Visitors to the Rigi know why it is known as the “Queen of the Mountains”: 360° panoramic views of 620 Alpine peaks and 13 lakes. In all four seasons. Often with a romantic sea of fog for good measure. The cogwheel railroads from Goldau and Vitznau and the aerial cableways from Weggis and Kräbel station offer a variety of round trips, also in combination with a boat trip on Lake Lucerne. The Rigi is a classic hiking paradise for young and old.
Rigi-Kulm mit 360°-Rundsicht
Der höchste Punkt auf der Rigi-Kulm 1’798 m über Meer bietet dem Besucher eine wundervoller 360° Rundsicht über den Vierwaldstättersee und die nahen Alpen sowie nach Norden ins Mittelland.
From the Rigi-Kulm terminus, rail travelers can reach the summit of the Rigi-Kulm 1,798 m above sea level in around 10 minutes.
Travelers are rewarded with a unique view of 620 Alpine peaks and 13 lakes as well as views to Germany and France. To the north, Ägeri, Lake Lauerz and Lake Zug. To the north-west, the Swiss Plateau as far as the Black Forest and the Vosges mountains. To the south, the snow-covered Alpine chain towers high above, breathtaking and fascinating. The name Rigi “Queen of the Mountains” makes sense.
In addition to Rigi Kulm, Rigi Känzeli also offers a viewing platform with panoramic views.
This is why Mount Rigi is very popular with tourists:
- majestic location between Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz
- easy accessibility by cogwheel railroad or cable car
- the panoramic view of the Alps and the
- diverse range of leisure activities
Rigi plays a pioneering role in modern tourism
The Rigi was already known and loved throughout Europe as an excursion destination in the 18th century. At that time, it was considered a pioneer of tourism in the mountains and Alps. Before the Rigi Railways were built, the better-off tourists were carried up the Rigi in a sedan chair. This was a worthwhile extra income for many small farmers. Even Queen Victoria had herself carried up in a sedan chair. She noted after her visit: “We are amused!”. King Ludwig II of Bavaria and Mark Twain were also on the Rigi.
Guests have been coming to Mount Rigi for over 400 years. One reason was the spring on Rigi Kaltbad, which was said to have healing powers.
Chapel of pilgrimage on Rigi Klösterli
The construction of the “Maria zum Schnee” pilgrimage chapel on Rigi Klösterli in 1688 boosted pilgrimage tourism. More and more pilgrims sought advice and healing at “Maria zum Schnee”, so that from 1715 the Capuchins were on site all year round.
A few years later, the chapel could no longer cope with the flow of pilgrims. In 1721, it was replaced by a larger one – the current pilgrimage chapel. Around 1730, up to 25,000 pilgrims visited the chapel every year.
The pilgrimage church “Maria zum Schnee” is one of the most beautiful mountain chapels in Switzerland.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe also took the opportunity to climb Mount Rigi on his first trip to Switzerland in 1775. He was absolutely thrilled and wrote in his diary: “All around is the glory of the world”(«Ringsum die Herrlichkeit der Welt»).
Europe’s first mountain railroad to the Rigi
The construction of the Vitznau-Rigi Railway in 1871, which went down in history as the first mountain railroad in Europe, heralded the start of modern tourism. This was followed by the opening of the Arth-Rigi Railway in 1875.
The Kräbel-Scheidegg cable car was opened in 1953 and the Weggis-Rigi Kaltbad cable car in 1968.
New vehicles were added to the historic fleet in 2022. The design of these new trains pays homage to the oldest cogwheel railcar in the world, No. 6, from 1911, which still runs regularly between Goldau and Rigi Kulm. With their simple white and bronze color scheme, the new carriages have a timeless look and reference their origins as Europe’s first mountain railroad.
Rigi in summer: a hiker’s paradise
The Rigi is considered a classic hiking paradise with over 120 km of hiking trails, panoramic hikes between Rigi-Kulm, Staffelhöhe, Kaltbad, Scheidegg and Klösterli guarantee spectacular views of the lakes and Mittelland. Larger differences in altitude can be easily overcome by cable car. The “Rigiland” in Kaltbad is a fun place for young and old with a spacious children’s playground, Wildmannli trail, mini golf course, picnic area and natural pond with Kneipp facilities.
