Amsterdam to Milan passing passing by Switzerland

Amsterdam to Milan passing passing by Switzerland

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 12. This thread is closed.
Cindy
Cindy
4 posts
new member
Oct 16, 2015 - 3:49 PM

Hi Arno and Annika,

I have a global eurail pass and I will travel from Amsterdam to Milan for the last day of expo on Oct 31. Since one of the route is to pass by Swizterland ( have not visited Switzerland before except a bit of Lake Constance on the German side ) and I would like to ask you for some suggested intineary perhaps around 3 days in Swiss making use of the pass and get to know this beautiful country.

Obviously taking the Bernina Express seem to be one of the choice making sense as it is nice , included in the pass already and will get to Italy at the end. What would be your suggestion as I can see the pass also include a few more rails but don't know which to choose and logistically what is best for the limited time and budget. Will be travel solo as well.

p.s the Bernina Express bus stops after Oct 26, I assume cannot take bus and have to use local train to connect to Milan pls correct me if I am wrong.

Many thanks in advance.

Cindy
Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 17, 2015 - 7:05 AM

Welcome to MySwissAlps, Cindy!

I can think of 4 options:

  1. Basel - Zurich - Chur - Tirano. This is the Bernina Express route like you suggested. Then take a train from Tirano to Milan as there's indeed no bus on your travel date.
  2. Basel - Lucerne, by boat to Flüelen, train to Milan. This is the Wilhelm Tell route.
  3. Basel - Bern - Spiez, local train via Kandersteg to Brig, then continue to Milan.
  4. Basel - Lucerne, Golden Pass route to Interlaken, then continue to Spiez and follow option 3. You could stay a few nights in Lucerne or the Jungfrau region.

All of these routes are free with your pass (see here), except for seat reservations, but you don't need those unless you want to travel in the official Bernina Express rather than local trains.

I'd recommend to explore these options, and the timetable, and see what fits your interests.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Oct 17, 2015 - 7:27 AM in reply to Cindy

Hi Cindy-

In Arno's reply, I like #3, but make sure to take the local between Spiez and Brig. It is called the Lötschberger ( or, confusingly the Lötschberg Express ;-)). You can also pick it up in Bern and it makes almost no stops until it gets to Spiez. Sit on the right. In the timetable, include Kandersteg in the "via' or "Connection" box, otherwise you get the boring faster tunnel under the mountain.

For number 2, the boat ride is quite nice, but the train covers that section much faster if you are in a hurry. Luzern is quite attractive, and the tourist density diminishes toward the end of October.

Slowpoke

Cindy
Cindy
4 posts
new member
Oct 17, 2015 - 11:59 AM

Hi Arno, Slowpole,

Nice to meet u here and thanks for your quick reply! Maybe I did not make myself clear or I misunderstood your meaning , the options given seems all can be finished in a day ? ( according to the info on this web :) ) I am planning maybe can spare max 3 days there..... At the same time, I did some research here( the web is really great! ) and there and I come up with some idea and can you let me know if I am even making sense as said never been to Swizterland yet. And logic behind is not to go back to the same route on the same line.

Day 0- travel from Amsterdam via Basel, train can arrive at Lausanne. Stay at Lausanne. Any suggestion to do there ?

Day 1 - travel from Lausanne to Montreux to Lucerne on Golden Pass line Per you, it is 5.5 hours. At night Stay at Lucerne or option Zurich ( see day 3)

Question : what is best way to travel from Lausanne to Montreux ? Local train ? Or I should proceed to Montreux first night for the train.

Question : any chance to do Lake Geneva before the Golden pass?

Day 2 - Spend some time in Lucerne, e.g. Lake Lucerne ? Any suggestion here ? then proceed to Chur. Stay at Chur

question : can I travel directly from Lucerne or I need to via Zurich ? Reason being only one train per day on Bernina express. So can't miss it.

Day 3 travel from Chur to Tirana on Bernina Express , 4 hours, then continue on local train to Como/ Milan ready for the last day of Expo.

