Switzerland has hundreds, if not thousands of amazing hiking and walking routes. Each will serve you astonishing views of this beautiful country. I do not have the ambition nor I will be able to cover them all on the SwissPath.com. I do however pledge one thing: I will write about experiences in Switzerland I fins unique, and worthwhile. And this brings us to the story of a walk from Obeergütsch in Luzern to the Sonnenberg hotel in Kriens. A hotel with breathtaking panoramic views, children activities, an ice cream menu named after mountains and a 120 year old funicular.
From the bustling city to serene countryside
When we decided to visit the Sonnenberg hotel, that was (I am not ashamed to admit) mostly with the promise of a minigolf course on the premises. We looked up how to get to the hotel and our travel planner had our journey start at the Kantolbank bus station. From here, bus 10 would take us to a place called Obergütsch. The bus started to drive further and further from the inner city of Luzern. It wasn’t before long we started ascending in the hilly suburbs.
While the inner city of Luzern is extremely flat (bike friendly!), some of its suburbs are built in the hills surrounding the impressive Pilatus mountain. While we drove through these suburbs, we saw the sun glittering both on the Luzern rooftops. Even further below, the Vierwaldstättersee lake was also acting like a sunny mirror. It is funny how in Switzerland, mere streets away from the inner city, areas look like quaint villages. The obergütsch suburbs are really no different.
The Obergütsch bus stop feels a bit like the end of civilization: the bus makes a U-turn back to the inner city and you leave the suburbian houses behind you as you proceed towards an opening in between two hedges.
At this point I am going to assume that you make this walk on a clear and sunny day in the spring or summer, just as we did. Once you leave the bus stop for the field (there is signage for the Sonnenberg hotel), you are rewarded with a great panorama view over green meadows and the majestic mount Pilatus in the background. ”Weren’t we in downtown Luzern only 10 minutes ago?” ,we thought as we admired the surroundings.
The walk begins rather flat, and brings you past some farms and vineyards. There is a little water fountain at a local school on the route in case you get thirsty. A bit further along the trail, you find Gabeldingen Bauerhofladen, a self-service farm shop. Here you can find locally harvested vegetables, fruits, and local dairy products. You pay either cash or with Twint (Swiss p2p payment app).
Alpine panorama at Hotel Sonnenberg
As you continue your way, the path gets a bit steeper as you ascend towards the Sonnenberg hotel. There is a little funicular, the Sonnenbergbahn, that we used to make our way back to the town of Kriens. However, there is a midway station for this funicular you can get on if you don’t want to make the climb all the way up. Cash money is necessary! If you decide to hike further, do watch out for the occasional car.
Once you are at the Sonnenberg hotel, a beautiful panorama of the alps opens up for you. The hotel has a minigolf course and a petting zoo with ponies which is great for children. Additionally, there is a grilling spot for grilling some sausages with alpine views. Bring your own firewood, or buy some at the Sonnenberg funicular station!
We simply took a seat at the roof deck of the Sonnenberg restaurant and enjoyed some good drinks. Meanwhile, we were enjoying the even better views over the Alps. The restaurant also has a delicious ice cream menu where some of the varieties are named after famous Swiss mountains such as Rigi and Pilatus. A perfect way to combine learning geography with the finer things in life!
Once we had soaked in enough sun and views, we made the short stroll to the Sonnenbergbahn funicular top station. This super cute, wobbly authentic funicular (I will write about it separately) takes you down to Kriens in about 10 to 15 minutes. From Kriens, you can hop on a bus towards Luzern again – a ride of just a few minutes.
All in all – this seemingly basic weekend activity really blew us away. It was so unexpected to see the views getting of the bus and feel the bustle of the city suddenly having disappeared. The farmer’s shop is a great place to get acquainted with Swiss countryside life and to get some refreshing drinks or snacks. Top it off with drinks and activities at Hotel Sonnenberg!
Take bus 10 to its final stop of Obergütsch. Go straight ahead on the meadows and keep following the signs of the Sonnenberg hotel. Make a stop at the farmer’s shop and maybe buy some locsl goodies. If you sre not a Swiss resident with Twint, take cash!
Continue the hike to the Luzern Sonnenberg hotel at your own pace, enjoy your stay there and then take the funicular down.
Obergütsch – Hotel Sonnenberg hike
Total length – 2.5 KM
Difficulty – Easy
You can read more about the Hotel Sonnenberg nearby Luzern on their website. Here, you can also find information about the pony petting zoo and the minigolf course.