Fall in Lucerne, Switzerland … and a rundown of the best things to do there

By Molly Fernow

“I think I am on the wrong train,” I said to myself while on the five-minute ride from Zurich, Switzerland to Lucerne. My international travel skills have gotten a bit rusty in the nearly two-year break during the global pandemic. I was in fact going the wrong way after all; however, a quick hop off that train and a careful reading of the schedule, and I was on my way to start my adventure in Switzerland.

October is the shoulder season for Switzerland. The weather is at its best and there are not too many tourists. I was not expecting the exquisite fall colors everywhere. It was gorgeous to see the colors all around the lakes and at the base of the Alps. I can only describe the beauty of Switzerland as “eye candy for the soul.”  The grandeur of the Alps, beautiful lakes, and medieval architecture can truly take your breath away.

Lucerne is a quaint city in central Switzerland that sits amid snowcapped mountains on Lake Lucerne and is known for its preserved medieval architecture. The Chapel Bridge in the center of the city, built in 1333, is the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge and is the heart of Lucerne. There is so much that this area of Switzerland has to offer. These are my top five things to do if you find yourself in this gorgeous part of the world:

  • Mount Rigi. See the views of Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug, Lake Lauerz and the Black Forest of Germany. There is fabulous mineral spa halfway up Mineralbad and Spa at Rigi Kallbad definitely worth stopping for.
  • The Chocolatiers. You cannot miss chocolate in Switzerland! We visited Aeschbach Chocolatier, which was absolutely delectable.
  • Mount Pilatus. Ride the world’s steepest cogwheel railway and enjoy a glass of wine at the hotel on top.
  • Dining in Old Town Lucerne on the River Reuss, and the view of the Chapel Bridge. Most seating is outdoors so visitors can enjoy this enchanted part of the city. There are heat lamps, and on every chair, there is a warm blanket for guests to use. La Barca Vincafe even has faux fur coats to wear as you dine outside. The food is amazing, from fondue to Raclette to Rosti to some of the best ice cream I have had in my life!
  • Walking the City. See the moving Lion Monument, walk the town walls and towers built in 1350, and visit the gorgeous churches.