How to reach Mount Pilatus from Zurich?

Mount Pilatus rises above beautiful Lucerne. The summit at an elevation of over 2100 meters you can see 73 iconic alpine peaks. A truly magical panorama.

You can easily reach Mount Pilatus with the modern aerial cablecar or with the steepest cogwheel railway. Both are unique ways to enjoy the beauty of this place. In this blog, we will tell you our experience, about how to reach Mount Pilatus from Zurich and what to expect, let’s dive into it

mount pilatus

How to reach Mount Pilatus by car?

The first way to reach Mount Pilatus is by travelling by car. This gives you a lot of flexibility because you can make short stops during the road trip from Zurich to Mount Pilatus. We liked this a lot because we had some short stops to take a picture and we made a longer stop in Lucerne for our morning coffee.

A car journey to Mount Pilatus from Zurich is a perfect adventure. It takes around 100 kilometres, which means around 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the Cable Valley station. During the road trip, the scenery was stunning. The greenery, small cute villages and amazing views were so worth it.

We just set our maps to Mount Pilatus and follow the well-marked route. Good to note, that there are some tolls on specific highways. Also, do not forget the Swiss vignette, you can read more about it here.

You can find the Google Maps here, and we advise you to check out parking at the valley station here.

How to reach Mount Pilatus by public transportation?

The next possibility to reach Mount Pilatus is by taking public transport. The following steps will lead to the destination starting at the main station in Zurich.

  1. Start at Zurich Hauptbahnhof: Your journey begins at Zurich’s main train station, Zurich Hauptbahnhof. This central main station is well-connected and easy to navigate, making it a convenient starting point for your Mount Pilatus adventure.
  2. Hop on a Train to Lucerne: Once at Zurich Hauptbahnhof, board a train headed to Lucerne. The train ride itself is amazing, the views are beautiful, an hour filled with picturesque landscapes and charming Swiss towns along the way. As you watch the scenery unfold, you’ll quickly understand why train travel is a beloved mode of exploration in Switzerland.
  3. Bus to Kriens: Upon arriving at Lucerne, your next step is to take a short bus ride to Kriens, the gateway to Mount Pilatus. The bus ride is a journey with beautiful views, as you pass through the cosy streets of Lucerne and during the journey you can witness the surrounding natural beauty. Kriens serves as the starting point for your ascent to Mount Pilatus. Find more info on arrival by public transportation here.

The opening hours of Mount Pilatus:

If you’re planning to visit Mount Pilatus, it’s important to know the opening hours to make the most of your experience.

Spring to Autumn:

Mount Pilatus welcomes visitors from late spring to early autumn. This period typically spans from April to October. Please find more information here about the current timetable.

A Day of Exploration:

The opening hours of Mount Pilatus usually extend from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This timeframe allows you to start quite early on a day of exploration, taking in the breathtaking views, performing some cool adventure activities, and maybe enjoying lunch at the restaurant.

Tickets for Mount Pilatus

1. Ticket Options:
Mount Pilatus offers a range of ticket options to suit different preferences and itineraries. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended stay, you’ll find choices that align with your travel plans.

2. Round-Trip Tickets:
Round-trip tickets cover your transportation to and from the summit, ensuring an easy and comfortable journey. These tickets typically include a combination of cable cars and the iconic cogwheel train – the steepest in the world. We recommend checking out this link, to find out which tickets are best for you.

3. Family and Group Discounts:
Travelling with family or friends? Mount Pilatus offers family and group discounts, making it an affordable and memorable activity for everyone.

4. Golden Round Trip:
The Golden Round Trip is a popular option that includes a boat ride on Lake Lucerne, the cogwheel train adventure, and the cable car ascent.

This all-inclusive package guarantees an immersive experience and covers your entire day’s transportation. please find more information about the golden round trip here.

Things to see and do at Mount Pilatus?

Okay, now we know how to reach Mount Pilatus, but it’s time to talk about all the awesome activities to do at the summit!

1, Panoramic views

At an elevation of around 2,132 meters, the summit of Mount Pilatus has simply some of the best views we have ever seen in Switzerland. we were speechless for a moment, because of the fog it looked so mysterious and later with the sun the view was astonishingly beautiful.

Spectacular views of Mount Pilatus

2. Golden Round Trip

As we already mentioned, the famous Golden Round Trip is awesome, an all-encompassing adventure that showcases the best of Mount Pilatus. The journey includes a boat ride on Lake Lucerne, where tranquil waters mirror the surrounding peaks.

The cogwheel train, takes you on a steep ascent, offering close-up views of the mountain’s beauty. Finally, the cable car completes the trip, lifting you to the summit while providing stunning views. You can find more information about the golden round trip here.

3. Hiking trails

For nature enthusiasts, which you probably are, Mount Pilatus offers a network of hiking trails for various skill levels.

Explore the Dragon’s Path, a cool trail that winds through Alpine meadows, offering captivating views of Lake Lucerne. Those seeking a challenge can opt for steeper trails that lead to hidden viewpoints and untouched landscapes. Find more info about this trail here. Also find more hiking trails here, very insightful.

4. Adventure activities

Thrill-seekers find their haven on Mount Pilatus. The Fräkmüntegg area features a rope park where you can test your agility and courage among treetop obstacles. Alternatively, join on a paragliding adventure, soaring above the landscape while being cradled by the Swiss breeze. Find more info here!

5. Culinary delights

As you know, Swiss cuisine is known for its excellent high quality. Combine the local flavours while with the stunning scenery. The culinary experience at Mount Pilatus is a treat for the senses, combining exquisite dishes with the ambience of the Alps. Find more info here!

6. The dragon ride

One of the newest attractions, the Dragon Ride is a thrilling aerial cable car that provides an unforgettable journey. Suspended over the landscape, the cable car offers fabulous views and a cool ride that adds an extra layer of excitement to your adventure. You can get a glimpse of the dragon ride on the website or the pictures in this blog post!


All in all, we can conclude that a visit to Mount Pilatus is a must! We have informed you about three ways to reach Mount Pilatus from Zurich. You can easily reach Mount Pilatus by car or public transport.

The views, the Swiss cuisine and the endless possible activities make this a perfect holiday activity! We hope you have a lot of fun exploring this beautiful place.


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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