In the fall, when the days get shorter and the fog hits the atmosphere, a trip to Mount Rigi is worthwhile. The liberating feeling when the Rigi cable car pierces through the fog is indescribable.
On the sun terraces, you can enjoy the warm temperatures with a wonderful view of the sea of fog and the surrounding mountains.
Rigi in winter: Sunny island above a sea of fog
In winter, Mount Rigi is an island of sunshine above the sea of fog. At lofty heights, guests can choose from a wide range of winter sports: 5 ski lifts with 15 km of ski and snowboard slopes, 7 km of toboggan runs, 14 km of panoramic cross-country ski trails and 35 km of groomed winter hiking trails and snowshoe trails.
Those who prefer a more leisurely pace can book a horse-drawn sleigh ride.
Sledging trail Rigi Kulm-Staffel-Klösterli
The most popular toboggan run on the Rigi runs from Rigi Kulm via Rigi Staffel to Rigi Klösterli.
The 3.1-kilometre trail leads from Rigi Kulm along the Rigi Railway tracks to Rigi Staffel. From Rigi Staffel, the path becomes steep and the speed increases immediately. The trail descends rapidly to Rigi Klösterli, where sports shuttle trains take you back to the start.
Tobogganing does not require any special technical knowledge and can be practiced by anyone.
Walks and hikes
The Rigi is known as a hiking paradise and offers a wide variety of hikes and walks of all kinds. Here are the most popular hikes on Mount Rigi:
Rigi Panorama trail
Rigi Kaltbad – First – Unterstetten – Hinder Dossen – Rigi Scheidegg (duration: approx. 2 hours):
The view of the Alps and the Schwyz valley basin is magnificent: the trail leads along the rocky path from Rigi First to Rigi Scheidegg. Breathtaking views of Lake Lucerne and the mountains of Central Switzerland from the start. The Rigi Panorama Trail largely follows the route of the former railroad (1874 to 1931). The old railroad bridge, a short tunnel and a decommissioned wagon from the time are historical witnesses. Beautiful rest areas and fireplaces along the way. No ascent until shortly before Rigi Scheidegg.
Rigi Kulm – Staffel – Staffelhöhe – Känzeli – Rigi Kaltbad (duration: approx. 60 minutes):
This route is extremely popular with hikers of all ages. The path leads steadily downhill. The difference in altitude between Rigi-Kulm and Rigi-Kaltbad is around 300 meters: Effortless high-altitude hike with magnificent views of Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug, across the Swiss Plateau to the Black Forest and the Vosges mountains. Fantastic panoramic view from the Rigi-Känzeli vantage point.
Rigi Klösterli trail
Rigi Kaltbad – First – Heiri Hütte – Rigi Klösterli (duration: approx. 30 minutes):
An effortless but scenic trail on an initially completely flat route to Rigi First. Views of snow-capped Alpine peaks from the southern shore of the lake. After Rigi First, descend to the cozy alpine inn Heiri-Hütte, where you can enjoy a hearty alpine snack. Then continue downhill to the historic pilgrimage site of Klösterli with the famous pilgrimage chapel “Maria zum Schnee” (built in 1689), one of the most beautiful mountain chapels in the world.
Rigi Schwändi trail
Rigi Klösterli – lower Schwändi hut – Schwändi – Alp Chäserenholz – Rigi Kulm (duration: approx. 1.5 hours):
A short hike of 4 km and almost 500 meters uphill: from the pilgrimage site of Rigi Klösterli, the trail leads steadily uphill to Alp Schwändi. On the Chäserenholz to the idyllically situated Alpbeiz and a well-earned rest. Views of the snow-covered mountain peaks and Alpine panorama. Then uphill again to Rigi Kulm, the highest point on the Rigi, with panoramic views of the Mittelland and the Alps.
Folklore events on the Rigi
Folklore events regularly take place on Mount Rigi, especially in summer and fall. These include folk music evenings, alphorn players’ meetings, traditional costume festivals and much more. The best-known event is the Rigi-Schwinget.
