Episode 70 Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast: Mt Pilatus
Podcast Episodes

Episode 70: Mt. Pilatus – the mythical mountain on Lucerne’s doorstep

April 19, 2023 Last Updated on October 12, 2023

If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland, your itinerary will probably include a visit to a mountain or two.  In fact, with 60% of the country’s surface area covered by the Alps, your hardest decision may be choosing which mountain, or mountains, to visit.

To tell us all about one of the country’s more well-known mountains, Mt. Pilatus, I’m thrilled to welcome today’s special guest, Manuela Blapp. 

Despite visiting Switzerland on many, many occasions, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’ve never visited Mt. Pilatus, although that will change this summer. I’m very excited to hear all about what’s often referred to as The Dragon Mountain. 

In this episode, Manuela will share the different ways to reach the summit of Mt. Pilatus, the many things to see and do there, her tips to help you prepare for your visit and lots more.

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

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Before we hear from Manuela, I’d like to say thanks to the folks from Switzerland Tourism for sponsoring the podcast.  Their website myswitzerland.com is packed with helpful information to help you plan your trip to Switzerland, so do go and take a look.  If you need a natural trophy, you need Switzerland.

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Show Notes

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Where Mt. Pilatus is located
  • The different ways to reach the Mt. Pilatus summit
  • Why Mt. Pilatus is called the Dragon Mountain
  • Things to do  on Mt. Pilatus
  • What to expect on your visit to Mt. Pilatus
  • The different ticket options that are available
  • Why you should you choose Mt. Pilatus over other mountains

Our Guest

Manuela Blapp, Market Manager East for Mt Pilatus

Manuela Blapp is Market Manager East for Pilatus-Bahnen. She is responsible for the sales and marketing of Mt. Pilatus to markets east of Switzerland including China, Japan, Korea, South East Asia, GCC countries, Australia and New Zealand.


Useful Resources

Mt. Pilatus can be reached from either of two valley stations near Lucerne. From Alpnachstad, the steepest cogwheel train in the world takes passengers to the summit, whilst from Kriens, passengers travel to the top via two cable cars, including one known as the Dragon Ride.

Activities mentioned in this episode include the Panorama Terrace, Panorama Gallery, Dragon Path and Dragon World at the summit (Pilatus Kulm), and the adventure hub at Fräkmüntegg (an intermediate station) which features a rope park, the Dragon Glider, a treetop path through the forest, Tree Tents, and the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland.

You can find information about all the things to do at Mt. Pilatus on the official website.

The Dragon Ride cable car to Mt. Pilatus high above Lake Lucerne
The Dragon Ride cable car offers stunning views over Lake Lucerne. © Pilatus-Bahnen AG
The Pilatus cogwheel railway is the steepest in the world.
The Pilatus cogwheel railway is the steepest in the world. © Pilatus-Bahnen AG

If you’d like to stay overnight, you can stay in the Tree Tents (mentioned above) or at either Hotel Bellevue or Hotel Pilatus Kulm, both of which are located on the summit.

A popular Mt. Pilatus excursion from Lucerne is known as the Golden Round Trip. This includes travel from Lucerne to Alpnachstad by boat, Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm by cogwheel train, Pilatus Kulm to Kriens by cable car, and Kriens to Lucerne by bus. This itinerary is only available from May to November when the cogwheel train is operating.

The Silver Round Trip includes travel from Lucerne to Alpnachstad by train instead of boat. This is a good option for visitors who have less time to spend on their excursion.

Further reading: How to visit Mount Pilatus

Enjoy a day trip to Mt. Pilatus from Lucerne
The views from the summit of Mt. Pilatus are breathtaking. © Pilatus-Bahnen AG

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This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism


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