Photograph: Luzern Tourismus AG
Lucerne is a low-key proposition. Unlike Zurich and Geneva, which excel at fashion and frivolity, Lucerne is a smaller, more intriguing shopping destination. One of the city’s best surprises – and there are many along the sides of Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) – is Boutique Partout, a fabulous place to stock up on elegant accessories and handbags that you won’t find elsewhere.
Boutique Partout, Pfistergasse 15, 6003 Lucerne, +41 (0)41 240 4878
Paul Kehl was once one of Switzerland’s fashion pioneers and, to many, his high-end brand still is. If you’re wondering why every man in Lucerne is so well dressed, this sport fashion label is one of the reasons. Don’t miss out on the brand’s inimitable T-shirts – locals think it’s the best menswear store in the city.
Paul Kehl, Grendelstrasse 15, 6004 Lucerne, +41 (0)41 410 4742
Ask anyone in Lucerne which is the coolest place to wine and dine at lunchtime and they’ll point you to the Hotel des Balances. Its outdoor terrace is a cross between dining beside a Venetian canal and watching an Alpine marketing campaign, hence its enduring popularity. Beware of maxing out your credit card on Prosecco or vintage Swiss wine.
Hotel des Balances, Weinmarkt, 6004 Lucerne, +41 (0)41 418 2828
Shake off your lunch with a quick visit to Pompidou, an interiors store par excellence. Order a set of wicker summer chairs or a louvre wardrobe, or, if struggling for suitcase space, pick up some whitewashed candlesticks instead. It also has an excellent accessories boutique nearby for fine tea sets, vases and kitchen bric-a-brac
Pompidou, Habsburgerstrasse 46, 6003 Lucerne, +41 (0)41 241 0110
German designer Thomas Sabo’s silver charms and bracelets have now gone global. Lucerne too keeps pace with trends and this boutique is a hot property in the city. Sterling silver rings, bracelets and earrings make perfect gifts and there’s even a new fragrance range on offer
Thomas Sabo, Kapellplatz 7, 6002 Lucerne, +41 (0)41 410 4014
While Zürich is home to Lindt & Sprüngli, Switzerland’s most famous chocolatier, Lucerne can indulge its sweet tooth at Max Chocolatier. This emporium on Schweizerhofquai is gourmet chocolate heaven and, with Easter a great excuse to indulge in fine truffles and chocolates, leaving empty-handed isn’t an option
Max Chocolatier, Schweizerhofquai 2, 6004 Lucerne, +41 (0)41 418 7090
Hotel Monopol’s Suite Lounge and Bar, conveniently located behind the central train station, boasts incredible views across the city’s medieval rooftops. The Monopol scooped the Swiss Bar Award in 2009; its aperitivo happy hour is legendary and really shouldn’t be missed at any cost
Hotel Monopol, Pilatusstrasse 1, 6002 Lucerne, +41 (0)41 226 4343