Welcome to Lucerne!... The greeting upon arrival at the train station in Lucerne. We took the train from Zurich, its amazing how easy the train system works in Europe. I was really nervous about using it, even considered renting a car instead. We ended up loving it! We didn't worry about getting lost, following directions, speed limit, etc. And the views are quite scenic...
After arriving in Lucerne, we checked into our hotel; Ibis Budget Hotel. There are a lot of great hotels that are not expensive in Lucerne, but you have to book ahead. I didn't realize how quick things book, and we were left with slim pickings for our one night in Lucerne. The Ibis hotel ended up costing us less than each of us booking a bed in a hostel. This is not a glamorous hotel by any means, its very basic. The location was safe and central to everything we wanted to do in Lucerne; a 5 -10 minute walk from the train station, from Old Town Lucerne, Lucerne Lake beach park, restaurants, Chapel Bridge, Jesuit Church, Lion Monument.
After checking into our hotel we wasted no time exploring the city, we only had one day and night. Looking back, I wish we spent another day in Lucerne. I feel this way about every location!
First thing we did was rented a paddle-boat, and took it out on beautiful Lake Lucerne.
Then we walked into the Old Town area in search of food. We found a cute little hidden cafe off one of the cobblestone streets and enjoyed some simple Swiss sandwiches, simple but so delicious.
I loved the detail and architecture of the buildings...
We also spent a couple hours relaxing at Lake Lucerne. I loved how in the city families could go to the park and swim in the lake with the Swiss Alps in the background!
From the paddle-boat we saw a white castle-like building on the hill, with big letters GUTSCH in front of it. It looked fascinating, so we looked it up. Chateau Gutsch is a luxury hotel and restaurant with panoramic views of Lucerne. We knew where we wanted to eat for dinner! But how do you get there, we didn't have a car and there is no Uber in Lucerne!
We asked our hotel's front desk for the easiest route to get to Chateau Gutsch without a car. He told us the bus number that will get us to the bottom of the tram, that will get us to the top of the hill and to the hotel/restaurant. The bus stop was near our hotel and also the bus station was only a 5 minute walk. We chose to walk to the bus station and catch the bus we needed.
We were first seated outside on the balcony, but because of the rain, we moved inside...
We explored the hotel for a little bit before making our way back down to our hotel.
We loved Lucerne and wished our travel schedule had more time. Something I wanted to do if we could stay another day was visit Mont Pilatus. This is a half day trip that requires a train and or gondola ride up a mountain for a great view. Since we did the Seealpsee hike while in Zurich, we didn't prioritize this in Lucerne.
If you want to read my other posts from Switzerland, visit the following: