Luxury Travel Blog

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July 1, 2021

Quintessential Switzerland: Lucerne & the Lake Lucerne Region

The lakeside town of Lucerne and the greater Lake Lucerne Region in central Switzerland are perfect for travelers wanting a quintessential Swiss experience with stunning mountain landscapes, great cultural touring and luxurious hotels.

The American writer Mark Twain spent time in the Lucerne region in the late 19th century and would later recall it as “the loveliest [place] in the world.”

The picture-postcard town of Lucerne is known for its well-preserved historic center, complete with colorful medieval buildings…

…cobblestone streets and the landmark Chapel Bridge.

The covered wooden bridge spans the Reuss River–a feat of medieval engineering—and is famous for the fascinating 17th-century paintings that adorn the roof trusses.

Other notable places of interest in Lucerne include the Musegg Wall, a portion of the medieval city walls; the scenic waterfront promenade; the Swiss Museum of Transport…

…the Rosengart Collection, an art museum with works by Picasso and Paul Klee; and the Lion Monument, a poignant relief sculpture that commemorates the Swiss Guards who died fighting for King Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

Lucerne also has great local shops, including boutiques specializing in housewares, antiques and crafts, and shops devoted to renowned brands such as Bucherer, one of Switzerland’s top luxury jewelry and watch purveyors (the brand is based in Lucerne).

Our preferred luxury hotels in and around Lucerne are known for their magnificent views, excellent cuisine and luxurious rooms and amenities.

Favorite hotels include the Burgenstock Hotel, Schweizerhof Luzern, Park Hotel Vitznau and the iconic Hotel Palace Luzern that will soon re-open as the Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern.

Lucerne is an ideal base to explore classic Swiss landscapes. One of our favorite private excursions we arrange is a cruise on Lake Lucerne.

The sparkling blue lake is surrounded by the high Swiss Alps and bordered by charming waterside villages, including Weggis and Vitznau.

private Switzerland tours

Of particular note is Rutli, the scenic meadow where the country of Switzerland was established in 1291.

Another highlight of touring in the Lake Lucerne Region is going up one of the three main mountains around the lake for panoramic views, hiking, meals and other activities.

One popular option is riding the steepest cog railway in the world up iconic Mount Pilatus.

Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange for a meal at one of the restaurants on Mount Pilatus, followed by a descent by cable car and gondola.

Another option is a private excursion to the village of Engelberg—known for artisanal cheese production—and up Mount Titlis, one of the highest peaks in the region. Many of our travelers enjoy the thrill of riding the revolving cable car,  walking on the Cliff Walk suspension bridge or entering the Glacier Cave.

A third option is Mount Rigi, known as the Queen of the Mountains. Mark Twain immortalized Rigi in his travel memoir A Tramp Abroad (1880) as offering visitors to the summit a “mighty prospect of blue lakes, green valleys and snowy mountains.”

From Lucerne, many of our travelers have us arrange onward travel by train or private transfer to the mountain town of Andermatt, passing through the majestic Schollenen Gorge with views of the historic Devil’s Bridge (Teufelsbrucke) en route.

Andermatt is a great destination for active touring in spectacular Swiss mountain scenery.

Artisans of Leisure can arrange various activities around Andermatt, such as private hiking, mountain biking, skiing, golf and scenic drives.

We arrange accommodation in Andermatt at top luxury hotels including the Chedi Andermatt and the Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen, Andermatt.

Andermatt’s position as a stop on the Glacier Express (Switzerland’s famous train journey) and Lucerne’s central location make them ideal hubs for traveling to other favorite destinations around Switzerland, including Zermatt, St. Moritz, the Berner Oberland, Lausanne and Zurich.

Contact Artisans of Leisure to begin planning a private Switzerland tour including the best of Lucerne and the Greater Lucerne Region.

Destinations:  Europe, Switzerland

Tags:  active travel, Andermatt, Burgenstock hotel, Chapel Bridge, Engelberg, Glacier Express, hiking, Lake Lucerne, Lake Lucerne Region, lakes, Lucerne, Lucerne tours, luxury Switzerland tours, Mount Pilatus, Mount Rigi, Mount Titlis, mountains, private Switzerland tours, Swiss Alps, Swiss cuisine, Swiss tours, Swiss train tours, Swiss trains, Swiss watches, Switzerland active tours