Let me just start by saying that you will spend a lot of money in Switzerland. A LOT. Wherever you go, whatever you do, and everything you eat will cost you more than most countries. With that in mind, prepare to have a lovely time in a truly magical setting.
I was only in Switzerland for a weekend and I stayed in Zürich. However, the most memorable part of my trip by far was the day I spent in Luzern. That said, everything else in this post will be things to do there, so here is what I would recommend seeing in Zürich if you find yourself there!
Lake Zürich is gorgeous. It’s got ice blue water, towering mountains around it—the whole shebang. You’ll find it at the end of your stroll down Bahnhofstrasse, which has some of the best, most-unaffordable shopping around. But hey, who doesn’t love to window shop? I would also put Grossmünster and Fraumünsteron your list if you like grand ole cathedrals, but, if you’re not that interested, just know that those are the buildings that are making the city silhouette interesting.
I’m also going to share a magical find with you that was one of necessity. The day my friends and I were in Zürich, it was Sunday, so all of the shops were closed. And it started raining. In February. So it was freezing. We were looking everywhere for a safe haven, and boy did we find one. We looked up and in the midst of the grey sky looming with clouds, we saw sparkly white lights from the rooftop of a building. We were desperate, so we went inside, hopped in the elevator, and hoped for the best. Hiltl Dachterrasse is the name of the place we stumbled upon, and it is wonderful. The inside is elegantly cozy with rows of chandelier crystals lighting the room filled with colorful couches. There’s also a covered terrace with a forest of plants and blankets to snuggle in while you drink hot chocolate. It was love at first sight.
That’s it. You’re done. Now, get on the train to Luzern!
2. Lake Luzern
When you walk out of the train station, this is the sight you will be greeted with. And it is just lovely. At least, that’s what the dozens of swans floating on it seem to think.
This covered wooden footbridge is the oldest in Europe and spans diagonally across the Reuss River, which runs into Lake Luzern. Be sure to walk over it because it contains a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th Century. It also has a cute tower that looks good in pictures.
4. Swiss Chocolate
Yet another thing that is famous for a reason. I went to a little shop right by the lake called Max Chocolatier because one of the locals recommended it, and it did not disappoint. I got a few truffles, but my favorite was champagne-flavored. Talk about living the high-life. While you’re there, ask them where to go to get their hot chocolate. It comes out as a steaming hot cup of milk and a large piece of chocolate shaped like a cocoa bean that you place inside to melt it. Unreal.
5. Boat Cruise
This was my favorite thing. Walking around the charming town is wonderful, but this is just its own special brand of magic. Boats leave all throughout the day, so just check on times and make sure you put it on your list. The boat will take you out on the lake for about an hour, making a couple stops to pick people up before heading back to where you get on. Seeing the mountains and dark blue water up close it just breath-taking.
6. Lion Monument
This is a tourist sight worth seeing. This large sculpture of a wounded lion is carved into the side of a cliff to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Place in Paris.
Mark Twain praised it as being “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
This is one of those places where you’ll walk around and feel like you’ve stumbled into a storybook, and it doesn’t get much better than that.
Enjoy this dreamy destination! And don’t mess with the swans.