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If you are visiting the beautiful city of Lucerne in Switzerland do not miss the opportunity to take a day trip to Mount Pilatus. There are some great day trips from Lucerne but visiting Pilatus is my personal favourite. Having visited Lucerne on at least 20 occasions and also lived in Switzerland this is one scenic train route I highly recommend  incorporating into your Swiss travel itinerary.

The Pilatus railway is the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. It is also consistently described as one of the top scenic rail journeys in Europe. With a gradient of up to 48% and passing Alpine meadows, forests and rock faces as you climb you will cannot fail to be dazzled by the spectacular lake views. Once at the 2100 metre high summit of Mount Pilatus you can also enjoy panoramic views of Lucerne and the Bernese Alps.

This journey can incorporate a number of different transport options from Lucerne depending on the which of the Mt Pilatus tours you book. This can also effect the costs and you will find Mt Pilatus tickets are quite pricy but I consider the trip worth every cent/penny/dime! I have included tours to Mt Pilatus from Zurich in this post too as it is an easy day trip from Zurich.

Some of these Mount Pilatus tours can be taken independently. Purchase your Mount Pilatus tickets depending on the type of tour you require eg Mt Pilatus Golden round trip, Mt Pilatus Silver round trip etc and also decide if you want to take this trip independently or with a tour. If you want take the tour independently which is the option we chose you may enjoy reading our experience of the Pilatus Golden Round trip. If however you prefer to visit with a guide I have included Mount Pilatus tours with that option. If hiking on Mt Pilatus is something you would enjoy there is also a tour for you.

Whichever of the Mt Pilatus tours you choose I am confident you will have a fabulous time! Do share your experiences in the comments below.

 

NAME OF TOURLEAVES FROMLENGTH OF TOURTOUR GUIDEINDEPENDENTMINIMUM NUMBER REQUIRED TO BOOKBOOK THIS TOUR
Golden Round Trip from LucerneLUCERNE4 1/2 HOURSXYESX
Silver Round-Trip from LucerneLUCERNE3 HOURSXYESX
Mt. Pilatus Self-Guided TripKRIENS or ALPNACHSTAD VALLEY STATIONS 3 HOURSXYESX
Mt. Pilatus by Cable Car and Cogwheel Train & Lake CruiseLUCERNE5 1/2 HOURSYESXX
Mt. Pilatus: Private Day HikeLUCERNE1 DAYYESXX
Mount Pilatus: Golden Round Trip & Lake Cruise from ZurichZURICH8 HOURSYESXYES - 2
Zurich: Lucerne & Mt. Pilatus Mystic Mountain Tour + Lunch (Winter tour)ZURICH9 HOURSYESXX
Private Trip From Zurich to Mt. Pilatus Through LucerneZURICH8 HOURSYES XX
Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Titlis 2-Day Tour from ZurichZURICH2 DAYSYESXYES - 2

get your guide logoI have chosen tours by Get Your Guide. This is a company I have used in the past and highly recommend. I find taking tours an excellent way to learn about the history and culture of a destination. Get Your Guide has an excellent range of tours all over the world with the tours in Europe receiving excellent reviews.  Booking is easy and there are no booking fees. If you need to cancel your tour up to 24 hour before they offer peace of mind with most tours fully refundable (though do check individual bookings as some some may incur penalties)

 

Golden Round Trip from Lucerne: Mt. Pilatus Self-Guided Tour

Leave from: Your 4.5-hour tour begins at the train station in Lucerne, where you’ll board a bus for a 15-minute ride to Kriens. Once in Kriens you will pick up your ticket for the rest of the tour.

