With towering mountains on oneside and Lake Lucerne on the other, this medieval city is known for its sceniclocation and historic charm.
Flanked by Mounts Rigi and Titlis, the small city of Lucerne is locatedon the shores of Lake Lucerne. It offers water recreation, hiking and mountainsports to visitors throughout the year. Because of its temperate climate, theregion is nicknamed “Lucerne Riviera.”
The central Swiss city is primarily German-speaking. Its roots traceback to the 12th century. Stroll down the cobblestone streets to see some ofthe city’s history in its centuries-old architecture. With its compact nature,Lucerne is easy to explore on foot but you can also admire the city from thewater with a ride on a ferry or rented paddleboat.
Old Town has narrow alleys, quaint storefronts and outdoor cafés. It’salso home to one of Switzerland’s most famous attractions, the 14th-century Chapel Bridge across the Reuss River. ChapelBridge is the oldest covered bridge in Europe and features a variety ofhistoric paintings for visitors to admire as they stroll its length. Be sure toinvestigate the iconic Water Tower, which once served as a prison and torturechamber. Two-thirds of Chapel Bridge was destroyed by a fire in 1993 and hassince been carefully restored.
The Lion Monument is another Lucernehighlight. Designed by Danishsculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, the “Lion of Lucerne” was erected to commemorate600 Swiss soldiers who were killed during the French Revolution. Described byMark Twain as “the most mournful and movingpiece of stone in the world,” the massive monument was carved into thesandstone face of a former quarry.
The Swiss Museum of Transportis beloved by visitors of all ages for its interactive exhibits. In addition toa vast collection depicting the past, present and future of transportation, themuseum also features a planetarium, an IMAX theater and a wing with works bylocal artist, Hans Erni.
Lucerne has access to most major Swiss cities via the SBB Railway. Thenearest international airport is in Zurich, which is an hour from Lucerne byrail and about 45 minutes by car.