The magical combination of lake, alps, lovely old town and culture – this is Lucerne.
Lucerne, Luzern they can spell you anyway they want and you’re still beautiful. Old and mysteriously beautiful with alps, a star shaped lake and a constant fog in the mornings, you boasts nice museums too!
My favourite is Sammlung Rosengart as I like modern art and this museum has a lot of Picasso and also shows photos of his life, Klee, Matisse, Chagall, Monet amongst others. If you have kids or am a kid at heart, you will love the Natur Museum and the historical museum too.
The old town takes about a 2-4 hour stroll, depending on how many photos and stops you make for tea and ice cream. Your walk brings you around the Kapellbrucke, the lion statue, the cathedral, lakeside, Rathaus, the fully pedestrian streets where shops and restaurants and cafes are and to the fort at the top for magnificent views, remember to scale the clock tower and take the lift up to Chateau Gutsch where the hotel is, not far from the fort, for views of the fort itself.
When I was in Lucerne, I stayed at a beautiful old farmhouse via Airbnb in Hellbuhl (get $50 off of you’re an Airbnb virgin! Click here!) and the walk back home was my favourite part of the day as I get to see the sunset over fields of green and jagged top Pilatus looks so majestic and mysterious as the moon gets ready to shine. You can also see the many stars at night. Buy fresh milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables and meat at the ‘honesty farm huts’ around the area. Take what you want and put the money in the box.
From Lucerne, it’s easy to reach Pilatus, Titlis and Rigi.
You can head up Pilatus in 2 ways. Via the cable cars or via the cogwheel train. Both are good options and the views from Pilatus is amazing, do hike up the steps on both ends as they give you different views of the surroundings. My favourite thing to do in Pilatus is the summer toboggan, kids love it you should try it. The small sled like thing brings you down through curves and you get pulled back up slowly by the Ski lift. I went in the late afternoon and it got crowded so I waited 45 minutes for my turn. On hindsight, maybe I should go in the morning so I can do more rounds. There are also rope walls and other adventure stuff so do try that. This stop is where the cable car station is before you head right to the top. Allow a full day for Pilatus as it’s really really fun to try everything.
Titlis boasts the 360 degrees rotating cablecar, the first of its kind. It also has the highest suspension bridge in Europe. It’s short though so if you fear heights, this shouldn’t be too bad as it’s a short walk and fairly stable the views are also magnificent. It has a glacier cave you can explore, you can also take the ski lift to the winter adventure park. A hike around Trubsee is a must do. You can go on the alpine flowers trail and it takes about 2 hours, or you can walk down to 5he train station Engleberg right at the bottom for 2.5 hours. I didn’t figure out the hike to the other 3 lakes from there because the cable car guy said I won’t make it down for the last cablecar at 5pm. So if you do get the chance to do it, tell me. You can also soak your feet in the icy cold glacier waters after you hike in the stream near Trubsee. It’s very good for blood circulation and it was a treat for my tired feet after all the hiking.
Rigi is a fun day trip because you get to go on the steam ship to Vitznau, take the first mountain railway in Europe to Rigi Kulm, hike around, then come back around sunset by cable car to Weggis and take the steamship again in the evening back to Lucerne. It’s an amazing round trip. The mechanism of the steamship is one of the oldest and so well preserved by the Swiss! I did the Rigi to Schiendegg walk and it took me 5 hours there and back. I had a picnic on my own, took lots of photos and rested well when it got too hot. Here are videos of my walk.
Lucerne was a magical place and I think it has to do with the farmhouse I stayed at. It has a very old school charm and makes me want to grow my own food. It’s something special to hear cow bells in the morning, see chickens running around and pat the cute farm cat as an urban lady from Singapore. I hope you have as much fun as me if you do come to Lucerne.
Next up, I go to St Gallen! Do reach out to me if you have any questions on Switzerland I’ll be happy to answer them. Follow my Instagram @4toegraphs or Facebook page @4toegraphs for more photos of my travels!