Please sign in to post.

Tips for Visiting Mt. Pilatus from Lucerne on a daytrip

We are planning on a day trip to Lucerne from Zurich and want to see if we can visit Mt. Pilatus as well. We will take an early train from Zurich to Lucerne and hopefully we can visit major sites in the morning and head out to Pilatus after lunch. I'm not sure if we have time to do the entire Golden route? But we definitely want to do the boat trip between Lucerne and Alpnachstad in either direction. Is there a preferred direction given our timing? We will be there on a Saturday at the end of May. Thank you.

Posted by
5895 posts

I did Rigi, so no help with Pilatus. My advice regardless of the mountain would be to watch the weather and go on the day that the weather seems most promising. Also, often, mountain weather is nicer in the morning.

Luzern/Lucerne is an gorgeous small city. My other piece of advice would be to stay in Luzern and not Zurich, if possible. There is a fair amount to do. That would help with monitoring the weather, as well.

Posted by
4535 posts

I agree to try to get to the mountain in the morning, enjoy the city in afternoon/evening.
I didn't take the boat, I wanted to get up there more quickly--took train and then cogwheel train.

Posted by
8582 posts

Once you go up the mountain, you pretty much have to come down, so no half ways about it. Yes weather is important and can be checked via webcam before you start. The weather can be very different on top the mountain versus down in town. I dont think the major sights in town (other than a lake cruise) are worth prioritizing over the mountain trip. Yes, I would not stay in Zurich but stay in Luzern. It's only about 1.25 hours from the Zurich airport rail station.

Posted by
18 posts

Thank you everyone. Unfortunately we have to stay in Zurich but will try to get to Lucerne as early as possible.

For the Golden Round trip, is there a preferred direction? Clockwise vs anti-clockwise? I think anti-clockwise will get us to the top of the mountain quicker, yet I'm not sure if the cable car and cogwheel is better going up or down.

Posted by
78 posts

I have no preferred route, but if weather is good, go Golden on one route and go back down by Silver route.
The TI in Luzern Bahnhof offers a wealth of Info, and you can check the Pilatus camera to see what mountaintop weather is looking like.
Weather on the Pilarus Kulm is more often better IN THE MORNING.