Things to do in Lucerne: the Luzern city train

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One of my all-time favourite trips was my solo trip to Switzerland. I spent the first two days in Switzerland exploring Zurich and surrounds and then part of the second day exploring Basel. Then I had to do a bit of work for a few days (the actual purpose of the trip:-)). Afterwards, I decided to spend two days in Luzern (the English spelling is Lucerne) as there were many things to do in Lucerne for someone like me who was enjoying her first trip to Switzerland.

Things to do in Lucerne: the Luzern city train

Arriving in Luzern

Torbogen Luzern in front of the train station in Luzern
Torbogen Luzern in front of the train station in Luzern – the only wall left from the train station that burned down in 1971

After arriving at the Bahnhofplatz or train station in Luzern, I quickly made my way to my hotel and checked in to my room. I quickly freshened up and decided that since I still had a few hours of daylight left, I could do some exploring of Lucern.

Finding the blue Luzern city train

It was a sunny day and I walked along a street following Lake Luzern. After a short while, I noticed the blue city train of Luzern outside the Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne. I went inside to enquire about the tickets for the Luzern city train and heard that it was only about 5 minutes until the next ride starts. This was exciting news! I had seen the city train on the website when I was doing my research on Luzern, and it had been one of my listed things to do in Lucerne but had not been sure that I would take it. The city train gives a good overview of Luzern and may help me plan my explorations the next day. Luzern does not have red sightseeing buses, so this would be the next-best thing.

The Luzern city train ride

The Luzern City Train

After 5 minutes the city train left the hotel and started driving around. Everyone received earphones. I selected English for the commentary language.

Scenery along the way

The first thing I noticed was that there was suddenly music playing, and it was not the music I would associate with the Swiss. It wasn’t Swiss people, but the gipsies were trying to make a few bucks from a musical performance.

Gypsies putting on a show in Lucerne, Switzerland

We went past an old jail building and was driving alongside the old city walls. We eventually came to the end of the old city wall where there was a colossal tower.

Old city wall in Lucerne, Switzerland

After turning the corner at the large tower, we could see Hotel Gutsch on the top of a mountain. It looks like a castle and according to the commentator the hotel had its funicular in the olden days to get guests and their luggage to the top. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth from England has stayed at this hotel before.

Hotel Gutsch in Lucerne, Switzerland

We then crossed a bridge and could see the Spreuerbrucke bridge in the distance. Behind it was a mosque and even further away one could see the snow-capped mountains.

Spreuerbrucke in Lucerne, Switzerland

Along the way, we saw many beautiful buildings and fountains.

Traditional building in Lucerne, Switzerland

One thing that amazed me about Switzerland was that people didn’t lock their bicycles. If you didn’t lock something you owned in South Africa, someone would steal it in a few minutes. Switzerland is much safer than South Africa.

Unlocked bicycles in Lucerne, Switzerland

We also passed the Old Swiss House, a restaurant in Luzern. I loved the building and the character it has.

Old Swiss House, a restaurant in Lucerne, Switzerland

And we went past the Matthauskirche (Matthew’s church?).

Matthauskirche in Lucerne, Switzerland

Worth it?

All too soon the 40-minute drive ended, and we were back at the hotel. The Luzern City Train is one thing to do in Luzern – taking the train ride had been worth it. It gave me some insight into the Lucerne attractions and the commentary provided some historical background. I would recommend it to anyone who visits Lucerne for the first time.

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