Lucerne and Zurich
After spending three days in the Swiss Alps (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), we had one final day in Switzerland before our flight back to the U.S. Originally, I thought we would take the train directly to Zurich (about 5 hours from Wengen). After looking at the train schedules, I realized we could stop in Lucerne for a few hours on the way to Zurich. The Swiss Travel Pass is amazing! It gives you so much freedom to arrange your schedule. You can store your luggage at the Lucerne train station in lockers for a small fee.
While planning our Switzerland trip, I considered spending a night in Lucerne because it popped up frequently on travel blogs and suggested guides. We ended up not going that route and I'm really glad we didn't. We were only there a few hours but it's just not nearly as amazing as the Alps. To me, it felt like another European city with mountains in the (far) distance.
Three hours in Lucerne was just right for us. The train station is just a few blocks from the "Old Town" section of the city. Our first stop was the famous Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrucke) which is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. We walked across the bridge and then wandered around an outdoor market and the various shops.
Next we walked to the Musegg Towers. It was difficult to find using Google maps but only took 30 minutes or so from the bridge. The towers were built in the 13th century and you can climb up them. I'm always looking for the best photos of a city and these towers were recommend on TripAdvisor. We took a few photos and walked as far as we could along the wall.
We headed back towards Old Town to grab lunch at a small cafe. After lunch we walked along Lake Luzern before making our way back to the train station. The lake was really beautiful and it would have been fun to take a boat tour. We hopped back on a train and continued the trip to Zurich.
In Zurich, we stayed at the Hotel Arlette Beim Hauptbahnhof which is a 10 minute walk from the train station. The hotel was fine... a bit dated but the convenience to transportation was nice. It's easy to take the train to the Zurich airport and much cheaper than a taxi. Once we dropped off our luggage, we did a self guided walking tour of Old Town Zurich. Here's the guide we used. For dinner, I really wanted to try Swiss fondue so we had reservations at a restaurant Rick Steves recommended - Swiss Chuchi. We were pretty disappointed with the fondue experience. It could be because it was extremely hot outside and the restaurant didn't have A/C or because the cheese was very bland. At this point in the trip, we were pretty tired so I don't have any great photos of Zurich.
I'm really glad we spent the majority our time in Alps. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. But my advice remains... don't waste your time touring the cities of Switzerland.