjoy the lake, then take the cogwheel train up the mountain for stunning views. The cogwheel up to Mount Pilatus is the steepest cogwheel train in the world and the ride itself is worth the journey.
Where to stay?
There are many, many wonderful hotels in Lucerne that you’ll absolutely fall in love with. For those looking for something more opulent, the aptly named Grand Hotel National and the Chateâu Gutsch are your best bet. Be sure to book in advance though—these famous old chateaus book up quickly. More quaint options include the Art Deco Hotel Montana and The Hotel Schweizerhof, as they are both amazing for a city break. I stayed at the Renaissance Hotel right downtown, which ended up being a wonderful mid-level and affordable option. The rooms were small but cute and the location was perfect—walking distance to all the restaurants, bars and the Chapel Bridge.
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