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LucerneMount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus | World's Steepest Cogwheel Railway

Mount Pilatus is a mountain block comprising several peaks in Switzerland. Steeped in legend, locals believe it was once the lair of dragons that watched over Lucerne. Ascend its peaks on the world’s steepest cogwheel rail or hike to enjoy the best Lucerne view from this majestic mountain.

Why visit Mount Pilatus?

View of Mount Pilatus, overlooking Lucerne lake, with a cogwheel train coming in, Switzerland
  • The world's steepest cogwheel railway: The Pilatus Railway is the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, with a gradient of 48%. This is montane engineering at its finest.
  • Unique features: Mount Pilatus is home to a number of unique features, including the Pilatus Rope Park, the world's first aerial cableway, and the Dragon Ride, a cable car that takes you to the top of the mountain.
  • Myth and legends: Dragons allegedly have a long association with Pilatus and Lucerne, where they are supposed to possess healing powers. Pilatus has a dragon trails that hikers can traverse to explore local folklore.
  • Stunning views: On a clear day, you can expect to see a whopping 73 Alpine peaks from atop Mount Pilatus. In fact, you could also see all the way to the Blackforest in Germany.
  • Hiking trails: Hikers are the happiest on Mount Pilatus as there are dedicated trails. There are pathways designated for alpinists and mountaineers too.
  • Recreation options: Once you climb the summit, you have a variety of restaurants and relaxation areas to enjoy the view from.
  • Easily accessible: From Lucerne, getting to Mount Pilatus is easy. There are frequent bus and train services that take you to the cable cars and cogwheel trains — which then take you up top. 

All your Mount Pilatus tickets explained

Pilatusbahn - Mount Pilatus Train

Cable car and cogwheel transfers

Duration: Flexible
Guide: No

  • This roundtrip from Alpnachstad is guaranteed to get your heart racing as you almost defy gravity. Ascend Mount Pilatus at a steep 48° incline on the cogwheel train.
  • After arriving at the intermediate station Fräkmüntegg from Kriens, hop aboard the famous ‘Dragon Cable Car’ which offers stunning views of Lake Lucerne. 

Recommended Tours

The cable car on Mount Pilatus

Cable car ride with guided tour

Duration: 9.5 hours 
Guide: Expert local tour guide

  • If you are a leisurely traveler or the in-depth explorer, this tour packs its punch for nearly the entirety of one day — starting with a trip from Zurich to Lucerne, up to Mount Pilatus and back. 
  • A local guide will introduce you to the local delights Lucerne has to offer. From there, you will be accompanied on cable car cogwheel train to the Pilatus summit. Descend on the cogwheel train and end your day-long tour on a peaceful note — with a lake cruise back towards Lucerne.

Recommended Tour

Lucerne & Mount Pilatus- The Golden Round Trip From Zürich

Discounted Mount Pilatus Tickets

  • Children between 6-15 years can avail discounted tickets with a half-fare / GA card.
  • An SBB/GA/Swiss Travel Pass also grants you significant discounts on your tickets on the presentation of a valid ID.

Cancelation Policy

Cancelation is free if you choose to withdraw your ticket 24 hours before the start of your journey.

Things to do at Mount Pilatus

Man photographing a sunrise on Mount Pilatus


Mount Pilatus offers several hiking trails (of all difficulty levels) for adventurers and fitness enthusiasts alike. Set out for Tomlison, Pilatus’ highest peak or explore Drachenweg, a circular trail for those into dragon myths. If you dare, swap the cogwheel train for a trek to Pilatus peak from Alpnachstad itself!

Cable Car above Lucerne Lake

Wake up above Lake Lucerne

Guests can wake up 2132 m above sea level and take in the beautiful view of Lake Lucerne. With a gamekeeper guide, step out for a walk — if your’e lucky, say hi to an ibex! This is followed by a sumptuous brunch.

Mountain slope full of white blooming mountain avens

Pilatus Flower Trail

Stop to smell the flowers and marvel at the world in blossom. There are inscriptions that name the flowers and their blooming periods. The trail begins at Hotel Pilatus Kulm and culminates at Tomlison, Mount Pilatus’ highest peak. 

Note: The flower trail is operational only from June to October.

Mother and child at a Christmas Market

Christmas Market

From November 17-19 2023, tis the season at Pilatus. Delight in the Christmas festivities and explore over 40 stalls atop Mount Pilatus. Enjoy stunning views, mouth-watering delicacies and have the best white Christmas.

