How to reach Mount Pilatus from Lucerne?

Mount Pilatus, located near Lucerne, is a popular tourist destination that offers breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne. The mountain is 2,132 meters (7,000 feet) above sea level and is accessible by several ways of transportation, making it easy to reach for anyone visiting the area.

Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus, Alpnach

Step-by-step guide

If you are visiting Lucerne and want to reach Mount Pilatus, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get there:

  1. Take a boat from Lucerne to Alpnachstad: The first step in reaching Mount Pilatus is to take a boat from Lucerne to Alpnachstad. The boat ride takes about an hour and is a great way to enjoy the scenic views of Lake Lucerne. From Alpnachstad, you can board a cogwheel train that will take you up the mountain. Take your camera with you and don’t forget to enjoy the amazing views along the journey.
  2. Board the cogwheel train from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm: The cogwheel train from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm is a scenic ride that takes about 40 minutes. The train winds its way up the mountain, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. You can purchase your tickets for the cogwheel train at the train station in Alpnachstad.
  3. Explore Pilatus Kulm: Once you reach Pilatus Kulm, you can explore the various attractions on the mountain, including a restaurant, a viewing platform, and several walking trails. From Pilatus Kulm, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne.
  4. Descend the mountain on the aerial cableway: If you want to descend the mountain, you can do so by taking the aerial cableway from Pilatus Kulm to Kriens. The cableway ride takes about 20 minutes and offers more stunning views of the Swiss Alps.
  5. Take a bus from Kriens to Lucerne: Finally, after descending the mountain, you can take a bus from Kriens back to Lucerne. The bus ride takes about 20 minutes and is a convenient way to get back to the city.


A visit to Mount Pilatus is a must-do for anyone visiting Lucerne. The journey to the top of the mountain is a scenic and unforgettable experience. The views from the summit are truly breathtaking. Whether you choose to take the boat, cogwheel train, or aerial cableway, each way of transportation offers stunning views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne.

Note: Be sure to dress warmly, as the weather on Mount Pilatus can be quite cold and windy, even during the summer months. It’s also a good idea to bring along some food and drinks, as there are limited options available on the mountain. Additionally, remember that altitude can cause symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and dizziness, so be sure to take it easy and drink enough water. Check out our other blog about what to wear when visiting Switzerland during the Summer season.

Costs of a visit

Reaching Mount Pilatus from Lucerne can be a budget-friendly or a more expensive experience, depending on the transportation options you choose and the activities you plan to do on the mountain. But, it is definitely possible to visit Mount Pilatus on a budget.


The cost of the boat ride from Lucerne to Alpnachstad starts at approximately CHF 15 per person and the cogwheel train from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm starts at around CHF 60 per person. The cost of the aerial cableway from Pilatus Kulm to Kriens starts at CHF 38 per person, and the bus ride from Kriens to Lucerne is approximately CHF 7 per person.

Activities and food

If you plan to do activities such as eating at a restaurant or exploring the walking trails on Mount Pilatus, the costs will add up, this of course depends on your personal expenditure behaviour in the restaurant. You can also purchase a multi-day pass that includes transportation and admission to attractions on Mount Pilatus, which can save you money in the long run.

Good to note

It’s important to note that the costs of transportation and activities on Mount Pilatus can vary depending on the time of year and the current exchange rate, so it’s a good idea to check for updates before planning your trip.

Reaching Mount Pilatus from Lucerne can be budget-friendly or more expensive, depending on your preferences and budget. By planning ahead and considering the costs of transportation and activities, you can have a great time on the mountain without spending too much:).


In conclusion, reaching Mount Pilatus from Lucerne is a fun and exciting experience that should not be missed. On your way up you can already enjoy the magical views. With several ways of transportation to choose from, stunning views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne, and a range of attractions to enjoy, it’s an experience that is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Switzerland.


Maurits love affair with Switzerland started on his first visit to Switzerland and still continues today. He visits Switzerland often and enjoys writing about his discoveries and sharing his tips with fellow travellers.

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