Pristine Views

Lucerne, the gateway to Central Switzerland

Shereen Shabnam

Lucerne is magical with its impressive mountainous panorama, the beautiful lakeside setting, numerous town squares and churches and along with the historic buildings, the town has also earned a reputation for itself with innovative design.

The futuristic Culture and Convention Centre (KKL), designed by leading French architect Jean Nouvel, is one the architectural highlights of the town and includes a concert hall, congress center and art museum. This is the best place to start your journey to explore this picturesque city.

Highlight of my visit to Lucerne each time is seeing the covered medieval Chapel Bridge that forms the centrepiece of Lucerne’s townscape and is considered to be one of the oldest, covered wooden bridges in Europe. Halfway across the Lucerne bridge, you can also see the Water Tower, another iconic landmark of Lucerne.

After crossing the bridge, head to the car-free old town spread across the north bank of the River Reuss and between city hall and Chapel Bridge and enjoy the old buildings adorned with painting murals, like an outdoor art gallery. There are numerous quaint cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating which are great to stop at for refreshments.

Another landmark of the town is the Museggmauer, a wall which, with the exception only of one of its towers, has been preserved in its original, well-fortified state. Also recommended is the Bruch quarter, one of Lucerne’s trendiest neighborhood featuring a wealth of culture, local handcrafts, bars and restaurants.

Lucerne’s regional mountains, the Pilatus has a panoramic view of 73 Alpine peaks, hiking trails from easy to alpine, an adventure park and a hotel on the top of the mountain. The Rigi is the queen of mountains with a stunning 360-degree panoramic view onto 13 lakes, into the Alps and towards the Black Forest.

My favourite is the excursion up onto the Stanserhorn and the steamship cruise on Lake Lucerne. The main attraction of Stanserhorn is the world’s first convertible cable car with a panoramic cabin. On the mountain itself, take in the views of the Alps and lakes, pay a visit to the revolving restaurant or walk to the summit.

A must stop is Europe’s largest and most comprehensive museum for mobility equipped with an IMAX theatre. The Swiss Museum of Transport provides an interactive insight into the past, present and future of mobility with interactive and varied exhibits, theme parks and simulations. It includes everything that keeps the Swiss on the move – from transport on road, rail and water to air and space travel.

After a tour of Lucerne city, we spent a couple of nights in the monastery village of Engelberg, located 25km south of Lucerne in a wide mountain valley. Here we visited the spectacular glacier mountain Titlis, a base for all kinds of outdoor and adventure activities. My favourite was walking on the suspension bridge 500 meters off the ground (Cliff Walk) and being on the Ice Flyer glacier chairlift.

We enjoyed travelling all over the country with the Swiss Travel Pass. To get to Lucerne, we flew SWISS from Dubai to Zurich and used our Swiss Travel Pass to get to different parts of beautiful Switzerland.

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