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Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich

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Zürich, Switzerland

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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Safety measures
icon9 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
iconOffered in: English and 2 more
Good for avoiding crowds


Immerse yourself in the mountainous majesty of Mount Pilatus on a full-day excursion from Zurich. Ascend to vertiginous vantage points on a gondola, aerial cable car and enjoy sweeping vistas of the dramatic Alps mountain range. Embark on a moderate hike down the verdant Dragon’s Path and the world’s steepest cogwheel railway before taking a short cruise on Lake Lucerne. Relish the convenience of round-trip transportation from Zurich on this enriching full-day tour.
  • Summer day trip from Zurich to Mount Pilatus
  • Ride an aerial cable car gondola to the top of Mount Pilatus
  • Hike to the summit and descend on the world's steepest cogwheel railway
  • A boat ride across Lake Lucerne is included
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Panorama drive to Lucerne with photo stop en route ( at Lake Lucerne or the Lion Monument)
Short introduction city tour of Lucerne
Panoramic gondola and aerial cablecar (except during maintenance)
Steepest cogwheel train in the world (from early May to early November)
Boat ride on Lake Lucerne
Lunch voucher will be provided in case the boat ride does not operate
Air-conditioned vehicle
Time at leisure in Lucerne
Hotel pick-up and drop off
Food and drinks, unless specified

Departure Point

Sihlquai Coach Parking, Limmatstrasse 4, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland

Departure Time

9:30 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
After pickup at a centrally located spot in Zurich, admire the picturesque scenery as you travel to Lucerne in a comfortable, air-conditioned coach. Disembark for a leisurely stroll around the historical highlights of the city, visiting monuments like Jesuit Church and Chapel Bridge. Stop for a scenic photo stop en route at Lake Lucerne. Spend some relaxed free time exploring the city at your leisure, and then return to the coach to travel to your next destination.

Continue to Kriens and climb aboard a panoramic gondola and aerial cable car traveling to the 7,000-foot (2,132-meter) summit of Mount Pilatus. Appreciate breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-smothered spires and enjoy some relaxed free time to absorb the views.

Follow the Dragon’s Path to Mount Pilatus’ summit and then descend the mountain’s steep side on the cogwheel railway, which with its 48% gradient is the steepest railway in the world. Back at sea level, climb aboard an awaiting boat for a tranquil cruise across Lake Lucerne.

Return to your vehicle and relax during the journey back to Zurich, where the tour concludes.

Please see the Itinerary section from seasonal service times of each transport method.
Pass By:  
Start your tour at the Sihlquai Coach Terminal, Zürich. Set off for an exciting day traveling over the Albis Pass and along the shores of Lake Lucerne to the enchanting city of Lucerne. Take in the views during a short photo stop en route.
Pass By:  
Enjoy a brief orientation drive, where your guide points out the main attractions of this charming town like the Chapel Bridge, the Town Hall, the Jesuit Church and the Culture and Congress Centre.
Stop At:  
Old Town Lucerne
Enjoy the following time at leisure to stroll through Lucerne's beautiful Old Town.
Duration: 50 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Pilatus Luzern
Continuation to Kriens, where you take the panoramic gondola and aerial cable car to the top of Mount Pilatus at 7000 feet (2132 meters). Enjoy some time at leisure admiring breathtaking views over the surrounding mountains and lakes. Venture down the Dragon's Path and make the short hike to the summit before descending Mount Pilatus to Alpnachstad by cogwheel railway. At a gradient of 48% it is the world's steepest!
Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Lake Lucerne
Your summer alpine adventure concludes with a picturesque boat ride across lovely Lake Lucerne to Lucerne, where you board the coach for your ride back to Zurich.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
After a enjoyable day, the guide will bring you back to Zürich. The Golden Roundtrip (ascent by aerial cable car, descent by cogwheel train, return to Lucerne by boat) operates between early May and late October. Between late October and mid-November the aerial cable car is under maintenance. In this case you will travel up and down Mt. Pilatus by cogwheel train. The boat on Lake Lucerne operates from early May until late October - if you are traveling when the boat is no longer in operation you will return to Lucerne by train and receive a complimentary lunch instead.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 12 hours of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
  • Infants aged 0-5 travel free of charge but must be registered on your booking
  • Early/mid May 2021: Depending on snow conditions, the coghweel train may be replaced by the aerial cable car.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • From October 18-24 and November 13-14, the ascent will be made by cable car, the descent by cogwheel train and no boat ride but a lunch voucher will be included.
  • From October 25 to November 12, the ascent and descent will be made by cogwheel train due to revision of the cable car and no boat ride but a lunch voucher will be included.
  • In winter (from November 15), the tour runs under the name "Mt. Pilatus and Lucerne Winter Day Trip from Zürich".
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 48 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Best of Switzerland Tours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich.
What is the policy on sanitization during Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich.
What is the maximum group size during Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich?
A:This activity will have a maximum of 48 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich.

