Perched on the tranquil shores of a cerulean lake and framed by a dramatic backdrop of mountain vistas, Lucerne is the epitome of a postcard-perfect Swiss city.
The fairytale-like Old Town offers a warren of cobbled streets leading to covered bridges and idyllic promenades, while the mountains are connected by rugged hiking trails, scenic railways and breathtaking cable car rides. In the summer months classical music fans flock to Lucerne for the Lucerne Festival, a spectacular feast of classical music featuring many of the world’s finest musicians.
Walk Lucerne’s historic streets and you’ll encounter colourful waterside townhouses topped with towers and red brick roofs, vibrant plazas bolstered by the scents of melted cheese and freshly baked Birnenweggen (Lucerne’s famous shortcrust pear pastry), ornate frescoed architectures, some of which date back as far as the 16th century, and the majestic façades of baroque churches.
Alternatively, take a stroll into the mountains and you’ll stumble into stunning panoramas of the lake and the bucolic Swiss countryside. Hop on a gondola to the summit of Pilatus and you’ll have a fantastic starting point for picturesque hikes along fabulous mountain ridges. Or take the Pilatus railway that connects the village of Alpnachstad on Lake Lucerne with the terminus near the summit of Mount Pilatus and experience the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. www.luzern.com
Swiss Museum of Transport
The Swiss Museum of Transport is resplendent with modern spaces that are packed full of family friendly exhibits and a vast permanent collection that includes everything from steam engines and helicopter simulators to a boating lake and theme park style rides, exploring topics as diverse as the history of chocolate, and the future of space travel.
As Switzerland’s most visited museum, it has a bit of a reputation to live up to, which it does well with exhibits that flirt between traditional and contemporary, historic and explorative, as it leads visitors through the past, present and future of transportation.
Expect tales told through interactive installations, huge explorable airliners, an exhilarating walk-in replica of the International Space Station and fascinating installations documenting the evolution of mass transportation. In the Red Bull Media World, you can shoot your own TV show, take 360° photos of yourself, and enjoy new experiences – from travel to surfing – thanks to Virtual Reality. www.verkehrshaus.ch
Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern
With an enviable location on the banks of the lake, the five-star-hotel Schweizerhof Luzern offers grand palatial luxury – favoured by everyone from Tolstoy to Anastacia – and some of the most desired rooms in Switzerland.
Inside you’ll find a delightful collection of well-appointed rooms and suites, a wellness area, three speciality restaurants and a series of banquet halls. The service at the Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern is exemplary throughout, rooms are finished with large baths and elegant furnishings, and each night the windows of the hotel are illuminated in a striking array of coloured lights that cast a playful technicolour glimmer out onto the lake.
Choose a lake view room for gasp-worthy vistas of the water that call to mind Turner’s dreamy lakeside studies, or a city view room for romantic views out to the fairytale rooftops and towers of the old town. www.schweizerhof-luzern.ch
Your Ticket For Central Switzerland
The Lake Lucerne region offers a dramatic topography of lush mountains, glittering lakes and medieval old towns, all interconnected by spectacular mountain railways and cable cars with staggering views that take in the full emotive beauty of central Switzerland.
There are an unparalleled number of sights and attractions in Lucerne, from mountain-top hikes and cruises aboard historic paddle steamers, to delicious mountain cuisine and some of Europe’s most scenic railways.
Enjoy it all with unrestricted travel by train, mountain railways and cable cars, bus, and boat with the Tell-Pass. Choose between two, three, four, five or ten consecutive days and enjoy impressive savings with 20 bonus partners. Children travel for a fixed price of just CHF 30 for 2-10 days of unrestricted travel. www.tellpass.ch
Gault & Milau Restaurant Scala at the ART DECO Hotel Montana
Savour fine food and drink, extravagant celebrations and cosy gatherings surrounded by the spectacular panoramic view over the mountains, the lake and the city of Lucerne.
The SCALA cuisine incorporates the lightness and sensuous tastes of the South, inspired by the flavours found in the regions of southern Switzerland, as well as in Italy, France and Greece. Many locals and international hotel guests alike appreciate the art of fine dining at the Scala Restaurant. A solid training background enables the restaurant staff to provide a cordial and attentive service. They offer an eclectic wine list. A visit to the outdoor living room allows the discerning guest to dive into new architectural and gastronomic dimensions. The terrace is accessible year round. On account of the high quality and
strong commitment of the service and kitchen team, headed by the restaurant manager Stephanie Christ, the Scala was awarded 15 points by the international Gault & Millau gourmet guide. The restaurant now offers a new concept “Kitchen Club”, inviting diners to take a seat in the middle of their stunning kitchen and observe the chefs preparing meals live – a truly enchanting experience for all the senses.
Cover image rights: Robert Kitte / Luzerne Tourismus