Lucerne (Luzern in German) sits in the dead center of the country of Switzerland on Lucerne Lake. Every major city in Switzerland sits on a huge lake, with the exception of Basel and Bern, though those two have the Rhine and Aare Rivers running through them. Lucerne is a pretty little city but compared to the top places in Switzerland, it just comes up short.
Highlights of Lucern, Switzerland
I only stayed for one night and I think that maximum you would need two nights in Lucerne. It just is not a big place, you can walk through Museggmauer, down to the lake, jump in the river, and maybe even hit up a museum all in one day. Then you can take a train to your next spot. We begin with Ufschӧtti Park, a park just south of downtown that is easily walkable. There were a ton of people at the park when I met an Australian girl down there. You can swim in the lake water or sunbathe, which is becoming a theme in Switzerland.
Is Visiting Lucern Worth It?
Next up, I took a stroll up to Museggmauer for sunset. This is a castle-like complex with towers used to fortify the city against intruders centuries ago. Now it has terrific views (see images below) and youths sneaking in a smooch in semi solitude. I also walked across all of the bridges that connect Lucerne. Chapel Bridge has burned down three times in its existence and the current version is the most famous icon of Lucerne.
To conclude, if your time in Switzerland is limited, then stick to Zurich, Bern, and one of the major mountains: Matterhorn, Jungfraujoch, or Mont Blanc (in France but close to Switzerland). Like every place in Switzerland, Lucerne is extremely expensive. It does not have the huge mountains surrounding it like some other cities do. There is a ferry that brings you across the lake and while I was swimming I got a better look at some peaks hidden behind the park. I found this city to be skippable but I concede that if I were to stay for another night I could easily be swayed.
"Harvey Falcon" is the the senior adventure corespondant for Ski Bum Van Life. From Europe to Asia to South America and beyond Harvey offers an exciting take on adventure travel. Read all his stories here.
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