BAKERIES, COFFEE, ICE CREAM, JUICE & TEA
●Treibhaus Luzern – 4 Spelteriniweg; 011-41-041-360-1488; treibhausluzern.ch; 2 menus each day; donuts and very fine coffee.
BARS & NIGHTCLUBS
●Bar 58 – 5 Klosterstrasse; 011-41-079-303-0155; bar58.ch; neighborhood bar.
●Bar 59 – 5 Industriestrasse; 011-41-041-3605200; bar59.ch; live music venues but still has neighborhood bar feel; hidden in warehouse-looking building’s basement.
●Jazzkantine – 8 Grabenstrasse; 011-41-041-410-7373; jsl.ch/kantine.htm; quite small but comfortable bar; stage in basement; jazzists play 4-8 times monthly; in same building is local jazz school, so it’s kind of student bar.
●Konzerthau Schüür – 1 Tribschenstrasse; 011-41-041-368-1030; schuur.ch.
●Löwengraben – 18 Löwengraben (at Jailhotel Löwengraben); 011-41-041-410-7830; jailhotel.ch; trendy; in summer, opens onto street.
●Mr. Pickwick’s Pub – 6 Rathausquai (at Hotel Pickwick); 011-41-041-410-5927; hotelpickwick.ch; most authentic looking and popular British pub in Lucerne, with woodsy-looking décor; riverfront location near Old Town’s northern end covered bridge; generally open nightly until 1 am.
●Opus – 16 Bahnhofstrasse; 011-41-041-226-4141; restaurant-opus.ch; set within interconnected medieval buildings; one side opens onto river views; foreign and Swiss wines; 2 different bars and river terrace.
●Café Parterre – 7 Mythenstrasse; 011-41-041-220-2043; parterre.ch; happy, well-lit space; Edward Hopper feel.
●Penthouse – 29 Pilatusstrasse; 011-41-041-226-8888; penthouse-luzern.ch; ritzy rooftop lounge; great views over Lucerne.
●Rathaus – 2 Unter der Egg; 011-41-041-410-5257; rathausbrauerei.ch; special house beer brewed only at this small brewery-restaurant is worth visit alone.
●Sedel – Sedelstrasse; 011-41-041-420-6310; luzern.com; where punk rock goes on.
●Treibhaus Luzern – 4 Spelteriniweg; 011-41-041-360-1488; treibhausluzern.ch; small but cool alternative club.
●Art Deco Hotel Montana – 22 Adligenswilerstrasse; 011-41-041-419-0000; hotel-montana.ch; art deco; commanding lake & mountain views.
●Hotel des Alpes – 3 Furrengasse; 011-41-041-410-5825; desalpes-luzern.ch; faces lake & overlooks Chapel Bridge; clean, well-run establishment; some rooms have balconies, with very large, but semi-private, balconies on 1st floor.
●Grand Hotel National – 4 Haldenstrasse; 011-41-041-419-0909; national-luzern.ch; César Ritz was once hotel manager here.
●The Hotel – 14 Sempacherstrasse; 011-41-041-226-8686; the-hotel.ch; boutique hotel with interior design by French architect Jean Nouvele; posh; classic French with Indochinese touch.
●Hotel Schweizerhof – 3a Schweizerhofquai; 011-41-041-410-0410; schweizerhof-luzern.ch; 5 star hotel in city center.
●Palace Luzern – 10 Haldenstrasse; 011-41-041-416-1616; palace-luzern.ch; old world charm & modern comforts; stylish elegance.
●Waldstätterhof – 4 Zentralstrasse; 011-41-041-227-1271; hotel-waldstaetterhof.ch; old-style comfort; symmetrical white building with balconies overlooking lake; opened in 1870.
●Bam Bou – 14 Sempacherstrasse (at The Hotel); 011-41-041-226-8686; the-hotel.ch; ode to 21st Century cool: black leather benches contrast strikingly with scarlet walls, gold script, and optical illusion (slanted mirrors reflect street outside); Asian-French fusion.
●Brasserie Bodu Restaurant – 5 Kornmark; 011-41-041-410-0177; brasseriebodu.ch; French.
●Grottino 1313 – 7 Industriestrasse; 011-41-41-610-1313; grottino1313.ch; high-ceilinged, atmospheric charmer, located on wrong side of tracks near Lucerne’s main train station, in once-industrial area frequented by locals rather than tourists; rustic charm (solid wooden beams, simple furniture, homemade chandelier made from cooking utensils, working stone fireplace & single candle at each table); menu based on simple & hearty market-fresh Italian cuisine.
●Jazzkantine zum Grabe – 8 Grabenstrasse; 011-41-041-410-7373; jsl.ch/kantine.htm; long bar, sturdy wooden tables & chalkboard menus; arty haunt serves tasty Italian dishes & good coffee; regular jazz workshops & gigs downstairs; opened as initiative of Lucerne jazz school in 1997, has become old-town café scene staple.
