The recipe for a gorgeous Swiss city is very easy: take a cobalt lake ringed by mountains of myth, add a well-preserved medieval Altstadt (Old Town) and a reputation for making beautiful upbeat music, then follow it up by sprinkling some world famous monuments like our bridges, sunny plazas, candy-coloured houses and waterfront promenades and you get Luzern. One minute it's nostalgic, the next incredibly classy and dandy with all of our tourism high class hotels and luxury stores and although the shops are still crammed with what Mark Twain so eloquently described as 'gimcrackery of the souvenir sort', Luzern doesn't only dwell on the past, with a roster of music gigs keeping the vibe upbeat.
Starting as a small fishermen village, Luzern started to turn into a city around 1220 due to the opening of the Gotthardpass, which has been one of the most important connections from North to South across the Alps (the name of the Swiss mountain chain).
Luzern is the cultural, financial and touristic epicentre of Central Switzerland. The geographical setting of the city has been a determinant in the history and evolution of Luzern, since it is more or less in the centre of Switzerland and leads as a gateway from North to South.
Tourism is of high importance to Luzern, thanks to the combination of the city with the beautiful view across the lake and the medieval buildings such as the wooden Kapellbrücke (built around 1300), and many towers and churches.
Another famous landmark is the Lion Monument, which is an allegory of a dying lion to honour Swiss Guards that fell while defending the French King against revolutionaries in 1792. Fun fact: Legends say that the sculptor of the monument was so angry about his low payment that he carved a pig as an addition to the monument. Can you see it? ☺
Carnival capers at Fasnacht, balmy summers, golden autumns - this 'city of lights' shines in every season. If you were ever interested in sending the perfect Swiss postcard you would make it from this amazing city, the azure lake with it's picturesque buildings and the gorgeous silver mountains in the back truly make it one of the most amazing and definitely "swissest" sights you'll ever witness.
Culture and Events
Luzern has a lot to offer concerning culture and events!
If you are looking for cultural experiences, take a look at museums, theaters or even the KKL.
A big cultural event in Luzern is the “Fasnacht” (carnival). It is a central part of the cultural side of Luzern and lasts around two weeks. If you come here for your spring semester starting in February, you might not want to miss it! Other known events in Luzern that happen on a yearly basis: Blue Balls Festival, the Lucerne Festival, etc.