Located in central Switzerland, Lucerne is a spectacular medieval town on the shores of Lake Lucerne which is framed by the mountains that are snow-topped all year. The huge, imposing peak of Mount Pilatus, the landmark of the city, is unmissable. There are also a number of medieval sights to visit, like the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), one of Europe’s oldest covered bridges, or Musegg Wall, an intact part of the town’s rampart walls built in 1386.
There are many public boat trips on offer. Anything from a one-hour trip on the lake, to a longer dinner cruise are available, and by far the best way of appreciating this great expanse of water, Switzerland’s fourth largest church.
For a small city, Lucerne punches above its weight in terms of the arts. The KKL (Culture and Convention Center) is a stunning three stage concert and theater venue with almost 4,000 seats. Home of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, you can also see musicals and every kind of performance art here. With the lake and mountains as backdrops and several bars and restaurants, this is the place in the city to see local cultural life. Lucerne is just one hour from Zurich, Basel and Bern. Many people (Swiss and visitors alike) travel from other cities to enjoy this cultural center.
On the outskirts of the city, you can visit the lakeside villa of Richard Wagner, which has now been turned into museum of his life and works. Even for non-opera lovers, this is an interesting visit to see how life was lived in the 19th century and how the landscape influenced his work.
For those that want to experience some high- octane adventure, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning views, Interlaken (‘between the lakes’) is not to be missed. Surrounded by the mountains - Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and the lakes Thun and Brienz, the scenery is jaw dropping both in Summer or Winter. There are countless activities for every level of fitness. If you want to enjoy mountains, lakes, nature and alpine air, even just a day trip to Interlaken is a must.
Spring and summer are the best times to really enjoy all the lake has to offer. If you go mid-August to mid- September you will catch the Lucerne Summer Festival, one of the world’s great classical music festivals, centered around the KKL Cultural Center. This annual feast of classical music, a highlight of the Swiss calendar since 1938, and features some of the finest musicians in the world. Because of the magical setting of the town, Christmas and Christmas markets in Lucerne are particularly beautiful.
Our team of travel experts can customize a unique program for you based on your exact preferences and interests. We suggest you allow a minimum of one night in Lucerne.
If you are on a Rhine river cruise, chances are you may be embarking or disembarking in Basel, just 1 hour by train from Lucerne. We can arrange a private pre/post cruise extension with your own Exeter hand-picked private guide to experience the city and surrounding countryside has to offer, before or after your cruise. Our private pre or post cruise extensions ensure that you’ll receive not only the best experience possible, but personalized service throughout, allowing you to maximize your time in the city. After spending your disembarking day in Basel, why not continue your Swiss adventure by conveniently adding Geneva and Zurich, too!
The Sammlung Rosengart is an exceptional, yet intimate art gallery. Put together by a couple, Siegfried and Angela Rosengart, it has 32 paintings and around 100 works by Picasso. One room is entirely devoted to Paul Klee, and also displays works by Cézanne, Monet and Bonnard.
In Lucerne, it is all about the view! A meal or a drink at the Hotel Montana is not to be missed. The hotel is perched up above the town (and can be accessed by funicular) and has incredible views of the lake, mountains and town. In the old town we couldn’t resist a table outside at Pfistern, and ancient Guild House dating from 1578. The views of the lake, the Jesuit church and the Chapel Bridge justify the undoubtable tourist location, and the hearty portions of traditional Swiss Fare.
The huge Bucherer Swiss watch super store over four floors is the ultimate place to browse and shop if you want to go home with a watch!