●KKL World Café – 1 Europaplatz; 011-41-041-226-7100; kkl-luzern.ch/en/cuisine; salads & sandwiches fill display cases; bistro-cum-cafeteria; wok dishes at lunch & dinner.
●Mövenpick Restaurant – 14 Pilatusstrasse; 011-41-041-210-6250; moevenpick-restaurants.com; international menu in English.
●Opus – 16 Bahnhofstrasse; 011-41-041-226-4141; restaurant-opus.ch; set within interconnected medieval buildings; one side opens onto river views; Serrano-style smoked ham, Italian soft cheese marinated in olive oil with garlic, vitello tonnato, smoked salmon tartare, and gazpacho studded with smoked mussels; 650 wines.
●Café Parterre – 7 Mythenstrasse; 011-41-041-220-2043; parterre.ch; happy, well-lit space; Edward Hopper feel.
●Restaurant Old Swiss House – 4 Löwenplatz; 011-41-041-410-6171; ww.oldswisshouse.ch; half-timbered building near Lion Monument; mandatory stopover on Lucerne dining tour since 1859; decorated in 17th Century style, with porcelain & antique glass, hand-carved oak doors, wooden stairways, leaded- and stained-glass windows with heraldic panes from 1575, antique silver, and old pewter; long bar near entry and dining room downstairs; in fair weather can have lunch on terrace; elegant Wiener schnitzel made tableside; freshwater fish; beef stroganoff, calves’ liver, roasted rack of baby lamb from Scotland, and sliced veal in cream sauce.
●Restaurant Schwan – 9 Zugerstrasse; 011-41-044-725-4719; hotel-schwan.ch.
●Takrai – 9 Haldenstrasse; 011-41-041-412-0404; takrai.ch; pint-sized Thai joint; emphasizes local organic produce; all dishes available with tofu.
●La Terraza – 9 Metzgerrainle; 011-41-041-410-3631; set in 12th Century building; Italian.
●Wirtshaus Galliker – 1 Schutzenstrasse; 011-41-041-240-1002; generous portions unpretentious, well-prepared food; rustic decor & often-rowdy atmosphere; house itself 1st mentioned in documents in 1681 as private residence; became restaurant in 1800; purchased in 1856 by Galliker family, whose members still run it.
●Self-Guided Walking Tour Thru New & Old Towns – blog.radissonblu.com/self-guided-tour-through-lucerne-with-map.
●Bucherer – 5 Schwanenplatz; 011-41-041-369-7700; bucherer.com; Switzerland’s best known watch and high-end jewelry dealer.
●Bucherer – 27 Langensandstrasse; 011-41-041-369-7000; bucherer.com; Switzerland’s best known watch and high-end jewelry dealer.
SIGHTS & SITES
●Alpineum – 30a Hirschmattstrasse; 011-41-041-410-6266; alpineum.ch; gigantic diorama depicting mountain regions in 3-D; created 100 years ago by 2 painters, Ernst Hodel Senior and Junior; directly opposite Lion Monument.
●Am-Rhyn-Haus – 10 Pilatusstrasse; 011-41-041-417-0310; am-rhyn-haus.ch; museum displays extraordinary Picasso collection.
●Bourbaki Panorama – 11 Löwenplatz; 011-41-041-412-3030; bourbakipanorama.ch; painstakingly detailed Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 depiction; narrative in English.
●Chapel Bridge – Kapellbrücke; 011-41-041-227-1717; luzern.ch; Lucerne landmark; once considered Europe’s oldest wood-bridge; built in 14th Century; burned down in 1993 but rebuilt in few months; tower (oubliette) still in original condition; while walking over it you can see about 100 pictures of 12th Century city life and Swiss history; these painted, triangular roof panels that line ceiling were created by Heinrich Wägmann in 1614 and depict important Swiss history and mythology events; 30 or so rescued from blaze.
●Glacier Garden (Gletschergarten) – 4 Denkmalstrasse; 011-41-041-410-4340; gletschergarten.ch; exhibits glacier potholes from last Ice Age; exhibits complemented by interactive stations and multimedia presentations; see also mirror labyrinth “Alhambra,” which has 90 mirrors and originally built in 1896 for Swiss National Exhibition in Geneva.
●Historisches Museum Luzern – 24 Pfistergasse; 011-41-041-228-5424; historischesmuseum.lu.ch; originally conceived as arsenal in 1560s; reconfigured as showplace for medieval and Renaissance art and sculptures in 1983; celebrates Swiss arts and crafts from central Switzerland between 1600-1900.