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Traveler Tips

  • "This is a great way to get out of Zurich and see some countryside and pack in a couple of different activities into a single day." See review
  • "Pilatus's elevation is about 2000 meters, it is not too code at the top of the mountain." See review


290 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 290 reviews
Beauty of Switzerland 🇨🇭
, Aug 2020
It was one of the best solo trip I have ever had and boy, I’m very amazed and happy. The trip from Zürich was being guided by a good and experienced tour guide, the lead us all the way to Mt. Pilatus. It was a sunny day, and the weather is beautiful to our surprise. Viator has a good team organisation that has made the trip worthwhile, goal achieved so to say. We had enough time to explore the city of Luzern, as well as Mt. Pilatus. The final stage of the Trip was a relaxing river cruise around lake Luzern going back to the City. Ofcourse the team made sure that we follow the protocols to protect ourselves from the Corona Virus that’s why we had to have the Mask all the time. Indeed a good one. I’m gonna choose Viator on my next trip to Switzerland next time for other cities, Swiss lakes and villages. 😍😊
Worth every penny
, Jul 2020
Wonderful complete day trip. You get it all here! The guide switched effortlessly between 3 different languages and was very polite and considerate about the COVID measures (I wish all the passengers would have just abided by the rules Though). The trip is amazing, not too much time spent on the bus or at least it didn’t seem like a long time because Konrad our guide commented on the places we drove by. We got to Lucerne a bit early because there was no traffic on the way. Spent lunchtime there and had a bit of time to wander round, but this part could have easily been shortened a bit in order to get more time on Mount Pilatus which was actually the highlight. We enjoyed both cable car rides to the mountain top and tried to do the longest of the hiking routes pictured on the map we were handed. Unfortunately there was not enough time to get to the other side of the mountain and back or taking enough breaks to enjoy the magnificent views before we had to go back in the lovely cogwheel Car providing again nice views of the surroundings. The boat trip across the lake back to Luzern was a welcome break from all the activity on the mountain so that on the bus ride back (which was even shorter than the way there) we were just about ready to fall asleep 😅 we loved the trip and would recommend it to anyone who is well on their feet because walking around the mountain top really made the day perfect. Great company and very accommodating guides, super friendly and well versed in what they do. Had a great time! Worth every penny :)
stunning view of Mount Pilatus
, Nov 2019
Have bird eyes view of Mount Pilatus. The tour is so good to have different kinds of transportation up/down to mountain. The tour also includes the ferry... so good
Magnificent Day
, Oct 2019
Right from the start our trip met or exceeded our (group of 16) expectations. Once out of the city we traveled through gorgeous countryside and small Swiss Villages. Our guide shared interesting information along the way and we stopped for photo opportunities also. Once we arrived at Mt Pilatus the experience and views became breathtaking. The gondola and tram rides up were exciting for some in my group who have never ridden on a gondola/tram and on this particular day we broke through a cloud cover as we took the tram to the top of Mt Pilatus, a photographer’s paradise. Many of us climbed the trail to the very top while others stayed at the restaurant/top station. The facilities allowed everyone to have a wonderful experience. The cog train down was fun and just added to everyone’s enjoyment. Added to an already great experience was the boat ride on lake Lucerne which in itself was a beautiful experience. The whole trip was well worth the cost. Our group later in the week took a Viking Cruise and had a great experience, but most put Mt Pilatus as one of their favorite days on our vacation.
Golden Trip
Rebecca O
, Sep 2019
This trip was wonderful. The company operated like clock work. The whole day was relaxing and wonderful. The weather was a bonus - perfectly sunny and cast a warm glow on everything. I would highly recommend this for everyone.
Loved this tour!
, Sep 2019
It was our last day in Switzerland and one of the best. The itinerary was excellent with a nice variety of activities included. The bus trip was comfortable and our guide Denise provided excellent commentary of places we passed through. We really loved Mount Pilatus and the team, gondola and cog wheel rides! Wish we had time to do the alpine slide but biking around the peak was also fantastic.
Mt. Pilatus, Ferry Ride and Luzerne
, Sep 2019
We had a delightful trip! Our guide was very knowledgeable and provided lots of interesting historical information along the way in a beautiful and comfortable bus. The gondolas, the cogwheel train, the ferry and the free time in Luzerne made for a complete and fun day. What a beautiful countryside, we loved everything about this trip--worth the money for sure!
Perfect Day
, Sep 2019
If you are looking for a day that includes a bus tour, a gondola ride, a train ride and a boat ride this is the tour for you! Soooo much included in this 9 hour tour. Well worth the price and the tour guide Valerie was exceptional. The scenery is stunning.
Wonderful mix of activities in a single day
, Sep 2019
My wife pushed me to do this on the last day of a business trip, and I am very glad she did. This is a great way to get out of Zurich and see some countryside and pack in a couple of different activities into a single day. Guide describes many interesting details of the scenery and the cantons while the bus drives on hilly roads through the countryside to Rigi Mountain to drop off people on that trip. Then short drive to Lucerne. Decent amount of time to walk around the old town in Lucerne. Can eat, shop, or just admire the scenery and architecture. Many good photo op spots for urban pictures but with features that are unmistakably European. Then short ride to the first gondola. Four person "ski lift" enclosed cabin. You can see the people hiking and hear the cow bells of the cows grazing underneath. Then into the 55 person big gondola for the ascent to the summit. Quite crowded to get 55 in, but tolerable. Then you reach the summit of Mt Pilatus, and if the sun in shining it is glorious. can see several 3000 meter peaks as well as Lake Lucerne below. Three different short paths to walk to get view from different angles / sides. Each takes 10 -20 minutes so in your 90 minutes on the summit you have time to do all 3. Or grab a bit to eat and drink, there are several options in the 2 hotels on the summit or on the large outdoor space. Then cog wheel train down very steep route. Quite an exhilarating experience. More great views. More cow with cowbells. Then quick hop through tunnel under the road and get onto high speed boat on lake Lucerne. In good weather the breeze feels great and there is nice scenery. Then bus takes fast motorway back to Zurich. Fabulous day in Switzerland.
Mount Pilatus
, Sep 2019
Mt. Pilatus was beautiful! We were able to visit this wonderful area of Switzerland on a very sunny clear day. The tour guide was hard to understand. She spoke very good English however the noise of the group and the bus made it difficult to understand the things she was talking about.

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