Discover the best of two classic Swiss alpine cities - Lucerne and Zurich - on this five-day rail journey from Basel, at the base of the beautiful Rhine River. First, enjoy three days in Lucerne, with two spectacular day-trips to adjacent Mount Titlis and Mount Pilatus, respectively. Then, journey on to cosmopolitan Zurich, discovering all the best sights and incredible architecture of this historic city. This scenic rail journey works well as a pre/post Rhine River Cruise or as a stand-alone tour.
Without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Switzerland, Lucerne lies in the heart of the country on famous lake of Lucerne. Dotted with Renaissance and Baroque fountains, colorful paintings on the gables and commanded by the exquisite wooden bridge, the Kapellbrücke and Wasserturm, the 13th century octagonal water tower, Lucerne's character is pure charm. Spectacular views and sights abound from almost every vantage point in and around Lucerne. The Old Town Hall is a fine example of a Renaissance building while the City Wall, built between 1350 and 1405 stands proud above the city. A stroll along the quay leads past the modern health resort and onto the largest, most important Transport Museum in Europe and the only Planetarium in Switzerland. The famous Lion Monument and Glacier Garden make for remarkable viewing as do the mountain peaks surrounding the city. A short drive from town takes visitors to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth, and a short drive from Viewaldstätter Lake leads to nearby winter resorts and many more lakes.
Zurich is often referred to as the "garden city on the lake". A stroll through the fascinating city will soon explain the reason for this. Zurich is one of the richest cantons in the country and home to the famous and very beautiful shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse. It is a bustling metropolis with many new buildings and modern architecture. Age-old landmarks and examples of unique design and artistic styles proliferate the city; the oldest and best preserved are most densely distributed in Neumarkt. The famous Grossmunster with its two tall towers is most dominant. Visit the late 15th century Wasserkiche and the Rathaus, a graceful town hall built in renaissance style. Famous for its traditional festivals and holiday celebrations, Downtown Niederdorf is the center of activities. From jazz clubs to restaurants & bars to cultural pursuits including galleries, museums and exhibitions, there is something interesting all year. To really get familiar with Zurich, experience it from the Lake of Zurich. The perspective of the city and its romantic surrounds from this vantage point is unique and not to be missed.
The third-largest city in Switzerland, Basel stands on the Rhine at the point where the French, German, and Swiss borders meet. At the entrance to the Swiss Rhineland, Basel is the capital of the half-canton of Basel-Stadt. On its borders are the French Vosges, the German Black Forest, and the Swiss Jura Mountains. Grossbasel, or Greater Basel, lies on the steep left bank, and Kleinbasel, or Lesser Basel, is on the right bank.
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