●KKL (Kunst- & Kongresshaus Luzern) – 1 Europaplatz; 011-41-041-226-7070; kkl-luzern.ch; spectacular building containing several concert halls and Lucerne Art Museum; designed by Jean Nouvel; major concert hall (La Salle Blanche) famous for acoustics.
●Kapellbrücke – city center; 011-41-041-227-1717; luzern.com/en/chapel-bridge (online ticket purchase); covered wooden footbridge spanning Reuss River diagonally.
●Lion Monument – 4 Denkmalstrasse; 011-41-041-410-4340; gletschergarten.ch/Loewendenkmal.139.0.html; sculpture by Bertel Thorvaldsen commemorating Swiss Guards massacred in 1792 during French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed Tuileries Palace in Paris; Mark Twain praised as “most mournful and moving piece of stone” in world.
●Mount Pilatus – 1 Schlossweg; 011-41-041-329-1111; pilatus.ch; mountain overlooking city; peak reached by world’s steepest cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad (not operating in wintertime) and all-year-round by cable-car in 3 sections from Kriens.
●Museggmauer (Musegg Wall) – museggmauer.ch; medieval area; walkway open between Schirmerturm (tower), where you enter, and Wachturm, from where you retrace your steps; can also ascend and descend Männliturm or Zytturm (former not connected to ramparts walkway).
●Naturmuseum – 6 Kasernenplatz; 011-41-041-228-5411; naturmuseum.ch; highlights feature woodland trail with real trees and mushroom computer; keep your peepers open for Luzerner Drachenstein, which, according to legend, fell from dragon’s mouth as flying over Mt. Pilatus (15th Century stone probably meteorite).
●Old Town – bounded by Löwengraben & Rathausquai (enter by wooden bridge - see walking tour itineraries under services, above); 011-41-041-227-1717; luzern.com/en; among main reasons Lucerne attracts so many travelers is small but remarkably preserved old town; maze of streets, passages & squares with many & varied murals painted on what seems like every other building; nice short walk on Museggmauer starts at Schirmer-Turm, then up road near Jazzkantine, open only at daytime.
●Rosengart Collection (Sammlung Rosengart) – 10 Pilatusstrasse; 011-41-041-220-1660; rosengart.ch; Lucerne art dealer Angela Rosengart’s private collection; over 200 important drawings and paintings by more than 20 world famous 19th & 20th Century masters (Cezanne, Klee, Monet, Matisse, Miro, Picasso, and many others); also houses 200 photographs (previously housed in Am-Rhyn-Haus) by David Duncan Douglas, LIFE’s photo correspondent.
●Spreuer Bridge (Spreuerbrücke) – between Kasernenplatz & Mühlenplatz (Old Town, downriver); after fire destroyed Kapellbrücke, wooden Spreuer Bridge (Spreuerbrücke), zigzagging across Reuss River, became Lucerne’s oldest bridge; built in 1407; its 17th Century roof paintings remain intact, detailing 56 movie-storyboard-style scenes by Caspar Meglinger, called Dance of Death; in each scene, Death may change his garb but his mocking smile never wavers as he shows no mercy to painted facsimiles of academics, hunter, nuns, priests, royalty, warriors, young bride, and even artist himself.
●Swiss Transport Museum (Verkehrshaus) – 5 Lidostrasse; 011-41-041-370-4444; verkehrshaus.ch; Switzerland’s most popular museum; large collection automobiles, motorcycles, planes, and trains; air section also features several space travel exhibits.
●Richard Wagner Museum – 27 Richard Wagner Weg (Tribschen); 011-41-041-360-2370; richard-wagner-museum.ch; housed in composer’s former residence; historic musical instruments include rarities such as regal.
●Zytturm – 5 Museggmauer; 011-41-041-227-1717; museggmauer.ch/index.php?id=11 or; radiomuseum.org/museum/ch/zeitturm-zytturm-clock-tower-lucene-luzern/.html; 1 of 9 towers that are part of town fortifications; time-honored clock on its façade with 9 more historic tower clocks inside; since late Middle Ages, Zyt Tower Clock has had right to chime 1st: chimes 1 minute before all other public clocks in Lucerne; and since late medieval times, person tasked with responsibility has wound tower clock on daily basis; city watchmaker Jörg Spöring, who carried out his duty for 50 years, fulfilled assignment till 2011; within that time frame he collected 9 more historic clocks from region, now exhibited inside, on 6 creaky platforms; platform made of oldest wood is crafted from wood dating back to year 1403; clocks have old-fashioned, quaint names, such as Lieli, Horwer & Moosmatt, made between 16-20th Centuries; also, for bird’s-eye view over Lucerne’s rooftops to lake & mountains beyond, wander medieval ramparts; walkway is open between Schirmerturm (tower), where you enter, & Wachturm, from where you have to retrace your steps; can also ascend & descend Männliturm & Zytturm (former not connected to ramparts walkway).