succumbing to the magic of Lucerne, Switzerland

I knew little about Lucerne, Switzerland. But when my visit last fall happened to coincide with a major festival in Zurich, I found that hotel rooms were in short supply and at a premium. So I opted to stay in nearby Lucerne. What a wonderful choice that turned out to be!

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The iconic Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland, connects old town Luzern to the newer part of Lucerne on the other side of the River Reuss.

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I really enjoyed the street art and murals of Lucerne while on a walking tour of the old town with Luzern Tourism.

Lucerne is known as Luzern by the Swiss. The city of 81,000 is located just 45 minutes by car from Zurich. It takes about an hour to get from Lucerne to Zurich airport by train. I had the Swiss Travel Pass which got me access to any form of ground transportation, including a lovely boat ride across Lake Lucerne. Highly recommended!

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The many steeples of Lucerne, Switzerland, make for a very exciting skyline.

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This is one of the fast trains of Switzerland. Do take the train while you are in the country. They are clean, safe, fast, ultra-modern, and almost always on time. I took this photo at the Swiss Transportation Museum in Lucerne.

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I was impressed by the culinary offerings in Lucerne. I really enjoyed the platter I had at the Hotel Hofgarten featuring smoked wild boar, toasted walnut bread, fig chutney, and the best goat cheese I’ve ever had. It was called Dallwiler cheese and is worth looking for. Served, of course, with a local beer.

Many thanks to Switzerland Tourism for covering the costs of my airfare to Switzerland, ground transportation, and my hotel in the area. I stayed at the Radission Blu Hotel at Zurich Airport on the evening before my departure. Wish I had more time to delve into all that wine featured in the tower at the lobby bar!

airport-hotels

This tower of wine can be found in the Lobby Bar at the Radisson Blu Hotel at Zurich Airport.

Have you been to Lucerne? Please share your thoughts about this inviting Swiss city. And please join me here again next week for a post about the chocolate of Lucerne.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

51 Responses

  1. Susan Cooper
    Twitter:
    says:

    It’s a place I would love to visit sometime. Your post just caused me to move it up on my bucket list.
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Homemade Peppermint Patties: #RecipeMy Profile

  2. Donna Janke
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    says:

    Lucerne looks very picturesque. I’d love to visit someday.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Six California North Coast HighlightsMy Profile

  3. Nathalie
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    says:

    Lucerne sounds wonderful, we’ve only been to Bern and didn’t stay very long as we found Switzerland to be quite expensive.
    Nathalie recently posted…Laura and the food tour: a food-centric day in TurinMy Profile

  4. Janice Chung
    Twitter:
    says:

    Lucern is so beautiful and the Chapel Bridge is certainly famous! Loved visiting there although it was a few decades ago. I didn’t realize Zurich was so close. Riding the rails is such a civilized way to get around!
    Janice Chung recently posted…Two Special Experiences In MarseilleMy Profile

  5. Linda
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’ve never been to Lucerne, but it sure looks lovely. I had no idea it was as small as it is. Lovely photos.
    Linda recently posted…Guest Post: A swirling montage of memorable metaphorsMy Profile

  6. Lovely! How wonderful that you got to see all of those places. Thanks for sharing Doreen!
    Agness of Fit Travelling recently posted…The 5 Exercise Workout That You Can Do Anywhere, Any timeMy Profile

  7. Phoenicia
    Twitter:
    says:

    Switzerland looks remarkably clean. I am yet to visit but would enjoy travelling on their trains if they are all of this standard. Thank you for sharing your adventures!
    Phoenicia recently posted…PatienceMy Profile

  8. Hi Doreen,
    if I knew you coming to Lucerne we could have met here. We are living in Lucerne since about 2 years. Tell me if you get another chance to come here. Big hug Werner

  9. Esther
    Twitter:
    says:

    Magnificent scenery, Doreen! John and I have been watching YouTube videos of train travel in Switzerland and the scenery is positively breathtaking! And yes, I know, I know — I also realize that YouTube is no comparison to being there in person. You and YouTube are inspiring us, and we actually might find ourselves traveling a little more frequently in the future. 😉 My biggest issue with travel is finding organic foods while on our travels, or bringing our own, which is easier said than done. Winnipeg isn’t a problem, since I have a niece there with the same immune system issues. Both of us are unable to tolerate the chemicals sprayed on conventional food, since those toxins won’t simply “wash off” — both our bodies let us know in short order. Lucky you if you still have such tolerance.
    Esther recently posted…Banana Muffins with BlueberriesMy Profile

  10. Lucerne looks just wonderful! I’ve been to Zurich a couple of times but, other than exploring the countryside, that’s all I’ve seen of Switzerland. I’d love to go back one day and make the trip to Lucerne. Thanks!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…The Ripple Effect of Small ChoicesMy Profile

  11. Switzerland is such a relaxing holiday destination. That Swiss Travel Pass is so logical. I love it! As for Lucerne – what’s not to love! Beautiful city, good food and wine, charming locals…and…as you noted … chocolate!.

