Rigi (Queen of the Mountains) & Stanserhorn (“CabriO” Cable Car)

Hello everyone! Today I’m gonna introduce two mountain trips either for one day or two days at your choice. From Rigi – Queen of the mountains, you can overlook the Zug lake and Lucerne lake as well as the surrounding mountains, and you can use your GA or Swiss 1-day travelpass to travel for free. On your way to Stanserhorn, You will take the so-called “CabriO” cable car, the world’s first cable car with a roofless upper deck. The lower level (with windows going almost from wall-to-wall) has space for 60 people. From there, an elegant staircase leads up to the sun deck, which offers room for about 30 people. The guests can enjoy 360° panoramic views as well as the fresh mountain air.

I visited two mountains within one day, but if you’re more of a relaxed type of person, I suggest you plan them for two days. My route was Zürich HB to Arth-Goldau (train), Arth-Goldau to Rigi Kulm (mountain train), Rigi Kulm to Rigi Kaltbad (mountain train), Rigi Kaltbad to Weggis (cable car), Weggis to Lucerne (ship), Lucerne to Stans (urban train), Stans to Stanserhorn (old-time funicular train and CabriO cable car). Now I’ll show you what you should expect to see during this journey, some alternative routes you might wanna take and some useful info about schedules and prices of the transport.

Rigi – Queen of the mountains


The Rigi (or Mount Rigi) is a mountain massif of the Alps, located in Central Switzerland. The whole massif is almost entirely surrounded by the water of three different water bodies: Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz. The range is in the Schwyzer Alps, and is split between the cantons of Schwyz and Lucerne, although the main summit, named Rigi Kulm, at 1,798 meters above sea level, lies within the canton of Schwyz. The Rigi Kulm and other areas, such as the resort of Rigi Kaltbad, are served by Europe’s oldest mountain railways, the Rigi Railways.

Train and cable car timetables and prices

Basically the train connects Arth-Goldau, Rigi Kulm, Rigi Kaltbad, Vitznau and some other small stops where you can get off and start your hiking. Arth-Goldau and Vitznau are two stations at the foot of the mountain and Rigi Kulm is the top station. I suggest you go up from Arth-Goldau to Rigi Kulm and go down from Rigi Kulm to Vitznau or the other way around, so you can enjoy different views from both sides. Don’t go up and down to the same foot station. Or, you can get off at the stop Rigi Kaltbad on your way down from Rigi Kulm to Vitznau and change to cable car if you’re bored with trains all the time. It goes to Weggis, from where you can go to Lucerne easily by boat or bus or train. However, this cable car journey is a bit thrilling as it’s quite fast, but the view of lake Lucerne is absolutely great. By the way, Rigi Kaltbad id famous for “BATHE IN A FAIRY TALE SETTING WITH A BREATHTAKING VIEW OF THE ALPS”, and if you are interested in the opening hours and prices etc, please click here.

  1. For more info about the timetables of the up and down journey including the cable car to Weggis please click here.
  2. In general, the normal price to go up and down to and from the top costs 68 CHF. If you have half price card, it’s 34 CHF and if you have GA or 1-day swiss travelpass it’s free.
  3. For more info about different tickets to different stops and different kinds of tickets please click here.

Cruise on lake Lucerne

  1. If you choose to take a cable car to Weggis, then I suggest you should take a boat to Lucerne as it’s faster and more interesting.
  2. For more info about the timetables please click here.
  3. For more info about the tickets please click here. (Again, GA, 1-day swiss travelpass and half price card are valid)

If you haven’t been to Lucerne, I suggest you at least go to the Chapel Bridge to have look. As for what other attractions you should visit in Lucerne, I’ll write another post about it next time.


The Stanserhorn is a mountain located in the canton of Nidwalden near to the border with Obwalden, with the peak at 1,898 metres above sea level. It is a popular tourist destination, which can be reached from the adjacent town of Stans by a funicular railway and cable car, or via walking routes from Stans or Dallenwil.

Oldtimer funicular train and  the world’s first “CabriO” cable car

The view at the summit station is definitely wonderful but first of all, I’d like to introduce to you the story of the transport going up.

The first public transport route to the peak was started in 1891 and completed in 1893, a three section funicular railway. The builders were the business partners Franz-Josef Bucher-Durrer and Josef Burrer-Gasser.

The first section started from Stans town, through the low pastures above the town and over three level crossings, to an intermediate station at Kälti. The second section continued through forest to another intermediate station at Bluematt, then the third section crossed the high pastures and the exposed slope leading up to the summit station and hotel. This third section included a 160 metres (520 ft) long tunnel and a number of avalanche protection walls. The final section of it was carried on a stone embankment. Each section was electrically powered (making it one of the world’s first electrically powered mountain railways), with the complete trip to the summit taking 45 minutes.

The railway ran a tourist service until 1970, when on the night of the 2nd/3rd October the funicular cable was struck by lightning. This started a fire which destroyed the summit hotel and the driving engine for the third section in its basement. As a result of this, and also the imminent expiry of the concession, the second funicular section stopped operating in 1974. Part of the driving engine of this section can be seen today outside the summit buildings, while parts of two cars can still be seen at the former Bluematt station.

A new cable car was built to replace the two upper funicular sections, which started operation in May 1975. The first funicular section continued in operation, as it does to this day.

In 2010 construction work started on a new cable car to replace the 1975 installation. This was to be a new design, the world’s first “CabriO” double deck open top cable car, built by Garaventa. Carrying 60 passengers per cabin with room for 30 on the open deck, passengers are able to observe the mountain scenery as well as the cable and engineering installations during the six-minute journey. While this new cable car was being built, the first funicular section and its original wooden cars were renovated. The final run of the former cable car was on 23 October 2011. The renovated funicular and new “CabriO” were opened on 29 June 2012.

Thanks to the Stanserhorn-Bahn, now if you choose to go up to the top, you can experience history as well as the modern because the first part of the journey would be in the old-time funicular train while the second would be in the world’s first CabriO cable car.

  1. For more info about the timetables please click here.
  2. For more info about the tickets please click here.

The top of Stanserhorn

After you arrive at the top station, you can walk to the summit, watch the mountain marmots or, start your hiking journey.

This place is especially popular for hiking lovers and if you interested you can have a look at the hiking route below.

Or as the slogan says, Mt Stanserhorn was officially appointed as “lazy mountain”. Today you can make yourself comfortable in the lazy zone, taking in the Alpine panorama on the terrace or sending a greeting via a pre-written card. It’s wonderful to let your soul just dangle!

Is it too much for just one day? If so, why not choosing to stay in Lucerne for one night and going to one mountain on one day and the other on the other day? Anyway, just relax and enjoy yourself “above the ground”. 🙂

Rigi (Queen of the Mountains) & Stanserhorn (“CabriO” Cable Car) was last modified: October 31st, 2016 by Dong

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