Updated: Feb 26
Mount Pilatus is the best and most convenient spot to go for a day trip from Lucerne. The mount is 2,128 m high and it's around a 1.5-hour journey from Lucerne City.
There are many adventurous activities like Swiss largest Toboggan Bahn, Dragon Fly etc which you can do. Moreover, you can also enjoy the breathtaking views of the Alps and Lucerne. If you have limited time, you can also plan a half-day trip to Mount Pilatus as well.
There are 4 different options to reach Mount Pilatus. There are different means of communication to reach the top of Mount Pilatus including Boat ride, Cogwheel train, Gondola Cable Car, Dragon Ride Cable car and bus.
1. Cable Car Ride to Mount Pilatus:
You can start your tour from the Lucern Train Station to Kriens by direct Bus no 1. There are two series of Cable car rides to reach the top of Mount Pilatus.
From Kriens, there's a 30 minutes Gondola cable ride to Fräkmüntegg and from there you can take a short ride of 3-5 minutes of Dragon Ride Cable car to the top of Mount Pilatus and on the way back you can follow the same path. It's the fastest and cheapest way to reach Mount Pilatus. The round trip costs 72 and it takes 3-4 hours.
2. Silver Round Trip:
The tour starts from the Lucern Train Station to Kriens by direct Bus no 1. From Kriens, there's a 30 minutes Gondola cable ride to Fräkmüntegg and from there you can take a Dragon Ride Cable car to the top of Mount Pilatus and on the way back, there's a 30 minutes ride of Cogwheel train ride to Alpnachstad and you can come back with a train to Lucern.
The trip is around a half-day trip from Lucern and the cost is CHF 85.20
3. Golden Round Trip:
The Golden trip is a round trip to Mount Pilatus and it includes a Boat ride from Lucern to Alpnachstadt, then you can take World steepest Cogwheel train to reach the top of Mount Pilatus.
On the way back, you take a ride on Dragon Ride Cable car to Fräakmüntegg and from there you take a small Gandola Cable car which takes you to Kriens Station. There's 30 minutes direct bus ride from Kriens Station to Lucern Central Station.
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The trip is around a half-day trip from Lucern and the cost is CHF 104.
4. Hiking to the top of Mount Pilatus:
There are many hiking trails from Lucern to reach the top of Mount Pilatus. But it's a very hectic experience of climbing up the 2,128 high mountain. If you love hiking, then it would be a nice idea to climb up the mountain but we wouldn't suggest it to ameature hikers.
Our Experience to Mount Pilatus:
We have decided to take a Golden trip to Mount Pilatus. We have started our journey from the cruise trip departing from Docking platform 2 in front of Lucerne Central Train Station.
We are many Cruise boats departing from different docking platforms. Don't forget to check your docking platform number. Normally, the cruise boat tour to Alpnachstadt after every 1-2 hours.
It was really cloudy so we booked the trip starting at 12:30 PM. It was around a 1 to 1.15-hour journey to Alpnachstadt and from there we took a Cogwheel train.
Cogwheel is the steepest train that takes you up to the Mount Pilatus top. It was around 30 minutes journey with a beautiful view of the mountain and you can also see the view of the Lake.
We had reached the top of Mount Pilatus around 2 PM. The sun was shining and we had an amazing view of the Alps on one side and on the other side, we can see Lucerne.
There are many nice spots and restaurants and there's also an opinion to stay a night in the hotel Bellevue on the top of the Mount. We had a nice lunch in a local restaurant over there and then we started exploring the different spots. It almost took us around 1 and a half hours to enjoy the view of the alps from different spots.
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We had also climbed up the Esel and enjoyed the mesmerising view. There's also a tourist spot on the mount from where you can buy souvenirs or maps.
You should also always be careful about the closing timings of the Cable car. You can check at the time of buying the ticket or you can also check at the entrance or exit of Cable Car. In the peak season, the Cable car is quite crowded. So we would like to suggest you don't wait for the last Cable car but try to leave at least 1 hour before closing time.
On the way back, it wasn't crowded, we have to wait for 5-10 minutes for our turn to take the Dragon Bahn Cable Car ride. The Cable car has a huge capacity to carry more than 20 people at a time. The cable car ride was fast but really smooth. It hardly took us 5 minutes to reach Fräakmüntegg.
Fräakmüntegg is also a perfect spot to enjoy the Alpine Adventure and fun. It has wonderful outdoor night tree tents, the largest Rope park in Swiss, Dragon Glider, the toboggan Bahn and Hiking Trails. There are also a few restaurants and Barbecue spots that offer Swiss Cuisine.
We really wanted to have a Toboggan Bahn ''Frakigaudi'' experience but unfortunately, we reached late and Bahn was closed. It's the longest summer Toboggan in Switzerland from 1,350 meters in height of the mountain.
We spent some time there and then we took a Gondola Cable car to Kriens Station which is around 30 minutes ride and then we took a bus from there to Central Train station Lucerne.
To enjoy the best view from the Mount, it's very important to check the weather. If it's cloudy then you won't be able to enjoy the view of the Alps or Lucerne.
You can also buy the tickets in front of Luzern Central Train station. The cruise boats also depart from there. We went there in Mid October which wasn't a peak touristic season. We got the ticket on spot. But we would like to suggest that it's better to book your trip in advance in Summers.