To get the feeling Switzerland’s beauty in one day, plan

A day’s tour to and from Pilatus

– leisurely ship ride on lake of Lucerne (to Alpnachstad)

– (from Alpnachstad): world’s steepest cogwheel train to the top of Pilatus

– Cable cabins offering a 360 View of the region or again back by the cogwheel train

Start off this memorable trip early in the day. When getting the tickets, ask for the “golden round trip”. Take the ship ride from Lucerne to Alpnachstad and enjoy the breeze and landscape around the Lake of Lucerne.

Pilatus Bahn: world's steepest cogwheel train

Pilatus Bahn: world’s steepest cogwheel train

This ride will take an hour. In Alpnachstad you change to the world’s steepest cogwheel train. While boarding, try to get a seat just behind the driver to get the best view from over his shoulder. And yes, you will not be the only one trying to get this seat!
View over the shoulder: along Pilatus cogwheel train

View over the shoulder: along Pilatus cogwheel train

Mountain flowers

Moutain Flowers

Facts about the steepest cogwheel train: Its maximum inclination is 48% and it opened in 1889.
World's steepest cogwheel train to the  Pilatus

World’s steepest cogwheel train to the Pilatus

While in the train, open the windows to breathe in the fresh mountain air, spot the flowers only seen at these heights, hear the cow bells- enjoy the Swissness of the mountains! The ride from Alpnachstad to the top of the PIlatus will take about 40 minutes.

At the top of Pilatus

The Mt. Pilatus is 2,128 m high.

You can enjoy the view from the platform or hike further along the different hiking trails. You will need good foot wear for a good grip for these trails. Additionally, it will get cold at the top. Take along warm outdoor jackets and a scarf.
At the top, you can have snacks and meals at the Hotel Pilatus Kulm.

on Top of Pilatus > 2130m

on Top of Pilatus > 2130m


What else to do

PIlatus has the biggest rope suspension park of central Switzerland, besides different hiking trails.

suspension rope park, Pilatus

suspension rope park, as at Pilatus (this one was taken in Arosa)


What does the Dragon have to do with the Pilatus?

In late medieval times a dragon was said to live on the mountain. A particularly vivid account was written in 1619: ‘as I was contemplating the serene sky by night, I saw a very bright dragon with flapping wings go from a cave in a great rock in the mount called Pilatus toward another cave, known as Flue, on the opposite side of the lake’

The Descent

The Golden round trip offers a cable cabin ride back down, with a 360 view of the panorama. The base station of these cable cabins is in Kriens. From there you can take the train to Lucerne.


you go back taking the cogwheel train to Alpnachstad, for which you will have to get a pass at the office, without any extra charge.

Cogwheel train to Pilatus

View from within the world’s steepest cogwheel train to and from Pialtus

pilaView from within the world's steepest cogwheel train to and from Pialtustus (1 von 1)

View from within the world’s steepest cogwheel train to and from Pialtus


Celebrate the end the day

Call the day off with a leisurely afternoon in the city of Lucerne at the bank of river Reuss, with a view on the 14th century Chapel bridge of Lucerne  with the water tower and/or stroll through the old town of Lucerne.

Chapel Bridge, Lucerne

A note on planning the schedule

It is advisable to start early in the day. We had our brunch on the ship. The food was quite good – with different varieties – chicken, pasta, salad, sandwiches.

Brunch on ship on lake of  Lucerne

Brunch on ship on lake of Lucerne

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside – Chapel bridge Lucerne