Length of tour: 4 1/2  hours

Departure time: From 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Inclusions:

  • Χ  No tour guide
  • √  Public bus (Lucerne-Kriens, Zentrum/Pilatus or vice versa)
  • √  Cable car ride rom Kriens to Mt. Pilatus (or vice versa)
  • √   Ride with the world’s steepest cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad to Mt. Pilatus (or vice versa)
  • √ Second-class ship ticket (Alpnachstad-Lucerne or vice versa)

Maximum number of people on the tour: N/A

Tour language: N/A

Highlights of this tour: 

  • Panorama Gondola to Krienseregg and on to Fräkmüntegg.
  • Take the Dragon Ride cable car ride to the summit of Mount Pilatus.
  • Enjoy the views from the top of Pilatus before descending the world’s steepest cogwheel railway en route to Alpnachstad
  • Catch the ship back to Lucerne.

Sample Itinerary of your day

08:30 Departure from Lucerne by bus
08:40 Arrival in Kriens, station Zentrum Pilatus; walk to the valley station to pick up your tickets
09:00 Departure by gondola to Fräkmüntegg
09:30 Change to the Dragon Ride cable car
09:35 Arrival on Mt. Pilatus; enjoy the panoramic view and a walk around the area and/or a delicious meal
10:10 Departure by world’s steepest cogwheel railway to Alpnachstad
10:50 Arrival in Alpnachstad
11:00 Departure by ship
12:18 Arrival in Lucerne

Who is this tour best suited for?

If you are happy to take the Mt Pilatus day trip independently this is a great way to do it. This is the most expensive option (between the god/silver round trips) so if you are on a tighter budget or have less time consider the silver round-trip option.

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FOR THE GOLDEN ROUND TRIP FROM LUCERNE  »

MT PILATUS VIEW - CABLE CAR

Silver Round-Trip from Lucerne: Mt. Pilatus Self-Guided Tour

Leave from: Take bus number 1 from Lucerne bus station in the direction of Obernau for the 15-minute ride to Kriens, where you will collect your tickets for the rest of the day. Make your way to the panoramic gondola for an amazing ride up the mountain to Krienseregg.

Length of trip: 3 hours

Departure time: From 8:30 am

Inclusions:

  • Χ  No tour guide
  • √  Public bus (Lucerne-Kriens, Zentrum/Pilatus)
  • √  Round-trip cable car ride on Mount Pilatus
  • √  Second-class train ticket (Pilatus-Lucerne)

Maximum number of people on the tour: N/A

Tour language: N/A

Highlights of this tour: 

  • Experience the panoramic gondola and Dragon Ride cable car
  • A ride on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway
  • Enjoy the panoramic train ride of the Zentralbahn between Lucerne and Alpnachstad
  • Option to take this journey in either direction

Who is this tour best suited for?

If you are happy to take the Mt Pilatus day trip independently this is a great option. If you want to take the boat as part of your tour option I would recommend booking the Mt Pilatus golden round trip option.

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FOR THE SILVER ROUND TRIP FROM LUCERNE  »

MT PILATUS VIEW

Mt. Pilatus Self-Guided Trip: Lucerne’s Landmark Mountain

Leave from: Kriens or Alpnachstad valley stations.

Departure time: From 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Length of trip: 3 hours

Inclusions:

  • Χ  No tour guide
  • √  Cable car ride and cogwheel train

Maximum number of people on the tour: N/A

Tour language: N/A

Highlights of this tour: 

  • Cable car/ gondola ride and the steepest cogwheel railway in the world
  • Depart from Kriens or Alpnachstad

Who is this tour best suited for?

If you are happy to take the Mt Pilatus day trip independently this is a great option. This trip starts in Kriens or Alpnachstad so you will need to make your way to one of these places to start your trip.

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FOR THE MT PILATUS SELF-GUIDED TRIP  »

MT PILATUS VIEW OF COG RAILWAY

 

Mt. Pilatus by Cable Car and Cogwheel Train & Lake Cruise

Leave from: Lucerne

Length of tour: 5 1/2  hours

Departure time: 12:30 pm (the boat does not run after 21/10 so a lunch voucher is given)

Inclusions:

  • √  Tour guide
  • √  Transportation to Kriens by coach
  • √   Dragon Ride cable car up Mt. Pilatus
  • √   Descent by cogwheel train
  • √   1-hour boat cruise (only with summer option)
  • √   Professional English and German-speaking guide
  • √   Lunch voucher (only with autumn option)

Maximum number of people on the tour: Guided tour with others in the group

Tour language: English/Spanish/German

Highlights of this tour: 

  • Cable car, gondola and cogwheel railway
  • Cruise back to Lucerne by boat (in summer only)

This accompanied tour start with a departure from Lucerne by coach to Kriens. At Kriens catch the panoramic gondolas to Fräkmüntegg before boarding the aerial Dragon Ride to the top of Pilatus.

