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PRECIOUS PLACES:5 reasons to love Lucerne

It’s no wonder visitors love Lucerne: the lovely little city is at the heart of Switzerland, a country itself at the heart of Europe. Situated on Lake Lucerne with an idyllic mountain backdrop, the city is called “Switzerland in a nutshell,” boasting culture and outdoor amenities second to none.

With the country open to tourism again, Lucerne Tourism’s Sybille Gerardi says the city is keen to see Canadians visit when the time is right, and won’t be disappointed when they do.

“Lucerne is a small city with a lot of culture, which is in the middle of a wonderful landscape with mountains and the lake, so it’s really perfect to combine a city break and getaway with a lot of excursions,” she says. “It has everything you expect from Switzerland.”

With this in mind, and with Gerardi as a guide, here are five resounding reasons to visit Lucerne.

Reuss River

1. Culture & traditions: Despite currently being hampered by the pandemic, Lucerne’s festivals and events range from classical music to Christmas markets and Carnival in February; typically, there is always something going on – year-round.

Meanwhile, mainstay activities include visiting the city’s many museums and galleries, most notably the Swiss Transport Museum and the Rosengart Collection, which features post-impressionist works by Picasso, Monet, Manet, and other masters.

Wandering the timber-framed Old Town reveals history (including Jesuit Church, Lion Monument and walkable town walls and climbable towers), fine restaurants, shopping, and the famous Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), which was built in 1333 and boasts more than 100 17th-century pictures hanging from the roof rafters. (The Spreuerbrücke is a second covered bridge).

2. Hospitality: Accommodation options range from camping sites to five-star hotels like the renowned Burgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa, set majestically on a hill above Lake Lucerne.

3. The Golden Round-Trip: Combing lake and mountains, visitors can ascend Mount Pilatus on the world’s steepest cog railway, linger for refreshment at the top of the peak, then board a paddlewheel steam cruiser for a relaxing boat trip back to the city. Other unique options for a great view include taking a double deck, open-air gondola up Mount Stanserhorn, and riding the world’s steepest funicular to the top of Mount Stoos, which opened in 2017.

4. Outdoor activities: The region around Lucerne is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with activities ranging from hiking and biking to mountain climbing and other alpine sports, not least around Mount Rigi. Nearby is the country’s first UNESCO biosphere, Entlebuch, dubbed the “wild west” of Switzerland for its endless moorlands, craggy karst formations and wild mountain streams.

5. Skiing: Lucerne makes a great base to visit one of 16 nearby ski and winter sport resorts, the largest being Engelberg, which boasts a charming 12th monastery at the centre of the alpine village, and the adjacent Mount Titlus, which has more than 80 km of slopes for skiers and snowboarders.

Entlebuch biosphere

First published at Travel Industry Today

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