Travel Plan for Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

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Travel Plan for Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

Getting to Know

Switzerland is absolutely beautiful but your trip is incomplete without going up 7000 feet to the top of Mount Pilatus on a Sunny day. It is one of the most legendary places in Central Switzerland. And undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. On a clear day the mountain offers a panoramic view of 73 Alpine peaks.

How to Get There

Nearest big city is Zurich. From Zurich Airport I took a train to Lucerne via Zurich Hauptbahnhof which took me less than an hour and cost was around 28.00 CHF. Once you are in Lucerne Bahnhof just cross the Bahnhofstrasse to the boat terminal. Boat to Alpnachstad is available throughout the day, check for the Current Pricing. From Alpnachstad getting on to Cogwheel train and climbing uphill to Pilatus Kulm is pretty easy.

Mount Pilatus Golden Round Trip

The Map of Mount Pilatus Golden Round Trip

The Golden Round Trip is one of the most popular package among most of the visitors to Mount Pilatus between May to October. This tour begins from Lucerne with a cruise on Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, followed by a ride up to Mount Pilatus by Cogwheel railway, and the descent is by two separate cable car systems to Kriens to Connect a trolleybus to the city centre. This trip can also be done other way around like starting from Kriens then the cable car to the top, descent by Cogwheel railway and then taking the cruise back to Lucern.

Mt. Pilatus Silver Round Trip

This package is for those who are on a tighter schedule, instead of taking the cruise visitors can shorten they travel time by taking the S-bahn train from Lucerne to Alpnachstad then rest of the uphill and downhill will be the same as above.

Mount Pilatus

Out boat approaching Alpnachstad pier, My Mount Pilatus Trip

Ferry to Alpnachstad

The cruise from Lucerne to Alpnachstad takes is about 70 – 90 minutes to cover a total distance of 14 mile (approx.). Best time to start the trip is early morning as the view of the lake and the surroundings are breathtaking with the sunrise. On the way it makes few stops most interesting stops are Verkehrshaus-Lido, Kehrsiten-Dorf, Hergiswil, Stansstad and finally Alpnachstad. After arrival at Alpnachstad a municipality on the lake shore at the food of Mount Pilatus plan to spend some time there before getting on to the Pilatus Bahn. This place is so beautiful and a great place to relax enjoy the picturesque view of the lake and surrounding mountains.

My Mount Pilatus Trip

The boat we took to get to Alpnachstad from Lucerne. My Mount Pilatus Trip

My Mount Pilatus Trip

Soon we got off the boat we were amazed with the beautiful view of the village. Mount Pilatus Trip

Pilatus Bahn

From Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm is the most exciting portion of the trip, riding the worlds steepest cogwheel railway and going up through the woods and meadows covered with wild flowers and sometimes covered with snow, crystal clear view of the beautiful Lake Lucerne from the top was fantastic.

In about 30 minutes, the train climbed a vertical distance of 5350 feet over a distance of 3 miles and finally the train pulled into the Pilatus Kulm station which is located at the lower levels of Hotel Bellevue at an altitude of 6800 feet.

My Mount Pilatus Trip

Pilatus Bahn starte from here at Alpnachstad to Mount Pilatus

My Mount Pilatus Trip

A view of Lake Lucerne from the cogwheel train going up to Mt. Pilatus

Pilatus Kulm

This was my first trip to one of the high altitude mountains in Swiss Alps, so was existed to get the most out of it. I did not spent much time, headed straight to the vantage points at Pilatus Kulm and captured few decent pictures before the clouds started to move in. There are few hiking trails that will take you to various corners of the mountains pick giving you different vantage points.

My Mount Pilatus Trip

Aerial Cableway heading from Mount Pilatus Kulm to Frakmuntegg

As usual at the Kulm it got such an unpredictable weather as I wanted to take some shots through the moving clouds but all in a sudden a huge bank of clues moved in quickly and completely covered the view from the lookout.

Depending the time of your travel some of the trail may not be available for public.

Depending the time of your travel some of the trail may not be available for public.

To do all the trails you may need to give yourself enough time because in between you may need to rest and recharge with fresh energy.

My Mount Pilatus Trip

This is one of the train that will lead you to one of the Mount Pilatus peak.

It started snowing a little so decided to cover myself in the restaurant, by the time I finished my lunch the peak was blanketed in thick clouds and finally I decided to make my way down to catch the aerial tramway.

I was not prepared for the snow like weather in the month of June

Enjoy Your Lunch Up There

Lunch on the top of the World

Lunch on the top of the World

Locals at the bar – Mount Pilatus

Aerial Cableway Pilatus Kulm – Frakmuntegg

From Pilatus Kulm a 5 minute ride by aerial cablecar carried us to the small hillside resort of Fräkmüntegg, where we transfer to smaller panoramic gondolas that continue down to the lakeside village of Kriens. But if the weather is right don’t just transfer right away – instead, spend some time at Fräkmüntegg, which has a restaurant, hiking paths, and two summer adventure attractions that are open from May to October. The view from the new aerial cableway (Dragon Ride) is spectacular it gives the impression of flying with cockpit-like design and large windows perfect for great pictures.

Cable Car to Kriens

We continued our journey on the gondola lift on the lower half the cable car ride down to Kriens. For the final portion of the 3 miles cable car ride, we enjoyed a view of Lucerne city and the northern suburbs as the cable car approached Kriens station.

Going down to Kriens station using one of these!

Trolleybus back to Lucerne City Centre

Finally we were arrived at Kriens cable car terminal building and need to get the trolleybus back to Lucerne City Center. We just followed the Clear directional signs are placed at every corner along the way to guide passengers to complete the final part of the Golden Round Trip. So no problem finding the bus stop to catch the trolleybus service 1.

My Opinion and Tips

Have you been to Mount Pilatus, Switzerland? Any additional tips to share?

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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