Lucerne, Switzerland Travel Guide

Of all the places you can visit in Switzerland, be sure you make Lucerne one of them  The city of Lucerne, similar to Bern, is a great melding of old Swiss city with modernity and a nice melding of European nature as well.  Moreover, Lucerne isn’t too far from places like Interlaken or other Swiss Alps destinations for it not to be a great base for some mountain exploration.  If you’re hoping to get some serious skiing done, well also enjoying some nice city life and grand history, there’s a good chance Lucerne is perfect for you.

Time Needed: 2-3 Days
Daily Budget: 70USD a day

Things to Do and See in Lucerne

  • Walk the Wall: The old city wall makes for a nice wander, and you wont find too many people on it either.  The best part are the views from the towers and the fact it’s free.
  • Go Skiing:  It’s only about 30-45 minutes to some of the luxury ski resorts nearby.  If you’re there in the heart of winter, amybe give Engelberg a try.
  • Wander Old Town: The old town is nice, and a fit place to wander.  It’s not much in comparison to Bern, but is still very pleasant.
  • Tour the Lake: The lake makes for a decent afternoon trip if it’s sunny.  There are beautiful mountains that rise right from the waters, and it’s worth a tour out there.  Of course, it’s a bit pricey and touristy.
  • Chapel Bridge: This is the landmark in Lucerne.  It’s the interesting bridge that crosses the ravine you’ll see in all photos of Lucerne.

What to Eat in Lucerne

  • Raclette: What could be better than dipping veggies into melted cheese (fondue)? How about just eating melted cheese!? Raclette is amazing, and though you’re meant to pour it over potatoes and other things, no one will question you if you just eat pure cheese.
  • Fondue: The tourists all come to Lucerne for the fondue, and rightfully so.  However, it’s pricey so get your wallets ready it will likely cost you about $30 per person.
  • Chocolate: Of course, the Swiss chocolate is a must.  Pack your bags of the stuff, take it everywhere you go.

Where to Stay

Unfortunately, Switzerland isn’t the cheapest place in the world and doesn’t cater all to well to budget travellers.  If you’re on a budget, you’re likely to be at one of these three places.

  • Youth Hostel Lucerne: Probably the best hostel in town, but at $45 a night for a dorm bed it better be good.  You’ll also be able to get a private room for about $90.
  • Lion Lodge: Likely the busiest hostel in town, it’s slightly more reasonably priced at about $35 a night for a dorm bed.
  • Bellpark: Similar to Lion Lodge in quality but the location isn’t as good.  It will also cost about $35 a night for a dorm bed.

Getting out of Town

In Lucerne, you’re very well connected and will have no problem getting yourself to Zurich and anywhere else in the country from there.  If you’re headed in to Germany, head to Basel and link up with trains north from there.

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