Camping with children in Switzerland (on a budget)

30 May 2016

We are freshly back from a long weekend camping with two young children (6 and 2) in Switzerland, Lucerne to be precise.

Camping ona budget in Switzerland with kids

Switzerland is a beautiful country with dramatic landscape, plenty of swimming opportunities in the lakes and warm sunshine from Spring onwards. 
We picked Lucerne as our destination as it was just under 3 hours from home and we had never been there.

Switzerland is also an expensive country. So we decided to go camping. We had never done it as a family of four. We had done it many times as a threesome but the little boy had never been. We own a big tent that can fit a family. And decided this would be a great way to save money. 
We planned our meals before leaving. We brought most of our ingredients from home to save more money and found a great little campsite by Lake Lucerne and at the foot of Mount Pilatus. 
It turned out to be a great trip.

A photo posted by Annabelle (@thepiripirilexicon) on

Our kids loved the camping experience. They are used to travelling and sleeping in different conditions. So, even the huge thunderstorm that rained on us for a whole night didn't wake them up. Our 6-year-old loved the independence that a campsite brings (showers, toilets, etc). She even offered to do the dishes at almost every meal! And the 2-year-old just loved playing with rocks and sticks in the mud!

Our home for 3 nights

As I mentioned above, we had brought most of the food with us. We had mostly cold salads, a chilli con carne (frozen at home to keep the cooler cold for a little longer),  hot dogs and plenty of fresh fruits. 

camping food ideas
Camping food ideas: Salade piemontaise, breakfast burrito, black bean salad and hot dogs, surprise bananas.

A photo posted by Annabelle (@thepiripirilexicon) on

We found plenty of inspiration of what to see and do on the web before leaving. However, most of these were really expensive. Taking boat trips on the lake, taking old trains up the mountains and even cable cars. The cheapest one we could find was around 30 Euros (33$). If you multiply this by four, it makes for an expensive day. Many articles we read also suggested the Golden Trip (a mixture of transport modes to go up the mountains) costing about 100 Euros at best per person. We decided to skip all of this.

Lucerne coovered bridge

We visited Lucerne. A beautiful city by the lake. We strolled in the old city and took in the sights. That was enough to keep us busy for a full morning without anybody complaining.
We went up to the mountains on our own. We drove up to Engelberg. We visited a lovely cheese making place in an old convent (free). And then dropped the car for a picnic in the woods (with the cheese purchased previously). Granted, we didn't go very far up the mountains, but it was more than enough for the children and the views were spectacular. 

Engelberg cheese
Engelberg cheese with wild garlic. Yum.

A photo posted by Annabelle (@thepiripirilexicon) on

We also went swimming, of course, on a little beach (entry was free as part of our camping deal) on Lake Lucerne. Our girl was fascinated by the fact that the water came from the melted snow she had just seen and could still see on the mountains.

Swimming in Lucerne

All around, a wonderful three days.

Camping with children on a budget (in Lucerne, Switzerland)
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You can find more camping or travel destinations inspiration on my Pinterest Boards.
We stayed in this campsite: TCS Luzern

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