Mount Pilatus or Pilatus Massif is a group of mountain peaks in central Switzerland, overlooking the pretty & popular canton of Lucerne. One of the top attractions for visitors to Lucerne is the ‘Golden Round Trip’ to Mount Pilatus from Lucerne and back. As the name suggests, the ‘Golden round trip to Mount Pilatus’ is a round trip which takes travellers through some of the most charming swiss alpine landscapes via boat, cogwheel railway, aerial cableway and Panorama Gondolas to the main peak of Mount Pilatus (which is Pilatus Kulm) and back.  On our 8 day self-planned trip through Switzerland, we planned to visit Lucerne and do the golden round trip along with the main attractions of the city. The Golden round trip to Mount Pilatus was definitely the highlight of our Lucerne visit and am sharing our experience as well as pro-tips here:

Travellers on the boat ride to Alpnachstad on the Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus

Travel Time Taken to complete Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus

The Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus takes around 4-5 hours, from the starting point in Lucerne & back; its almost a half day excursion. In addition, depending on the base location of stay in Switzerland, it takes around 1 to 2 hours to reach Lucerne city. One thing to remember is that the Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus is very popular with tourists and as the day passes, it gets quite crowded. Therefore, it is advisable to begin early in the morning for the Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus, before any other sight-seeing activities in Lucerne. We were among the first batch of tourists on the Golden round-trip package for the day and it certainly gave us a head start. 

Ticket Booking for Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus

All information and ticket booking can be done online through the official website of Pilatus – https://www.pilatus.ch  and also physically on the spot. Please remember, if you have purchased the Swiss Travel Pass for travelling all through Switzerland, the golden round trip package ticket is included in it. So, please show it at the first ticket counter of the Journey and they will issue the tickets for Golden Round Trip against it after scanning/marking the Swiss Travel Pass.

Pretty views of Pilatus on Boat ride through lake Luzern

The Golden Round Trip can be experienced two ways (as it’s a round loop). One way is  – Boat Ride from Lucerne (called Luzern in Swiss) till Alpnachstad  – Ride on Pilatus Bahn (the steepest coghwheel train in the world) to Pilatus Kulm peak – Take Gondola Cable Ride from Pilatus Kulm back till Fragmuntek – Take smaller cable ride back from Fragmuntek till Kriens – Bus Ride from Kriens till Lucerne. Or you can do it the way other round (that is reverse the order by taking the bus from Lucerne to Kriens and onward).

 The cogwheel train ride takes one through some of the most charming landscapes of central Switzerland. It was the first time after landing in Switzerland that we spotted swiss cows with bells tinkling on the mountain slopes while grazing, while on the cogwheel train ride and felt the ‘swissness’ feeling!

Relaxing inside the boat at the cafeteria while enjoying the views on Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus

Disembarking from boat and walking to Pilatus Bahn by following signs – The swiss have made it quite easy to follow, even for differently abled people

Washroom and other Amenities at convenient distances all through the Golden Round Trip Route

Pilatus Bahn – The Steepest cogwheel train in the world

Golden Round Trip Tickets – Can be bought online or at the spot | The Swiss Travel Pass includes tickets for the golden round trip

Visual Image of the Whole Golden Round Trip Route – on back of ticket

Getting on the Pilatus Bahn

Views from Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland on a beautiful summer day ❤️?? ❤️ | We visited Mt. Pilatus using our Swiss Travel Pass by @swisstravelsystem on our self-planned trip through this beautiful alpine country . . Read about my #Switzerland travelogues on www.myunfinishedlife.com #linkinprofile —————————————————————- #swissness #visitswitzerland #mtpilatus #swisstravelsystem #swisstravelpass #skiesofinstagram #wanderxwonder #lifewelltravelled #travelphotography #neverstopexploring #europetrip #amazinglandscape #mountains #swissalps #livelovetravel #femmetravel #sheisnotlost #radgirlslife #girlsborntotravel #passionpassport #summerineurope #traveler #exploretheworld #passionpassport #explorerbabes #cloudsofinstagram #wandering_around_world

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Gondola Cable ride back

Smaller seater cable ride

Views from Cable Car on the Golden Round Trip on Mount Pilatus ❤️??❤️ . . I absolutely loved the Mt. Pilatus #goldenroundtrip which was part of the #swisstravelpass with @swisstravelsystem . . Read my #swisstravelsystem experience on www.myunfinishedlife.com #linkinbio ————————————– #mountpilatus #mtpilatus #cablecar #travellingthroughtheworld #switzerland_vacations #inlovewithswitzerland #travelphotography #swissness #girlslovetravel #womenwhotravel #doyoutravel #living_europe #wanderlust #visitswitzerland #myswitzerland #journey #exploreswitzerland #exploretheglobe #awesometravel #igtravel #Luzern #traveller #travelguide #summerineurope #beautifuldestinations #mountainsofinstagram

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The Pilatus Kulm peak is well developed with amenities, including toilets, shops & restaurants. The views from the peak are very pretty and the cool breeze makes up for the large crowds! (yes it gets quite crowded up at the peak) At times, there are traditional swiss music and dance performances and we got to listen to the melodious performance of Alphorn at Pilatus Kulm.

The ride down via cable cars is as pretty as the ride up and in fact the charm of Golden Round trip to Mount Pilatus is actually in the pretty views during the ride (more than the views at the peak).

End of cable ride – One has to walk 15 minutes from here to bus stand

End of Bus Ride which beings the tourists to downtown Luzern

If you’re travelling to Lucerne, then I would definitely recommend to take this beautiful Golden round trip to Mount Pilatus; I’m sure you will be charmed by the ride as well as the views.


My other travel articles on Switzerland which you may find useful :

Day visit to Bern in Switzerland

Day visit to Thun in Switzerland

Day visit to Basel in Switzerland

Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Travel System  –  Guide and FAQs for travellers

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