In the centre of Switzerland, close to the beautiful city of Lucerne you will find the "Queen of the Mountains": Mount Rigi. The mountain rises high above the surrounding lakes and offers stunning views over almost the whole of Switzerland, from the hilly landscape in the north to the impressive summits of the Alps in the south. It comes as no surprise that Rigi is popular with day trippers from all around Switzerland, thanks to its central location allowing good connections from all over the country. There are two rack railways running up to the summit, one starting in Vitznau on the lakeshore of Lake Lucerne, the other in Arth-Goldau on the Gotthard line. While at the station of Arth-Goldau there are direct train connections from Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, Locarno and Milano, you can reach Vitznau only by boat from Lucerne. Whatever route you choose a trip to the summit of Mount Rigi will be one of the highlights of your trip to Switzerland.

Lucerne's landmark: Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) across the Reuss.
Lucerne's landmark: Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) across the Reuss.

Houses in the old town of Lucerne along the Reuss river.
Houses in the old town of Lucerne along the Reuss river.
From the shore of Lake Lucerne you can see Mount Rigi on the left, the Swiss Alps in the centre and the landing stages on the right.
From the shore of Lake Lucerne you can see Mount Rigi on the left, the Swiss Alps in the centre and the landing stages on the right.






 

Boat trip on Lake Lucerne



From the landing stage in the centre of Lucerne, the boats of company SGV operate on Lake Lucerne to Weggis and Vitznau, then continuing to Brunnen and Flüelen on the Gotthard Line. From Weggis an aerial cableway takes you to Kaltbad-First station on the rail railway line from Vitznau to Rigi Kulm, if you continue to Vitznau you can take the railway to the top of Mount Rigi from there.
SGV boats run up to hourly from Lucerne to Weggis and Vitznau, depending on the season. The journey takes roughly 45 minutes to Weggis, about an hour to Vitznau. Tickets are available at the landing stages of each station and on board the boats. Holders of Swiss Pass tickets travel free of charge, a 50% discount is granted for holders of Eurail and Interrail tickets.

Full fares (2nd class): Lucerne - Vitznau: 27 CHF one way, 45 CHF return; day trip Lucerne - Vitznau - Rigi Kulm - Kaltbad-First - Weggis - Lucerne: 117 CHF
Lake Lucerne boat schedule 2018

Some services are operated by vintage steamboats, the Stadt Luzern being an example.
Some services are operated by vintage steamboats, the Stadt Luzern being an example.

Mount Pilatus as seen onboard the Lucerne – Vitznau ship.
Mount Pilatus as seen onboard the Lucerne – Vitznau ship.
The boat has left Lucerne, heading for Weggis and Vitznau.
The boat has left Lucerne, heading for Weggis and Vitznau.





 

Vitznau - Rigi Kulm rack railway and Weggis - Kaltbad-First aerial cableway



From Vitznau, Rigi Bahnen take you up the steep line to Mount Rigi, all the way to the summit station Rigi Kulm at 1752 metres above sea level. For best views over Lake Lucerne, take a seat on the left hand side of the train. After about 15 minutes the train reaches Kaltbad-First station, with connection to the aerial cableway down to Weggis. It would make for a nice round trip from Lucerne to take the railway from Vitznau up to Rigi and then the cableway down to Weggis for the boat back to Lucerne. From Kaltbad, the train continues to Rigi Staffel station where it joins the line from Arth-Goldau and finally to the top of the line at Rigi Kulm.

Trains run hourly from Vitzau to Rigi Kulm and connect with the boats from Lucerne. When there is high demand, several trains are used for the hourly departure and run in close sequence behind each other. Journey time is about 30 minutes from Vitznau to Rigi Kulm. Tickets are available at the stations of Rigi Bahnen as well as at ticket desks at SBB stations throughout Switzerland.

Swiss Pass holders travel free of charge, a 50% reduction is granted for Interrail and Eurail pass holders.

Full fare day pass for Rigi Bahnen (including Vitznau - Rigi Kulm and Arth-Goldau - Rigi Kulm rack railways as well as Weggis - Kaltbad-First aerial cableway): 72 CHF
Weggis - Rigi Kaltbad aerial lift schedule 2018
Vitznau - Rigi Kaltbad - Rigi Staffel - Rigi Kulm train schedule 2018

Vitznau railway station is just a few metres away from the landing stage.
Vitznau railway station is just a few metres away from the landing stage.

View over Lake Lucerne from a coach of Vitznau Rigi Railway.
View over Lake Lucerne from a coach of Vitznau Rigi Railway.
At Rigi Staffel station the lines from Arth-Goldau and Vitznau meet but continue to the terminal station at Rigi Kulm on separate tracks.
At Rigi Staffel station the lines from Arth-Goldau and Vitznau meet but continue to the terminal station at Rigi Kulm on separate tracks.





 

Spending the day on Mount Rigi



View over the Swiss Alps from Mount Rigi.
View over the Swiss Alps from Mount Rigi.


Mount Rigi offers a wide variety of activities, ranging from well-signposted hiking and walking trails to bike routes and launch sites for paragliders and a minigolf course. Of course there is also a number of cafés and restaurants if you just want to relax and enjoy the day.

View from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Staffel. The blue trains on the left run on the line from Arth-Goldau, while the red train started in Vitznau. Mount Pilatus and the city of Lucerne can be seen in the background.
View from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Staffel. The blue trains on the left run on the line from Arth-Goldau, while the red train started in Vitznau. Mount Pilatus and the city of Lucerne can be seen in the background.

Lake Zug as seen from the top of Rigi Kulm.
Lake Zug as seen from the top of Rigi Kulm.
View over the Swiss Alps from Mount Rigi.
View over the Swiss Alps from Mount Rigi.





 

Arth-Goldau - Rigi Kulm rack railway



The second railway line to Rigi starts at Arth-Goldau on the Gotthard line from Zurich and Lucerne to Locarno and Milan, thus providing best connections to all parts of Switzerland. Especially if you do not have much time or want to save a bit of money this would be your preferred way to reach the summit of Mount Rigi. It takes about half an hour to reach Rigi Staffel station, from where the both railways run side by side to the summit at Rigi Kulm.

Trains run hourly and as on the line from Vitznau, several trains run behind each other at times of high demand. Tickets are available at the stations of Rigi Bahnen as well as at ticket desks at SBB station throughout Switzerland.

Swiss Pass holders travel free of charge, a 50% reduction is granted for InterRail and Eurail pass holders.

Full fare day pass for Rigi Bahnen (including Vitznau - Rigi Kulm and Arth-Goldau - Rigi Kulm rack railways as well as Weggis - Kaltbad-First aerial cableway): 72 CHF
Arth-Goldau - Rigi Staffel - Rigi Kulm train schedule 2018

Rigi Kulm is the highest peak of the Rigi massif and terminal of both railway lines.
Rigi Kulm is the highest peak of the Rigi massif and terminal of both railway lines.

A train from Arth-Goldau is approaching Rigi Kulm station. The other track is used by trains from Vitznau.
A train from Arth-Goldau is approaching Rigi Kulm station. The other track is used by trains from Vitznau.
Trains at Rigi Kulm station waiting for the return to Vitznau and Arth-Goldau.
Trains at Rigi Kulm station waiting for the return to Vitznau and Arth-Goldau.





 

Updated: April 2018