Plan Your Visit to Mount Pilatus


Dragon Ride gondola

Mount Pilatus Cable Car


Kriens to Fräkmüntegg

April 1, 2023 - October 22, 2023: 8:30 AM - 5 PM

November 11, 2023 - December 31, 2023: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Fräkmüntegg to Pilatus

April 1, 2023 - October 22, 2023: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM

November 11, 2023 - December 31, 2023: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Mount Pilatus Cable Car


Pilatus to Fräkmüntegg 

April 1, 2023 - October 22, 2023: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM

November 11, 2023 - December 31, 2023: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Fräkmüntegg to Kriens

April 1, 2023 - October 22, 2023: 9:00 AM - 5:45 PM

November 11, 2023 - December 31, 2023: 9:00 AM - 4:45 PM

Note: The cable car departs every 30 minutes.

Cogwheel train

Cogwheel train on Mount Pilatus


Alpnachstad to Pilatus

June 5, 2023 to October 29, 2023: 8:37 AM - 5:57 PM.

Cogwheel train on Mount Pilatus


Pilatus to Alpnachstad

June 5, 2023 to October 29, 2023: 9:17 AM - 6:37 PM

Note: The coghweel departs every 35 minutes.

Closed: Due to maintenance work, transport facilities are shut from October 23, 2023 to November 10, 2023.

Best time to visit: Visiting between September and November are ideal to enjoy pleasant, if slightly chilly weather. You are also likely to encounter fewer crowds as compared to the summer months.


Location: 6010, Alpnach, Switzerland

Find on map

Mount Pilatus Cogwheel Train - Switzerland

To Alpnachstad

Getting there

  • By train: S5
    Nearest stop: Alpnachstad
  • By car: 14.1 km by road from Lucerne
    Car parking: Park at the valley station. Whole day parking fee is 5 CHF. There are 3 designated parking spots for guests with disabilities. The summit is not accessible by car, so you need to park at the base.

From Alpnachstad to Mount Pilatus, book the cogwheel train ride.

cable car ride to Mount Pilatus, near Luzern Switzerland

To Kriens

Getting there

  • By train: S4, S5
    Nearest stop: Kriens Mattenhof
  • By bus: 1
    Nearest stop: Zentrum Pilatus
  • By car: 3.5 km by road
    Car parking: Park at the valley station. Whole day parking fee is 5 CHF. There are 2 designated parking spots for guests with disabilities. The summit is not accessible by car, so you need to park at the base.

From Kriens take the gondola to the mid-point Fräkmüntegg. From Fräkmüntegg, take the Dragon cable car to Mount Pilatus.

Mount Pilatus Tickets - Facilities
  • Restrooms
  • Restaurants
  • Pet-friendly
  • Hotels
  • Souvenir store
  • Children’s play areas
Mount Pilatus Tickets - Accessibility
  • The cogwheel train, the gondola and Dragon cable car are wheelchair accessible.
  • The train stations at Kriens and Alpnachstad are fully wheelchair friendly
  • Restaurants inside hotels Bellevue and Pilatus Kulm are also completely accessible

Note: For the best experience, please intimate the authorities about disability requirements in advance.

Mount Pilatus view with river
  • If you are planning on taking the cogwheel train to Mount Pilatus, purchase your tickets well ahead of schedule.
  • Consider staying late to witness the sunset from Mount Pilatus. The changing colors of the Swiss Alps at dusk create a mesmerizing view that's worth experiencing.
  • If you're an adrenaline junkie, book a tandem paragliding experience from Mount Pilatus.
  • Look for local wildlife, including Alpine ibex and marmots, which can sometimes be spotted along the hiking trails. Bring binoculars for a closer look.
  • Take some time to learn about the fascinating history of the Pilatus Railway, the steepest cogwheel railways in the world, as well as the summit, which has a rich history and folklore associated with it.
  • On a clear night, Mount Pilatus offers excellent stargazing opportunities due to its elevation and lower light pollution. Bring a telescope with you.
  • Don't miss the opportunity to try the summer tubing run at Fräkmüntegg during the summer season.
Mount Pilatus Tickets - Eat

There are a few restaurant options to choose from en route and atop Mount Pilatus:

  • Restaurant Bellevue: A chique self-service restaurant, prepare to be spoilt by delectable desserts, salads and continental cuisines at this eatery on Mount Pilatus.
  • Restaurant Pilatus-Kulm: Inside the Pilatus-Kulm hotel on the peak, prepare to have your taste buds tantalised with seasonal delicacies at this joint.
  • Restaurant Fräkmüntegg: Take the gondola from Kriens to Fräkmüntegg. Enjoy Swiss delights, salads and cakes inside a hut at the charming restaurant before you make your way to Mount Pilatus, or on your way back down.
  • Restaurant Krienseregg: On a gondola from Kriens, enjoy a family-friendly restaurant next to PILU-land. Savour pasta and pizza here.
Mount Pilatus Tickets - Stay

