Zurich & Lucerne, Switzerland

Switzerland was a part of my Alpen Adventure after Liechtenstein.  My original plan was to visit first Liechtenstein and then Lucerne, but I last-minute decided to spend some time in Zurich in between, as I had a train transfer there.  Although it was rainy and gross the entire time, I was able to catch some glimpses of the Alps towards the end and holy cow, they were humongous!!

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What’s so great about Switzerland?  Well, the flag’s a big plus! (I promise I’m done now)

Zurich

On my way to Liechtenstein to Lucerne, I had a quick train transfer in Lucerne.  I quickly got on the next train, sat down, and realized that I really wanted to check out Zurich for a bit.  So I hopped off, checked the schedule for later trains to Lucerne, and was on my way through Zurich with no idea what I was doing, but that was the beauty of it.

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Even though the weather was crummy, the views were very pretty.

Because of my spontaneous decision, I was able to appreciate Zurich for what I thought was neat rather than what my guide book and the blogs said.  I took a nice walk along the river, ate some pretty bomb carrot cake, and stumbled upon an antique fair.

I then window shopped for a bit as I looped back around to the train station.  In the meantime, I indulged in my first taste of genuine Swiss chocolate, which was even better than you would expect.  I have absolutely no regrets with stopping in Zurich, but was satisfied after only 3 hours in the city.  Next I was off to Lucerne!

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I am glad I stopped in Zurich!

Lucerne

Lucerne was very picturesque with the river, lake, bridges, and of course the mountains in the background.  The first thing most people see while researching Lucerne is the Chapel Bridge and it was as beautiful as it is in pictures, even in the rain!  I walked back and forth through the tunnel several times (one- because it was raining, and two- because it was so beautiful).  The window shopping was also a lot of fun and I was surprised that people next to me were actually dropping $28,000 on a watch.

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The famous Chapel Bridge
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Inside the Chapel Bridge

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My favorite part about Lucerne was climbing the clock towers along the old city wall.  Not only were the views spectacular, but the inside had very old and working clocks!  This was the first time in Switzerland where I could start to see the tops of the mountains and I was shocked as to how tall they were!

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A view from directly behind the clock face
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No words to describe this view

Lucerne was a very pretty little town, but holy cow, I have never seen so many tourists in my life!  In all honesty, it took away from the “small village” feel and turned it into more of a Disney World feel.  Of course I am being hypocritical by saying this because I too am a tourist, but coming from the undiscovered Liechtenstein, I was quite shocked.

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Super fancy watch displays
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The river-side facades were quite pretty
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The swans were posing

In all honesty, Switzerland was definitely not a destination I was financially ready to fully enjoy.  I have never seen so many high-end designer stores in my life- not even in New York!  It was very fun window shopping though!  I ended up making sandwiches for lunch and dinner because the cheapest sit-down place I could find was quite up there.  For comparison, a McDonald’s burger there is priced at $12.  However, I have no regrets skipping out on the cuisine, as Austria has similar food.  Instead, I did my own chocolate tour where I got one truffle from each of the super fancy shops.  Worth it!!

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Very Swiss looking churches

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I took a gorgeous walk along the lake

Reaction

My initial plan for Switzerland was to buy the Grand Swiss Rail Pass where I would have had unlimited access to the trains and essentially city hop for a few days.  Once the weekend-long rainy weather report came out, I decided to opt out of the train ticket because my goal was to see the mountains with this.  Because of this, Switzerland is on my list of trips in the future so that I can do my original plan.

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Good Eats

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CHOCOLATE!!!

Want to Visit Switzerland?

  • I would recommend buying a Swiss Rail Pass and city hopping because I was satisfied with the cities after only a few hours. There are so many cool cities and this would allow you to see all of them and the Alps in between.
  • Eat lots of chocolate because you will never have truffles as good as these!
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