Lucerne and Mount Rigi You are granted an Audience with the Queen.

Lucerne and Mount Rigi

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In the centre of Switzerland, close to the beautiful city of Lucerne you will find the “Queen of the Mountains”: Mount Rigi. The mountain rises high above the surrounding lakes and offers stunning views over almost the whole of Switzerland, from the hilly landscape in the north to the impressive summits of the Alps in the south. It comes as no surprise that Rigi is popular with day trippers from all around Switzerland, thanks to its central location allowing good connections from all over the country. There are two rack railways running up to the summit, one starting in Vitznau on the lakeshore of Lake Lucerne, the other in Arth-Goldau on the Gotthard line. While at the station of Arth-Goldau there are direct train connections from Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, Locarno and Milano, you can reach Vitznau only by boat from Lucerne. Whatever route you choose a trip to the summit of Mount Rigi will be one of the highlights of your trip to Switzerland.

Lucerne's landmark: Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) across the Reuss.
Lucerne’s landmark: Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) across the Reuss.

 

Boat trip on Lake Lucerne

From the landing stage in the centre of Lucerne, the boats of company SGV operate on Lake Lucerne to Weggis and Vitznau, then continuing to Brunnen and Flüelen on the Gotthard Line. From Weggis an aerial cableway takes you to Kaltbad-First station on the rail railway line from Vitznau to Rigi Kulm, if you continue to Vitznau you can take the railway to the top of Mount Rigi from there.
SGV boats run up to hourly from Lucerne to Weggis and Vitznau, depending on the season. The journey takes roughly 45 minutes to Weggis, about an hour to Vitznau. Tickets are available at the landing stages of each station and on board the boats. Holders of Swiss Pass tickets travel free of charge, a 50% discount is granted for holders of Eurail and Interrail tickets.

Full fares (2nd class): Lucerne – Vitznau: 27 CHF one way, 45 CHF return; day trip Lucerne – Vitznau – Rigi Kulm – Kaltbad-First – Weggis – Lucerne: 117 CHF
Lake Lucerne boat schedule 2018

Some services are operated by vintage steamboats, the Stadt Luzern being an example.
Some services are operated by vintage steamboats, the Stadt Luzern being an example.

 

Vitznau – Rigi Kulm rack railway and Weggis – Kaltbad-First aerial cableway

From Vitznau, Rigi Bahnen take you up the steep line to Mount Rigi, all the way to the summit station Rigi Kulm at 1752 metres above sea level. For best views over Lake Lucerne, take a seat on the left hand side of the train. After about 15 minutes the train reaches Kaltbad-First station, with connection to the aerial cableway down to Weggis. It would make for a nice round trip from Lucerne to take the railway from Vitznau up to Rigi and then the cableway down to Weggis for the boat back to Lucerne. From Kaltbad, the train continues to Rigi Staffel station where it joins the line from Arth-Goldau and finally to the top of the line at Rigi Kulm.

Trains run hourly from Vitzau to Rigi Kulm and connect with the boats from Lucerne. When there is high demand, several trains are used for the hourly departure and run in close sequence behind each other. Journey time is about 30 minutes from Vitznau to Rigi Kulm. Tickets are available at the stations of Rigi Bahnen as well as at ticket desks at SBB stations throughout Switzerland.

Swiss Pass holders travel free of charge, a 50% reduction is granted for Interrail and Eurail pass holders.

Full fare day pass for Rigi Bahnen (including Vitznau – Rigi Kulm and Arth-Goldau – Rigi Kulm rack railways as well as Weggis – Kaltbad-First aerial cableway): 72 CHF
Weggis – Rigi Kaltbad aerial lift schedule 2018
Vitznau – Rigi Kaltbad – Rigi Staffel – Rigi Kulm train schedule 2018

Vitznau railway station is just a few metres away from the landing stage.
Vitznau railway station is just a few metres away from the landing stage.

 

Spending the day on Mount Rigi

View over the Swiss Alps from Mount Rigi.
View over the Swiss Alps from Mount Rigi.

Mount Rigi offers a wide variety of activities, ranging from well-signposted hiking and walking trails to bike routes and launch sites for paragliders and a minigolf course. Of course there is also a number of cafés and restaurants if you just want to relax and enjoy the day.

