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How to Spend 24 Hours in Lucerne

The serene beauty of Lucerne renowned for its emerald lake, mountainous panorama, and the Kapellbrücke have ensured that Lucerne will forever be a charming holiday destination where Mother Nature and the city coalesce. Alone, Lucerne could be the perfect destination for a luxury holiday in Switzerland. However, should you find that you only have 24 hours in the city; this is our guide to spending a day in Lucerne the Rich Vein Travel way.

24 Hours in Lucerne

09:00
After a divine breakfast at the Grand Hotel National nestled on the shores of Lake Lucerne, embark on a boat cruise on the lake. With a Swiss Travel Pass, all boat cruises are free with the exception of the panoramic yacht cruise on MS Saphir. For approximately 60 minutes you will cruise along Lake Lucerne until you reach the quaint picturesque town of Vitznau. Vitznau lies in an idyllic bay of Lake Lucerne at the foot of the Rigi. This holiday resort in central Switzerland is a popular starting point for numerous excursions around the lake, primarily and naturally, up the famous regional mountain.

10:00
Step off the boat and step onto the iconic cogwheel train which will be located on your right. Meandering through Rigi’s most exclusive resorts, this train will take you up to Rigi Kulm, the highest peak of Mount Rigi, 1797m above sea level. From here you will enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of lakes, villages and mountains. Mt. Rigi has been featured in many works of art, including both paintings and literary publications. Perhaps the most famous paintings of the Rigi were a series by JMW Turner, including The Blue Rigi, Sunrise, several of which are in the collection of the Tate Britain art gallery in London
12:00
Explore Rigi to your heart’s content, and stop for a warming or refreshing drink at one of several restaurants and café’s at the summit. Then either descend down to Vitznau on the return train or take the more adventurous route from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Kaltbad via the cogwheel railway, before floating down to the idyllic holiday resort of Weggis at the foot of Mount Rigi in a cable car. From here, it’s possible to return to Lake Lucerne via boat cruise.
scenic view of the mountains
14:00
Upon returning to Lucerne make your way to Negishi Sushi Bar. Negishi means “a quiet place” in Japanese and this cosy sushi bar is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious lunch. With a vast menu ranging from Chubu Run, the bestselling miso soup, to Hong Kong Stories – fresh dumplings bursting with flavour, not to mention the delightfully fresh sushi, you may never want to leave.
15:00
Visit the Rosengart Collection with 300 incredible classic modernist and impressionist works of art. Enjoy works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and 23 other artists spread across three floors.
16:30
The beauty of Switzerland makes taking the perfect picture incredibly easy. Make the most of the golden hour (if you’re travelling in the winter) by taking even more stunning photographs of Lake Lucerne and the Kapellbrücke. Chapel Bridge (“Kapellbrücke”) is a wooden pedestrian bridge that spans the Reuss River. It is named after the nearby St. Peter’s Chapel. Built in 1333, the Kapellbrücke and is one of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe. If you’re keen to explore the city further, why not try to find some of Lucerne’s 166 public fountains located all around the city? The old well network has provided the overwhelming majority of the city’s fountains with spring water from Kriens since the Middle Ages.
17:00
Return to the Grand Hotel National for a refreshing swim in the swimming pool located on the second floor. Comfy loungers and a sun terrace with views of the lake are perfect for helping you relax in style after your swim.
18:00
Freshen up in your elegantly appointed room before dinner at the Hotel Des Balances. This regal hotel’s prime location nestled in the heart of the old town houses one of the city’s most incredible restaurants called Restaurant Balances. Boasting 14 Gault Millau points, the rich warm environment and natural tones create a relaxed atmosphere inside whilst the friendly staff will help ensure that tonight’s dining experience is a memorable one.
We recommend the Des Balances Inspiration tasting menu with the wine pairings. Changing every month, and using fresh seasonal ingredients the Des Balances Inspiration menu will take your taste buds on a journey of culinary excellence. The March menu, for example, included a sensational array of seafood, game, and innovative desserts complete with Swiss confectioner’s treats. Pair each course with the recommended wine to truly elevate each plate. Read our full restaurant review of the Restaurant Balances. After dinner, try one of the hotel’s delightful after dinner cocktails at the bar or at your table. Our favourite is the Balances cocktail.

cathedral behind building beside body of water with stone bridge

22:00

There are dozens of bars and clubs in Lucerne which means that there is something for everyone. For high-end nightlife head for the bars of the grand hotels. But if you’re looking for a more alternative, edgy atmosphere, then head to one of the pubs or casual bars dotted around the city. If you’re looking for high-end nightlife, cross the bridge from the Hotel Des Balances towards Penthouse, a stylish rooftop bar just minutes away on foot. High above the rooftops of Lucerne, and with magnificent views of the Alps, the buzz and lively atmosphere of Penthouse makes it the perfect place to dance the night away.

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