The largest city in Central Switzerland, Lucerne has long been a historic place. One of the most popular places in the country, visitors today will find a beautiful waterfront and scenic neighborhoods to explore.
Lucerne Things to Do
Lucerne is centered around Lake Lucerne and the sprawling mountains. Outdoor activities are an integral part of the culture, and there are numerous shopping areas, historic churches, and museums.
The centerpiece of the community, the pristine waters of Lake Lucerne make an ideal place to take go boating, watch local wildlife on a camping trip, or sit on a public beach in the summer. Take a cruise around the lake at Bahhofquai, the pier next to the railroad station where you’ll find many daily steamers to pick from. Cruises include a meal and a scenic view of the entire city.
Classic Covered Bridges
Two very old covered bridges span parts of the lake, and each can be visited on foot. The Spreuer Bridge was built in 1406: Look up and you can see paintings on the rafters depicting what is called the macabre Dance of Death, gruesome scenes of people dying. The other bridge is the Kapellbrücke: The oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe, it is considered one of the symbols of Lucerne. This bridge also contains many unique paintings that were restored after a fire a few decades ago. It leads to a tower where you’ll find a gift shop. Both bridges are free to cross.
The Old Town
The older section of Lucerne has been preserved very well. The streets are narrow and while there are minor hills, it’s mostly flat ground. Many walking tours offered by local guides will show you this part of the city in a few hours.
This is where you will find Lucerne as it was for centuries before the modern world. Many markets and shops are here offer goods that range from wine to fine Swiss chocolates, making it easy to grab a bite and find a souvenirs. Many of the buildings feature elaborate and well-kept frescoes on the exterior. The frescoes come in a wide range of colors and patterns, making this part of the city a delight for the eyes and giving it a fairy-tale feel. Many buildings are arranged around a public square where you can sit down and relax. This is also where you can find the oldest church in Lucerne. St. Peter’s chapel was built in 1178, and you can explore the interior.
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Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Lucerne.
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