Mount Rigi as a day trip from Lucerne
A wonderful day excursion from Lucerne that is fully-included in your Swiss Pass is the Lake Lucerne and Mount Rigi day trip. Boarding a 12:00 boat from just in front of the railway station in Lucerne, we sailed serenely across the waters of what is known locally as Vierwaldstättersee. The vessel was large and contained a full restaurant, where lunch can be purchased on board. If the weather is kind, take to the outdoor area and watch the boat cast off and cruise past the famous Kapellbrücke and the grand buildings of the Palace Hotel and neighbouring casino.
The journey is truly spectacular. The snow-capped high Alps frame the tranquil lake beautifully, with mesmerising views whichever angle you take. As
the boat makes a few brief stops along the lake shore, and finishes up at Vitznau. As you disembark at Vitznau, you can’t miss the Rigi Mountain Railway right in front of you, and timings have been thought out carefully so as to connect nicely with the boat’s arrival. Your ticket will be checked as you board and then you take a seat in one of the two carriages.
The train begins to climb immediately on its ascent to Rigi-Kulm, the summit station. The picturesque expanse of Lake Lucerne, across which you have just travelled, extends into the distance. More and more mountain peaks become visible as you climb and climb, eventually reaching the summit at Rigi-Kulm. This mountain has some of the most spectacular views in all of Switzerland.
Due to its position in the centre of the country, you have a 36-degree view all around of some of the most strategic mountain-tops and across into the Black Forest in southern Germany. You can pick out multiple lakes, rivers, railway lines and motorways that intersect this compact nation. The restaurant is in an idyllic setting, sharing those spectacular views, with prices to match of course! However, you can by all means just have a refreshing drink and admire the views from inside if you prefer.
For some variety, the suggested route back down to “humanity” is to go to Arth-Goldau, an important station on the north-south Gotthard Line, and has excellent rail connections back to Lucerne or indeed to Zurich and Basel.
The combination of comfortable boat journey and spectacular mountain railway, all included in your Swiss Pass, makes this an excellent day out from Lucerne and comes all-in-all highly recommended.