15th BIS Annual Conference

24 June 2016, Palace Hotel, Lucerne, Switzerland


Area attractions

Partners or spouses are likely to want to explore Lucerne and its surrounding area. They will be able to do so at their leisure and the conference hotel will be available to assist them with a variety of excursions organised by local tour operators.

Attractions in Lucerne

Lucerne has long been one of the most heavily visited towns in Europe. It boasts spectacular mountain views, lake cruises and a picturesque old quarter. The River Reuss splits the town and both river banks are clustered with medieval squares, frescoed houses, ancient guildhalls and churches. The town's wooden Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) which dates from the 14th century - and was partly rebuilt after a fire in 1993 with the help of financing from a countrywide campaign - is one of the most revered constructions in Switzerland.

Attractions in the surrounding area

Lucerne is a natural gateway to the surrounding Zentralschweiz (Central Switzerland) region. The southern shore of the Lake of Lucerne, also known as the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake of the Four Forest Cantons), is characterised by a number of nearby country towns, such as Stans and its Stanserhorn, which lend themselves to beautiful hikes above the lake. The funicular railway, the CabriO® will bring you to the revolving restaurant Rondorama from which you enjoy a breathtaking panorama view at 1900m above sea level. (www.stanserhorn.ch/en/).

Pilatus (www.pilatus.ch) offers a magnificent view of the Alps (about 2,200 metres above sea level). At its summit, one can see over 70 peaks and five different lakes. Mount Pilatus is reached via the world's steepest cogwheel railway, which starts at the base of the mountain in Alpnachstad and runs over uniquely constructed tracks to the summit.

A nearby alternative to Mount Pilatus is Mount Rigi; an imposing Alpine mass (1,800m high) that provides a wide panoramic view of the surrounding lakes, mountains and valleys. The Rigi is within easy reach of Lucerne by train (30 minutes through a direct connection to Arth-Goldau); by boat (50 minutes through direct connections to Weggis and Vitznau) and by car (30 minutes to Weggis and Vitznau). Cablecars and cogwheel railways take visitors further up to Rigi Kulm (15 minutes). See www.rigi.ch/en/welcome.cfm.

Further away lies the resort of Engelberg, which is a base station for trips up to the summit of the Titlis (3,200 metres). The scenery easily matches that of the Bernese Oberland's more famous rides up the Jungfrau and the Schilthorn mountains. See www.engelberg.ch for more details.

For those who would prefer the lakeside to mountain views, the Lake of Lucerne is considered by some to be the most beautiful in Switzerland. It is certainly among the most spectacular, with mountains on all sides and forests coming down to the shore in many places. A number of restored paddlewheel steamers (Dampfschiffe) criss-cross the lake as they pick up and discharge passengers at villages along the shoreline.

And for those with a taste for history, the boats go as far as the Urnersee (Lake of Uri); one of the country's most historically resonant areas. Its wild shores were the setting for the legend of William Tell and for an ancient pact of mutual defence signed on a lakeside meadow (the Rütli) that laid the foundations for the Swiss Confederation.

Additional information

More information about the Lucerne area can be found at www.luzern.org/en and about the lake at www.lakelucerne.ch.

For information on train travel in Switzerland: www.sbb.ch