The Rigi-Schwinget is one of the most famous wrestling festivals in Switzerland and takes place every year in August on Rigi-Staffel.
Wrestling is a traditional Swiss sport in which two athletes compete against each other in a ring and try to put the other on their back.
Every year, the Rigi-Schwinget attracts thousands of spectators who want to witness the spectacle on the mountain. In addition to the competitions, there is also a supporting program with music and entertainment.
The Rigi-Schwinget is an important part of Swiss culture and tradition and is appreciated by many people in the region and beyond.
International Rigi mountain run
The international Rigi mountain run takes place every year in August. Several hundred runners race the 11.3-kilometre course from Arth at the upper end of Lake Zug to the finish line on the Rigi-Kulm, 1380 meters above sea level. A challenge for every athlete.
Wellness and culinary delights at their finest
The Rigi is not only a paradise for hikers and nature lovers, but also for connoisseurs. Treat yourself to a stay at the Mineralbad & Spa Rigi Kaltbad or immerse yourself in the whey bath on Alp Chäserenholz.
Alp Chäserenholz invites you to enjoy Alpine wellness with a whirlpool, sauna and whey bath. Combined with the fantastic panoramic view and the enjoyment of the hotel’s own cheese slice, alpine bathing fun becomes an unforgettable experience.
Rigi Kaltbad has been known as a place of pilgrimage for 600 years, and the first bathing chapel was built in 1545. However, as the name “Kaltbad” suggests, people bathed in cold water back then. Mario Botta has taken up this tradition with his design, reviving the old bathing culture.
In the Mineralbad & Spa Rigi Kaltbad you can relax in the 35 degree mineral water from the Drei-Schwestern-Brunnen spring in the middle of a dreamlike mountain world.
In addition to a wonderful indoor area, the Mineralbad & Spa Rigi Kaltbad offers you a heated outdoor pool with a unique view of the mountains, a herbal steam bath, a Finnish herbal sauna, a spa lounge with treatments and massages as well as the fascinating crystal bath.
Experience Mount Rigi from a different perspective: A leisurely ride through the beautiful mountain world of Mount Rigi without any hustle and bustle – this is what the coach rides promise in summer and winter on Mount Rigi.
Let the horses take you on a leisurely carriage ride through the countryside in summer and a sleigh ride in winter. Enjoy the silence and, in winter, the crackling of the snow under your hooves and runners. Or listen to the birdsong and breathe in the fresh mountain air. A fantastic view of the mountains of Central Switzerland and Lake Lucerne awaits you.
Order under: Carriage Rides-Rigi
Rigi-Nostalgia steam rides
Take a journey back in time to 1871, when the Vitznau-Rigi Railway went down in history as the first mountain railroad in Europe.
Vibrating metal pistons and drive shafts, the smell of burning coal, hissing steam and spraying sparks cast a spell over steam train passengers and make the train ride up the Queen of the Mountains an unforgettable experience. Nostalgic steam trips to Mount Rigi are one of the last true adventures of our time!
Further information on current nostalgic steam trips at: Steam train timetable
Video RIGI Queen of the Mountains in Switzerland
Upon reaching RIGI Kulm, visitors can enjoy a stunning panorama with a 360 degree view of 620 mountain peaks and 13 lakes, a unique experience in Switzerland, justifying its name, Queen of the Mountains.
Video The RIGI in a snow-white winter dress
In winter, the majestic RIGI Queen of the Mountains wraps herself in a glistening white coat of snow.
Its proud mountain peak rises into the steel-blue sky, surrounded by a gentle glow that warms the heart. When the magic of winter embraces the region, the RIGI becomes a fairytale backdrop. Romance and magic are captured in every snow crystal.
The snow-covered slopes invite you to take wonderful walks and breathe in the fresh winter air. Your gaze wanders over the glistening landscape with its many fascinating ice crystals. The snow-covered fir forests embrace the RIGI as if they were keeping a secret. The clear mountain air smells of fresh snow.
Video Rigi Switzerland Drone 4K
Rigi Switzerland Drone 4K – Fyi, I was flying VLOS with a spotter – always a must in an area with potential paragliders