Lucerne is, and always will be, a special place for me. It was my Mum’s home town and I have been visiting ever since I can remember. One of my earliest memories is walking across the Chapel Bridge with my Swiss Gran. The Bridge leads into a picturesque old town and is not far from the striking Lion Monument. The town lies on Lake Lucerne with the Pilatus Mountain overlooking it.
A lovely River Cruise add on or a twin or multi centre trip
There is plenty to do in Lucerne and the surrounding area. You could easily fill a week here. The town also makes a great add on to a river cruise ending in Basel. It also works well as a twin or multi centre holiday with other Swiss towns such as: Weggis, Geneva, Interlaken or Grindlewald. Lucerne has a beautiful old town with lots of shops, bars and restaurants, many interesting museums including the Transport Museum which you can walk to along the Lakeside promenade, and of course there are many boat trips and mountain excursions.
My most recent trip to Switzerland was this summer with my husband and youngest son. Sadly, we lost Mum earlier this year and I felt I needed to return to Lucerne where we still have lots of family. We stayed in Weggis, which is just across the lake or to say it correctly the Vierwaldstattersee. Weggis is a 50-minute boat ride from Lucerne and is much quieter. It is perfect if, like us, you enjoy walking in the mountains and swimming in the lake.
The Rigi mountain is above Weggis and can be accessed by cablecar and train from the village or from Viznau by cogwheel railway. The two villages are about a 50-minute walk apart or 10 minute bus or boat ride. If you fancy hiking up the mountain, as we did, you can follow the Mark Twain theme trail to the Rigi summit, the 1798m Rigi Kulm. It will take 4-5 hours, or slightly less with an enthusiastic 17-year old pushing you! When you arrive at the top of the Rigi summit you will be rewarded with fantastic views of snow-covered alpine peaks and glistening lakes. The Pilatus mountain is another popular excursion from Lucerne. You can buy a golden round trip which involves a boat across the lake, a trip on the worlds steepest cogwheel railway, a panorama gondola and aerial cableway.
Travelling around Switzerland
It is very easy to travel around Switzerland. It has an excellent transportation system. Rail passes are a good idea as they will also include many mountain railways, cable-cars and boats on the lakes. This saves you queueing for tickets and seat reservations are not necessary.
If you do decide to visit Lucerne, walk around the pretty old town, explore the lake and nearby villages and take a magical trip up into the mountains then this Swiss-German greeting for hello would be useful to know: Gruezi or Gruezi mitenand if more than 1 person.