This wonderful Swiss city can feel like a fairy tale. Mark Twain and Queen Victoria were fans of Lucerne holidays, and it’s easy to see why. Set in a German-speaking part of Central Switzerland, Lucerne has an idyllic setting on the edge of a lake fringed by snowy peaks. In town, medieval towers, ancient walls, a lakeside promenade and sunny squares make exploring a joy, while covered wooden bridges stretch across the Reuss river, offering great views of the town.
Museums take in transport, chocolate, art, glaciers and Richard Wagner (another famous fan), while live music, modern art and a wild winter festival raise the pulse. The local food is as hearty as the hills that surround the city, and there are plenty of great international options. For a taste of the high Alps, nearby Mount Pilatus towers above Lake Lucerne – take a boat to join the mountain railway that climbs to the summit.