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At the junction of the River Reuss and Lake Lucerne, surrounded by breathtaking peaks, lies one of Switzerland’s most historic cities. In this region, Swiss hero William Tell defied the Habsburg Empire, and three small principalities formed the Swiss Confederation in 1291. Within the 14th-century city walls lies a medieval maze of amazingly picturesque buildings, including hotels, restaurants and all manner of shops. The famous Kapellbrücke is a medieval wooden bridge across the river, which bisects the old town. Other architectural treasures include three large churches: the Baroque Jesuitenkirche, the Gothic Franziskanerkirche and the ...

At the junction of the River Reuss and Lake Lucerne, surrounded by breathtaking peaks, lies one of Switzerland’s most historic cities. In this region, Swiss hero William Tell defied the Habsburg Empire, and three small principalities formed the Swiss Confederation in 1291. Within the 14th-century city walls lies a medieval maze of amazingly picturesque buildings, including hotels, restaurants and all manner of shops. The famous Kapellbrücke is a medieval wooden bridge across the river, which bisects the old town. Other architectural treasures include three large churches: the Baroque Jesuitenkirche, the Gothic Franziskanerkirche and the Renaissance Hofkirche. Lucerne has more fine museums than any other Swiss city. The Transport Museum’s huge collection of air- and spacecraft, trains and cars, is one of the country’s top museums, and a must if you have kids. There are several art museums, including the Rosengart Collection of classic modern works. A boat ride on the lake offers a shifting panorama of Alpine views. It’s easy to get high up in the Alps on a quick day trip to nearby Pilatus, Rigi, Bürgenstock or Engelberg. Carnival, in early March, is a week of elaborate costumes, a cacophony of marching bands, and nonstop partying.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

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Charlie Morris for Triporati

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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April-October