The Pilatus is located just outside Lucerne. The summit at 2119 m can be reached via two different routes.
The forum allows you to post your questions and discuss your plans.
Attraction type: Scenic trip;
Natural site, Mountain top, By cable car
Escort: independent (no guide)
Region: Lake Lucerne (Central Switzerland)
Duration: 1 day or less
A day trip to the Pilatus
The Pilatus makes an excellent day trip for several reasons. It's close to Lucerne and it's easily accessible by two different routes: a cogwheel train from Alpnachstad and a cable car from Kriens, a suburb of Lucerne. The cogwheel route is spectacular: it's the steepest one in the world, with completely renovated trains from May 2023, and it crosses a fierce landscape with impressive rock walls.
You'll find several bars and restaurants at the top, as well as a terrace to enjoy the views of Lake Lucerne and the Alps. Also there's a 'Dragon Path' with information about the myths around this mountain, and several hiking trails to viewing points. The indoor interactive 'Dragon World' allows you to learn about the myths as well.
Spend the night at the top
There are two hotels at Pilatus Kulm, so you can wake up to amazing panoramic views. From March to November, there are astronomy events that include an introduction to astronomy, star gazing, dinner and a night in one of the hotels. Romance packages and themed family rooms are available too.
'Golden Round Trip'
Take the boat from Lucerne to Alpnachstad. Change to the cogwheel train to the Pilatus. Then take the cable car down to Fräkmüntegg and change to the gondola to Kriens. It's a 10-minute walk to the bus stop called 'Kriens, Zentrum Pilatus'. There, you can take bus line 1 to the Lucerne rail station (15 minutes). The Golden Round Trip can be made the other way around as well.
'Silver Round Trip'
This is similar to the 'Golden Round Trip', except that you reach Alpnachstad by regular train instead of the boat.
Toboggan and rope park
Fräkmüntegg is between Kriens and Mount Pilatus. It's where you change from the gondola to the cable car, and you'll find a long toboggan run, a rope park, the 'Dragon Glider' zipline and a restaurant there.
Plan your journey: there are various ways to reach Pilatus and it's fun to create a varied itinerary. Check the weather forecast to make sure it will be clear enough to enjoy the views. Take at least an hour to enjoy the views from the top. An average trip from Lucerne takes 3 to 4 hours in total, but you can easily turn this into a full-day trip if you take your time.