I made an effort to find someone to go with me this time. I found the idea of Switzerland alone daunting. Switzerland has four national languages. Depending on the city you’re in, the language spoken may be German, French, Italian or Romansh. I knew about four sentences in German.
Thus I picked Lucerne, which lies in the German speaking portion of the country. I tried so hard to learn a few more phrases. Went to my local bookstore and acquired an English to German dictionary.
Having traveled solo before, the language was my only real concern.
But I understand that you may have other concerns, and I’d like to address them here.
What to wear in Lucerne.
Depending on the season, you may want to fill your suitcase with pants, and scarves. Big coats and warm boots. Others you can get a way with cute sundresses, and sandals (highs in July are in the upper 70s).
Lucerne is similar to any large city. That they’re plenty of people bustling through the streets, and chances are no ones looking at you. Unless you’re in a tub top and a short skirt. Lucerne is a large city, but it isn’t New York City. The people that bustle through the streets have an air of sophistication. And if you want to fit in, or not stand out, choose something that you would wear to church. Doesn’t need to be a floor length dress, but it probably shouldn’t be show every inch of your thighs.
Most of the roads and sidewalks in Lucerne are cobble stone. Unless you’ve had previous experience, I strongly recommend not wearing heels. The last story you’d want to bring home is one of cutting open your knee as you hit the pavement.
Avoiding Unwanted Attention
Yes, men will call after you and may even try to persuade you to walk the shore of Lake Lucerne with them. Things I recommend for traveling while female, always carry sunglasses, your resting bitch face and keep your head up. Men are usually deterred by assertive women. So stand tall, and be direct.
Being a touristy city, you don’t have to worry any more than normal about the man ogling you. You have to worry about the men, and women, staring at your purse. With a booming tourist population in the city, some are looking for an easy steal.
Where to Stay Solo
In Lucerne, there is no real concern here. All areas are good areas. And to put a pin in it, Lucerne is a very walkable city.
You can choose to share a room at a hostel. Though I feel your hesitation, this is a good option for solo travelers looking for a little reassurance. You can request a bed in an all female dorm room, and try to make some friends. Sharing a room together can generate some camaraderie (it’s always nice to have someone watch your suitcase [minus your passport and money, always keep that on you, or in your sights] while your in the shower).
Or if you have a thing against communal bathrooms, splurge a little more and get your own room at a hotel. You will miss out on the social aspect of a hostel, but you will have your own toilet and hair dryer.
Where to Eat Solo
This can be daunting. Eating alone, it’s the epitome of loneliness. But who says you have to be alone?
Bring a book or your kindle. Instead of that lonely girl sitting by herself, you’re now that independent women out enjoying a meal.
If you’re looking for some amazing Swiss food, I recommend Wirtshaus Galliker or The Old Swiss House. Italian food? Pastarazzi Spezialitaten. German food? Check out any of the street vendors. Crepes? Theres a magnificent stand at the train station.
Whatever you fancy. Try it!
You may only find yourself in Lucerne once, so, experience everything you want. I mean, who’s stopping you?
So go to that elegant Restaurant alone. No one will stare at you, or give you a strange look when you ask to be seated alone. Just go online before hand, cause the menus aren’t always in English 😉
Now that we’ve addressed those concerns, let’s talk bout what really matters. Lucerne is an alpine playground, and a city surrounded by mountains. You an easily spend the day wandering from plaza to plaza, staring up at the peaks piercing the sky. But there are a few must-sees when in Lucerne.
• The Lion of Lucerne
This monument is literally a dying lion carved out of into a cliff face. It was sculpted to commemorate the Swiss mercenaries who died in 1972. The detail is astounding, and the location, breathtaking.
The Lucerne Jesuit Church is said to be one of the most beautiful churches in Switzerland. It dates back to the sixteenth century, and is the first large baroque church built in Switzerland north of the Alps.
• Lucerne Lake
A cannot miss. As in you literally can’t miss it. This beautiful lake sits on 114 square km of land, and has Mount Pilatus as a backsplash. Nothing has ever been more picturesque.
The Chapel Bridge serves as the city’s symbol and is the oldest truss bridge in the world. This footbridge extends 672 ft over the Reuss River and holds a number of paintings dating back to the Seventeenth Century.
Saturday mornings, from May to October, their flea market is held at Reusssteg.
No matter what you decide to see, remember to take it all in.
We get so caught up with how things should be, what we should be doing, and forget to just stop and listen. Traveling solo gives you that time to reflect and tune in. Don’t forget to take advantage of it.