Stanserhorn, the great day trip from Lucerne

Lucerne in Switzerland is awesome by itself and because of its location, it’s an excellent starting point for many trips around Switzerland, including Gotthard Panorama express. When talking about day trips from Lucerne, you can take a boat trip around Lucerne lake, visit mount Titlis with Titlis Rotair gondola, combine a boat trip with cogwheel train to get up to Mount Rigi, go to Mount Pilatus with an aerial cableway and a panoramic gondola ride. As my time was quite limited, I had to choose just one option and it was going to Stanserhorn Mountain reaching the 1900 metre summit by Cabrio cable car.13 cabrio stansenhorn P1680855

Why Cabrio cable car?

So why did I choose Stanserhorn and CabriO? The most important was the fact that CabriO cable car is the world’s first cable car with a roofless and windowless upper deck. I am an avid photographer and I want to take every opportunity to take great pictures with no window between me and the object. For a cable car, it was my first opportunity like that. The lower level of the CabriO has space for 60 people. From there, an elegant staircase leads up to the upper deck, with a room for about 30 people and awesome photo opportunities with no windows between the stunning panoramic views and the photographer.18 cabrio stansenhorn P1680818

Riding Stanserhorn

The ride up to Stanserhorn is also a journey through local history. One witness is the old-time funicular from Stans to Kälti, opened in 1893. It’s still the first part of your journey to the summit of Stanserhorn. At Kälti, a bit more than 700 metres above sea level, you change from the old funicular to one of the latest inventions in the cable car world, CabriO, to make the last part of your trip up to the mountain station almost 1900 metres above sea level. This trip will last a bit less than 7 minutes.

So how to do it by yourself?

The first part of your trip is going from Lucerne to Stans by train. From Lucerne central station, a train leaves every 15 minutes, with its journey taking 20 minutes. 10 cabrio stansenhorn P1680732Then you have to take a short walk to Stanserhornbahn station and buy the ticket for your trip to Stanserhorn. 11 cabrio stansenhorn P1680739The first part of the trip feels a bit nostalgic, with a vintage funicular car ride up to Kälti station. The operating company has carefully restored the original wooden carriages to keep the feel of the old days.12 cabrio stansenhorn P1680903 In Kälti, you change from the funicular for CabriO cable car, the only one of its kind.13 cabrio stansenhorn P1680855 If you, like me, travel at the end of April, there could be awesome springtime at the bottom of the mountain and lots of snow at the top. 15 cabrio stansenhorn P168075816 cabrio stansenhorn P1680769Those are impressive contrasts, and the stunning views from the top encompass 100 kilometres of Alpine peaks and ten Swiss lakes when the visibility is good. 17 cabrio stansenhorn P1680774If you are luckier than me and there is no snow at the top, you’ll have quite a large choice of hikes available, starting from a half an hour stroll around the peak to hikes of a day’s length. There are trails down to the valley from three sides. On the day of my visit, everything was closed and I could just walk around the cable car station area. 20 cabrio stansenhorn P168079421 cabrio stansenhorn P168080423 cabrio stansenhorn P168081225 cabrio stansenhorn P1680825After the stunning sightseeing, I got back the same way to Stans.28 cabrio stansenhorn P168086429 cabrio stansenhorn P168088331 cabrio stansenhorn P168091532 cabrio stansenhorn P1680920

Spend some time in Stans

The small town of Stans is located 450 meters above sea level, with a population of about 8000 people occupying the awesome spot between Lake Lucerne and the mountains. 33 cabrio stansenhorn P168093434 cabrio stansenhorn P1680946Stans has a pretty main square with several baroque buildings from the early 18th century. 36 cabrio stansenhorn P1680966The St. Peter and Paul Church, built in the middle of the 17th century, with its older Roman bell tower, is well worth visiting. 38 cabrio stansenhorn P168094440 cabrio stansenhorn P1680949When walking around Stans, you will also notice Swiss style colourful houses and statues dedicated to local hero Arnold von Winkelried and Heinrich Pestalozzi. 35 cabrio stansenhorn P1680939In the summertime, you can enjoy a free tour around the town. Pilatus Aircraft Company is located in Stans. Their company tours allow visitors to see how an aircraft is made are very popular and you have to apply for a visit long time in advance.

Practical tips for planning your Stanserhorn visit

CabriO cable car is in operation from mid April to the end of October. I would advise you to check a live camera of Stanserhorn before going. For such a trip, visibility is key. It’s only worth going when the visibility is good enough. If you need assistance with finding live camera data, you can ask for help in Lucerne tourist information centre located at the main railway station. I was there at the very end of April and saw spring and winter on the same day when visiting Stanserhorn. If you want to take a walk at Stanserhorn, I would recommend doing this trip starting from mid May. Depending on the activities you would like to do, it could be half a day and also a full day trip.