Once at the summit enjoy the incredible views and have lunch in one of the restaurants (own expense) before descending to Alpnachstad on the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. The cruise back to Lucerne takes an hour across the beautiful lake.

Who is this tour best suited for?

This is the perfect option for those who prefer to do the Pilatus trip with a tour guide.

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FOR THE MT PILATUS GUIDED TOUR  »

MT PILATUS VIEW OF TRAIN GOING INTO A TUNNEL

Mt. Pilatus: Private Day Hike

Leave from:The arch in front of the Lucerne train station at Bahnhofplatz. Your guide will be wearing a red hat and shirt or a red jacket.

Length of tour: 1 day

Departure time: 8:45 am

Inclusions:

  • √  All transportation mentioned in the itinerary
  • √ Certified hiking guide

Maximum number of people on the tour: Group tour

Tour language: English/German

Highlights of this tour: 

  • Enjoy breathtaking Alpine views from the top of Mt. Pilatus
  • Relax on the 40-minute scenic bus ride through the Lucerne countryside
  • Experience a 1-hour hike on the Flower Trail at the top of Mt. Pilatus
  • Enjoy the 40-minute ride on the cogwheel train
  • End the day with a cruise across Lake Lucerne on a steamship
  • Total hiking time is approximately 2 1/2 hours

Depart Lucerne on a scenic 40 minute ride on a yellow postal bus to the alpine village of Schwarzenberg which lies at the foot of Mount Pilatus. From here take the 1 1/2 hour hike through the forests and Alpine meadows stopping for lunch in a local restaurant or picnic. Then take the gondola and cable car to the summit where you can hike the famed Flower Trail to the top of Tomlishorn which is Mt Pilatus highest peak.

Take the cogwheel train and descent the mountain to Alpnachstad where you catch the lake steamer for the cruise back to Lucerne.

Who is this tour best suited for?

If you enjoy hiking this tour is for you – enjoy spectacular views as you hike the mountain.

Don’t forget to bring
  • Comfortable shoes (good hiking shoes are recommended)
  • Sunglasses
  • A sun hat

MT PILATUS VIEW FROM THE TOP

MOUNT PILATUS TOURS LEAVING FROM ZURICH

Mount Pilatus: Golden Round Trip & Lake Cruise from Zurich

Leave from: Hotel pick-up in Zurich

Length of tour: 8 hours

Departure time: 8:30 am

Inclusions:

  • √  All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • √  Local and professional guide for your party only
  • √  All transportation fees for boat, cog wheel railway, gondola and bus

Maximum number of people on the tour: Minimum of 2 people required per booking

Tour language: English/German

Highlights of this tour:

  • Includes a guided tour
  • Enjoy the ride from Zürich to Luzern
  • Enjoy the boat tour on Lake Lucerne
  • Travel on the world’s steepest coghwheel railway
  • A guided sightseeing tour of Mount Pilatus

Meet your guide at your hotel and head to the closest train station to travel to Lucerne.  Once in Lucerne you will catch a 1 hour boat cruise across the lake to Alpnachstad before boarding the cogwheel railway for the 35 minute journey to the summit.

Once at the top you can follow your guide on a tour of the rock formations and onto the gallery of dragons where they will explain some of the folklore around the mountain. After the tour you can have lunch before descending back into town on the cable car and gondola. Once at Kriens you catch transport back to Zurich.

Who is this tour best suited for?

