You won’t go hungry in Lucerne. The city’s location, in the heart of the country and the heart of Europe, ensures a varied mix of dishes, from international to typically Swiss. While you’re here, a few local specialities to indulge in include birewegge (pear bread), buttery pastry packed with pears, plums, figs, walnuts and raisins, and chügelipastete, a creamy vol-au-vent-style pie dating back to the 18th century.
What’s more, as Lucerne is so perfectly situated, it’s easy to eat and drink with an incredible view. In summer especially, cafe tables spread out onto the pavements and waterfront promenade, and rooftop bars and clubs serve sundown drinks with glittering lake panoramas. There’s even a ‘Fondue Ship’ from October to December, on which you can cruise the lake while eating unlimited melted cheese. For a more in-depth tasting experience, head out on a foodie walking tour or get hands-on: it’s possible to join a chocolate crafting session with an artisan chocolatier, descend into a cheese cellar for an expert-led tasting or even take a sausage-making seminar at Langerlen Farm in Schwarzenberg to learn to make the perfect wurst.
Lucerne is the launch-pad for adventures all around its namesake lake. There are multiple ferry routes plying the waters and, once you disembark, the possibilities are almost endless. Historic and ingenious cable cars, cogwheel trains and funiculars soar to great mountain heights. Walking and cycling trails lead into lush valleys and forests. Mountain huts and chalets perch amid the hills, serving farm-fresh cuisine. There are so many options that it’s easy to find a place away from the crowds. For instance, you could follow the old pilgrimage trail up Mount Rigi, seek out pine martens in the woods of the Burgenstock, soar up Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway or just find a quiet spot and get lost in the loveliness of the lake.