At first I was skeptical about visiting Lucerne in winter, but this Swiss city ended being one my favorite trips. Our winter weekend in Lucerne was especially memorable because the buildings were so beautiful sprinkled in snow. Exploring the surrounding area and seeing the Alps completely white was simply magical.
During the off season, many hotels have incentives if you book direct. Our hotel, Altstadt Hotel Krone Luzern included complimentary Tell-Passes with our booking. We were lucky and got a room with a window facing the small square below. Altstadt was the perfect choice for us with its central location, but I’d book with them for the Tell-Pass alone. Be sure to double check with the hotel about their winter promotions.
We were determined to explore the Alps and make the most of the Tell-Passes, even if it was a little snowy. Rigi’s website has live cameras so you can scope out the visibly from the top of the mountain. It didn’t look promising, but we decided to go for it. We took a boat from Lucerne to Vitzau and then a train and a gondola to get up to Rigi Klum. I couldn’t see a thing! I could barely see ten feet in front of me much less breathtaking views of the lake and the Alps. The boat portion was still beautiful though and you could watch all the snowy Swiss towns dotted along the shore pass by from the warmth of the boat.
When we got back to Lucerne, we spent the rest of the day exploring the city. Along the river, you can’t miss the Chapel Bridge or Kapellbrücke. As you walk across one of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe, be sure to look up to see paintings with scenes from Swiss history.
Along the way to the Löwendenkmal, we walked along the river, strategically passing by Max Chocolatier. Stop in the darling chocolate shop for unique flavors and decadent truffles.
As the day ended, we got a drink at the Storchen and it was full of local Swiss socializing. It had such a homey feel, like someone might have been walking home and decided to pop in for a drink when they happened to spot a friend through the window. Everyone seemed to be drinking white wine, so we ordered two glasses of Riesling before heading to the lovely Mill’Feuille for dinner. I’d recommend the beet risotto.
On our last day in Lucerne, we headed up to Mount Pilatus for unforgettable views. That day was a highlight of the weekend. The views were absolutely incredible.
READ: VIEWS FROM MOUNT PILATUS
After our adventure up to the Swiss Alps, we took a train back to the unexpectedly charming town of Basel. I didn’t expect to love this town so much, but Lucerne is definitely a winter wonderland that shouldn’t be missed!
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