Although the city of Lucerne has a population of more than 50,000, it seems much smaller to the tourists.  The center of the city is a walker's delight with pedestrian streets and alleyways. Most of the sights that a tourist would like to see can be reached on foot in less than 30 minutes. We stayed in the Krone, a 3-star hotel located on the Weinmarkt, a square on the western end of the Old City, about three minutes from the Spreuerbrucke, the covered bridge with the paintings of the Dance of Death, and only about a fifteen minute walk from the central station.  Lucerne's Old City is filled with dozens of stores that offer all kinds window-shopping diversions as you move from sight to sight.
From the Chateau Gutsch on a hill on the western end of the city, the traveler is treated to a very good overall view of the city.  The River Reuss divides modern Lucerne from the Old City before it empties into the Lake.  On a clear day, Rigi can be seen in the distance.  The Chateau Gutsch is a four-star hotel that can be reached by funicular from the city below (or by car from the other side of the hill).
The Kapellbrucke (Chapel Bridge) has become one of the main symbols of the City of Lucerne since it was first constructed across the Reuss on this site in 1333.  Tragically, it burned about ten years ago but has been rebuilt to look much as it did originally.  In this photo, some of the new construction is obvious.  The decision was made to let the boards age naturally rather than try to make them match the originals.
The Lion of Lucerne is almost as recognizable a symbol of the city as the bridge.  This huge figure, carved from the face of a rock above a reflecting pool, commemorates the death of Swiss Guards from Lucerne who were killed during an attack on the Tuileries Palace in Paris during the French Revolution.  Mark Twain considered the lion to be the "saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world."
A part of the city wall still exists on the north side of the Old City.  A total of 9 towers can still be seen and portions of the wall are open for tourists to walk.  In all the times we have visited Lucerne, I've only been on the wall once, and on this visit, we again decided to look but not to climb.
The Lucerne Casino lies along the north shore of the Lake.  We decided to take our chances for an hour or two.  Even though it took us about twenty minutes to finally figure out how to operate the slots (payoffs are determined by both luck and skill), we were luckier than usual.  We were in so much of a hurry to continue sightseeing that we actually walked out after tripling our small stake.
We saved a lot of money by using our Hotel Guide Card at the hotel, but we spent all our savings on food.  On no other trip have we ever eaten as well.  We can heartily recommend Galliker's, the Lapin, and (pictured here) the Old Swiss House.  It would be difficult to pick a favorite in terms of food, but the Swiss House was a definite winner in presentation.

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