Nicknamed the “Queen of the Mountains,” Mount Rigi has long captured the hearts of writers like Mark Twain and painters like JMW Turner. Encircled by a trio of lakes—Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug, and Lake Lauerz—and adjacent to the neighboring peaks of Mount Pilatus and Brunnistock, Mount Rigi is the enduring postcard star of Central Switzerland.
The 5,899-foot (1,798-meter) summit of Mount Rigi affords spectacular views, but the journey to the top is just as impressive as the destination. Opt for a self-guided, group, or private tour and ride the aerial cable car or cogwheel railway up to the snow-covered peak. Once you’re at the top, activities such as horse-drawn carriage rides, tobogganing, and snowshoeing excursions are available. To personalize your experience, combine a trip to Mount Rigi with a scenic cruise across Lake Lucerne, a Lucerne city tour, or a hike in the alps.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitor facilities at the Mount Rigi summit include a hotel, restaurant, and a wellness center.
- Wrap up warm—the high altitude means it will be chilly on the mountaintop even in the summer months.
- The cable car, cogwheel railways, and some of Mount Rigi’s hiking trails are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Mount Rigi is located in the Schwyzer Alps in Central Switzerland, overlooking the city of Lucerne and Lake Lucerne. There are three main ways to access the summit—by cogwheel railway from Vitznau (a 30-minute trip) or Arth-Goldau (a 45-minute trip), or by cable car from Weggis (a 10-minute trip). Both Weggis and Vitznau can be reached by steamboat from Lucerne, while regular trains run to Arth-Goldau from both Lucerne and Zurich.
When to Get There
It’s possible to visit Mount Rigi year-round, although the aerial cable car is occasionally closed for maintenance during low season. Summer—particularly July and August—is the busiest season, when mild weather allows visitors to explore over 75 miles (120 kilometers) of hiking trails. The winter months of December and January are also a popular time to visit, when skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing opportunities abound.
The Views from Mount Rigi
The main attraction of Mount Rigi is the panoramic view from the summit of Rigi Kulm, the highest peak of the mountain. Thanks to its central location, Rigi Kulm is one of the best viewpoints in Central Switzerland. Gaze out over the Swiss Alps, the Swiss Plateau, the Bernese Alps, and 13 different lakes; enjoy an aerial view of Lucerne city; and spot the distant peaks of the Glarus Alps, the Vosges Mountains over the French border, and Germany’s Black Forest.