Mt. Titlis during 9 hour layover at Zurich airport

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2 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2017 - 2:24 PM

Hi All,

I'm planning a quick trip for my 9 hour Swiss layover. I'm landing in ZRH at 8:10 am and departing 5:20 pm. I do have to quickly meet someone in Zurich first, so I'm thinking that I won't actually be able to set out till 10 am.

Is this reasonable? Rent a car (in the airport, so I will already have one when leaving at 10), drive to Mt. Titlis - about 1.5 hours, 35 min cable car up, 2 hours at the top, 35 min down, and 1.5 hours back. With 1/2 hour added in because life never works exactly on schedule, I would get back to Zurich airport at 4:30 pm which is tight but doable for my 5:20 flight.

Am I being overly ambitious/optimistic about things working on schedule? Titlis just sounds so much more appealing to me than Lucerne or other options closer to the airport.

I'd appreciate any and all input!

22 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2017 - 4:37 PM in reply to cholent

Considering the time constraint I would not opt to rent a car instead I'd take the train. There is a train station in the Zurich Airport (09:47 and 10:47) . For me this is much too rushed and lends its self to accidents, missed planes etc. So unless Mt. Titlis on your must see bucket list, I'd find something else to do. While Zurich is a big business city Luzern is not and is only 1 hour away by train. Good luck!

2 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2017 - 4:40 PM in reply to Julie49

Actually the only reason I'm doing car and not train is because of the time constraints. The trip is 1.2 hours by car but over 2.5 hrs by train. As you said, if I do take the train I'll have to do Lucerne which is closer. Titlis just sounds so much more interesting and fun than Lucerne, which seems like mainly sightseeing

10385 posts
expert &
Aug 10, 2017 - 5:03 PM in reply to cholent

Hi cholent and welcome to MySwissAlps!

It does sound like a tricky plan. Indeed to train from Zurich airport to the top of Mt. Titlis (Stand) is 2 hours and 38 minutes roughly. Keep in mind though the time it takes to rent a car and get out from the airport then get to Engelberg, park and get to the gondola at Engelberg (talstation).

I would count on 1.5 hours minimum for the car each way and personally I wouldn't arrive only 50 minutes before my flight.

Mt. Pilatus is slightly faster by car and train if it interests you at all. This would be the closest proper mountain from Zurich airport.

It is up to you of course if you try 0 perhaps plan on just an hour at the top? Let us know what you do and if it all works out!


Last modified on Aug 10, 2017 - 5:04 PM by Lucas
5547 posts
Aug 10, 2017 - 8:37 PM in reply to cholent

<<"Is this reasonable?">>

Hi cholent-

in my opinion, it is not reasonable.. I am experienced on those routes and in Zürich airport, and I would hesitate. If forced, I could do it, but would not have 2 hours up top, and I'd be biting my fingernails all the way.

And, if your flight is an intercontinental flight, you cannot make it with a 50 pre-rat Zürich airport. Maybe intra0-Europe is possible, but you certainly cannot plan evrything working smoothly when you depend on on timing that is so close to departure.

What if you have delay returning your car?

Just my opinions. If you can schedule Pilatus, it will be interesting and closer. If the weather is cloudy, don't go up .

If you are ready to get your rental car at 10, you will not leave the airport at 10. Perhaps 10 was after a cushion for getting the car? It takes time to do the paperwork and get the car. Your route will either take you through Zürich or on the A1...both are prone to delays. At least, by train wherever you go, you will not make a mistaken turn, get caught in a maze of one-way streets (Zürich) or run into traffic jams on the A1. At 10 AM the rush hour traffic jam into Zürich is reduced, but not eliminated. The ring-road route (via the A1) has had heavy construction every time i have been on it in the past 5 years. Who knows, maybe the got it all finished just in time for you.

Just my opinions. If you can schedule Pilatus, it will be interesting and closer. If the weather is cloudy, don't go up


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