Lucerne Switzerland Travel Guide

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Published on March 2, 2018 by Chris

Video script:
And today we’re going to tell you everything you need to know to visit Lucerne. This is part of our series on Switzerland, if you’d like to see other cities in Switzerland, or things like ‘things to know’ or ‘interesting facts’, you’ll find those links in the description. But today we’re gonna visit this historic town. So, here we go. In this video we’re going to visit the following nine attractions. We’ll begin by checking out Lucerne’s main Railway Station, where most people begin their journey to Lucerne. Then we’ll visit the Lion Monument, Lucerne’s biggest attraction. Right next door’s the Glacier Garden, where you can see glaciers have literally scratched the earth as they’ve gone by here. Then we’ll visit the Bourbaki Panorama, a 360 degree painting. One of the most iconic sights in Lucerne is the Chapel Bridge, it is the oldest covered wooden bridge in all of Europe. We’ll take a stroll through Lucerne’s Old Town. Then we’ll head up to the City Walls to see really great views. Then we’ll go over and see a dinner show at the Stadtkeller Restaurant. And we’ll conclude with a little bit of going up Mt. Pilatus, the greatest day trip from Lucerne. I’ve got a whole other video on that, you can find the link in the description, watch it after you watch this video. Lucerne has a very impressive main train station. It’s been rebuilt, the facade of the old one is still here. But you’ll find the train station will be your most convenient way to get in and out of Lucerne. There are tons of shops in it, and also the jumping off point for most buses that take you around the city. And the ferries that’ll take you on the Golden Round Trip. And, as you can see by the departure sign, they have a lot of departures out of the station. The basement level of the train station is also home to one of Lucerne’s latest open supermarkets. This Coop is open ’til 10pm everyday. It’s also a great place to get chocolate, at Laderach. And cheap eats, if all those expensive places in the city have got you wallet broke, check out the Currywurst right here. Next to the train station, in this big, black, modern-looking building, that almost looks like a UFO landed, is Lucerne’s Concert Hall and Art Museum. If you’re a Star Trek fan, this building might remind you of the Borg cube, kinda looks like to me. The biggest attraction in Lucerne, one ’cause it’s big, and two ’cause this is where everybody comes, is the Lion Monument. This is a monument depicting the Swiss troops who died in 1792, in the French Revolution. It is a pretty sad lion, he’s been impaled by a spear, and he’s covering a shield over there, that depicts the French Monarchy. While it may not be the best attraction in Lucerne, ’cause it’s certainly not the happiest, it is one that you have to come and see because everybody comes to see the sad lion. If you’ve watched any other of my Switzerland videos, you’ll know I talk a lot about the fountains, and this city is no exception. In Lucerne, they have over 200 public fountains with running water from the mountains, tastes just like cold, refreshing Evian water. If you’re thirsty, just come up to one of these fountains and you can use it, get some water, or maybe even wash your hands. Just above the Lion Monument is the Glacier Garden. It’s a natural rock formation that happened when glaciers moved over this part of Lucerne, many, many years ago. One of the interesting things that happens when glaciers go, you can see the scrape marks, but behind me there’s also these potholes. There’s a little one back here but there’s a big one back there that’s like nine meters deep. It’s caused by the force of the water underneath the glacier. There’s also a Glacier Museum, and a House of Mirrors. Admission’s a little steep, but if you have the Swiss travel pass admission’s free. The Hall of Mirrors, I’ll say is very cool, because in this room it has the Alhambra Fountain in it. How many of me can you count? And no, this is not a special effect, this is really what this room looks like. After you visit the Lion Monument, if you want some culture in the form of a big painting, you can visit the Bourbaki Panorama. It’s in this nondescript building here, it is a 10 meter high, by 112 meter wrap around panoramic painting that is of the French internment, where the French army was interned in Switzerland back in 1891. It’s very interesting, if you have the Swiss pass it’s free, if not it’s a small admission fee, just note that there’s no air conditioning, so if it’s hot then it’s quite a heat wave inside. The second biggest attraction in Lucerne, literally, because it’s the second biggest, is this bridge. It’s a covered wooden bridge, it goes from one side of the river to the other side of the river. It’s not just pretty, which it is, but it also has a great function. On a rainy night like tonight, it keeps the rain from you, probably keeps the snow from you too. This bridge’s been here for a long time, and actually, if you look up here, it has a bunch of historical art across the whole bridge. It did catch on fire and so it’s been rebuilt a little bit, but there’s another wooden bridge, just a little further down the river too. Make sure to check out the second bridge a little further down the river. While this bridge is not quite as touristy, or as long as the first one I was on, this one is original and so the art on the top is all much more well preserved, so is the wood, it has this great old wood quality. And one thing in common with all the art on the top of this bridge, it all has a skeleton in it, to remind people who pass on this bridge, that death comes eventually, and I guess in the Medieval times it probably came early and often. This bridge also has a little bit extra function to it in that is has a little bit of a dam to slow some of the water in the river. But really the purpose of it is to generate power, and it generates power enough for a thousand households in Lucerne. Lucerne’s Old Town is perfect for strolling around, the streets here, most of them are car free, so it creates a quiet, peaceful experience, well, ‘peaceful’ depending on how many tourists are here, tour groups, and whether the stores are open or closed. If you’re looking to do shopping, just know that Switzerland, they have a lot of laws regarding when the stores can be open or closed. So, Sundays, most stores will be closed, Saturday, most stores will close early, except at the train station. When you’re walking around the Old Town, make sure to look up. Lots of the buildings have very elaborate paintings on them. I guess this is one way to do it slightly cheaper, because they don’t have to make all this in Stockholm. Lucerne is well signed for tourists, so you can find all the major tourist attractions by following these signs. Of course you know the biggest one, I said earlier, it’s the Lion, this is the only one that really has an icon of its own. In Lucerne, definitely take a stroll along the river in the middle of the city. On this side, which is the side with the train station, there’s often Farmer’s Markets set up, and on the other side, the side of the Old Town, there’s a whole bunch of restaurants that basically flank the river, a festive place at night, often musicians will come out and serenade the diners. So no, I’m not in a prison right now, though this may have been used as a prison before. I’m in one of the towers of the City Wall. You can come up on top of the hill over the Old Town, to these towers, and check out some slightly obstructed views of Lucerne, and you can walk along the Tower Wall to a couple other towers and you can go inside the one that’s the Clock Tower too. But there is kind of an unique view out of Lake Lucerne, but the Clock Tower definitely has better views than the first tower you walk up at the main entrance. This clock, by law, has first strike rights, which means it strikes the time first, before all the other clocks in the city. So if you’re here right at 12, you’ll hear bells all around the city, right after this one. Just listen. This tells you the Swiss really like their clocks, and Bell Towers. For some really cheesy, but entertaining, evening entertainment, check out the Stadkeller Restaurant. You’ll be treated to oversized bells, Alpine horns, accordion music, the Swiss dancing, and of course, yodeling. The dinner show is free, just you have to pay for the overpriced food, the food wasn’t too bad, and you can even get your fix of fondue here. But, I’ll say fondue, it’s good to have about once, gets a little old after a while. For the most popular excursion from Lucerne, take the Golden Round Trip. From the top of Mt. Pilatus, you can see really great views of Lucerne down below. Click the video card to watch my video on it, link’s in the description too. Alright, well, I hope you enjoyed this video, if you did, please give it a thumbs up below, or you could follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, links in the description below, or consider subscribing for new videos every Sunday, or you might enjoy watching some of my other videos from Switzerland. Click any of them to watch, or find those in the description below too. Alright, bye bye.

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