fun things to do with kids in lucerne switzerland   Travel for Kids
switzerland
  | central switzerland
     
   

Lucerne (Luzern)

Chapel Bridge
  Walk through the old city (Altstadt) – The old city of Lucerne isn't that big, but it's a charming walk. Start at Bahnhofstrasse and the wooden covered Kapellbrucke (Chapel Bridge), the symbol of Lucerne. The bridge, built in the 14th century, was originally part of the city's defenses, included the eight-sided stone water.
    At the end of the bridge on the other side of the Reuss River, turn left at Rathausquai, stroll along the river to the next bridge. Turn right into Kornmarkt, once the medieval marketplace, next to the Rathaus, town hall, with a clock tower. Turn left, and walk to the wide open plaza, Weinmarkt, with a stone fountain in the center, ornamented with knights in armor.
    Walk up to Hirschenplatz, and look at the colorful building facade, decorated with knights and a lively deer hunt in progress. Tip: From here, you could go right, and follow Museggstrasse to walk the old city walls.
      Turn left on Rossligasse, walk down to the wide open Muhlenplatz, a nice spot to sit down in a cafe and have a snack. Cross the Reuss River on the Mill Bridge (Spreuerbrucke), and walk back down along the river to the Kapellbrucke, where you started.
      Tip: The tourist office has a free Lucerne City Guide, with a good map that makes it easy to find your way around the old city,
  Musegg Wall – In the Middle Ages, many towns in Switzerland built strong city walls and towers for defense; however, unlike most of these city walls later demolished as the city grew, Lucerne's old city walls are beautifully preserved, and accessible with a ramparts walk.
    Tip: You can start the walk at either end, the Nolli Tower (Nolliturm) on St. KarlQuai along the river and walk east, or start at Schimer Tower (Schimerturm) (take Museggstrasse to Schimertorweg) and walk west. The description of the walk below starts at Nolliturm.
Musegg Wall
    Walk up St. KarlQuai to the round chunky Nolliturm, go through the gate, and walk up the grassy hill. At this point, you're on the north side of the wall. As a note, there's an electric fence, and peaceful brown cows grazing on the hill. Walk along the ramparts to the next tower, the Mannliturm. Climb up the four floors to the top, and look out over the parapet in all directions. The two turrets are each topped with a metal soldier holding the blue and white flag. While you're climbing up, notice just how thick the stone walls are.
      Continue walking along the walls to the 15th century clock tower, the Zytturm (Zeitturm), which houses the oldest clock in Lucerne. Climb up the tower, and when you come down, go out the south side of the tower, continuing on the metal walkway, attached to the stone walls (being up on the wall gives you a real sense of it's defensive potential).
      The walkway ends at the Schirmerturm, a square sided tower, which you can also climb up to the top. Check out the massive wooden beams on the interior. From the tower, walk down Schimertorweb to the Museggstrasse, and the old city.
      The towers are open Easter to the end of October (closed in winter).
  Lake cruises – Set out on a two and a half hour cruise around Lake Lucerne. Some boats are steamboats, which are fun for kids, or pick a sunset cruise, a real treat on a warm summer evening. Click here for more info (advance reservations are needed for some cruises).
    Boat rental – Rent pedal boats, motorboats, row boats and pontoon boats. Go out on the lake and let the kids do the pedaling.
    Bucherer clock (Schwanenplatz 5) – Stop into to see this state-of-the-art clock sculpture in the Bucherer store. Four stories high, rolling glass balls drop down squiggly tracks and racks in a dizzying display of minutes, seconds and hours. Mesmerizing, and something to think about for your next science fair project.
    Natural History Museum (Natur-Museum Luzern) – Looking for rainy day activity? Head into this small and kid-friendly natural history museum. Inside are exhibits about plants and animals of Switzerland, including a super Alpine ibex diorama, and wild boar to climb all over. On the top level is an indoor garden with live butterflies. Don't miss the mysterious round "Dragonstone of Luzern," a medieval stone believed to have healing properties.
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