Lucerne Activities - early October

Aug 31st, 2016, 04:42 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 4
Lucerne Activities - early October

My husband and I are hitting Switzerland for part of our European vacation, and have decided to base our stay in beautiful Lucerne. Neither one of us have ever been to the country but we are so excited to finally see the amazing scenery! We have Swiss Flexipass rail passes and the Half Card combo so that we can see as much as possible by train, since we only have a few days. We will be arriving from Munich to Switzerland on September 29 and will be there until October 4.

I assume that it would be easiest to go from Munich to Zurich, and then Zurich to Lucerne via train? It looked like only 45 minutes once we leave Zurich. If there is a more direct way from Munich to Lucerne, just let me know!

We have a few things in a tentative itinerary but we wanted to see if we were discounting a must-see event or place. Once we arrive in Lucerne, we are staying at an apartment via airbnb. We definitely want to do a walking tour early on to see the town and stretch our legs, and they're only about an hour or two long. One day I would love to see Mt. Pilatus, and I have also heard that Grindelwald is beautiful and not too far of a train ride - it would allow us an opportunity to see the Jungfrau region. Another afternoon might be spent on a boat ride around parts of the lake.

Our trip includes mostly city-stays in other countries, so we are looking forward to a quieter, more scenic time in Switzerland. I wouldn't mind seeing a museum or two if there are really good/unusual ones nearby, but it's not really going to be our focus. We also won't be spending much time in Zurich or even making the trip to Geneva - we will need a break from cities at that point!

If anyone also has any insights to typical weather for this time of year in Lucerne, I would greatly appreciate it - packing will be a frenzy and now it's only 3 weeks away! Thanks in advance for any input!!
casedavis is offline  
Aug 31st, 2016, 04:53 AM
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You might want to visit the Ballenburg Museum of Swiss Life - an outdoor museum with buildings from farms and villages all over Switz showing how things were done traditionally. It's near Brienz and you might combine with a lake steamer trip on Lake brienz, also viewing a couple of the incredible waterfalls.

Very difficult to do a trip up the Jungfrau from Lucerne since the distance is just too far. The top of the mountains is often wreathed in clouds, which build up more as the day goes on. So you can;t plan in advance but need to hop on a train the moment (7am?) you see that the top has open views (you can get info online or from train station). But if you don;t move fast you may find the clouds have moved in by noon - not giving much time to see things.

One June we waited 3 days in Interlaken (seeing many other towns/villages/sights by car) before we got a day clear enough to head up the mountain. We were lucky and it was still clear when we came back down around 2 pm. But on another trip up Pilatus (again we went up early and toured around, the clouds rolled in and we had to rush our lunches to indoor tables when the clouds and rain started.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2016, 01:37 AM
neckervd is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2016, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,657
Lucky, lucky you!
The annual Luzern Fall Festival runs Oct 1-16 this year (Lozaarner Maas).
It draws 300,000 visitors each year. Set up on Inselquai, just outside the Bahnhofplatz, along the river. Carnival rides, food stands and all manner of crafts and assorted product booths. Fun in the evening (but note: the craft booths close at 7 pm...found some unique earrings there). I have been lucky enough to go 3 years now!
Beer, wine, crepes, wurst, ferris!
mokka4 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2016, 02:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I agree that Grindelwald/Jungfrau is too much of a stretch for the time at hand, enjoy Luzern, The Golden Round Trip to Pilates (check the mountain weather cam at the TI in the train station before embarking). Interlaken affords new views of the Moench, Eiger and Jungfrau from a wide level expanse below. Then a boatride leaving Interlaken West (the town has TWO train stops) on lake Brienz. Disembark at Brienz and take the coordinating bus up to Ballenberg outdoor 'museum' of swiss history. Picnic lunch above or eat in their cafe.

After the bus returns you to Brienz, opt for a ride up the steep Rothornbahn, or meander around the small town to admire the dark brown weathered chalets climbing steeply uphill. If too late, train directly back to Luzern.
mokka4 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2016, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
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Thank you so much for your input! We will likely skip Jungfrau for the sake of time on this trip (we'll just have to come back another time but the Golden Round Trip sounds right up our alley! We will be sure to get up in time to catch the earliest train if it looks clear. I hadn't realized the clouds were such a factor so early in the day, so many thanks for that tip!!

And thanks for the link to the Luzern Fall Festival - that will be such a great way to meander through some afternoons/evenings with no other plans, try some cheap food (relatively speaking, I'm sure, for Switzerland) and check out some music and crafts!

Brienz also looks like a great place to spend some time - both the town itself and the museum
casedavis is offline  
Sep 6th, 2016, 12:57 PM
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Kill a few birds with one stone by taking the paddlewheel from front of train station across lake over to the Museum of Transport, a fascinating collection of all modes of transport, then walk back to town along the lake. We did not go up Pilatus as we continued on to Jungfrau for 3-4 nights where we lucked out with clear, warm weather. There is a small art museum, the Rosengart, housed in an old mansion amidst the 'downtown' area that was worth 1-2 hours. Of course, you'll see the Lion of Lucerne too.
aliced is offline  

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