Located in the heart of Central Switzerland, Mount Rigi is an excellent day trip from Lucerne or Zurich. The mountain offers a spectacular view of the Swiss Alps, the lakes, and an impressive variety of alpine flora.
In this article, I’ll share all information you need to know to plan a perfect day trip to Mount Rigi. The article includes the following sections:
Amazing things to do on Mt. Rigi
Best hiking trails
How to get to Mount Rigi from Lucerne and Zurich
Itinerary for a day trip from Lucerne
Where to stay
What to pack
Best things to do on Mount Rigi, Switzerland
Do you know that Mount Rigi is dubbed as Queen of the Mountains?
In addition to hiking, there are plenty of things to see and do on Mount Rigi on your day trip. Below are some of my favorite activities.
Take the historical railway
Mount Rigi is home to the oldest cogwheel train in Europe. Since 1871, its cogwheel railway has connected travelers from all over the world to the summit of Mount Rigi.
So, experience the nostalgia and travel with the Swiss historical railway. In addition to travel by cogwheel train, you can try other transport methods such as cable car.
Enjoy the panoramic view
Surrounded by three lakes, Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug, and Lake Lauerz, Mount Rigi claims to have one of the most impressive views in the region.
The combination of the lower lands with mountain ranges offers a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of hundreds of Alpine peaks and 13 lakes.
You can even view the French Alps and the Black Forest in Germany from afar on clearer days or sometimes immerse in an imposing sea of fog in the winter.
Visit the cheese-making farm
For cheese lovers, don’t forget to stop by Alp Chäserenholz cheese dairy, a 20-minute walk down from Rigi Kulm.
The Chäserenholz facilities include a cheese shop, a cheese dairy building with a cheese aging cellar, a barn, an indoor and outdoor restaurant. There’re also Sleep in Straw & Dorm lodging facilities and restrooms.
Every summer, this farm produces up to 15 different types and 12,000 kg of cheese. Their daily production starts early in the morning and continues until midday, and you can visit the cheese dairy at 2 CHF (Swiss Franc).
Here, the restaurant offers a variety of delicious cheese dishes, including raclette, fondue, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
How to find it: From the top of Mt. Rigi Kulm by the big antenna, you’ll see a Swiss Flag visible in the South direction.
For a relaxing time on Mount Rigi, head to Rigi Kaltbad, a spa tradition with a history of 600 years.
Here, you can bathe in the mineral waters from the healing Drei-Schwestern-Brunnen spring while surrounded by impressive mountain landscapes. You can also enjoy a steam bath, massages, crystal spa, and infusion sauna.
Day admission fee: 37 CHF ($40). It includes
Day admission to the mineral bath and spa area
Tea and spring water
Enjoy winter sports
Rigi offers a wide range of activities, including sledding, snowshoeing, and even ski experiences for those who visit in the winter.
Mount Rigi hiking trails
With more than 120 km of hiking trails in summer and 35 km of snow hiking trails in winter, Mount Rigi offers many options for hikers and other attractions to keep you busy for an evening.
For serious hikers, you can opt for hiking all the way to the top on foot. There are well-marked trails at Weggis, Vitznau, and Arth-Goldau, and it takes about 3-4 hours uphill from Weggis or Vitznau.
On my trip to Mt. Rigi, I decided to take the train straight to the summit at Rigi Kulm, then take a short walk up top where the views were. Then, I strolled down from the summit to the cable-car station at Rigi Kaltbad. It took me about 1 hour and was a pleasant walk.
Note: You can shorten the walk by meeting the train at the scenic Staffel stop.
Popular Mount. Rigi hiking trails
Here are some suggestions for hiking trail suggestions to discover the best spots on Mount Rigi
1. Take the Rigi Kulm–Rigi Staffel (20 min)
For those in a hurry, take this short hike down from the summit to the next base and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
2. Hike from Rigi Staffel to Rigi Kaltbad (via Känzeli, 50 min)
Stroll down from the mountain with a view to the north and the south, pass campfire sites and enjoy the famous “Känzeli” viewpoint.
3. Circle Rigi Kaltbad and back (35 min)
It’s a hike through the local village of Rigi Kaltbad with views of Lake Lucerne.
Descend the mountain to a famous cheese dairy / alpine farm, followed by a short ascent and a forest trail to Rigi Staffel.
5. Rigi Scheidegg–Rigi Kaltbad (2h 30 min)
This easy and flat trail offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Alpine scenery while combining both sides of the mountain.
How to get to Mount Rigi
You can easily get to Mt. Rigi by cogwheel train from Arth-Goldau or Vitznau or by cable car from Weggis.
Getting from Lucerne to Mount Rigi
From Lucerne, you can take a boat straight to Vitznau and hop on the cogwheel train to the summit.
Alternatively, you can take a boat to Weggis docks. From Weggis dock, it’s a 15-minute walk uphill to the cable car (Luftseilbahn), a station high above the resort.
From here, you can take a 10-minute cable car to Rigi-Kaltbad, a small resort on a beautiful plateau. Then, change to the red cogwheel train and ride the steep tracks of the Vitznau–Rigi line to the mountain’s summit.