A boy looks over a balcony into Lake Lucerne, with boats and the Swiss Alps in the background
Photo by Ali Mannan  –  Link

Lucerne

Switzerland

The beautiful city of Lucerne (Luzern in German) is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and sits alongside the glittering Lake Lucerne, the fourth largest lake in Switzerland. If that wasn't enough of a draw, the city also boasts striking medieval architecture, a calendar full of exciting cultural events and the iconic Kapellbr├╝cke (Chapel Bridge), the oldest wooden footbridge in Europe and the city's unofficial symbol.

Things to do

Lucerne is home to lots of attractions to suit all tastes, from the interactive and family-friendly Swiss Museum of Transport to the impressive Rosengart Collection, an exhibition displaying hundreds of important paintings and drawings from the 19th and 20th centuries. If you're the outdoorsy type, you're in for a treat; there are a number of hiking tours and adventurous activities on offer here. Mount Rigi and Rutli Meadow are both popular spots for adventuring, and one thing you should most certainly do is go on a boat tour around the magnificent lake to see the city from a different perspective. If you're up for it, there are also paragliding companies that will take you up into the skies!

Festivals

The city really comes to life several times a year during the yearly festivals that celebrate music and culture. The Lucerne Carnival, which takes place in February, culminates in three massive parades filled with costumed revellers playing music and dancing away the winter blues. In the summertime, the Lucerne Festival invigorates the city with classical music performances, drawing thousands of visitors from around the world. And come October, the annual autumn fair takes place, featuring hundreds of market stands and amusement rides.

How to get there

Lucerne is situated 45 minutes south of Zurich (which has the nearest airport), with trains running between the two cities regularly.