Switzerland Trip — Zurich, Lucerne & around (part 2)
Switzerland Trip — The plan (part 1)
As the covid-19 restrictions were lifted to some extent inside EU and summer was about to say “good bye” until next…
Continuing part 1 (link above) of the Switzerland trip series, in this post I will talk about how we explored Zurich in limited time, Lucerne and some other beautiful places near Lucerne.
We started at around 8.00 AM from Berlin and reached Zurich around 4.00 PM. Since we did not plan to stay in Zurich, we had roughly 4 to 5 hours to explore the city and have some decent food as we sat in the train for about 8 hours.
The best place in a walking distance from Zurich Hauptbahnhof (central station) was Lake Zurich. To reach there, we had to pass the old town. So we decided to stroll around the old town and feel the swiss vibe. This is the bird eye view of the city from Google Earth but believe me, it is as beautiful as it looks in this picture 🙂
There are 6 bridges between the Hauptbahnhof and the lake and it was a nice walk though the city with local restaurants, bike lanes, fountains around the lake. Here are some glimpses of the city and the lake —
(Please note that I am not a professional youtuber and bear with my amateur video editing skills 😄)
With that view, we had dinner in a nice lakeside restaurant and said “good bye” to this beautiful city.
Lucerne is around 50 km south-west from Zurich and it takes approximately 1 hour to reach there by public transport.
We stayed in Lucerne for 3 days and the plan was to visit 3 main mountains around the city, take some boat rides and also explore the old town.
1. Mount Titlis — day 1
Approximately 40 km south of Lucerne, Mount Titlis is one of the many beautiful peeks in Switzerland. It takes 1.5 hours to reach there from Lucerne and yes, you can go on top of the mountain with the public transport tickets available on SBB. It’s a 2 step journey. First you need to travel from Lucerne to Engelberg via train and from there you need to take the cable car to reach on top of the mountain. Fun fact, this is world’s first rotating cable car project and the view while going up was breathtaking.
Covered with snow almost all the time, it looks all white with slight grey shades of the mountain rocks. When you look down, you will feel the oasis of serenity the nature provides. While going up, you can hear the sound of cow bells. (tried capturing it in a video while sitting in the cable car, I think I’ve done a decent job here 😄)
Here is the clip of our journey from Engelberg to the top of Mount Titlis through the cable car.
This was my favorite place of all the places we visited in Switzerland during this trip.
2. Mount Rigi — day 2
After spending almost entire day on Mount Titlis, the next day we went on another peek called Mount Rigi!
Rigi is a beautiful mountain surrounded by lakes and offers a scenic view from the top. As the google earth image above shows, it is surrounded by 3 lakes — Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz.
There are multiple ways you can travel to Rigi from Lucerne. The best way is to take a boat which is also a public transport in Switzerland. It took approximately 2 hours to reach on the top including the boat ride and the cable car. The journey through the blue lake water with small town stops on the way was something I will never be able to forget. The boat stops at Vitznau (another small, beautiful town on the shore of the lake) and from there you can take a cable car which takes you to the top of Mount Rigi.
2. Mount Pilatus — day 2
Against the popular advice to not go to more than 1 mountain per day, we decided to cover Mount Pilatus on the same day because guess what, the weather was just amazing!
I talked to multiple friends who visited Switzerland in the past, also saw multiple travel blogs. Everyone says, you gotta have some buffer time so that you can plan your visits to the mountains depending on the weather because the rain plays hide and seek with you all the time in this country. I guess we were just lucky during our entire 8 day trip that it didn’t rain or rained while we were sleeping.
~7000 ft. tall, Mount Pilatus is located south-west of Lucerne and you can reach there in 30–40 mins with the city transport. From the top you can see entire Lucerne.
Here are some pictures captured while going up top and the view from top.
Last but not the least, we visited some famous locations in the old town of Lucerne.
Lion Monument, which was created in 1800s to commemorate the Swiss guards who sacrificed their lives in French revolution. It is situated right in the center of the city and is a very peaceful place.
Chapel bridge is another iconic place near the hauptbahnhof. You can easily spot the wooden bridge decorated with flowers on both the sides and a tower in the middle.
And that was the end of our stay in Lucerne!
Story about our visit to Interlaken and the peek which is famously called top of Europe is shared in the next part of this series.