Exploring Weggis (Switzerland) in a Campervan
At the end of January 2020 our family of 4 took a short trip to Switzerland in our faithful campervan Honey the Baby Bus. I (Charlie) was in the middle of a solo parent campervan trip in Europe with our two daughters (aged 2 and 6), while Nick was working a temporary job contract in England.
One weekend whilst I was travelling he flew out to Basel and we spent a few days in beautiful Switzerland.
Before I set off on my solo trip, we had no idea where Nick would join us or where we would go. Once we’d found the flights to Basel, we explored our options – maybe some more time in France, perhaps into Germany, or we could go into Switzerland. In the end we chose a particular spot in Switzerland to head to – Weggis on Lake Lucerne.
Why here? Well, for Nick and I it was a pilgrimage of sorts.
Why we went to Weggis in our campervan
Weggis was a place that Nick’s late granny visited every year (and to the same hotel) for decades – both with Nick’s grandfather when he was still alive, then in later years by herself. We heard her talk of it often, and with such a glow and warmth for the place that we’d always wanted to reach it at some point in our lives. In the below picture of Nick and I, you can see the hotel his granny always stayed at in the background – the Beau Rivage.
The drive to Weggis
We had spent a night in Mulhouse, before we crossed the Swiss border (getting our vignette) and then headed straight for Weggis.
In my entire 6 week solo trip in Europe I didn’t have any issues with the Baby Bus, yet within that first hour of Nick being back with us and crossing into Switzerland, we were pulled over with the bonnet up! Thankfully Nick was able to spot and fix the issue (the air intake hose had come off), but it was very strange timing – although I was pretty grateful for it.
There was great excitement from all of us as we started to see the mountains. The drive down to Weggis was dotted with cows and small farms, and then the sparkling sight of Lake Lucerne. As we drove into Weggis I was searching the area on Google maps, and noticed the cable car up to Mount Rigi – the peak that towers over Weggis. We decided to head straight to the cable car and an hour later (and a lot of money less!) we were headed up the mountain.
Cable car to Mount Rigi
When we emerged from the cable car into deep snow our daughters couldn’t believe their eyes. Whilst we waited to take the traditional wooden train that goes the rest of the way up Rigi, our girls played in the snow. It was pretty magical, and felt all the more special because we hadn’t planned it in advance. Embracing spontaneity and going with the flow are a few of the key things both Nick and I have learnt from our travels.
As the wooden train wound it’s way to the top of Mount Rigi, we all enjoyed watching the landscape become evermore snowy – a truly unexpected winter wonderland. It was fun to see people going up with skis and sledges.
The views from the top were spectacular, but we sadly had to disappoint our eldest daughter by taking the next train back down the mountain as it was already quite late in the day. It was an expensive outing, and not the kind we have done very often on our travels, but it was worth it.
Lakeside campervan spot in Weggis
The one trouble we had arriving in Weggis that first day was that we didn’t have any Swiss Francs – so my advice would be to make sure you have some as the parking meter only took cash. After finding the spot we’d earmarked in Weggis, we had to return to the centre of town to get some money out – and then we had to buy a cake (shame!) in order to have change for the parking meter.
After what was quite an epic day of driving and adventures up mountains, we finally parked up. I must admit, I didn’t feel confident that the spot was somewhere we could legitimately stay for a day, let alone longer or overnight. It was just TOO beautiful. We were right on Lake Lucerne, with a small grassy patch and pebbly beach, plus there was a small children’s playground and the cleanest public loos ever.
Having originally thought we’d spend just one night in Weggis before heading somewhere else, we ending up spending three nights. It was such a nice spot we didn’t need to go anywhere else. The girls loved all the things mentioned above – pebbly beach, playground, paddling. Plus there was water in the public loos, a stunning view, and it was nice leisurely walk into Weggis.
So that’s where we stayed for the long weekend of Nick’s visit during my solo trip. We soaked up the lake and mountain views, and wandered into Weggis to see the hotel that Nick’s granny loved so much. There was a great playground in town next to the little Volg supermarket, which if you’re travelling with kids is good to know about.
We had a nice breakfast at a bakery cafe called Wehren’s, where we could glimpse the lake. We also paid lots of money for a few hot drinks in a cafe beside the lake, but it was less about the drinks, and more about sitting in a spot looking at a view that was treasured by a member of our family. It was blissful.
Thank you granny, for taking us there.
And we’d definitely recommend it as a stop off for a few days for any families travelling through Switzerland in a campervan.
Our Top Tips for Visiting Weggis
Weggis Places to Visit
We visited in Jan-Feb 2020. All these places are marked on the map at the top of the post.
- Mount Rigi and cable car: The cable car and train to the top of Rigi for our family of four (two adults, 2 and 6 year old) cost about €90. I think at the top (Rigi Kulm station) that they had dispensers of hot water – maybe take an empty reusable cup and a teabag?!).
- Coffee: We went to Park Weggis Boulevard cafe because it was right on the lake and offered beautiful views. It’s near the Tourist Office. A hot chocolate involved a cup of hot frothed milk and a sachet of hot chocolate powder – much to the befuddlement of a tourist on the table next to us!
- Breakfast: We went to Wehren’s bakery for breakfast, situated between roads Seestrasse and Luzernerstrasse – there were a few small tables inside (and outside in warmer weather) where we sat for a hot drink and tasty pastries.
- Food shop: We went to Volg Supermarket on Rigistrasse, which was just a tiny shop, but it had the things we needed. There was also a good playground right next to it.
- Playgrounds: There was one next to our overnight parking on Hertensteinstrasse (marked as Rachmaninov-Quai on Google maps) and also next to Volg Supermarket on Rigistrasse.
Overnight Campervan Parking in Weggis
We visited in Jan-Feb 2020.
This is the road with the parking on the left – you might just be able to spot the top of the Baby Bus right at the end.
- Address: Hertensteinstrasse 86-104,6353 Weggis, Switzerland. 47.029602, 8.411652. There is no marker on Google maps for it, so hopefully the details we’ve provided will help you find it).
- Directions: You want to head west out of Weggis on Hertensteinstrasse, a road that follows the lake. You’ll pas the Lido on your left, then a stretch of straight road before it bends to the left – the spot we parked is just past here on the left. You should see the public toilets and playground.
- Cost: €12-15 for the 3 nights we were there.
- Facilities: None really, others than the public toilets nearby where you can also fill up a jerry can of water.
- Site: Tarmac parking spaces along a fairly quiet road. No space around the vans, just hedge on oneside and road the other. It was pretty quiet when we were there and the views of the lake are stunning. Playground and pebbly beach for kids. About a 15 minute walk with kids into Weggis.