How much does it cost to visit Stanserhorn?

When talking about travel in Switzerland, money is always an issue worth discussing. Talking specifically about this trip, if you know the date of your visit at least one month in advance, I would advise you to buy a Saver Day pass for that. I had it for another trip, not this one, and the price was 52 CHF for a day. It includes all the travel costs for this. A Swiss pass is also not bad but more expensive. As I was a bit light-minded about that and I did not plan well in advance, this is what I did: I was staying overnight in Lucerne and got a free transportation ticket for Lucerne because of that. With Lucerne visitor free transportation ticket, I bought a return train ticket from Lucerne to Stans for 7.40 CHF and had Stanserhorn Bahn ticket with 20% discount for 59.20 CHF. I paid a total of 66.60 CHF for this trip, meaning over 14 CHF more than if I had bought a Saver day pass for a day in advance. If you do not have a Lucerne visitor free transportation ticket, it will be even more expensive for you. So the cheaper option is to plan your trip in advance and buy a Saver Day Pass.

Like it? Pin it!Lucerne in Switzerland is awesome by itself and because of its location, it’s an excellent starting point for many trips around Switzerland.  As my time was quite limited, I had to choose just one day trip from Lucerne and it was going to Stanserhorn Mountain to reach the 1900 metre summit by Cabrio cable car. Check my photo review about this trip! #daytripfromLucerne #Cabriocablecar #visitSwitzerland #travelblog #travelphotography

What did you think? Have you been to Stanserhorn Mountain? Or perhaps you’re thinking of visiting in the near future? Either way, I’d love to hear from you so please add your comments below.

  • Published by Anita on February 8, 2020

    Author: Anita Sane

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


    I am a tour guide in Lucerne, Switzerland and this is one of the best write-ups I have seen regarding this particular trip. Anita, your photos are beyond fantastic and truly capture the beauty of Switzerland in early Spring. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheryl Pimental
    The trip to Stanserhorn is listed by Eurailpass as being FREE with the Swiss rail pass. If I understand you correctly, it is NOT free. Is that right? I am trying to get up to date information. Your photos do look AMAZING...
    Sue Davies
    Stanserhorn looks beautiful. Great Photos. And, the CabriO cable car looks wonderful. Good to know about the camera for checking visibility. Love the lounge chair in the snow.
    These are great pictures! It looks like April is a great time to go here. I love all of the information you provided about the cable car. It looks like it will be a lot of fun.
    I would love to visit Sanserhorn! I visited Lucerne last year and loved it. I would love to go back.
    Love the photos! Switzerland is such a beautiful country. I would love to go up in that cable car one day!
    It's so incredible to be in the snow-covered mountains looking down into the green valleys below. What an experience that must have been. My favorite pic is the beach chair in the snow--that made me laugh! Of course, all of the photos are breathtaking. I also appreciate the helpful tips and costs. Thanks for this useful info!
    I have never seen (or heard) of a cable car like that with an open roof! I would loove that for taking photos. I think you chose a fantastic time of year as well, when there is still snow at the top of the mountain. It's such a gorgeous contrast.

    p.s. It's good to know about the saver pass. I would LOVE to visit Switzerland, but I guess we'd need to be careful with planning to ensure we can afford it!

    I love Switzerland and this looks like an amazing place to visit. I love the old wooden funicular!
    Your photos are incredible!! I fell in-love with your photos. Thanks for sharing your experience! It sounded like an awesome trip.
    What a fantastic looking cable car! Whilst I'd ridden many gondolas and lifts over the years I've never seen one with an open deck like this, and I'd love to experience it. We skipped Lucerne last time we were in Switzerland which I regret on reflection, I'd certainly make a point of visiting next time we're in this part of the world - and this is another good reason to do so.
    My list of must see places in Switzerland is growing and growing! Stanserhorn Mountain looks absolutely stunning. It's definitely now added to my list!
    Incredible views! And looks like you had a nice time in your lounge chair on the snowbank. ;) The beautiful square in Stans looks well worth a visit, too. I might have a little vertigo on top of the cable car, but think I could tough it out for these views. Or I might have to huddle in the lower level. It looks a bit scary!
    What a great post! Switzerland is such a beautiful country. The cable car looks like so much fun. I would love to spend hours wandering the streets and taking in the lovely architecture.

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