Lucerne, Switzerland

Old Oct 11th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Lucerne, Switzerland

What is there to do and see in Lucerne?
How should I dress in March?
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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The city itself - the famous wooden covered bridges with their old triangular paintings, the lake, lake boats on what is arguable Switzerland's most gorgeous lake...the Lion Monument, wonderful old town...but not much individual sights so for many a day here is enough though it can be a sweet base.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Mt Pilatus is often a de rigeuer component of a Lucerne visit. This unique looking mountain just east of town majestically rises from Lake Lucerne and looms over town whenever the skies clear (I've been to Lucerne many times and it seems Pilatus is often shrouded in clouds or mist.)

The classic trip goes up from Alpnachstad (reached by boat or train from Lucerne) via thrilling mountain trains, and then after getting drunk on the intoxicating views that are often called amongst the finest in the Alps, including over fjord-like Lake Lucerne far below, from the summit an equally exhilarating aerial cable car back down to suburban Lucerne, at Kriens, where buses take you back to town.

The trip is rather pricey - if you have a Swiss Pass you get 50% off the Pilatus Excursion (or Half-Fare card of course) and don't have to use a day of travel on a flexipass to get the discount.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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Also there are nice excursions on the lake -- though I don't know how much they run in March.

To my surprise, Lucerne isn't listed at www.weatherbase.com. So, for climate information, try Zurich instead.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Zurich - March avg hi 52 avg low 34 - Lucerne is at similar altitude so should be similar. Bundle up!
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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So, it looks like some walking and picture taking. Being on the lake for a boat ride might be a bit cold. Possible trip up the mountain, but how much? Do I need to make reservations before I leave the states or when I get there? Are there quaint places to eat, shop?
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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No i don't think you can even make reservations on the Pilatus train/cable and in any case wait to see if fickly Pilatus sticks its unique-looking visage out of the clouds before setting out. How much - probably full price around $60 i would guess...but it's only a guess.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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Google these: Rigi, Pilatus, Luzern Schifffahrt (for boat schedule), Engelberg, Titlis, Einsiedeln, Fluelen, Brienzer Rothorn.

For quaint eateries etc. - stroll and pick one, that is the way to do it.

Realise that Zürich and Bern, to name just two major cities, are in close range by frequent trains, so if the city of Luzern seems a bit sedate and smallish (it is), or if the weather is such that only indoor pleasures are possible, you hop on a train (no reservations) - just go - that counts for all of the above, do things on the spur of the moment as the weather allows.

The weather will be the huge X-factor, everything else falls into place around it. March is still cold and wet as a rule - but nice days can happen, just don't count on them.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Hi Annie60,

No, the ferry rides are not cold -- they're inside shelter. Sit inside, sip a hot chocolate, and enjoy the views. Schedules at www.lakelucerne.ch.

Also, take a look at www.luzern.org, then click on "Leisure," then take a look around "Sightseeing," "City walks," and "Excursions." You'll be busy for months!

Also take a look at www.rigi.ch, www.pilatus.ch, and www.titlis.ch.

Have fun!

s
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/pa...nt_pilatus.htm

This site shows a bit about this trip to Pilatus. The price shows $32 but this needs to add the trolley ride to Kriens and maybe a boat back from the back side of Pilatus.

I'm not sure for the boat ride but it's worth the price. It's lovely.

All in all, I think you can do the full trip for well under $50 per person.

I used to pay 32 Swiss Francs, when I lived in Lucern.

Blackduff
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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PILATUS BAHNEN - HomeMt. Pilatus features Central Switzerland's highest beer tap. At 2132 metres altitude, there is a waterfall that is unique in the world one formed by a ...
www.pilatus.ch/default-n46-sE.html

this site says Alpnachstad-Pilatus-Kriens fare is 58 SFrancs or about $46 so if RailEurope only charges $32 it's a bargain. But i wouldn't buy this ticket in advance because the clouds may set in during your whole Lucerne sojourn in my experience.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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Luceren is a good base for touring much of Switzerland by car. You can be in Zurich in about an hour. About the same to Interlaken (from which you can ascend the Jungfrau - but do check on the wesather at the mountaintop befoer you leave).

