Lucerne City Break
The small, Swiss city of Lucerne, one of Europe's most charming and attractive cities, stands on the shores of beautiful Lake Lucerne. Also known as Luzern (its German name), Lucerne is a 'chocolate-box' Swiss city with timbered houses, medieval buildings and modern developments all blended together perfectly.
Set in the heart of the Swiss Alps, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and overlooking its idyllic lake, Lucerne is both a delightful city to visit and a superb base from which to explore the surrounding region. You can explore the Old Town streets, visit excellent museums, art galleries, churches and monuments, travel by paddle steamer across the lake or use cable cars and mountain railways to explore the surrounding peaks.
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Popular attractions on Lucerne city breaks
Mount Pilatus by rail
A fascinating excursion from Lucerne on the Pilatus Railway takes you to the summit of Mount Pilatus - a 2,100-metres-tall mountain peak overlooking Lake Lucerne. The Pilatus Railway is an electric cogwheel railway which climbs at a gradient of up to 48 degrees, which makes it the world's steepest cog railway. From the summit of Mount Pilatus you can choose to return to Lucerne on the Pilatus Railway, or to take a cable car and gondola journey back to the outskirts of Lucerne.
The most famous symbol of Lucerne is a narrow wooden bridge which crosses the River Reuss in the city's Old Town. Built in the 14th century, the 'Chapel Bridge' is famous for its triangular painted roof panels that line the ceiling of the covered bridge. At one end of the bridge is an octagonal water tower - one of the few totally original features of the bridge, which was painstakingly restored following a devastating fire in 1993. 30 of the original roof panels survived - there are many gaps which act as a reminder of the fire.
Swiss Transport Museum
Switzerland's most popular museum has been open since 1959 and is an absolute must-see on any visit to Lucerne. The Swiss Transport Museum is dedicated to the history of mobility and communication and is packed with displays, exhibits, interactive stations, simulations and films, all of which are related to transport by air, rail, sea, road and space. There are over 3,000 objects and items to see. One of the real highlights is the locomotive simulator, which allows you to experience what it feels like to drive a train.
Europe's ultimate mountain railway, the Jungfrau Railway, travels to the continent's highest railway station and makes an ideal day trip from Lucerne. Jungfraujoch - the name of the station at the summit of the Jungfrau Railway - is 3,454 metres above sea level and provides awe-inspiring views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountain peaks, as well as across the longest sea of ice in the Alps.
Lake Lucerne by boat
Beautiful Lake Lucerne has an almost fjord-like appearance and is surrounded by stunning scenery across a varied landscape. A number of paddle steamers and motor-cruise boats ply the waters of the lake, each offering a wonderful way to experience the lake, the delightful mountain views and a different view of the city. Cruises on the lake can be combined with walks into the surrounding hills and countryside for the perfect day out.