We just returned from two weeks in Europe and one of our (quick) stops was in Lucerne, Switzerland. We had enough time to walk around and explore the town, have an ice cream or two, and take a refreshing swim in the lake at the local swim club.
We chose to stay at the Montana Art Deco Hotel and treated ourselves to a room with a lake view. I'm so glad we did because we had the most amazing views and a sweet little balcony to sit out on while taking in the Lucerne skyline.
The hotel had been re-decorated a few years ago in the art deco style of Miami that includes a beach club-style bar with cabanas that overlook the Lake. The hotel sits on a hill overlooking the city and is home to the world's shortest funicular (according to the Guinness Book of Records) to quickly take you down to street level. The kids loved the novelty of it and it didn't seem to wear off even though we took it up and down several times during our stay.
On a recommendation from the hotel, we had lunch at Cafe de Ville. Located right across the street from the lake, it was surprisingly not filled with tourists and seemed to be mostly populated with locals enjoying a late lunch. The menu is typical light fare such as salads, sandwiches, etc., and everything we ordered was delicious. Keep in mind there is no kids' menu but this shouldn't be a problem as there is plenty of things on offer that appeal to kids. In our case, Jack had a burger and Ava had a fantastic cheese plate. Oh, and be sure to save some bread from the bread basket to feed the swans!
We spent the afternoon on a self-guided walking tour around the city, exploring mostly in the Old Town section.
For me, one of the best parts of our trip was the time we spent swimming in the lake. Very near where our hotel's funicular drops you off, there is a swim club with access to the lake, Seebad. One of the perks of our hotel is it offers to its guests free passes to the club plus beach towels to take with you. The club was very busy and again seemed to be frequented by many locals as well as a few tourists. There were two fairly shallow pools around which the club was built and access to the larger lake via a set of stairs. There is also a cafe and the food I saw passing by looked very good. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures to share.
Dinner that night was a serendipitous find, as we stumbled upon Istanbul while we searching in vain for another restaurant. It turned out to be one of the best meals of our entire trip! Everything we had was delicious and the waiter could not have been nicer to all of us, but especially the kids.
After dinner, we walked home along the lake and stopped for ice cream at one of the many stands along the way. Then it was back up the funicular and off to bed.