Even in a country renowned for its stunning cities, Lucerne is exceptional. This Swiss city, located where the Reuss River meets Lake Lucerne, is known for its remarkably preserved Old Town. Spend several days here enjoying the varied attractions in this cozy area of the town.
Look for the iconic Lion Monument on the north side of the Reuss River. It commemorates the Swiss soldiers who lost their lives in the French Revolution. Mark Twain called this figure of a mortally wounded beast "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world."
Immerse yourself in history and art at the Bourbaki Panorama Lucerne. This circular painting is 368 feet (112 meters) long. The 1881 artwork by Edouard Castres portrays the harsh realities of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871.
The Old Town is full of charming squares. Explore Kornmarkt, once the medieval market, now home to Rathaus, the town hall. Continue to Weinmarkt, a spacious plaza ornamented by a huge stone fountain.
No visit to Lucerne is complete without a walk across Chapel Bridge. The covered footbridge spans diagonally across the Reuss River. Said to be the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, it was originally built in 1333 to protect the city. Look up during your crossing the inside is covered with paintings depicting the history of Lucerne.
On the other side of the river, recognize the Church of St. Leodegar by its soaring twin spires. Its cavernous interior features ornate artwork, intricate carvings and a historic organ.
Stroll down Old Town’s waterfront boulevard, which stretches along the Reuss River between City Hall and Chapel Bridge. Quaint cafés and restaurants have outdoor seating so that you can enjoy the view as you dine.
Many of the streets of Old Town are accessible only to pedestrians. Travel by the Swiss railway to connect with other destinations in the country.
If you’re unsure where to begin your visit to Old Town Lucerne, the Tourism Office is a great place to start. Located near the south side of Chapel Bridge, it offers maps and historical pamphlets for the area.