Lucerne (or Luzern in German) is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. Situated in central Switzerland and surrounded by breathtaking snowcapped mountains you would only think exist on postcards of beautiful places far away, Lucerne is packed with souvenir and watch shops, medieval architecture, and many mountains to climb. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Lucerne.
Lucerne is split by the River Reuss into an Old Town and a New Town, with the Kapellbrucke, also known as Chapel Bridge, connecting the two areas. The Chapel Bridge is the oldest covered wooden bridge in the world, dating back to the year 1332. After a fire in 1993, the bridge was rebuilt true to the original. The bridge takes you to the Water Tower, another famous landmark of Lucerne. Both the bridge and water tower were part of the city defenses.
Along with Chapel Bridge, Spreuer Bridge is another covered wooden footbridge in Lucerne that was a part of the medieval city’s fortifications. It is known for paintings under its roof that signify the “Dance of Death,” reminding everyone that death does not discriminate and that it comes for all (a bit morbid!)
A less harrowing part of the city’s line of defense is the Musegg Wall, a wall consisting of nine towers that were once used to protect the city. Four of the Musegg Towers are still accessible today, and allow one to enjoy gorgeous views of the city of Lucerne, Lake Lucerne, and surrounding mountains. Specifically, the Zytturm tower hosts the city’s oldest clock. Built in 1535 by Hans Luter, this clock strikes the hour one minute before all of the city’s other clocks.
On the right bank of the River Reuss, you will find beautiful architecture, bustling restaurants, and many watch shops (one of which is where I bought my watch that I wear every day!) Old Town (or Altstadt in German) has wonderfully preserved old houses and little squares with fountains. Walk around and take in the view!
Lake Lucerne is the fourth largest lake in Switzerland, comprised of four arms and panoramic views of mountains. Walk around the lake or take a boat ride and discover one of the most stunning views in Switzerland!