Updated 2016

Lucerne is a small city in Switzerland with a large reputation. Located on the lake of the same name, Lucerne gains much of its status by being the largest town in Central Switzerland, making it the perfect place from which to explore this gorgeous region. With only about 60,000 residents, this really is a small city, but there are plenty of things to see and do in town and in the region as a whole.

What To Do

Lucerne is located where the Reuss River meets the lake, and its river setting has made it the home of a few historic and fascinating bridges. The Mill Bridge was built in the early 15th Century and zig-zags across the river. It’s the oldest covered bridge in Europe and is also interesting for the paintings on display as you cross. The Chapel Bridge is even older, but much of it burned down in 1993, although it was quickly rebuilt in its original form.

Lucerne’s Old Town is a major attraction itself. It’s small, but nearly everything is in its original condition, giving visitors one of the region’s most authentic looks into life in the area long ago. Mount Pilatus stands over the town and is another worthwhile attraction. You can walk all the way up if you’ve got the time and energy, but you can ride up on a cable car or railway, which gives you the much more pleasant option of walking down the gorgeous Alpine trail back into town.

Read: Seven Culinary Experiences Not to Miss in Switzerland.

Getting There

Lucerne has no large airport nearby, but its central location makes it an excellent place to visit by train and a popular stop for Eurail Pass holders. If you want to fly in your best bet is to book a ticket into Zurich and then take one of the frequent trains to Lucerne. You might also try prices of flights into Bern as it’s another city quite well connected to Lucerne on the rails.

Read: Million Dollar Views: Four Ways to Visit Switzerland on a Budget.

Where To Stay

There are a couple of hostels in Lucerne and many hotels in Lucerne as well. This is Switzerland so finding cheap beds can be challenging, but prices in Lucerne are not as bad as some other cities in this country. The city is so small that location shouldn’t really be an issue. Summer is the busy season here, but there are winter resorts nearby so it pays to plan ahead most of the year.