Swiss Bliss: A Journey Through Alpine Splendor - Grand European Tour Switzerland

Grand European Tour Switzerland

Little, mountainous, efficient Switzerland is one of Europe's most appealing destinations. Wedged neatly between Germany, Austria, France, and Italy, Switzerland melds the best of all worlds — and adds a healthy dose of chocolate, cowbells, and cable cars.

Lucerne was completely different from what we had imagined it to be. After looking at some Google images, We knew it would be surrounded by the Alps, has a lake, and some nice views. Of course it has the giant Alps guarding the city from different directions and deep blue Lake Lucerne being a huge home for lots and lots of elegant and friendly white swans. But the city itself is charismatic and charming as well as loaded with Swiss history and a feeling of medieval city life. In addition to that, the location is great to explore other nearby Swiss cities like Zurich, Berne, Basel, Interlaken and regions, like French Alsace, German Black Forest, and finally, the mighty Alps.

The main attractions in Lucerne are within walking distance. Taking a stroll or just chilling by Lake Lucerne is half the fun here. The official language of the city is German, but I’ve heard people speaking French and most of the locals are very fluent in English as well.

Of course, Swiss chocolates are something to eat and buy in Switzerland. Other than Lindt, “Villars” is a good brand of Swiss chocolates. Additionally, Swiss knives, watches (if you have some extra cash to spare), and cowbells are some of the popular souvenirs to take back home. Buying Swiss watches from Switzerland doesn’t mean that you will get them cheaper here, these cost about the same anywhere else in the world. There are tons of Swiss watch stores in Lucerne and some of them are actually open on Sundays too.

The following day, we set out to explore the old town.  We enjoyed visiting the Lion Monument, walking the old city walls, wandering the winding streets of the old town, walking across the river on Kappelbrucke (Chapel Bridge), and visiting the Gletscher Gaarden.  During the course of popping into and out of various shops, we stumbled into a little bakery where we ordered a delicious looking slice of cake to share.  Everything was written in Swiss German, so we had no idea what it actually was.  Turns out it was basically just cake soaked through with what tasted like 100 proof alcohol, and we literally caught a buzz eating it.  The place had a really great location right on the glacial river running through the center of the town, and we had a prime spot to sit there getting blasted on cake while watching the water rush by.

The next morning after breakfast we headed into the bus for Mount Titlis. It was a scenic journey where everything seemed to be worth a photo for memory. At the base of Mount Titlis we had to take 3 different cable cars (a 45 minute journey) to get to the mountain top.  Switching to the second cable car we observed that some cars have flags of various countries printed on them. We were lucky enough to spot the one with the Aussie flag! The third and last lap of the ride up is actually by a special revolving cable car. It is the first in the world and offers a 360° panoramic view. As the car revolves during the ride, it actually doesn’t matter where you stand because you should be able to see all the scenery while standing at one spot. BUT, the car was very crowded, everyone is trying to take pictures at the same time and we had more than half the car filled with the loudest, rudest, rowdiest and noisiest tourists in the world, so it wasn’t a very pleasant journey after all. Finally we got onto the top which was bustling with tourists and signs leading us to different activities they offered here.

The last night we enjoyed the outstandingly good food at Stadtkeller. We loved the atmosphere, as we enjoy carefree hours in the midst of original Swiss folklore, traditional Swiss customs and usages, with alphorns, cowbells, national costumes, flag throwing and yodeling.  It made for an unforgettable experience and unique combination of good food, music and fun.

Lucerne is a gorgeous city in central Switzerland on the edge of a lake with a stunning alpine backdrop.  It’s a tourist hub with lots of wonderful things to do and eat.  Here are our top picks for “Things to Do in Lucerne.”

Chapel Bridge

The Chapel Bridge is the most iconic site in the city and at the top of the list of things to do in Lucerne, Switzerland.  It was originally built in the first half of the 14th century to connect the town’s medieval fortifications and as a part of the cities defense systems. The most interesting part is that inside there are colorful paintings telling stories of the city’s patron saints.

Jesuit Church

The Jesuit Church in Lucerne is the first major Baroque church in Switzerland and was built in the 1600s. It’s just as beautiful inside.

Old Town & Waterfront

Lucerne’s charming Old Town is right along the water.  It’s a great place to explore, shop and dine. We spent a lot of time wandering the streets and enjoying the sights.

Lion Monument

Lucerne is home to a fascinating Lion Monument, which is carved into the side of a cliff.  This might not look like much in the photo but it’s actually 33 feet long by 20 feet tall.  The lion represents the Swiss mercenaries who were killed or executed during the French revolution. It’s in a peaceful park and is worth seeing.  We also enjoyed the nearby Glacier Garden only because it has a tower with great views of Old Town.

Mt. Pilatus

If you are staying in Lucerne for more than one day, I’d put Mt. Pilatus on the top of your list of things to do.  The views are incredible and it gives you a taste of what you’ll see in the higher mountains of the country.  It involves gondola rides, ferry boats and steep cogwheel trains.

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