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Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich

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Zürich, Switzerland
Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon9 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
iconOffered in: English and 1 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
Best of Switzerland Tours AG , Sihlquai Coach Parking, Limmatstrasse 4, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland

The official departure point for all tours departing from Zürich is Sihlquai Bus Terminal, close to Zürich’s main train station (Zürich HB). Please check in at least 15 minutes prior to tour start at the white ticket office marked with “Best of Switzerland Tours” or “City Tours & Excursions”.

9:30 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
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
  • From October 18-24 and November 6-14, the ascent will be made by cable car, the descent by cogwheel train and no boat ride but a lunch voucher will be included.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • From October 25 to November 5, 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 (until 25 May/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
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

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 sanitization during Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Zurich?
A:The policy on sanitization is:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
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


295 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 295 reviews
Breathtaking Experience!!!
, Oct 2021
From beginning to end the trip was wonderful!! I do prefer the smaller bus experience, although this one worked out perfectly well.
Lovely sites bad leadership!
, Oct 2021
Tour started well enough but then individuals started to not wear their masks. The guide, Fernando, was notified of issue and made a half-hearted attempt to have the masks worn but it didn’t last. In Lucerne, with 5 minutes before departure, I attempted to board the bus only to have the driver put his hand in my face without a word. He then got off the bus and proceeded to have a conversation with a couple but no explanation as to why we could not board. The guide arrived and was, again, informed of the driver’s rude disposition with no response. And leaving Lucerne, the guide failed to put on his mask for the first 5 minutes!! These individuals did NOT meet my expectations. Thankfully, Yolanda joined us on the departure to Mount Pilatus and her bright, vivacious personality saved the day. Closing observations 1) air conditioner didn’t work properly and 2) Fernando failed to wear his mask the entire return trip!
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Dear Michael, Thank you very much for rating your experience on our day trip to Mt Pilatus! We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the destination and are very grateful to you for pointing out the shortcomings in the compliance with our safety concept. The health and safety of our guests and employees remain our top priority and our tour guides are therefore instructed to operate the tours under our solid and approved safety concept. It foresees a mask requirement for both guests and tour guides on the bus, which corresponds to the current requirements in public transport. We have followed up your feedback with your tour guide to ensure that no similar incidents will occur in the future and would like to apologize on his behalf for making you feel unsafe. We have also talked to your driver, who by no means did mean to offend you. Although the situation was aggravated by a language barrier, we would like to emphasize that we have made it very clear to him that we neither welcome nor tolerate such behaviour on our tours. We hope that you enjoyed the afternoon on tour with your second tour guide Yolanda and look forward to welcoming you back on our tours on your next visit to Switzerland! Best regards, Amanda from Best of Switzerland Tours
Beautiful Views from Mt Pilatus
, Sep 2021
The cable car trip up to Mt. Pilatus was fun. We got to see gorgeous sights, take a lot of pictures and have a nice lunch up on top. We also enjoyed the cogwheel train ride down the mountain. The twelve hour day with a lot of time on the bus which made for a very long day, but it's the best way to get to go up the mountain.
Fun tour
, Sep 2021
A little expensive but very fun tour. You get to ride a gondola , a train and a boat on lake Lucerne . I just wish we had an additional hour to spend in Lucerne .
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.

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