Lucerne Stories and Tips

Switzerland On A Budget

Boat on Lake Lucerne Photo, Lucerne, Switzerland

The last stop on my month long trip was Lucerne, Switzerland. This is the city where visitors must pass through in order to visit Engelberg and Mount Titlis. There were accommodation options in Engelberg, but the prices were a bit unreasonable, so we stayed in Lucerne where better deals could be found.

After arriving on the train, we got out at the station and to our surprise, a full blown carnival was taking place. I'm talking about the kind of carnival with almost every ride imaginable, food concession stands and loud music. We decided to locate our hostel (The Lucerne Backpackers) for the night, and return for a night of fun, and to grab something to eat for dinner.

Following the instructions from the website, it took us a while to locate our hostel. We were lucky enough to be aided along by friendly locals who took pity on two lost tourists in the cold. The temperature was the lowest that we had experience all through Europe, to the point that we could see our breath as we spoke. Thankfully, with their help, we made it to our hostel, and checked in.

After receiving our room keys, we went straight to our room to drop our bags. We booked a twin room, and it was quite acceptable if you judge it from European standards. As opposed to American standards, rooms in in Europe tend to be on the small and basic side, unless you are checking into a very large and posh hotel, and willing to pay over 100 euros. Our room at the Lucerne Backpackers set us back the equivalent of 30 euros only.

Our room had two comfy looking twin beds, bedside tables and a table with two chairs in the corner. There was also a glass door which led out to our own mini balcony overlooking the town. If it wasn't for the cold weather, we probably would have spent at least an hour, simply sitting outside and enjoying the view.

However, we were hungry and ready to try out a few rides at the carnival. We bundled up and left the hostel, returning to the train station. This time however, we walked along a path which ran adjacent to Lake Lucerne. There were ducks and a few swans in the water, and we saw a few men with fishing poles trying their luck off a couple of small deserted piers.

We soon arrived at the carnival, and immediately started to search for food. We found a hot dog concession stand, which had some very large hot dogs for 7 Swiss Francs. We ended up buying two each and some soft drinks, then found a bench by the lake to have our dinner. Seeing that we just ate, we sat for a bit and did and watched the locals while we allowed our meal to digest. Heading on an amusement park ride immediately after eating is never a good idea.

After about an hour, dusk was setting in, so we headed over to the first ride which we wanted to try. It was a large swing which threw you high into the air while flipping you over! Within no time, we found out that most rides were 5 Swiss Francs each. Quite expensive, but considering the cost of other means of entertainment, we didn't complain. After the first ride, we got an adrenaline rush, causing us to go through two other rides before slowing down.

Finally, when we were leaving to head back to the hostel, we noticed a Haribo candy stand. This is my favourite candy brand, so I ran over and ended up buying a pound of assorted candy. The price wasn't bad, at 3 Swiss Francs per pound. I was definitely now a happy camper, and arrived back to my hostel safe and sound. It was a great evening, and a perfect ending to my trip to Switzerland.

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