Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast Episode 57
Podcast Episodes

Episode 57: Things to Do in Lucerne: The City, The Lake, The Mountains

October 19, 2022 Last Updated on April 25, 2024

It goes without saying that the city of Lucerne is one that most people want to see when they visit Switzerland. 

Famous for the beautiful lake beside which it sits, and the medieval Chapel Bridge, in my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

So it seems a bit remiss that we haven’t really explored the city in much detail on the podcast before.  Lucerne has certainly been mentioned in previous episodes but we haven’t really given it the time it deserves. 

In this episode, we’re going to rectify that!

Recently I was invited to an event in Melbourne, Australia that was organised by Switzerland Tourism. At that event were a number of representatives from various destinations in Switzerland and amongst them was Céline Deplazes from Lucerne Tourism.

After meeting Céline, I knew she would be the ideal guest to have on the podcast to tell us all about lovely Lucerne.  After all, she was born in the region and now lives in the city of Lucerne so she knows this part of Switzerland very well.

If you’re planning on spending some time in Lucerne or exploring the nearby mountains and the towns around beautiful Lake Lucerne, keep listening.

Céline is going to share all the must-see sites and tell us about local specialties to try and where to try them, fun activities for families, how to spend a day in Lucerne, and much more.

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

Before we hear from Céline, I’d like to say thank you, as always, to the team at Switzerland Tourism, for sponsoring the podcast. Make sure you visit their website for loads of inspiration and ideas to help with your Switzerland trip planning.

If you need to go on a tour, you need Switzerland.

Click the green button below to listen:

Our Guest

Céline Deplazes was born and raised in the Lake Lucerne region and she now lives in the city of Lucerne.

After working in banking, Céline studied Tourism and is now a Market Manager for Luzern Tourism.

Celine Deplazes of Lucerne Tourism
Céline Deplazes

Show Notes

Listen now to learn:

  • The important role Lucerne played in the establishment of modern day Switzerland
  • Must-visit sites in Lucerne
  • Top museums in Lucerne
  • Mountain excursions to enjoy from Lucerne
  • Things to do and places to see on Lake Lucerne
  • Family-friendly activities in Lake Lucerne region
  • Local specialties and where to try them
  • Winter festivals and events
  • How to spend one day in Lucerne
  • Céline’s local secrets

Places and events mentioned in this episode

>> Old Town – the historic centre of Lucerne is filled with cobbled squares, narrow alleys and beautiful guild houses with painted facades and oriel windows.

>> Chapel Bridge – Lucerne’s most famous site, the Chapel Bridge is a medieval covered wooden footbridge which was built in 1333. It crosses the River Reuss, connecting the Old Town with the right bank.

>> Jesuit Church – Switzerland’s first Baroque church looks rather plain from the outside but the richly decorated interior is a feast for the eyes.

>> City Walls – originally a fortified city, all that remains of Lucerne’s Medieval walls is an 850-metre long section, called Musegg Wall, and its nine towers. Four of the towers and Musegg Wall can be visited from 1 April to 1 November.

>> Dying Lion Monument – carved out of natural rock, the Dying Lion is a monument built to honour the Swiss mercenaries who died whilst fighting at the Tuileries in France in 1792.

>> Glacier Garden – get a glimpse of Switzerland 20,000 years ago at this natural exhibition which was discovered in 1872. Here you can see fossils of shellfish and palm fronds and see the impact melting glacial ice had on the landscape.

>> Bourbaki Panorama – one of the world’s last surviving panoramas, the Bourbaki Panorama was painted by Edouard Castres. It is 112 metres long and 10 metres high and depicts the march of the French army through Switzerland during the Franco-Prussian war.

Chapel Bridge Lucerne in summer
Chapel Bridge
Dying Lion monument, Lucerne
The Dying Lion Monument
Jesuit Church in Lucerne
Lucerne’s Jesuit Church

>> Swiss Museum of Transport – as the name suggests, the Swiss Museum of Transport is home to all modes of transport including cars, trains, aircraft, boats, motorcycles, cable cars, and more. There’s also an IMAX theatre, a Planetarium and the ‘Chocolate Adventure’ where you can learn about the history of chocolate making.

>> Picasso & Rosengarten Museum – this private collection of art boasts over 200 modernist paintings from the likes of Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Monet, Matisse and Chagall. There is also a collection of about 200 photographs of Picasso at work and play.

>> Richard Wagner Museum – German composer Richard Wagner settled in the outskirts of Lucerne in 1866. His former home is now a museum, with the rooms decorated with memorabilia from his life as well as original furnishings.

>> Mt. Pilatus, Mt. Rigi and Mt. Titlis – These three mountains, all close to Lucerne, are perfect destinations for day excursions from the city. You can read about them all > here.

>> Weggis, Vitznau and Brunnen – Three lovely towns located on the shores of Lake Lucerne. They can be visited on a day trip from Lucerne but it’s worth spending a night or two. Read more about Weggis and Vitznau here and learn more about Brunnen, where you can make your own Victorinox pocket knife, here.

Cruising on Lake Lucerne
Cruising on Lake Lucerne
Aerial view of Lucerne Switzerland
Lucerne as seen from above
Chapel Bridge Lucerne decorated with lights at Christmas time
Lucerne’s bridges decorated for Christmas

Local specialties and restaurants mentioned in this episode

  • Lozärner Chügelipastetli (Luzern Puff Pastry) – try it at this bakery
  • Luzerner Birewegge (Luzern Pear Trail) – try it at this bakery

Traditional restaurants:

“Out of the box” restaurant:

More Holidays to Switzerland Resources

The following articles will also be helpful for planning your visit to Lucerne. Click the links below to read each article.

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This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism

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