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10 Fun Things to do in Lucerne

Lucerne - zugerli  /

In recent years I haven't written very much about the cantons and places that form Central Switzerland. This happened mainly because I lived near Zurich and most of my free time and leisure time was spent somewhere in that area. Needless to say that it's totally worth it to escape Zurich and head to central Switzerland once in a while.

Central Switzerland is a region in the center of Switzerland and consists of the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Lucerne, Obwalden and Nidwalden. In it's center lies beautiful Lake Lucerne or Vierwaldstättersee (lake of the four cantons) as it is called in German. If there was a capital of this region of Central Switzerland I believe it would have to be the city of Lucerne.

What to do and where to go in Lucerne

Have you been to Lucerne? There are plenty of fun things to do in Lucerne and the close surroundings. Here is my own list of the best 10 Fun Things to do in Lucerne!
  1. Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge): This wooden foot bridge crosses the river Reuss right in the middle of Lucerne. The beautiful construction became even more famous after a big part of it in 1993. It has since been restored to its original shape.
  2. Seepromenade: Every lake in Switzerland has it's boardwalk and Lucerne's promenade is one of the prettiest. Be ware of the swans though, they like to steal your food! 
  3. Gletschergarten (Glacier Garden): This museum tells the history of Switzerland's (and Europe's glaciers). The greatest attraction for children is the large mirror maze where you can get lost for a while.
  4. Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument): This monument, which commemorates the death of Swiss Guards during the French Revolution, is right next to the Glacier Garden. It's impressive.
  5. Bourbaki Panorama: This is a giant panoramic painting (360 Degrees) that depicts a winter scene from the French-German war. In addition to seeing the painting, you'll learn about the French-German war, Bourbaki and his army, and panoramic paintings in general. The museum is located close to Glacier Garden and Lion Monument.
  6. Pilatus: This is one of the mountains close to the city of Lucerne. It is accessible either by cable car from Kriens, with world's steepest cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad or by the back route from Alpgschwänd. Once on the summit you can go for a walk (up to 2 hours long if you like) or enjoy a coffee at the restaurant. The views are excellent!
  7. Rigi: Rigi is Lucerne's "Home Mountain" and also called "Queen of the Mountains". You can reach the summit of Rigi by cable car, train or by hiking up. In winter, Rigi is a great destination for sledding!
  8. Glasi Hergiswil: If you're into art, this is for you! This glass factory is located in Hergiswil, about 30 minutes from the center of Lucern and easily reachable by public transportation. Here, you can see glass blowers at work, learn about the history of glass making, find your way through a glass maze and much more. Most recommended!
  9. KKL (Culture and Congress Center Lucerne): This is a great location to enjoy a classic or modern concert. 
  10. Boat Trip: No Swiss city without a lake and no lake in Switzerland without ships. Enjoy a short or long tour on Lake Lucerne with views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
If you happen to be in Switzerland in the summertime, you should check out Blue Balls Festival in Lucerne! The name is a bit funny for English speakers, I know, but the festival usually not only features great concerts with internationally known artists, but also a lot of free music, bars and other activities.



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