I had the privilege of spending my last day backpacking Europe in Lucerne, Switzerland. This small gem of a city has breath-taking views everywhere you look: Snowy mountains, the shiny blue water of Lake Lucerne, and adorable Swiss Architecture.
Swiss Super Saver Tickets
Frankly, it’s not the most affordable of locations, Switzerland, in general, is one of the pricier European countries. But, there’s always a way around obstacles if you want something enough!
The lovely YouTuber Sarah Nourse spent some time living in Lucerne with her Swiss husband and her vlogs made this a must stop on my Europe tour. It didn’t disappoint. I was staying in Basel, a beautiful city further north on the French-German border. My flight back to England was from the airport in Basel and the Hostels are significantly cheaper. I wanted my last day to be extra special, so I booked a train to Lucerne (It only takes an hour) and used the Super Saver option on the Swiss Trains website (SBB) to find a great deal (you do have to travel on an allotted train but you save sooo much money booking this way!).
Also, the trains in Switzerland are beautifully clean, quiet and always on time. But I am from England, and if you’ve ever experienced English trains you’d understand that any other country feels like luxury! Plus, you don’t get mountain views in all directions on English trains.
What to See
You can spend hours wandering and cover the whole city, getting lost in the cobbled streets and stumbling across major tourist spots like the giant Lion Monument, and the Chapel Bridge and Water Tower which span the River Reuss. When I visited it was a Sunday, so the only places open were a few souvenir shops, so keep that in mind when you visit. Although Sunday closure seems to be a theme across Europe, I think England is the odd one out! Whilst Lucerne is a fabulous place to stay, it’s definitely possible to experience and appreciate it’s beauty on a day trip.
Swimming in Lake Lucerne
The main reason for this visit, apart from fangirling the places Sarah Nourse had been, was to visit the Seebad. Swimming in rivers and lakes is a tradition and popular way for the Swiss to spend summer days, and I totally wanted to give it a try. In Basel I debated swimming in the Rhine but, solo travelling and the strong current made this not such a sensible idea. Seebad in Lucerne is like an outdoor pool, but the pool is the Lake! It has changing rooms, lockers, a sun-roof, it’s perfect. It’s actually surprising how affordable it was for Switzerland, only 6 CHF for the day (about £4.50 or $6.40).
A word of warning! Even on a baking August day, the water was quite frankly bloody freezing. Jumping in with the mountain view and the sun reflecting on the water, honestly, it’s a spiritual experience. I’d never felt so at peace and content- It was magical! You can spend the day sunbathing on the top deck, cooling off in the lake, and they sell food and refreshments, so of course, a glass of wine was in order.
So there you have it, why Lucerne is a must place to visit when in Europe! And don’t get me wrong, the rest of Switzerland is equally as fabulous, but Lucerne holds a special place in my heart, as I hope it will for you!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve been to Lucerne or Switzerland and have any other suggestions for things to do or see 🙂