Step into a fairytale
The picturesque city of Lucerne, Switzerland, is nestled at the foot of Mount Pilatus massif. This central Switzerland locale features world-renowned Medieval architecture. Adding to its charm are its sweeping views of snowcapped mountains, swan-filled waters, attractive historic homes with colorful flower boxes, historic bridges, monuments and more! Here’s more to know about exploring Lucerne, Switzerland.
To experience Lucerne is to step foot into a fairytale. Before we jump into some wonderful sites to see, here are a few noteworthy things for tourists to know:
- In terms of temperature, Lucerne has cold winters and warm summers, and is considered moderately continental. Winters are typically cold and gray, and summertime “heat” is of short duration.
- The coldest month is January (average 34 degrees) and the warmest month is typically July (average 67 degrees).
- May through September (aka the tourist season) are optimal months to visit this Alpine beauty, though warmer temps can produce rain and thunderstorms.
- The official language spoken in Lucerne is German, however, most people speak the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect known as Lucerne German.
- Many places cater to tourists, so people generally speak English there as well.
- Lucerne is full of wonderful accommodations, from intimate inns to spacious hotels, including the high-rated Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern.
- Lucerne is known for a variety of foods, particularly its abundance of traditional dishes to include some of the following: cheese fondue, meat pie, raclette (cheese), rösti (potato dish), Swiss chocolate, and more!
Though there are many, here are three must-see tourist destinations in Lucerne:
Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke): This nearly 700-foot-long wonder is the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe. Named after the nearby St. Peter’s Chapel, it is also the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge. This 14th century structure was originally built as a part of the city’s fortifications. It crosses the Reuss, the fourth largest river in Switzerland. Though the bridge experienced a fire in 1993, one-third of the original interior paintings still exist and depict local history. The footbridge remains a popular delightful hangout of residents, photographers, painters, writers, musicians, and tourists, all seeking inspiration from this architectural gem.
Old Town (Altstadt): If antique cobblestone streets, quaint town squares, and Medieval watch towers intrigue you, Old Town Lucerne is the place to go. The easily walkable town features ornate buildings, church spires that rise upward along the waterfront, and important monuments such as Lion Monument, commemorating the Swiss mercenaries who lost their lives at the Tuileries palace during the French Revolution. Consider taking an historic walking tour to include local sites and chocolate tasting to maximize the experience.
Jesuit Church (JesuitenKirche): This Catholic church, opened in 1667, is the first major Baroque church built in Switzerland north of the Alps. The sacred building was modeled on the Church of the Gesú in Rome and features Baroque and Rococo stucco. The stunning interior of the church, reflecting the value of religion, is rich and art and design. In addition to its superior interior beauty, featuring painted ceilings and a dramatic high altar, the church also boasts great acoustics. This makes it an ideal organ and concert venue for music enthusiasts worldwide.
A worthwhile trip
Exploring Lucerne, Switzerland is a travel must! Along with the attractive town comes intriguing surrounding landmarks. Lucerne’s notable well-preserved Medieval city walls, dating from the 13th century, are a fine example and a nod to the land’s rich history. A climb up one of the visitable watch towers provides stunning views of the mountains, the river, the city, and more! From this perspective, it is easy to observe and appreciate the beauty of the Swiss Alp region at large. A stroll through Lucerne’s Old Town is equally moving. There, one is immersed in beautiful details, such as timber-edged structures bursting with colorful painted fronts. The intimate yet glorious architecture demonstrates the pride with which the compact Old City was created. One thing for certain, Lucerne offers an abundance of rich sites to explore. Why wait? Go ahead, plan your vacation today.