Lucerne is one of the top tourist destinations in Switzerland. It is a beautiful compact old city on the shore of Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee in German), surrounded by mountains.
The famous wooden bridge (Kapellbrücke) dates back to the 14 century. It is covered and stretched a good 200m from the old city across the river to swampy area of the farmers and low level income folks. Today both sides are obviously very expensive in terms of real estate.
The wooden bridge almost totally burned down in 1993 and was quickly rebuilt. It looks again old today since around 5 million tourists make their way across yearly. The famous 111 pictures under it’s roof (visible when walking across) depict scenes from the history of Switzerland.
The tower in the middle of the bridge used to be a prison. In the old times prisoners were kept there and sometimes tortured so that their cries could be heard through the wooden panels all around, in order to deter others.
Lucerne is famous for the many watch shops and millions of tourists descending on the place. In summer it is really congested and even hard to make your way across the wooden bridge.
Other things that are really impressive are the monument of the dying lion and the Bourbaki panorama, the church of the Jesuits, the ramparts and many wonderful museums.
A good time to visit is actually when there are hardly any foreign tourists around: in February! That is also when the city is vibrant with colours and the thumping typical sounds of the yearly carnival. It is a lot of fun to mingle with the joyful and excited locals celebrating with their whole family.