LUCERNE — Day Trips From Lucerne

There are several day trips that you can take from Lucerne.

The following are some of the day trips that you can take from Lucerne:
Gütsch
Mount Pilatus
Mount Rigi
Mount Titlis

Gütsch

Gütsch
The scenic plateau of Gütsch which is 514m above sea level rises above the city of Lucerne. At the top of the ridge is a platform and here you will find the Hotel Château Gütsch. This fairytale castle dates from the mid-19th century and has been redeveloped over the years from a simple inn to a luxury boutique hotel, restaurant and spa complex which is scheduled to open in 2012. The view from here is simply stunning. Gütsch is found around 2.5 kilometres west of Lucerne and there are several ways to get here. You can catch bus number 12 from the main train station or you can take the funicular found on Baselstrasse and is operated by coins. If you are feeling energetic you could walk it but remember it will be up a very steep hill.

Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus is located 15km south of Lucerne. You can easily do this trip in a day or even half a day if you are short on time. To get to Mount Pilatus you need to take a boat from the quay in Lucerne which is next to the main train station. It is a 90-minute trip from Lucerne to Alpnachstad. From here you can catch the cog railway provided you are travelling between May and November and the weather is okay. Mount Pilatus is 2,132 metres tall and from the top you have fabulous panoramic views of mountain peaks. There are restaurants and other facilities at the top. For the descent from Mount Pilatus you can take a pair of cable cars. The first one is an aerial cableway and the second is a small gondola. The cable cars end at Kriens which is a suburb of Lucerne. Here you can take bus no. 1 back into Lucerne. If you are travelling in Winter you can still visit Mount Pilatus but you will have to go both ways by cable car. From the centre of Lucerne, take bus no. 1 from the main train station to Kriens and then transfer to a cable car and travel for 30 minutes to the village of Fräkmüntegg. At Fräkmüntegg you will need to switch to another cable car and this one is much steeper than the first one. From the cable cars you will see some beautiful scenery of cliffs and gorges. These cable cars run all year.
For more information about getting to Mount Pilatus and the related costs visit the website at: http://www.pilatus.ch/content-n147-sE.html

Traveller's Tip

You can purchase a Round Trip ticket which takes you by boat to Alpnachstad, up the cogwheel railway, back on the aerial cableways and panorama gondolas to Kriens and then by bus to Lucerne.
  • If you have a rail pass then you can use it on the boat.
  • It is best to visit Mount Pilatus early in the day as clouds and fog sometimes move in at the top of the mountain in the early afternoon and you won’t have such a great view.
    Mount Rigi

    Mount Rigi
    Mount Rigi is found 24km east of Lucerne. The view from Rigi is different from that from Mount Pilatus, so you can happily see both. Many consider the view from Mount Rigi to be the most famous and best mountain view in Switzerland but this is probably only true if the weather is clear. You can travel to the mountain by taking a 55-minute trip by boat from Lucerne to Vitznau, a small resort on the northern shore of the lake. Then you take the cog railway to Rigi-Kulm. This was the first cog railway in Europe and it was built in 1871. You can also get to the mountain from Arth-Goldau, which is on the southern shore of Zug Lake. The Arth-Goldau cog railway to Rigi-Kulm opened in 1876. It is possible to go up one way and come down the other if you want to see both sides of the mountain. The trip from Vitznau takes 40 minutes and the trip from Arth-Goldau takes 35 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a boat to Vitznau. From here, go to the top of Rigi-Kulm by cog railway. You can then take the same cog railway halfway down the mountain and get off at Rigi Kaltbad. Here you will switch to the Rigi Seilbahn cable car, which will take you the rest of the way downhill. The cog railway only operates between March and October.
    For information about getting to Mount Rigi and the related costs visit the website at http://www.rigi.ch/en/welcome.cfm

    Traveller's Tip

    A favourite thing to do by many visitors to Mount Rigi is to watch the sunset from over the top of the mountain. There are many hotels on the mountainside where you can spend the night so that you can do so.
    Mount Titlis

    Mount Titlis
    To get to Mount Titlis from Lucerne you will need to take a train to the little resort of Engelberg which is the highest point from which you can get a view over central Switzerland. The journey takes around an hour by train from Lucerne to Engelberg. The summit is always covered by snow and ice. Here there is a ice cave and a glacier trail. The view from the viewing platform is of the Jungfrau and the Matterhorn, as well as Zurich and Basel on a clear day. You will also find a summer ski run with a ski lift as well as two restaurants. To get to the summit, you take a funicular and three cable cars. The last stage of the cable-car trip is spectacular, as the ride takes you right over the glacier. The terminal at the summit has an observation lounge and a large sun terrace.
    For information about the trains visit the website at http://www.sbb.ch/en
    For information about getting to Mount Titlis and the related costs visit the website at http://www.titlis.ch/?lang=en

    Traveller's Tip

    As there is snow and ice all year round here you will need to dress appropriately as it will be cold even if the sun is shining. So come prepared.