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Zurich, Luzern/Lucerne, Rigi/Pilatus - need help with rail fare options

We are a family of 4 with 2 kids (12 and 14) and will be in Switzerland for a few days in early July. We are locked into staying near the Zurich airport but have a full free Saturday. I would like to spend this day in Luzern and visit either Mt Rigi or Mt Pilatus, which looks like it should be doable as a day trip.

I am trying to navigate a baffling array of rail fare options and trying to factor in travel around Luzern if possible. Our needs are:
- Friday - travel around Zurich, planned to get ZVV multiple journey pass
- Saturday - travel from Zurich to Luzern, and from Luzern to Weggis/Rigi or Pilatus (and return trips for all)
- Sunday - travel around Zurich (using same multiple journey pass)

Since we only have 1 day trip outside the city, I am trying to determine if we should pay as we go for Luzern, or find a pass that will (hopefully) encompass all of our travel for the 3 days. I can get Supersaver tickets to Luzern for the 4 of us for ~114 CHF but then the travel to/from Pilatus/Rigi on top of that looks quite costly - hence exploring the pass.

I thought a 1-day travelpass might be best but the SBB website says "To be able to benefit from a 1-day travelpass, you need to be in possession of a Half-Fare travelcard." So I may need to buy that at 120 CHF, and am not even sure the travelpass would work for the ferries, funiculars, cog railways, and cable cars?

Getting a bit lost in all the options - appreciate any advice or experience from this great forum! Thanks in advance.

Posted by
16894 posts

Rick's Switzerland book says to expect to pay 72 CHF roundtrip Luzern-Pilatus or 68 roundtrip to Rigi along any of the common routes. If the adults each buy Half Fare Travel Cards, then your own kids would get the free Swiss Family Card, which covers all public transport. If the adults buy regular tickets, then they can buy a similar Junior Travelcard at the first station for 15 CHF per child (on sale from the regular rate of 30 each).