I can’t believe I’ve not written at all about my trip to Switzerland earlier this year. I was visiting a friend in Zurich but decided to take the train over to Lucerne for the day. The train cost 52 Swiss Francs which is about £40 for a 45-minute journey, quite expensive but Switzerland is a very expensive country. I had quite a few options of places to visit from Zurich on a day trip such as Bern or The Rhine Falls but decided Lucerne was the place to be. As I said Switzerland isn’t the cheapest of places but a lot of what there is to see in Lucerne is free as it’s just a lovely place to wander around. I’d seen plenty of photos of the beautiful city on Instagram and it was somewhere I wanted to see myself.
The train station in Lucerne is pretty central to the waterfront right in front of the entrance. Whilst I was trying to save as much money as possible, I did entertain the idea of a boat trip on Lake Lucerne which you can get on outside the station but they were all pretty pricey. If I had longer in the city, I’d definitely try and organise one of the trips to Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi. Lake Lucerne is absolutely stunning. I spent a lot of the day wandering along the waterfront taking in the views.
Just around the corner is the Kapplebrucke Bridge or also known as The Chapel Bridge which is one of the cities most famous sights. A wooden bridge over the Ruess which was built way back in 1333. It’s incredible that the bridge is still standing and this alone made the trip to Lucerne worthwhile. There are plenty of cafés and shops along the old town side of the bridge where you can have a drink with this exceptional view in the background. Just further along is the Spreuerbruck Bridge, another wooden footbridge over the Reuss with painting adorning the woodwork.
I’d done a little bit of research on places of interest to visit whilst in Lucerne and The Nine Towers were mentioned. These are along the City Walls (Musegg Wall), four of the walls are open to the public. I was just using Google Maps to find out where I was going but I did find it rather confusing. At one point I ended up in the middle of nearby school’s PE lesson!
I decided to climb the first tower, the towers are pretty high up with around eight flights of wooden stairs. If you are unsteady on your feet and/or afraid of heights, this place is certainly not for you. I was struggling a little bit but once at the top, the views are completely worth the unsteady trek. You can see right across Lake Lucerne and up into the mountains. It was one of the most spectacular views I’ve seen. I’m not going to lie, climbing the remaining towers was out of the question. The first one completely floored me!
Lucerne is quite a compact and small city so it wasn’t too far to walk to the next port of call; The Dying Lion of Lucerne. I’ve got to be honest and say that I’ve not actually heard about this statue before but it’s actually quite a big deal. It’s been named as one of the world’s most famous monuments with many tourists flocking to catch a glimpse. The monument was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were killed in the French Revolution in 1792.
The architecture around Lucerne is something pretty special, the churches are famous for their unique designs. From the Jesuit Church which sits on the river bank just further up from the Chaple Bridge to the Hofkirche which can be seen from all around the Lake Lucerne. The Jesuit Chuch has such a beautiful baroque style which was one of the first of it’s kind in Switzerland.
Like I mentioned before, Lucerne is quite a small city but there’s plenty of shops, café’s and hotels. One of the most famous hotels, Hotel Château Gütsch which overlooks the whole city. The hotel looks like something straight out of fairytale. It even has it’s very own railway station although the hotel provides a shuttle in to the city. If I’d have had more time in Lucerne, I’d have definitely have loved to have checked out this hotel. I can only imagine the views being utterly incredible.
After exploring some of Lucerne’s old town which is home to many well known high street stores such as H&M and Mango, I headed back towards the railway station. In total aside from my rail ticket, I only spent money on my lunch and a drink. It’s very much possible to spend a day in Lucerne on a budget. It was such a beautiful place, I’m so glad I made the effort to explore another city whilst in Switzerland. I’d love to explore Switzerland further, the scenery everywhere is just out of this world.
Have you ever been to Lucerne or Switzerland? How do you keep to a budget whilst travelling?