View from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Staffel. The blue trains on the left run on the line from Arth-Goldau, while the red train started in Vitznau. Mount Pilatus and the city of Lucerne can be seen in the background.
View from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Staffel. The blue trains on the left run on the line from Arth-Goldau, while the red train started in Vitznau. Mount Pilatus and the city of Lucerne can be seen in the background.

 

Arth-Goldau – Rigi Kulm rack railway

The second railway line to Rigi starts at Arth-Goldau on the Gotthard line from Zurich and Lucerne to Locarno and Milan, thus providing best connections to all parts of Switzerland. Especially if you do not have much time or want to save a bit of money this would be your preferred way to reach the summit of Mount Rigi. It takes about half an hour to reach Rigi Staffel station, from where the both railways run side by side to the summit at Rigi Kulm.

Trains run hourly and as on the line from Vitznau, several trains run behind each other at times of high demand. Tickets are available at the stations of Rigi Bahnen as well as at ticket desks at SBB station throughout Switzerland.

Swiss Pass holders travel free of charge, a 50% reduction is granted for InterRail and Eurail pass holders.

Full fare day pass for Rigi Bahnen (including Vitznau – Rigi Kulm and Arth-Goldau – Rigi Kulm rack railways as well as Weggis – Kaltbad-First aerial cableway): 72 CHF
Arth-Goldau – Rigi Staffel – Rigi Kulm train schedule 2018

Rigi Kulm is the highest peak of the Rigi massif and terminal of both railway lines.
Rigi Kulm is the highest peak of the Rigi massif and terminal of both railway lines.

 
Updated: April 2018

Flo Weber
I like to travel by train. https://www.instagram.com/raildudeflow/
Flo Weber
- 1 day ago
Flo Weber
Flo Weber
f _at_ rail.cc

18 Comments

  1. I’d like to go from Zurich to Rigi Kaltbad. Best option? Boat to Weggis and then take cable car? Train all the way?

    • Hi!
      Both options are possible and take exactly the same amount of time (2h15). You can look for schedules on http://rail.shop/sbb – for connections with the boat from Luzern to Weggis you have to use “Luzern” as a “via” stop.
      Flo

  2. Hi everyone.

    I want to visit either mt. Rigi or Pilatus whichever is faster and easier from Interlaken West on the 20/7. I will be doing the hand gliding experience at 10.30 am and should be finished around 12-12.30 pm hopefully.

    Kindly suggest the best trip with routes so that i could save time. I have already got the 4 day consecutive pass 🙂

    Thanks a lot

    Darshna

    • Hi Darshna,

      both Mt Rigi and Pilatus will take about the same time to get to from Interlaken West.
      You can travel from Interlaken West at 12:52, change in Bern and arrive in Luzern at 15:00. There, you can walk to the boat pier just across the station and take a boat to Vitznau or Weggis to get to Mt Rigi as described in the blog.
      Alternatively you can take then train 12:52 to Interlaken Ost, change there to Sarnen, change there to Alpnachstad where you arrive at 14:58. From Alpnachstad you can travel with Pilatusbahn to the top of Mt Pilatus.
      Flo

  3. hi… im rosa planning to visit Swiss on Dec… my q is it possible for me to tk boat from lucerne thn up to mt rigi in winter?
    tq

  4. Hi Flo
    Amsterdam-German-Belgium Maybe Italy
    This will be the first time for me to travel witl rail.
    Need your opinion regarding when is best time to buy train ticket, and if you could suggest any best option

    Thank You

  5. Hello Flo W,
    I will be visiting Mt Rigi in March 2017. From Lucerne by boat to Vitznau or Stop at Weggies using gondola/cable car direct to Rigi Kulm? OR…direct to Vitznau and on the way back using cable car?
    Any smow in mt Rigi in March?..

    Thank you

    Franklin – Malaysia

    • Hi Franklin,

      personally, I did the trip Luzern – Vitznau – train to Rigi – cable car to Weggis – Luzern. That way you see almost everything thats possible within one day. 🙂
      Regarding snow…the skiing season on Rigi lasts until mid March the longest – depending on the snow. There still can be snow but it can all be gone already too.

      Flo

  6. hi, i’m anies from malaysia…

    we’ll be in lucerne on january 2017. right now, we’re a little bit confused to choose the best package to mt. rigi and riding the cruise (return)… can you help us to find any website (legal) that offer the best price for the package? thank you

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