Many thanks for your help!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Oct 17, 2015 - 7:13 PM in reply to Cindy

<<"Maybe I did not make myself clear or I misunderstood your meaning , the options given seems all can be finished in a day ? ( according to the info on this web :) ) I am planning maybe can spare max 3 days there.....">>

I'd give some thought to spending time in and near Luzern. Good for first time visitors. A variety of scenic options including mountains, the lake, and the city itself.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

map.classic.search.ch/

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

www.luzern.com/en/inde x.cfm

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/lucerne.html

You'll find a few more hills than you would in Amsterdam. ;-)

Slowpoke

Last modified on Oct 17, 2015 - 7:25 PM by Slowpoke
Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 18, 2015 - 8:46 AM in reply to Cindy

Hi Cindy,

Yes, all options can theoretically be completed in a day. I assumed you preferred a more or less direct route to Milan, and stay a few nights along the way. But if you don't mind spending more time on traveling, then you have more options then we can list here ;-)

So, your option is certainly possible as well. I would prefer to stay in Montreux rather than Lausanne, as it's smaller and closer to the mountains. But that's a personal preference; you may have different interests. Lucerne is a good stop in any case, and better than Zurich (again, it's smaller and closer to the mountains).

Cindy
Cindy
4 posts
new member
Oct 18, 2015 - 2:15 PM

Hi Slowpole,

Thanks for the reply! anywhere has better mountains than Amsterdam that is why I need to visit Swizterland :)). I will study your link and sure will come back on more questions regarding activities in Lucerne on the 2nd day.

Hi Arno,

Great to know my ,thought itin" is going to be workable logistically and timewise. First time in Swizterland so would like to see a bit of something then when I have chance to come back again can do a longer and more in depth visit.

I believe not able to do Lake Geneva before Golden line as schedule is not allowed. Just worry if it would be easy to find accommodation in Montreux as in Lausanne. So as if it would be better to catch the Bernina Express fron Zurich / Chur instead of Lucerne in the am.

P.S the Golden line web is not very informative and get better info from here :) do I need reservation as per the Eurail pass it said yes but yours seem to say no need.

Happy weekend

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Oct 18, 2015 - 3:18 PM in reply to Cindy

<<"I believe not able to do Lake Geneva before Golden line as schedule is not allowed. Just worry if it would be easy to find accommodation in Montreux as in Lausanne.">>

I don't understand this. However, i am especially confused because I tried to look up that route on October 29th, simply to check. Even if I put Zweisimmen in the "via" box, the routes go north to Bern before coming south. I recall that there are track repairs between Alpnachstad and Giswil about then, but there ought to be a substitute bus. Maybe Arno or Annika know what is going on?

Under ordinary circumstances, there would be some regular trains on the route which are not "Golden Pass" special trains.....I'm puzzled.

Montreux is closer than Lausanne to the southern part of Switzerland. Look at a map. it is not far from Lausanne, by the way.

It makes more sense to stay in Montreux, (if you come over the Golden Pass Route )rather than than Lausanne, and Montreux is usually considered a better tourist destination than Lausanne.

Otherwise, it's a toss-up.

At the end of October, the tourist density has diminished substantially. I'd expect that you would have no trouble finding a place to sleep in Montreux.

By the way - the Bernina Route is a super scenic ride, well worth making an effort to ride it, but from Luzern or Zürich I'd personally take the route through the Gotthard Pass. Not everyone's preference, but it is mine. Look at a map. The Gotthard Pass rail route is a major and spectacular piece of rail engineering, with great views, and a fast service.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 18, 2015 - 4:58 PM

If you can't find suitable accommodation, then please open a new thread with your budget and anything else worth mentioning, and we'll look into that from there.

Zurich is a bit closer to Chur, and there are direct trains. From Lucerne it requires one change, but you can be there in time for the Bernina Express as well. As said, Lucerne is more interesting for a first timer to Switzerland. All the travel details are in the timetable Slowpoke referred to.

You don't need to book seats for the Golden Pass route: myswissalps.com/golden pass/tickets.

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 18, 2015 - 5:01 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Slowpoke, did you also fill out Meiringen as a via-town? So both Zweisimmen and Meiringen? I did, and it showed the regular Golden Pass route. If you omit Meiringen it will probably suggest to change trains in Spiez and go via Bern instead.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Oct 18, 2015 - 5:47 PM in reply to Arno

<<"Slowpoke, did you also fill out Meiringen as a via-town? So both Zweisimmen and Meiringen? I did, and it showed the regular Golden Pass route. If you omit Meiringen it will probably suggest to change trains in Spiez and go via Bern instead.">>

Arno -

That was the problem.

As you have pointed out before, the timetable defaults to the fastest route, and you have to force it to choose the slower scenic routes by putting in intermediate stops.

Thanks.

Slowpoke

Cindy
Cindy
4 posts
new member
Oct 20, 2015 - 11:17 AM

Hi Slowpole, Arno,

Thanks for the tips. Indeed it is a bit tricky to use the timetable but able to do so following your trick. :)

Hotel base will be Montreux and Luzern as your advise.

Best

Cindy

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016