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Pocket Guide: Lucerne

Set on the shores of the glittering Lake Lucerne, surrounded by rugged mountains and boasting a characterful old town, the city of Lucerne is one of the most picturesque in Europe. Concert venues, top hotels, galleries and museums make the city a great destination for culture vultures, while the nearby mountains and eponymous lake provide plenty of opportunities for action packed outdoor activities. An annual carnival, regular live music gigs and a handful of trendy bars give the city a younger side, ensuring Lucerne has something for everyone.

Where to Stay in Lucerne

Old Town – The perfect place to start your exploration of the city is this picturesque area filled with traditional houses, elegant squares, shops and restaurants. You’ll find plenty of Lucerne hotels close to the Old Town.

Lake LucerneLake Lucerne offers you canoeing, windsurfing, waterskiing and stand up paddle boarding. Should all this seem a little energetic you can simply stroll along one of the many waterfront promenades or join a paddle steamer and see the city from a different perspective. Book a waterside hotel on the banks of Lake Lucerne.

Hirschmatt/Kleinstadt – Located by the waterfront, this characterful area has a good choice of al fresco waterside dining options, elegant apartment buildings and plenty of bars and restaurants to explore – as well as hotels offering unbeatable views.

Bruch – With a great choice of independent restaurants, cafes, bars and boutiques, Bruch is a good neighbourhood to visit if you’re looking for a less touristy side of Lucerne. Trendy bars have begun sprouting up in the neighbourhood, giving Bruch and neighbouring Gibraltar something of a hipster vibe.

How to Make the Most of Your Hotel in Lucerne

The most iconic sight in Lucerne is the Kapellbrücke, a 14th century wooden bridge that runs diagonally across the river Reuss. The oldest surviving truss bridge in the world, the inside of the Kapellbrücke is decorated with a series of 17th century paintings. The city’s other famous sight is its Lion Monument. A large rock relief sculpture located in a former sandstone quarry outside of Lucerne, the monument commemorates a group of Swiss guards who were massacred during the French Revolution. You should also make sure you visit the city’s old town, take in the Church of St Leodegar with its Gothic towers and head out to Mount Pilatus, home to the world’s steepest cog railway.

For a cultural tour it is hard to beat a trip to the old town but there is also the Swiss Museum of Transport, the historic delights of nearby Meggenhorn Castle or the shows at the Culture and Convention Centre to consider. If you want something active to do the nearby lake offers waterskiing, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding and windsurfing. Hiking, biking and walking trails crisscross the local area, while a choice of beaches can be found along the lake’s shore.