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A Perfect Day in Lucerne

by Kat
Chapel Bridge, Lucerne, Switzerland at sunset

Lucerne, Switzerland is a charming little city surrounded by mountains. I first visited it with my parents when I was 10 years old, and it is a place that made a big impression on me, even at such an early age. I loved the bridge, the mountains, the swans, and the sad lion! So for my first ever solo trip, I decided to spend a weekend in Lucerne.Bridge in Lucerne

How To Get to Lucerne

You can fly to Zurich Airport and from there take a train to Lucerne. The ride is short – about 50 minutes.

What to Do in Lucerne

I stayed just a few minutes’ walk from Chapel Bridge, so that was my first stop the morning after I arrived. It was a sunny, beautiful day with much warmer weather than I had been expecting for January! On the banks of the Reuss river, the markets were bustling with customers. Many swans were gliding along the river, and when another tourist tossed some food at them, they flew over to eat it. I didn’t have any food for them but I stood there for a long time admiring the view and the swans.

A swan in Lucerne

Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke)

Constructed in 1333, Chapel Bridge is Lucerne’s most prominent landmark. It is the world’s oldest covered wooden bridge. However, most of it was destroyed by a fire in 1993 and had to be reconstructed. Some 17th century paintings depicting Lucerne’s history also had to be restored. The Water Tower (Wasserturm) attached to the bridge used to be a prison and torture chamber! Now, it houses a souvenir shop.

Birds fly in the sky near Chapel Bridge, Lucerne

A painting inside Chapel Bridge

Jesuit Church

Across the river is the lovely baroque Jesuit Church.

The Jesuit Church in Lucerne surrounded by mountains

Spreuer Bridge

Spreuer Bridge is Lucerne’s second covered bridge, and is about a 10-minute walk from Chapel Bridge. It is most famous for its 17th century “Dance of Death” paintings, which depict people’s feelings in the face of death.

After exploring the area close to the river, I went to see the Lion Monument.

The Lion Monument

The Lion Monument commemorates the Swiss Guards who died serving King Louis XVI of France during the French Revolution. The monument portrays a dying lion who has been stabbed with a spear.

Lion Monument, Lucerne

A close up shot of the lion monument

Hofkirche (Church of St. Leodegar)

Hofkirche (Church of of St. Leodegar) in Lucerne

An interesting building near the lion monument

An interesting building near the Lion Monument

Lake Lucerne

Next, I took a stroll on the trail by Lake Lucerne. There were lovely lakeside gardens where I saw people relaxing and having picnics. You can also take a boat ride on the lake.

A boat floating on Lake Lucerne

Mountains by Lake Lucerne

A sunny day at Lake Lucerne

Unique trees at Lake Lucerne

A warm January day at Lake Lucerne

Lake Lucerne on a sunny day

Swiss Transport Museum

By the lake next to the trail is Verkehrhaus, the Swiss Transport Museum. Trains, cars and planes are on display there. There is also an IMAX theatre and planetarium. As well, there is a ride called the Swiss Chocolate Adventure which guides you through the history of Swiss chocolate. You can even try some free chocolate at the end. All kinds of flavours of Lindt chocolate are available in the gift shop. Overall, Verkehrhaus is an interesting place to spend a few hours, and the walk there from the Chapel Bridge area is very pleasant.

A yellow plane on display

A tram on display at the Swiss Transport Museum

A train on display at the Swiss Transport Museum

Swiss Transport Museum

Road signs on display

If you’re not interested in the museum, visit the Musegg Wall, which was built in the 14th century to protect Lucerne. From the wall, you can enjoy a view of the city.

For another magnificent view of the city, take the Gütschbahn funicular to the Château Gütsch Hotel.

A view of the city of Lucerne

Image via Flickr by Yard0002

Near sunset, I returned to the Chapel Bridge area.

View of Lucerne, Switzerland

A building in Lucerne

Schwanenplatz Tower, Lucerne

Schwanenplatz Tower

Chapel Bridge in Lucerne at sunset

If you enjoyed this guide, PIN IT!

This city in Switzerland is surrounded by snowcapped mountains. It is famous for its covered bridge, swans and Lion Monument. Read this guide to discover how to spend one day in Lucerne.

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Stephanie May 20, 2017 - 6:50 pm

Lucerne looks like such a lovely place to explore! I’ve only ever heard great things about it, but I had no idea there was so much to do and see!

Megan May 20, 2017 - 7:10 pm

Switzerland looks absolutely beautiful!!! Definitely will be keeping this city in mind. Awesome guide!

Diana May 20, 2017 - 7:43 pm

Lucerne looks so beautiful. I have heard wonderful things from a friend. Your pictures are beautiful.

Alicia May 20, 2017 - 8:27 pm

I was soooo close to visiting Lucerne this summer, but made other travel plans instead. Your pictures are making me start to regret my choice! haha but I’m sure I’ll make it there one day =) the mountains in the background are gorgeous, and in general your pics are stunning. Thank you for sharing =)

Alaine May 21, 2017 - 12:45 am

Lucerne is a great little city for a weekend getaway! I loved wandering the streets of Lucerne. However, it being Switzerland, nothing is open on Sundays except a few restaurants. The architecture is really pretty there though a that bridge is so beautiful it needs to be seen in person!

Crazy Travelista May 21, 2017 - 1:53 am

Looks amazing! I’m kicking myself because I was so close to Lucerne, but decided to skip it. I must go back! 🙂

Sara May 21, 2017 - 3:59 am

Ah its incredible how many beautiful spots are in France. I would love to visit Lucerne one day. Hopefully next time I make it back to Europe, since I am doing Eastern Europe this summer and have my travels all booked up!

C-Ludik May 21, 2017 - 10:47 am

I love Lucern ! I already went several times for a weekend 🙂 The city is surrounded by the jagged mountains of the Swiss alps, the most famous being Pilatus and Rigi ! Lucerne is stunning, and deservedly popular since the likes of Goethe, Queen Victoria and Wagner savoured her views in the 19th century. Legend 🙂

Jurga - Full Suitcase May 21, 2017 - 12:43 pm

Just pinned this for our next trip! We pass Lucerne all the time when we’re in Switzerland, but haven’t been there in years. We already decided to stop there for at least a day next time we’re in the area, so these tips will be really useful. I love the look of that transport museum – perfect for my boys. Now we have one more reason to go. 😉

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