If you are staying in Zurich but would like to explore further afield without organising the excursion yourself this guided tour from Zurich is ideal.

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FOR THE MT PILATUS GOLDEN ROUND TRIP FROM ZURICH »

MT PILATUS VIEW FROM THE GONDOLAS

Zurich: Lucerne & Mt. Pilatus Mystic Mountain Tour + Lunch (Winter tour)

Leave from: Zurich

Length of tour: 9 1/2 hours

Departure time: 9:30 am

Inclusions:

  • √ Semi-guided tour
  • √ Transportation (coach, public transport, aerial cable-car, and gondola)
  • √ Lunch voucher (CHF 20)

Maximum number of people on the tour: Group tour

Tour language: English

Highlights of this tour:

  • Enjoy the magnificent views from Mount Pilatus over the Swiss Alps
  • Ascend the mountain by panorama gondolas and cable car
  • Enjoy the main sights of the city of Lucerne including the Lion Monument
  • Enjoy a typical alpine lunch

Who is this tour best suited for?

A perfect way to experience the beauty of Switzerland in the winter. This trip also includes some time to explore the city of Lucerne.

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FOR THE LUCERNE AND MT PILATUS TOUR FROM ZURICH »

VIEW FROM THE CABLE CAR ON MT PILATUS

Private Trip From Zurich to Mt. Pilatus Through Lucerne

Leave from: Private pick-up from your hotel in Zurich

Length of tour: 8 hours

Departure time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Inclusions:

  • √  Driver/guide at your disposal
  • √  Private transfer in a modern vehicle
  • √  Drink & snacks

Maximum number of people on the tour: Private tour

Tour language: English/German/Russian

Highlights of this tour:

  • Admire the beautiful city of Lucerne including the Chapel Bridge and Lion Monument.
  • Experience the cable car, gondolas and the cog wheel railway as you ascend and descend the mountain
  • Private driver/guide

Who is this tour best suited for?

A fabulous private tour option for that special occasion!

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FOR YOUR PRVATE TOUR TO LUCERNE AND MT PILATUS TOUR FROM ZURICH »

MT PILATUS VIEW

Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Titlis 2-Day Tour from Zurich

Leave from: Zurich

Length of tour: 2 days

Departure time: 9:30 am

Inclusions:

  • √   Guided tour of Lucerne and Mt. Pilatus
  • √   Cable car fee at Mt. Pilatus
  • √   3-star half-board accommodation on Mt. Pilatus, including welcome drink
  • √   Cable car fee to Kriens
  • √   Public transportation to Lucerne
  • √   Fully guided tour of Mt. Titlis, including cable car, Rotair, Ice Flyer, Cliff Walk, Ice Cave and Glacier Park

Maximum number of people on the tour: Minimum 2 people per booking

Tour language: English/German

Highlights of this tour:

  • Spend one night on top of Mt. Pilatus
  • Explore the beautiful city of Lucerne
  • Ride the cable car up and down Mt. Pilatus
  • Experience an alpine wonderland on Mt. Titlis
  • Visit an ice cave and glacier park

Who is this tour best suited for?

If you would like to experience an organised trip to Lucerne, Mt Pilatus and Mt Titlus without worrying about planning any of the logistics this is an ideal option for you.

MT PILATUS VIEW OF THE PILATUS-KULM HOTEL

MORE SWISS TRAVEL INSPIRATION

Hopefully you will have taken lots of inspiration from this post and will be planning to experience one of these tours for yourself when you visit Switzerland.

If you are planning a trip to Switzerland or simply want to know more about this beautiful country why not take a look at some of my other posts:

A great selection of fiction and non-fiction books about (or set in) Switzerland. Find out about the history, culture and more of the Swiss people and nation.

PIN FOR LATER - BEST MT PILATUS TOURS

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Author: Tracy

Over the last 50 years I have lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to many more. I enjoy exploring and learning about new places and meeting people on my travels. History, reading, photography, nature and wildlife are my interests and I am ALWAYS researching and planning my next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, I share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help YOU travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information.

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