Atop Mount Pilatus, you can stay either at the Pilatus-Kulm Hotel or Hotel Bellevue. There are also a number of other options to explore nearby:

Mount Pilatus Tickets - Nearby
  • Lake Lucerne: One of the largest and most beautiful lakes in Switzerland, Lake Lucerne offers stunning views of the Alps.
  • Chapel Bridge: A 14th-century wooden bridge, it is one of the most iconic landmarks in Lucerne.
  • Jungfraujoch: A mountain pass in the Bernese Oberland, Jungfraujoch is known as the "Top of Europe" for its panoramic views of the Alps. 
  • Mount Rigi: Home to Europe’s first cogwheel train, Mount Rigi is another geographical gem.


Inside the world’s steepest cogwheel railway


If you wish to take the cogwheel train up to Mount Pilatus, arrive at Alpnachstad from Lucerne by bus. From here, take the world’s steepest cogwheel train at a maximum gradient of 48°. The real feat of engineering becomes apparent at Eselwand, which is a particularly steep section of the railway. At this point, the train slows down, allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking scenery outside. 

Note: The cogwheel train is operational from June 5 - November 19, 2023.



One of the main ways to get to Mount Pilatus is via Kriens, a municipality in Lucerne. This is the stop from where you can board the gondola that takes you to Fräkmüntegg, the mid-point between Kriens and Mount Pilatus. Krienseregg is a mountain ridge that’s part of Mount Pilatus and a 30-minute gondola ride away from Kriens. Explore activities in Krienseregg like meeting Pilu the friendly dragon, relishing fondue on a gondola, hiking, etc.



From Kriens, a gondola takes you to Fräkmüntegg, from where you will get on to the Dragon Cable car, a high speed cubicle that takes you to Mount Pilatus’ peak in less than 4 minutes. At Fräkmüntegg, you can go snow-shoe hiking across the Alps and enjoy views of Lake Lucerne. You can also enjoy barbecues on Dragon Alp, balance on a treetop walkway, go tobogganing and more.

Frequently asked questions about Mount Pilatus tickets

How much is a ticket to Mount Pilatus?

Tickets to Mount Pilatus typically start at 73 CHF. These typically include roundtrips from Lucerne to the peak and back — whether it is by cogwheel train from Alpnachstad or the gondola/cable car rides from Kriens. Roundtrip guided tours from Zurich are priced at 164 CHF.

Why should I book tickets to Mount Pilatus online?

Booking online offers the following advantages:
-Planning your trip better: Know exactly when to visit Mount Pilatus so you can plan your tour schedule accordingly, leaving plenty of time to visit other attractions.
-Guaranteed entry: Your pre-booked online ticket guarantees entry at the attraction so that even during peak season, shortage of tickets won't affect your visit.
-Avail discounts and offers: Grab best deals and roundtrip combinations with online tickets.
-24/7 Customer Service: With round-the-clock assistance, be assured of speedy clarifications of any ticketing queries you may have.

What do Mount Pilatus tickets include?

Mount Pilatus tickets typically include a round trip starting with the gondola ride from Kriens to Fräkmüntegg, then the dragon cable car from Fräkmüntegg to Mount Pilatus. On the return journey, you can avail the the cogwheel train to Alpnachstad. If you are travelling from Alpnachstad, you can do the reverse i.e. ascend Mount Pilatus on the cogwheel train and descend to Kriens via the cable car. If you’re visiting from Zurich, take a golden round trip to Lucerne and back. This trip is inclusive of the cogwheel train, the gondola/cable car and a bonus boat cruise.

Are discounts available on Mount Pilatus tickets?

Children between 6-15 years can avail discounted tickets with a half-fare / GA card. An SBB/GA/Swiss Travel Pass also affords discounts on your tickets – upon the presentation of a valid ID.

What is the cancelation policy for Mount Pilatus tickets?

Free cancelation of tickets is available, provided cancelation is done up to 24 hours before the experience.

What are Mount PIlatus opening hours?

-Gondola and cable car roundtrip from Kriens to Mount Pilatus: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (April to October) and 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (November to December).
-Cogwheel roundtrip rom Alpnachstad to Mount Pilatus: 8:37 AM to 6:37 PM (June to November).
-Closed: October 23 to November 10, 2023.

How long does it take to complete a Mount Pilatus trip?

If you are taking the cogwheel or cable car up to Mount Pilatus and back, half a day might be sufficient to cover the sites and engage in one or two activities. If you’re taking the golden round trip from Zurich, then an entire day is recommended to make the most of your Mount Pilatus trip.