When I found out Lucerne would be part of our itinerary for the middle school Bavarian trip I was leading, I was beyond excited. Lucerne, Switzerland had been on my bucket list for some time. Then I discovered we would only have one day in this picturesque city. It’s no wonder we didn’t have more time, based on the number of stops we had already planned.
Stop 1- Vienna, Austria (read more)
Stop 2- Salzburg, Austria (read more)
Stop 4- Munich, Germany (read more)
Stop 6- Lucerne, Switzerland
Stop 7- Heidelberg, Germany (read more)
Stop 8- Rhine River Cruise (read more)
Stop 9- Cologne Cathedral (read more)
3 Reasons to Spend a Day in Lucerne, Switzerland
1. Lucerne is perfect for a leisurely stroll.
Lucerne is a perfect place for window shopping, people watching, and overall scenic beauty. There are wooden bridges throughout the old downtown for Insta-ready photographs. You can spend hours browsing in the boutiques and sampling chocolate pastries in the cafe. Some of the favorite souvenirs for visitors are Swiss Army knives, watches (you are in Switzerland) and Toblerone chocolate. Personally, I just had pick up a cow bell magnet to add to my collection (read more: 4 Budget Friendly Souvenirs).
2. You can take a memorable ride up to Mount Pilatus.
Mount Pilatus is 6,982 feet above sea level and overlooks Lucerne. You can ride to the summit by two different means, a cable car or cog railway (the steepest in the world). At the top is an observation tower complete with a cafe, hotel and gift shop. Yes, they will put a gift shop anywhere! Outside the observation is a tower that leads to the top. Forewarning, even in the summer it is frigid cold! We wanted to experience the cable car and cog railway so we took the cable car up and the railway down. Since weather had been plaguing us the entire trip, it was no surprise that all we could see at the top was the inside of a rain cloud! Oh well, it was still a very cool experience.
3. You can take a lake cruise like no other!
Lake Lucerne has to be one of the most photographed lakes in the world. I highly recommend that you purchase a combo package that takes you up Mount Pilatus and down, then you cross Lake Lucerne, ending back at the old downtown harbor. The cruise lasts about an hour and makes stops at other cute little Swiss towns. Along the way, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to photograph the surrounding mountains. The best of all is the view of the entrance back into the harbor of Lucerne. I was taking so many pictures, that Joe had to remind me that my memory card wasn’t unlimited!
Have you ever been Lucerne? Please comment below. I’d love to go back! It was not only worth a day of our precious trip time, but as a history lover, I could easily add several days of exploring the numerous museums, churches, and bridges. Our next post explores the beauty of Hamburg, Germany. Keep up with all of our travel, camping, and cycling tips by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Leave us your email (blue box at the bottom of the post) to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and never miss a post!