advertisement

Few other cities in Switzerland rely as heavily on the tourist trade as Lucerne, so you'll be faced with a barrage of mercantilism at virtually every street corner. Most obvious of the "heavy artillery" sales involves wristwatches and folk handicrafts. The biggest jeweler in town is Bucherer, Schwanenplatz 5 (tel. 041/369-77-00), whose sprawling displays of luxury goods are rivaled only by the showrooms of Gübelin, Schweizerhofquai (tel. 041/417-00-21; www.guebelin.ch). Less consciously upscale, and more folkloric in their orientation, is the town's main outlet for handicrafts, Casa Grande, Grendelstrasse 6 (tel. 041/418-60-60). Embroideries and linens for dining rooms and bedrooms are the offerings at Sturzenneger, Buobenmatt 2 (tel. 041/410-19-58). Some of the pieces come from Switzerland's embroidery center of St. Gallen, others from less evocative factories in the Far East, but many are of heirloom quality.

Souvenirs of your trip to Lucerne are a lot less expensive, and a lot more workaday, at the town's mass-market department store, Nordmann & Co., Weggisgasse 5 (tel. 041/419-76-99). The outlet sells housewares, clothing, school supplies, and anything you'd need to run a home. The store also has a limited collection of Swiss souvenirs. More upscale, and more specifically geared to clothing for men, women, and children, is Globus, Pilatusstrasse 4 (tel. 041/227-07-07; www.globus.ch).

Hofstetter & Berney, Schweizerhofquai 6 (tel. 041/410-31-06), features a well-rounded collection of music boxes. The staff will tell you about the differences in tones and the complexities of sounds produced by the various instruments, all of which are made in Switzerland and which contain varying numbers of musical notes. Some of them might reproduce strains from Pachelbel's Canon, others a replica of the Austrian National Anthem.

Confiserie H & M Kurmann, Bahnhofstrasse 7 (tel. 041/210-19-18; www.art-confiserie-kurmann.ch), is the most distinguished pastry-and-chocolate shop in Lucerne. Many of the residents of Lucerne remember this shop from their childhoods, when its pastries and chocolates were likely served as part of their birthday parties. Today, it's one of the few deeply entrenched big-name pastry makers in Switzerland that hasn't set up additional branches in other parts of the country. Everything is, as you'd expect, highly caloric and highly tempting.

The richly nuanced architecture of the city itself is the backdrop for the outdoor fruit and vegetable market, conducted during spring, summer, and autumn from both banks of the river every Tuesday and Saturday from 8am to around 1pm. Between May and October, Lucerne hosts a rowdy, somewhat disorganized flea market where the contents of estate sales and whatever anyone discovered in his or her grandmother's attic is displayed along either side of Untere Burgerstrasse. And the first Saturday of every month throughout the year, during daylight hours, artisans and craftspeople from throughout the region congregate at the Weinmarkt to display and sell their wares.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.