Einsiedeln (meaning ‘hermit’s’) Abbey is one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Switzerland. The Benedictine abbey complex was built from scratch in the early 18th century, replacing older buildings going back to the 10th century. The church with its opulent, gold and marble interior and the shrine of the black madonna is open for visitors daily from 06:00 - 20:30 (21:00 in summer), but be considerate during services. The outstanding library can only be visited on a guided tour. The small town of the same name is set among wooded hills, close to lake Sihl, just at the edge of the Alps - perfect for a walk. The panorama path that leads you to the lake and back in 2.5 hours starts just behind the abbey’s stables. There are two trains an hour from Lucerne which get you there in just over an hour, with changes at Biberbrugg (and sometimes Arth-Goldau).
Guided tours start at 14:00 (105 minutes) and 17:00 (60 minutes, mid May until October) every day except Sundays and cost 15/7.50Sfr. Unfortunately the tours are only in German. Meeting point is Einsiedeln Tourism, Hauptstrasse 85, tel +41 55 418 44 88. No need to book.