Lucerne is a beautiful lakeside city in central Switzerland. This charming little city comes complete with old cobbled lanes, wooden bridges and quaint buildings, and is set off the beautiful Lake Lucerne. As it is only a small town, you can generally get away with exploring it by foot.
Here is how you should spend 48 hours in Lucerne…
Stroll along the Kapellbrücke Chapel Bridge
The most well-known symbol of Lucerne. Built in the 14th century, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and is full of history. As you stroll along the flower-lined bridge and past the water tower, you can view the many paintings on the gables inside the bridge, which were painted by Hans Heinrich Wägmann in the 17th-18th century. Many of these paintings and the bridge were destroyed after a fire in 1993, but have since been reconstructed. Set over the River Reuss, you can capture a gorgeous view of the town of Lucerne as well as a scenic view of Lake Lucerne and the Swiss Alps.
Wander through the Old Town
Follow the old cobbled streets in the Old Town of Lucerne, and get lost amongst the many shops, fountains, restaurants and the historic painted buildings. The four main squares of the Old Town are Mühlenplatz, Weinmarkt, Hirschenplatz and Kornmarkt.
Reach the top of Mt Pilatus
For a breathtaking and spectacular view of the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne, this is a must. Mt Pilatus was the highlight of my time in Lucerne – check out my post about Mt Pilatus here.
Lucerne by boat
Take a break from travelling by foot and unwind on a boat cruise on Lake Lucerne. Sit back and relax while you cruise past the beautiful views of Switzerland. For something more active, hire a paddle boat for an hour or so and make your own way around Lake Lucerne.
View the Lion Monument
This 10 metre long sculpture is one of the most moving artworks in the world. The piece is dedicated to the Swiss Guards of Louis XVI of France who were massacred in the French Revolution in 1792.
Try some cheese fondue at a Swiss Folklore Restaurant
You can’t go to Switzerland without attending a Folklore show and eating some cheese fondue. Try Stadtkeller Swiss Folklore Restaurant, even though it’s tourist central – it’s still a lot of fun. The three-course menu includes Swiss Cheese Fondue (be prepared for the overwhelming taste of wine), a Roasted Swiss Bratwurst and Rösti, and a Swiss Chalet Dessert. You’ll eat your meal accompanied by folk music, yodeling, alphorn blowing and flag throwing – audience participation is welcome.
Indulge on some Swiss Chocolate
Swiss chocolate has an international reputation for being high quality. So while you’re in Lucerne, why not satisfy that sweet tooth with some delicious chocolate? Some of the famous Swiss chocolate brands are Lindt, Toblerone and Nestle, but you can find other chocolate shops throughout the city. One of my personal favourites is Confiserie Bachmann in the Old Town – not only good for chocolate but for pastries, gelato and sandwiches as well.
Splurge on a Swiss Pocket Knife or Watch
Switzerland is not only famous for its cheese and chocolate, but for its pocket knives and watches too. There are many shops selling these goods around Lucerne, they are known for their good quality and for being reasonably priced.
Travel Tip: Switzerland is definitely a place that can break the wallet, so be prepared to spend a bit more money than you’re used to!