Mount Pilatus - Central Switzerland

Fabulous mountain journey close to Lucerne

Mount Pilatus cableway
About Mount Pilatus

Available: all year round. 

Example travel costs

Tell Pass: FREE 

Half Fare Card: 60 Sfr return from Lucerne

Swiss Travel Pass: FREE to Alpnachstad then 50% discount

Whether you take the world's steepest cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad (48% gradient) or the panorama gondolas and aerial cableway from Kriens, Mount Pilatus offers a unique alpine experience. Enjoy the lush meadows carpeted with alpine flowers, sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock faces. There are some magnificent panoramic views to be enjoyed en route and at the 2,132m summit of Lucerne's 'Dragon Mountain'.

Get your holiday quotation today

Contact us to book your holiday

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at


World's steepest cogwheel railway

In 1889 engineer Eduard Locher opened his 4,618m railway between Alpnachstad and Pilatus Kulm. With a gradient of 48%, it is the steepest cogwheel railway in the world! The ingenious design featured two horizontally rotating cogwheels and a specially toothed bar to ensure that the driving teeth of the time didn't jump out of engagement. Of course at that time the railway was steam driven but in 1937 the railway changed to an electrified system. One of the original steam cars can be seen in Lucerne's Transport Museum. 

This unique railway overcomes an altitude difference of 1,635m and operates from May to November. There are now brand new trains running on the cogwheel tracks. Look through the windows and you'll the same beautiful views enjoyed by the visitors of the 19th century.


The Bellevue is a self-service restaurant offering typical Swiss and international fare. The panoramic terrace provides incomparable views of the central Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne. Next to it is the Panorama Grill, serving an extensive selection of freshly prepared culinary offerings. The Restaurant Pilatus-Kulm dates back to 1890 and takes great pleasure in serving you in the period dining room or on their sun terrace (this restaurant should be booked in advance). Relax in the mountain air while you sample the delights of the Cheminée Saal and Dohlenstübli menus.

If you would like to stay overnight at the Pilatus Kulmhotels, please see here for more details. 

Switzerland's longest toboggan run

The spectacular descent on Switzerland's longest summer toboggan run begins at the Fräkmüntegg mountain station. The numerous twists, turns and 'dragon's dens' (tunnels!) along the 1350m stainless steel run promise adrenaline-packed fun. 


Embark on a breathtaking voyage of discovery. On Pilatus you will find walks and hikes to suit all ages and abilities.

Pilatus has long been associated with dragons - in the Middle Ages people believed that dragons with healing powers lived in the rugged clefts and crevices of the mountain. Today you can enjoy the Dragon Trail, a recommended walk amidst the myths and legends. 

Pilatus Rope Park

There are 10 trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Each trail consists of between six and eleven features requiring balancing and climbing, as well as thrilling aerial ropeways. 

Monkey Trees

The easiest climb suits children from the age of eight, while even experienced visitors will find the hardest trees a challenge. It ends with a gentle abseil to the ground.

Powerfan - The Freefall Adventure

A real rush of adrenalin! The Powerfan is a patented system that allows you to 'freefall' 20 metres without the sensation of being held. A few metres from the end of your fall, a braking mechanism takes over that allows you to land gently without any jarring or bouncing.


Located in the heart of Switzerland, Mount Pilatus has excellent transport connections.

The most popular route is the Golden Round Trip which starts with a bus ride from Lucerne to Kriens. Change here to the panorama gondola up to the mid station of Fräkmüntegg and then the state-of-the-art Dragon Ride gondola to the summit of Pilatus. Once you have explored the mountain, the journey home starts with the spectacular ride on the world's steepest cog railway - you will be amazed by the panoramic views of the Alps! The train arrives at Alpnachstad and from here you can enjoy a relaxing boat trip back to Lucerne. 

You can, of course, enjoy the Golden Round Trip in the opposite direction.

Please note that the cog railway operates mid-May to mid November.  Please check before travel for maintenance closures. 


Request your holiday quotation

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at

Mount Pilatus railway

More excursions in the region

There are numerous wonderful days out to enjoy in this beautiful area. From incomparable mountain vistas to leisurely cruises on a nostalgic paddle steamer, walks through stunning scenery and a whole host of fabulous journeys on mountain railways, cable cars and funiculars.

View more

Your choice of resorts

Steamer at Seelisberg on Lake Lucerne

The heart of Switzerland is blessed with beautiful lakes and mountains views. You can choose to stay in charming Lucerne, from which it is all easily accessible, or opt for a more peaceful village beside the lake or up in the mountains.

View more

Mount Pilatus video