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5 Reasons to Visit Lucerne, Switzerland, with Children

by Barbara Rogers

Sep 19, 2022

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The Swiss city of Lucerne is large enough to have plenty of things to do, but small enough to explore easily with children. So if your family’s travels take you to Switzerland, here’s why you should make Lucerne part of your itinerary.


1. Take a trip up Mount Pilatus by cable car

Board the cable lift in Kriens and return on the cog railroad. At the top, another short cable car ride takes you higher to Pilatus-Kulm, where a 10-minute climb leads to the summit of the Esel. This is the central summit of the multipeaked Pilatus. The views go on forever.


2. Ride a real steamboat on Lake Lucerne

There are several different ways to cruise on Lake Lucerne, but the most fun for kids is on a real paddle-wheel steamer. They can watch the inner workings of the paddle wheel through windows while you marvel at the surrounding mountain scenery.


3. Take the cog railway up Mt. Rigi

As Europe’s first mountain cog railway, you’ll ride in restored cars dating back to its origins. You can make this into a circle route by returning on another cog railway to Arth-Goldau, a short train ride from Lucerne.


4. Walk across two long covered bridges

The wooden Kapellbrücke was built in 1333 and features more than 100 paintings hanging from its rafters, forming a pictorial history of the city. Far spookier are the paintings inside the second covered wooden bridge, the Spreuerbrücke. Under the rafters are 45 17th-century paintings of the Dance of Death, filled with skeletons cavorting, dancing and playing musical instruments.


5. Visit Heidegg Castle

Half an hour from Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s oldest castles, dating from the 1100s. Its story comes to life in an engaging audio-visual experience showing how people in the castle lived throughout its 700-year history. But what kids love most is the top floor of the castle, a gigantic play room where they can become princes and princesses in royal robes, jewels and crowns.


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