Number of Days
2-3 days in Lucerne is a must.
How to reach
We took a train from Paris to Zurich, since no direct trains were available to Lucerne. This was about 4 hours of journey time. Zurich to Lucerne is another 40 mins.
Train frequency is very good and timings are to Swiss precision.
At the Zurich station information center, we inquired for the train pass of our next 11 days of Switzerland stay. After studying our itinerary (quite patiently and in detail), their suggestion of a Swiss half-pass worked out good for us.
Suggest you buy a train pass only after reaching Switzerland and take the help of the information center to select one. No need to buy one before your travel.
Pack your luggage sensibly. Do not take anything extra than what you need.
By the time we reached Switzerland, which was halfway mark of our Europe tour, we had realized that we were carrying too much luggage. Even half of what we were carrying would have been enough.
So we transferred all the necessary stuff from the big trolley bag to a smaller backpack.
The suitcase with all the extra stuff we kept at the SBB travel center at Zurich railway station. Of course, we were lucky that our return flight was from Zurich and hence this was possible. Although this turned out a bit costly, it was worth it.
We were doing Europe as it should be done, with backpacks. Enjoyed the rest our Swiss stay and travel due to the minimum baggage. Carrying only the backpacks was comfortable and cool.
Where to stay
We had booked our stay on airbnb.com. This was our first BnB experience. The place we had booked was about 15 minutes from the train station, but, was easily accessible by the local bus. The host had provided us exact directions and we reached easily.
What a place it turned out to be! A cozy cottage on the foothills.
Corina, the host was there to receive us. She asked us, where is your luggage? I pointed at the backpacks. She surprisingly asked us, “Only this?”
That’s backpacks for you. Looks small, but, packs big. Luxury backpacking at it’s best.
Corina and Ueli also invited us for dinner on our first day. This Airbnb experience was totally worth it. Lucerne and this stay were surely one of the highlights of our tour.
What to see
- Mount Titlis
- Mt. Rigi
Mt. Titlis, undoubtedly one of the most famous highlights of Switzerland, is easily accessible from Lucerne. You have to take a train to Engelberg. From Engelberg train station a bus service is provided to the gondola cable car station. Instead of the bus, suggest you walk your way to the cable car station. It’s a very short distance going through part of the beautiful Engelberg town.
While returning back from Titlis, midway at the point where you change cable cars, take a break and go the lake. It is located in beautiful and serene surroundings. Go and row.
Kapellbruecke bridge is just around the corner, opposite the railway station and is one of the highlights of Lucerne.
Mount Rigi – We had one day to spare in Lucerne and asked Corina for suggestions. She suggested Mount Rigi, which she said was quite good.
Her suggestion of taking a boat, then a cogwheel train and while returning taking back the train, a cable car and then the boat was funtastic!
We took the first class on the boat. It cost’s an extra few CHF’s, but, go for it.
On the cogwheel train, try to sit in the frontmost section, facing front and keep your camera’s ready.
Mount Rigi was one visit where the journey was as good as the destination.