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“Beautiful. Exhausting. Delightful”
Review of Mt. Rigi

Mt. Rigi
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Mount Rigi Winter Day Trip from Zurich
Ranked #3 of 88 things to do in Lucerne
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Mount Rigi's majestic peninsula on Lake Lucerne is the perfect setting for an authentic Swiss mountain experience with unforgettable views of over 13 lakes and the spectacular snow-capped Swiss Alps. Located in the heart of Switzerland, Mt. Rigi can be quickly and easily reached from Lucerne and Zurich. It is the Swiss people's favourite mountain destination, can be accessed via Europe's first ever cogwheel train (est. 1871) and is renowned for its numerous cogwheel railway and aerial cable car routes. You can visit Mt. Rigi 365 days a year and there's plenty of outdoor action on offer, including 120km of hiking trails. The numerous lookouts, delightful terraces and the Mineral Baths at Rigi Kaltbad also ensure there are plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation on the Queen of the Mountains.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 25 November 2012

On our second visit to Lucerne (having made the trek to Pilatus, fun and memorable, on the first trip), we took the steamer to Mt. Rigi. I liked this one even more because, in addition to fantastic views, you could also "customize" the experience. Want to take a tram? Get off at Weggis. Want to go up by cog rail? Stay one stop longer on to Vitznau. Very well organized and schedules coincided....

I love the expression I have heard in England many times -- about how you can experience all four seasons in a day there. It was like that on our late November visit to Mt. Rigi! In Lucerne, seriously, an early Autumn day, temp-wise. At the top of Mt. Rigi, there was snow and mist and rain and a blowy wind that put a chill through you. In between, you got in-between weather.

A local couple advised us to go to the last stop on the railway (we did the Vitznau version) -- Staffel -- and hike a stop down. Interestingly, there was no reason to linger at the top. The fog and mist was so thick you could hardly see your hand in front of your face. Plus it was late November so presumably places that would be open in warmer months weren't. It was about a 15 minute hike down to Staffel, reasonably easy if your muscles are used to such a steep slope down (ouch!). But there, the fog had lifted and you could see, on one side of the railway, the gorgeous Alps, simmering in the sun while dusted with snow. On the other the valley and lakes leading to Lucerne.... So gorgeous.

There is a casual restaurant there and, chilled to the bone, I don't know that chicken cordon bleu and red wine of no particular providence have ever tasted so good....

The only rough patch was that, being a Sunday even in the off season, the ferry both ways was pretty packed in 2nd class, and especially, coming back to Lucerne late in the afternoon, was somewhat uncomfortably so. Either change your schedule accordingly or ante up the extra to sit in first class....

I'd love to see Mt. Riga in spring and summer and will time my next visit accordingly. Definitely worth going back, and would love, having perhaps trained myself in the art of walking downhill (maybe I'll invest in walking sticks), going a few stops rather than just the one....

6  Thank Carolyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,051 - 1,055 of 1,818 reviews

Reviewed 25 November 2012

We took the cruise to Vitznau, then boarded the Alpine Rigi train to the top....we were not disappointed...the views were spectacular! While pricey, we think it was worth every penny!

1  Thank Carol F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2012

We took a Cog wheel train to the top of Mt Rigi. About an hour later we were high about the clouds that covered the city below. The sun was out and the views were so spectacular. You don't get to see this very often in VA ! We had lunch at the top and took the Cog wheel train down the other side to Vitznau and got on a very nice boat to Lucerne. Very easy to get around plus everyone was so very helpful.

Thank worldtraveled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2012

Either a rough hike or a gondola ride will take you to a lovely scene. Once on top, you can take an easy hike or a train ride up to the very top.

2  Thank ctepper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2012

I had the choice between Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi. My host said Pilatus was more touristy. The number of TripAdvisor reviews reflects that as well.

I chose to go by boat, which departs just outside of the main train station and takes less than an hour to get to Vitznau. You can also buy your cog train tickets from the pier as well which would save some hassle of having to get a ticket at Vitznau.

The cog train stops at a few points along the way. I got out at kaltbad where there are a bunch of hotels. From here it's an easy, slightly uphill 15 minute hike to the lookout where you can see really far out.

After the lookout, you can either go back and catch the next train to the top (stops along the way as well), or hike the rest of the way up. You will cross a couple of train stops in case you don want to walk the rest of the way.

But the hike up to the Kulm is pretty easy and well worthwhile. There are bright orange markers every 10 meters, so you won't get lost. There are also signs pointing you in the right direction along with estimated walk times to get there. The only trick is to remember the spelling of things. The map I got from the tourist office at the train station spells things starting with "K", but the signs at the top may spell the same word starting with "Ch".

No matter how you get to the top, you will have to walk uphill to the very top of the Kulm where the TV tower is. It's not steep enough to have to build stairs, but is definitely uphill, probably more so than any other incline I encountered along the way. But that may be just in my head because I was tired when I got there.

The views are stunning, not surprisingly. But there are many views along the hike that you just don't get from riding the cog train. If you are able to hike for 1.5 hours, I highly recommend it. It's easy and very safe for tourists.

7  Thank redningja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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