**Updated : December 2023**
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Planning Your Trip to Lucerne
Lucerne, much like the rest of Switzerland, can be a pretty spendy place to get to. In order to save the most money on your train, bus, and boat travel throughout the country, we recommend getting the Swiss Travel Pass. If you're staying put in a certain spot for a few days, then make sure to get the "Flex" options. As for Lucerne, there really isn't a whole lot else you need to know, but these few tips should help make planning your trip to Switzerland a bit easier - oh, and the fact that Lucerne and Luzern are in fact the same place. ;)
7 Things to Do in Lucerne
1. Chapel Bridge
Also called Kapellbrücke, this wooden, covered bridge (shown above) connects both sides of the Reuss River, and is easily the top attraction in Lucerne. Built in 1332, if you decide to walk the entire length to the other side, we encourage you to look up and admire the beautiful paintings within the triangular frames. Just a little ways further up the river you'll find Spreuerbucke - another covered bridge spanning the Reuss River that'll be much less busy.
2. Lake Lucerne Boat Tour
Unfortunately we didn't even look into joining a boat tour while we were still in Lucerne, but after doing a bit of research we learned that not only are they quite affordable (especially compared to everything else in Switzerland) but the views from the boats are also stunning! Passing by the town of Lucerne itself, this sightseeing tour also brings you to another part of the lake with a complete commentary during your 1 hour tour.
3. Jesuit Church
The Jesuit Church, built in 1667, is located across the river from Old Town, just a few blocks from the Luzerne Train Station. Free and open to the public, the inside is absolutely stunning, and we highly recommend checking it out while you're in the area. If you're interested in visiting a few more churches while you're in Lucerne, then we recommend checking out the Franciscan Church or the Matthäuskirche for some more beautiful architecture.
4. Lion Monument
I'll be honest, this was one thing that was not on my list for things to do while in Lucerne, but Tyler convinced me that we should go. Well, to be quite honest it was so much larger than we thought - we included some people in the photo above for scale - but nearly every photo we saw online made us think it was a small sculpture! Is it as weird and as unique as it seems? Definitely, but the back story of this "sleeping" lion helps clarify - built in 1820, it was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen, who wanted to help commemorate the Swiss guards who had been killed in the French Revolution.
5. Weihnachtsforum Venite
Lucerne's Christmas Market is one thing you won't want to miss if you're visiting the area around the correct time of the year. Typically open the second or third weekend in December, their focus is on showcasing stands and trinkets from around the world, including places like Congo, Germany, Finland and Hungary! If you're there the Thursday before the market opens, then you might even be able to witness their opening ceremony!
6. Mount Pilatus
If you're looking for a bit of adventure and incredible views, then this is your spot. Not only can you take a ride on the world's steepest cogwheel railway, but they also have a summer toboggan ride and a gondola ride with fondue! If you decide to go, make sure to plan in advance - most of the attractions will sell out weeks ahead of time. Because Mount Pilatus is a little ways outside of Lucerne, about a 5 minute drive, the best way to get there is to take the Bus #1 at Platform A at the Lucerne Bus Station towards Kriends/Obernau - then get off at Kriens, Zentrum Pilatus. From here it's about a 5 minute walk following the red signs.
7. Chow Down
There are a number of meals that are synonymous with Switzerland, from items known around the world like fondue and chocolates, to other lesser known items like raclette and alplermagronen ("alpine macaroni"). If you're visiting Lucerne then we recommend trying as many of these as you can, however, it's worth noting that food -especially eating out - in Switzerland can get very expensive. A great place to find most of these items is at Mount Pilatus - just expect high prices!
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