Lucerne (Luzern), Switzerland is one of the most picturesque little towns that I have encountered. This town sits on Lake Lucerne and is surrounded by a panoramic mountain range. The focal point of the town is the Chapel Bridge, one of Europe’s oldest wooden bridges which connects both sides of the town. This bridge has been faithfully restored to its original form after a fire burned it to the ground.
This bridge is quite stunning and is always an adventure to walk across. As you walk there’s beautiful paintings on the ceiling, or you can choose to stop at one of the many shops. I must have walked across this bridge a dozen times and it never got old.
This was my first experience in Switzerland and Lucerne was chosen for how scenic and unique the town is. There’s many hiking trails nearby and it is easy to get to most of these trails. The number of chocolatiers in town that cater to the influx of tourists makes this a very dangerous town for chocolate connoisseurs such as myself. The chocolate here is quite a bit more expensive than in other chocolate paradises such as Belgium which is probably the only thing which kept me from gaining excessive weight. I will just leave it with the chocolate was amazing.
The bakeries in town are also mouthwatering and are comparable to anything you’ll find in neighboring France.
Many people claim that the Swiss are unfriendly and I did not experience this. What I experienced is that they were simply indifferent which is how I felt the Chinese are in China. The customer service is never amazing, and they won’t go out of their way to help you, but they will be friendly to you. Of course I only stayed in this one town and I cannot comment on the rest of the country.
One thing which Switzerland does which I find quite crazy is to charge you a seating fee to sit at a restaurant. In other words, you pay a fee for the privilege of giving that restaurant business. I avoided these restaurants out of principle and only ate at restaurants that advertised the zero fee structure. Nonetheless eating out is VERY expensive. What I discovered is that the large department stores also have cafeteria type food which is just as spectacular for half the price.
One of the things I did was visit the overpriced Kunstmuseum Luzern art museum. This was quite possibly the strangest art museum that I have ever seen. It features modern art but many of the rooms felt empty with only a few art pieces or paintings per room. This was one of the few museums that I have visited where I felt there was a lot of wasted space and a low quality of art. I looked at TripAdvisor after the fact, and it seems like I’m not the only disappointed one.
One great activity that I did was to visit the Dying Lion monument. This is 10 minutes away from town and features a lion carved out of rock in front of a pond. The lion symbolizes the Swiss solders who lost their lives during the French revolution. It’s an amazing piece of art with a lot of meaning behind it. Make sure you do not miss this.
There’s a surprising number of great activities in this town. Most of them include walking and hiking so prepare accordingly. Enjoy the old town, walk across all the magnificent bridges, walk as far around Luzern Lake as possible, and enjoy some of the surrounding hiking trails.