Advice please - Plane or train Lugano-Zurich

Advice please - Plane or train Lugano-Zurich

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Outandabout
Outandabout
11 posts
new member
May 13, 2018 - 2:56 AM

We have booked a holiday in late June next year and need advice on how best to connect with our international flight home. We will be staying at a hotel in the center of Lugano and need to fly out of Zurich International Airport at 11:45am.

Is it best to catch an express train from Lugano to Zurich international airport or fly from Lugano Airport? We are not asking about prices, but are looking for the easiest way to make the connection.

I appreciate any help or advice that you can offer us.

Regards

Yvonne

rockoyster
rockoyster
3908 posts
expert
May 13, 2018 - 3:03 AM in reply to Outandabout

Hello Yvonne,

Depends where "International: means. If you wanted to reach the airport 2 hours before your flight from Zurich Airport you would need to catch a train from Lugano at 6:42. Takes 2½ hours with 1 change at Zurich. Check the SBB Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable).

Not sure about flying from Lugano.

Outandabout
Outandabout
11 posts
new member
May 13, 2018 - 3:42 AM

Thank you Rockoyster. By international, I do mean flying to Brisbane, Australia on the 11:45am flight from Zurich.

We have checked the timetable out and have a few questions about the train.

1) Can we buy the ticket/s at Lugano train station the day before or do we have to buy them that morning?

2) At that time in the morning would the train be full or will there be plenty of seats left?

3) Can you pick any seat on the train or are the seats allocated when you buy the tickets?

Thanks

Yvonne.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3908 posts
expert
May 13, 2018 - 3:59 AM in reply to Outandabout

Well Hello from Tasmania Yvonne!

You can buy tickets from a station any time you are in Switzerland or on-line if you like using the SBB Timetable. I take it you don't have a Swiss Travel Pass?

Reservations are separate to tickets and are very rare on Swiss trains and only mandatory on the major panoramic tourist trains. Reservations are possible on the Lugano to Zurich leg. But I wouldn't worry.

You will have 10 minutes to change trains at Zurich main station which is big and busy. If you miss that connection don't worry. Trains between the city and the airport are very regular and the ticket is good for the whole route on that day. Not just for that specific train.

Outandabout
Outandabout
11 posts
new member
May 13, 2018 - 4:30 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Rockoyster.

Hubby and I are from Brissie and we only intend on being in Lugano for 3 days. I have looked at the passes and it seems cheaper for us to buy our tickets without a pass.

We hope to take one of the scenic trains from Zurich to Lugano on Monday 17th June after our scheduled tour ends and do our own exploring in Lugano over the next couple of days and return to Zurich on an express train in order to catch our flight home on Thursday 20th June.

We note that there is an airport in Lugano and wondered if flying back from Lugano to Zurich had any advantages.

Yvonne.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3908 posts
expert
May 13, 2018 - 4:47 AM in reply to Outandabout

Hi Yvonne,

Someone more learned on flying around Switzerland will no doubt chime in on your Lugano to Zurich flight question.

The two major scenic routes to Lugano are the Gotthard Panorama Express (www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress) and the Bernina Express (www.myswissalps.com/be rninaexpress). Depends what time you arrive Zurich as to which are practical on 17th. Your only option may be train to Flüelen to pick up train section of GPEX departing Flüelen around 14:00. You can always do that route on regular trains proving you go via Göschenen. Otherwise the SBB timetable will send you via the Gotthard Base Tunnel which is 57km of no scenery.

The full GPEX is great but would probably mean a night in Lucerne on 17th. Wouldn’t leave you much time in Lugano. By the way when in Lugano get a Ticino Ticket from your hotel for free local transport.

Last modified on May 13, 2018 - 4:50 AM by rockoyster
Outandabout
Outandabout
11 posts
new member
May 13, 2018 - 4:53 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks Rockoyster,

We were thinking about the normal train from Zurich to Lugano (not the express which goes through a new tunnel). From what I can surmise, the non-express takes a route that winds through the valleys and is quite pretty.

Thanks for the advice about the Ticino Ticket. We will definitely try to get one of those.

Yvonne

Last modified on May 13, 2018 - 5:03 AM by Outandabout
Arno
Arno
11143 posts
expert &
moderator
May 13, 2018 - 6:56 AM

Hi Yvonne,

As far as I know there are 4 daily flights from Lugano to Zurich. If one of those matches your schedule it might be an option. I think the train is better though: no need to travel to the airport as it departs from the center of Lugano and drops you right at the airport in only 2.5 hours for CHF 70, if you don't have a pass for a discount or free traveling. Flights start at $170 from what I could see.

As Rockoyster said, the more scenic route can only be done if you spend the night in Lucerne or Lugano.

Last modified on May 13, 2018 - 7:01 AM by Arno
Outandabout
Outandabout
11 posts
new member
May 13, 2018 - 7:21 AM in reply to Arno

Thank you.

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