Also Brienz with it's beautiful lake with waterfalls, old swiss village/park and many woodcarving shops. Also you can easily get to Thun, which is an adorable town and has a very quaint castle.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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Thanks, everyone! So, how would a tourist get around in Lucerne? Is there a glacier to visit? Any castles in Lucerne? What about Old Town?
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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Googling the names and looking at all the websites you were given will show you what you keep asking. See for yourself - that's what we're listing them for.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 06:37 PM
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My, yes! Forgive me, I have been watching my grandkids all day and haven't had a chance to visit the sites until this evening. I'm still googling. I just got excited and got ahead of myself. Sorry. I will have a great time here. Thanks, everyone.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 09:55 PM
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I visit Lucerne quite often so I get to see most if not all of Lucerne's attractions over the years. I think exploring the old town meandering lanes is quite rewarding, it's full of charm, cobblestones, fountains and a couple of attractive squares. If you walk along the riverbank all the way around you'll see the old city wall with 7 remaining towers(with view) above you. You can climb into all of them which are interconnected, then you can walk down through a nice residential area zig zaging back down into old town. The old town is filled with with hundreds of shops & restaurants and department stores. There is a small Picasso museum near the riverbank, nothing like the one in Paris or Barcelona.

Lucerne's main church is just east of the oldtown. Further east beyond the church, you'll find the Verkehrsmuseum (transportation museum) that Lucerne is known for. Northward from the church you'll find the Lion monument commemorating the swissguards who died in France defending the French Kings. Right nextdoor is the Glaetscher (Glacier) museum and the Hall of Mirrors (fun maze with mirror walls). Southeast of oldtown across the river is the somewhat new cultural complex and underground shopping centre connected to the train station. I've seen a few great concerts from various classical groups/orchestras from all over Europe. There is a lot more shopping area and another big church on the southbank of the river. The beauty of Lucerne is the river and lakefront setting with its traditional architecture.

If you have access to a car, you can take a short drive east along the lake to Meggenhorn where you'll find a small but attractive castle with a separate chapel. It's on a small hill above the lake. There is also a tiny castle high above Lucerne (short taxi ride) just west of the old town called Chateau Gutsch. It was a very good restaurant until it was closed and sold a few years a go so I don't know whether you can still visit it.

Many tourists head to Pilatus by buying a combination ticket that's sold at the train station. It enables you to ride the lake boat toward Pilatus and connect uphill with the cable train car up to the peak and down to the other side where you connect with a bus back to Lucerne. The area around Mt Pilatus is dramatically beautiful. I always bring layers of clothes when I go to Switzerland as no one can predict the weather. It's good that you're planning to go there in March when it's not overcrowded with tourists. In the summertime I often see/hear more Americans than Swiss inside the old town lanes. Perhaps the only drawback of going in March is the fact that the outdoor restaurant seatings may not be set up.

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Old Oct 12th, 2006, 12:32 AM
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Annie,

This summer my wife and I went to Lucerne for a day. We were delighted with the city.

The next day we went to Basel as well. I wrote a trip report for those two days, covering Lucerne and Basel.

You might want to read it to see what we did and how we felt there.

It is here (Swiss Topping on my German Ice Cream)

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34861658

Gabriel
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Old Oct 12th, 2006, 12:34 AM
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>Meggenhorn where you'll find a small but attractive castle with a separate chapel. It's on a small hill above the lake. There is also a tiny castle high above Lucerne (short taxi ride) just west of the old town called Chateau Gutsch.

It is not necessary to rent a car for this trip - there is a frequent bus connection to Meggen. As to Chateau Gütsch - it is not a castle, just a late 19th century hotel built like one. It is nice enough and provides great views. It has also an own funicular from the bus stop below.
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Old Oct 12th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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Good to know that Chateau Gutsch is still open, is the restaurant still there? I forgot about the funicular and had no idea about the bus to Meggen as we were driven around. I remember how good the food is at Chateau Gutsch
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Old Oct 12th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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Thanks, Gabriel. I loved reading all about your trip to Lucerne (Swiss Topping on my German Ice Cream) AND the pictures were great! Thanks all of you and DAX for the information on the castles and transportations. This will be a great stop on my trip. Thanks.
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