If you are visiting Lucerne, one of the lesser-known day trips is to the Hammetschwand elevator. Hanging from a cliff over Lake Lucerne on the side of Bürgenstock mountain, a ride on this lift is an unforgettable experience.
We took the family there for a day trip from Lucerne and everyone was impressed. It is a relatively easy hike. The trip involves a short boat ride from Lucerne. And you get great views, lunch, and a trip on a Bürgenstock funicular train to the Bürgenstock hotel too.
What else do you need?
Table of Contents
The Hammetschwand Elevator Facts & History
This is an impressive elevator, high above Lake Lucerne. But it is more than just an elevator.
So, let’s take a moment to dive into some information about the Hammetschwand elevator.
- It is the tallest freestanding outdoor elevator in Europe
- It is 153 meters (502 feet) high
- It takes 3 minutes to the top of the lift
- The Hammetschwand Lift was first opened in 1905 by Franz Josef Bucher
- The lift was built to make the path to the Bürgenstock resort easier
Hammetschwand Lift Price
The following are the current prices for riding the Hammetschwand elevator:
- Adults: 15 CHF one way / 18 CHF return
- Children (6-16 years): 7.50 CHF one way / 9 CHF return
- Dogs: 6 CHF one way / 8 CHF return
- Group discounts are available for 10 or more, school trips
- No discounts for GA, Half-tax, Swiss Travel Pass, etc.
Note: one way is possible because you can walk back to the Bürgenstock resort from the top
Hammetschwand Lift Opening Times
The Hammetschwand lift is open the majority of the year from 9:30 AM until 6 PM. However, please be aware that in bad weather and throughout winter the elevator is closed.
If you wish to travel during these times be sure to call ahead to see if the lift is open. You can contact them on this number: +41 41 612 61 44
How to reach the Hammetschwand Lift?
The easiest way to reach the Hammetschwand elevator is to take a boat ride from Lucerne and then a funicular train up to Bürgenstock Hotel. From here, it is a 45-minute walk to the base of the elevator along the Felsenweg (more on that below).
The boat from Luzern Bahnhofquai is the new Bürgenstock Resort Catamaran and it leaves from Pier 3 just opposite the train station. Once you arrive in Kehrsiten-Bürgenstock you need to take the funicular train to the Bürgenstock resort.
It is worth spending some time exploring the hotel panorama terrace and soaking up the amazing views of Lake Lucerne. There are also some shops and restaurants you can stop in while you are there.
From here you follow the hiking path to the Hammetschwand lift. It is a relatively easy walk along the Bürgenstock Cliff Walk to the lift base.
Bürgenstock Funicular Prices
You will also need a separate ticket on the Bürgenstock funicular to the top. You can purchase this as part of the whole trip, or use any of the usual discount cards – GA, Half Fare, or Swiss Travel pass.
The following are the current prices for the Bürgenstock Funicular railway:
- Adults: One way 25 CHF / 50 CHF return CHF
- Children & discount cards: one way 12.5 CHF /25 CHF return
Alternative Routes To The Hammetschwand Elevator
There are a variety of routes to the Hammetschwand elevator. The one listed above is the most scenic and simplest. However, you can also catch the S4 train and then the 321 bus to Bürgenstock resort directly. This will likely be cheaper, however, nowhere near as scenic or fun.
Or, you can hike to the end of the mountain and loop back via the Bürgenstock Cliff Walk, making a longer hike of it.
Another option is to take a boat or the S4 train to Ennetburgen and hike from there.
The are many many options!
Riding The Hammetschwand Elevator
The Hammetschwand elevator trip is relatively short but breathtaking. You enter the lift and as the doors close you won’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Apart from the fact that the lift is made of glass.
However, as you rise out of the rocks the jaw-dropping views from the elevator to Lake Lucerne below appear. Nowhere else in the world will you have such stunning views over a blue lake with mountain peaks surrounding it. And all from an elevator.
No wonder this engineering masterpiece was used in a James Bond movie.
Once you get to the top, you have an impressive view from this epic vantage point. You can take a short walk around the top of the mountain and admire the engineering of the elevator.
You can also take a break on the top, if you have brought a picnic, or enjoy a drink at the restaurant as we did. They also service local meals for lunch, so you don’t even have to bring your own!
The Bürgenstock Felsenweg Path (Cliff Path)
The walk along the Lake Lucerne side of Bürgenstock is known as the Felsenweg path and is a stunning hike in its own right. You can also combine this hike with a ride on the Hammetschwand elevator and make a whole day of it.
The simplest part of the Felsenweg path is from the Bürgenstock resort, however, you can also walk from the other end and make a longer hike of it.
Just be aware that because this hike is quite precarious, it is often closed due to rock falls or landslides. The best way to see if it is open is to check the status on the Felsenweg website (it is in German so use Google Translate on Chrome to read it)
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Hammetschwand Lift?
The Hammetschwand lift hangs precariously off of Mount Bürgenstock high above Lake Lucerne. It is a short boat and funicular ride from downtown Lucerne and should be on everyone’s Lucerne bucketlist.
Note: Cover image from Wikimedia