First, I don’t know if there’s a country that is more breathtaking than Switzerland. The country is as beautiful as it is expensive. And Lucerne is no exception.
I would describe Lucerne as a fairly compact city with a lake on one side, and mountains around all other sides. If nothing else, it’s certainly a walkable area.
But what can you do to occupy your time there during a weekend getaway and not break the bank?
Here’s your answer:
Take a walk around the city’s Old Town
Located just on the north side of the Reuss River, Old Town is full of beautiful half-timbered buildings filled with shops and restaurants. On the north end of Old Town, parts of the old city wall still stand. You can walk along part of it, and even go into a few of the wall towers - free of charge.
See/walk across the famous Chapel Bridge
The best part about this sightseeing adventure is it’s free. In the middle of Lucerne, there is this wooden covered foot bridge that crosses the Reuss. It’s called the Chapel Bridge. It's a great place to take pictures, walk across, and enjoy the view. There are also several cafes and restaurants on the edge of the river that allow you to take in the gorgeous bridge while eating or having a drink.
Venture over to Mt. Pilatus
This trek will take (and should take) most of your day. Easily the most expensive thing you’ll do during the stay. Crystal and I bought tickets (which include the public transportation to and from) that allowed us to ride the cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm (which is at the top of the mountain) and then take the gondolas down to Kriens. Each ticket cost roughly $70-$75. Admittedly, not the cheapest of things to do, but the ticket is all-inclusive (when it comes to transportation).
Here’s a map to help you visualize it better. To sum it up, Lucerne to Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm to Kriens and then back to Lucerne.
Once you arrive at Pilatus Kulm, you can spend as much time as you want exploring and taking pictures.
Take a cruise around Lake Lucerne
A cruise around Lake Lucerne is a great way to spend an afternoon. I went on a two hour lunch cruise around the lake. The best part? Because I had a Eurail pass, I got the tickets for half off. In all, each ticket cost me about CHF 15 for a two hour cruise.
Cruises will not only allow you to see much of the area in a short amount of time, it’ll allow you to do it without breaking the bank (which is hard to do in Switzerland).
I would highly recommend a trip to Lucerne. It’s one of my favorite cities in Europe. Full of good food, good company, and absolutely amazing things to see and do.
If you're interested, but not sure what the best way is to book your flight, I have the perfect thing for you: a list of the best sites for booking flights. Sign up below to get access, and not only will you get access to my full travel library filled with a bunch of useful information, you'll also be able to read a chapter of my book, Cracking the Code to Travel Hacking, for free.