Situated on the edge of a lake, with a striking alpine panorama as a backdrop, Luzern was a regular stop on the "Grand Tour" route of Europe during the Romantic era, and the ambiance from this age still lingers in some of its classic sights. Its cobbled center, even older, has winding lanes, medieval fountains, bright facades, and of course its famous wooden bridges. With several good museums and easy train and boat connections to excursions in the surrounding region, Luzern is a worthwhile stop in its own right, and a fine home base for exploring the heart of Switzerland.
At a Glance
Central Switzerland at a Glance
▲▲ Luzern Pretty, pristine lakeside city boasting excellent museums, painted bridges, and a handful of historic sights.
▲▲ Lake Lucerne Oddly shaped lake at the very heart of Switzerland, traversed by vintage steamships and surrounded by steep hillsides, gravity-defying villages, and snowy peaks.
▲ Mount Pilatus Craggy mountain hunkering south of Luzern, with sublime views, luge ride, ropes course, and a range of hiking options.
▲ Mount Rigi Long ridge across the lake from (and east of) Luzern, famous for its sunrise vistas and Europe's first cogwheel train.
▲ Fortress Fürigen Underground bunker southeast of Luzern giving you a peek at Switzerland's hidden defense system.