    • Right on, Ursula. I truly love Switzerland and all the wonderful things it offers. A true European cultural gem, as in parts you feel like you’re in France. In other parts you fee like you’re in Germany. And then there’s this wonderful blend in between that even throws in a bit of Italian!

  12. I loved a long weekend in Lucerne! What a friendly city and the building murals! They were stunning–I found myself seeking them out around every turn. The food was also memorable. Too bad it is very expensive–I’d love to go back.

    • Hi Rose and thx for your comment. Yes, I’ve found the small cities in Switzerland to be extremely artistic! Up until this last trip, I’d spent all of my time in and very near to Zurich. Which is a lovely city, but more into commerce (lots of shopping and more cosmopolitan) than the smaller centres where the artistic presence is much more prevalent.

  13. Sushmita
    Twitter:
    says:

    Looks like an amazing place to visit…Switzerland is soo on my bucket list now I get the further details 😉

  14. Jen Monks
    Twitter:
    says:

    I adore the pictures you included in your post. A trip to Lucerne is now on my bucket list, for sure. Thinking about your lovely trip makes me smile.

  15. Jeri
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’ve not been to Lucerne, but the drive I took from Innsbruck to Zurich has made me a Switzerland fan for life!

  16. Maxwell Ivey
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Doreen; I have missed reading your posts even if they do usually make me jealous of all the great places you go to. I just returned from New York City and I’m still trying to sort out all my photos. Its hard when you have to do it second hand. 🙂 I found that people were always ready to take photos for me. I spoke with a blind friend yesterday who agreed with you about the trains. He said that because of the high speeds and large crowds he has to depend on the staff more than he would like, but they are all so helpful and friendly he tells me. Looking forward to meeting you out there someday, Max

    • Hi, Max! It’s so nice to see you back here on the blog. It has indeed been a long while. I hope you had a terrific trip to NYC. It’s been a long while since I’ve been there but I really should go back soon. Yes, the staff at the trains in Switzerland is extremely helpful to the needs of all. Far more so than I’ve seen in other countries. Cheers!

      • Maxwell Ivey
        Twitter:
        says:

        Its good to be back; I had a great time and met lots of wonderful people along the way. I was very impressed with New York and New Yorkers. I only had one bad moment and that was when I was refused access to the top of the Empire State Building because I didn’t have an escort with me. I think I got robbed, but if you can go away for two weeks and have only one real setback it was a great trip. Question do you think I should include this experience in my book. Its in there in the rough draft but I do wonder about the potential for legal action. Of course, first I have to finish the book and then I have to get people to read it. Take care out there my friend, Max

        • Hi Max. Sorry you got robbed. Just one of the challenges of travel that any one of us may face in any destination. I’m not sure what you mean about “including this experience in my book.” If you mean should you mention you got robbed, or got refused entry to the top of the Empire State Building, if those facts are relevant to your story they possibly should be included. Your editor would be able to guide you on that. Best of luck with the book.
          Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…succumbing to the magic of Lucerne, SwitzerlandMy Profile

  17. I am such a fan of this city. Never even been to it. I however, did a research into it, and it occupies several chapters in my novel. I even describe the bridge that you have shown a picture of. Lucerne is also noted for the creation a pole axe referred to as the Lucerne Hammer.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  18. Sue Reddel
    Twitter:
    says:

    Lucerne looks like a beautiful and tasty place to visit. I’ve never visited Switzerland but I’m going to add it to my list.

  19. Erica says:

    I’ve never been to Lucerne. The only places I’ve been in Europe are London, Scotland and Paris and I went because I got a free trip (due to a show I was in that performed in Scotland). It looks lovely. Glad you had a nice trip.

  20. Chris
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous little gem of a city.

    The chapel bridge looks divine, as does that platter with the cheese.

    I will confess I was puzzled at where the rest of the train was until I scrolled down and saw there was more to the caption! lol

    • HI Chris and Thx for your comment. Yes, Lucerne is truly a gem of a city. Yes, I did have a fairly good pic of a train I had indeed ridden. But somehow this shot taken in the transportation museum was brighter, and a bit more dramatic.

  21. Lucerne seems like such an amazing destination to stay and so close to the crowded city. I really loved the view of the Chapel Bridge. It looks so amazing with all those colorful flowers.

  22. I have been to Lucerne. I totally agree that its quite lovely. Enoying the 360 views of the lake and mounitans from Chapel Bridge is storybook beautiful.

  23. The street art and murals amazed me! It turned out to be really good that you didn’t get a room anywhere but in the beautiful Lucerne. The wine tower looked digital and splendid! Loved Lucerne through your eyes. Brought back pleasant memories of a misty morning spent in the lovely place a couple of years ago.

  24. PRERNA SINHA
    Twitter:
    says:

    Sometimes such unexpected discoveries happily surprise you. I have a few friends who have stayed in Lucerne and they too love the city for it’s proximity to Zurich and small city culture.

  25. neha
    Twitter:
    says:

    It was really interesting and useful to go through your post for me. Because i am headed to switzerland in a couple of months . And lucerne is going to be my base there. From here, we plan to travel to the top of the alps and other site seeing places nearby. I guess I am already falling in love with the place

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