Day 4 marked the halfway point of the trip and it was time to leave France for Switzerland. But we weren’t sad for long, because it’s pretty hard to be sad when every single window view in Switzerland looks like it jumped straight off a postcard. We rode almost every form of transportation in Switzerland: train, bus, boat, cable car, and cogwheel train. Our favorite? We were too busy eating fondue to decide on a favorite.
Retrace our steps in Lucerne and Mt Rigi:
- The Swiss train system is super fast, efficient, clean and just generally all-around great. When our first train arrived in Geneva (from France), we walked through customs at the train station. It was very straightforward and took about 10 minutes. We then hopped on our train to Lucerne.
- Swiss Travel Passes cover trains, buses, and boats, and sometimes mountain excursions. So, in this one day of the trip, we used our passes for: 2 trains, 2 bus rides, 1 boat ride, and 1 cogwheel train ride up Mt Rigi. Best mileage out of a Swiss Travel Pass ever?
- The boat ride in Lucerne is NOT to be missed. The staff were the nicest people ever — they let us take a peek in the captain’s quarters (we were traveling as journalists, so they probably won’t just let anyone do this, sorry!) and they helped us figure out where our stop was after we thought we might have missed it while spending too much time admiring all of the scenery.
- The cogwheel train up and down Mt Rigi is just stunning. We went up one side and down the other so that we could see different sides of the mountain. It’s a toss up as to which route was prettier.
- Our stay at Hotel Montana was unforgettable. It’s located up on a hill overlooking the entire lake — we even had a view of the lake from our bathtubs. It was a 5 minute walk from the center of town (and about a ten minute walk from the train station), and it’s the perfect place to base yourself if you want to explore Lucerne and Mt Rigi for a few days.
- Things we didn’t get to try at the peak of Mt Rigi that we definitely want to make time for during our next trip (we can dream, right?): the mineral baths and spa, night sledding, and the cable car, among many other delightful activities.
Special thanks to Swiss Travel System and Switzerland Tourism, and also our friends at the Lucerne Tourism board for meeting us at the train station and showing us to the epic Hotel Montana, and thanks to Christian at Mt Rigi for showing us around and treating us to happy hour on the mountain peak!