Best transportation for France, Switzerland, Italy

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4 posts
new member
Jan 24, 2019 - 10:14 PM

Hi there, we plan to travel in Europe in December 2019. Most of our time spend in Switzerland.

Here’s our plan itinerary for Europe 2019:
Paris 4 nights
Zurich 2 nights
Lucerne 2 nights
Grindelwald 2 nights
Zermatt 6 nights (skiing)
St Moritz 2 nights
Venice 4 nights
Rome 4 nights
This is not set in concrete yet, it could be altered if you think there’s a better way of traveling around it.
Things to do or see in:
Paris: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Arc Triomphe, Cathedral Notre Dame, Champs Elysees, Sacre Caeur, etc
Zurich: Uetliberg, Bahnhofstraße, Felsenegg cable car, Zurich old town, etc
Lucerne: old town, dying lion monument, chapel bridge, Mt Pilatus, Mt Titlis
Grindelwald; Jungfraujoch region, Ice Palace, Sphinx observatory terrace, First, First cliff walk by Tissot
Zermatt; want to ski for 5 days, will be visiting Matterhorn Glacier Paradise by train
St Moritz; catching the scenic train Glacier Express (Bernese Oberland) from Zermatt to St Moritz, quad biking by Adrenaline
Venice: Venice carnival, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Gondola rides, etc.
Rome: Vatican, Piazza Navona, Colosseum, Borghese gallery and museum, Trevi fountain, Trastevere.

Which is the best economic way of traveling in this itinerary? Swiss Pass? Eurail? Interail Europe? Are the rail/train operate at that time of the year? As we heard some close due to the weather? Snow? Any suggestion with this itinerary? Maybe to a better route? We like sightseeing, adventure activities. Please advise me and many thanks for your reply.

1965 posts
top member
Jan 25, 2019 - 12:15 AM in reply to Ozitraveller

Sticking to the Swiss section (this website is about Switzerland - Paris and Italy are off topic...)

Eurail Pass might be best given you are travelling in three countries

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your plan for your time in Switzerland

a couple of comments:

1) Grindelwald: First Cliff Walk; suggest drop 'by Tissot' - that's just a sponsor's name that we don't need to repeat here...

2) Zermatt: you don't visit the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise by train. It is a cable car. The mountain train in Zermatt is the historic railway up to Gornergrat. Both these are part of the uphill transport for skiers in Zermatt, so you will get to use both anyway. You will be able to direct you efforts of concentration on to other elements of your overall trip because you can forget about having to plan ahead what you want to see in Zermatt as it will become obvious to you as you are staying for a full week of skiing.

3) Delete 'Bernese Oberland' from "scenic train Glacier Express" - The Glacier Express route does not pass through the Bernese Oberland.

(in any case every railway route in Switzerland is scenic)

4 posts
new member
Jan 25, 2019 - 12:38 AM in reply to 1960man

Thank you for your reply 1960man.

This is my first time in this website and forum hence didn’t know about “sticking to Switzerland” and “Tissot”. I greatly appreciate your input, thanks again.

6480 posts
Jan 25, 2019 - 2:37 AM in reply to Ozitraveller

Hi Ozitraveller,


Any Winter itinerary in Switzerland that involves high altitude travel...above 1500m to 2000 meters, is dependent on dates.

When, exactly, do you plan to travel?

December is transition month between "not much happening" and "Winter has begun." Usually, mountain transport that has shut down for maintenance starts up, some time in December, even before there is a lot of snow. On average. ;-)

Dates are important.



4 posts
new member
Jan 25, 2019 - 2:57 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you so much for your warm welcome Slowpoke.

Here’s our plan itinerary for Europe 2019:
Zurich 2 nights: 12 - 14 Dec
Lucerne 2 nights: 14 - 16 Dec
Grindelwald 2 nights: 16 - 18 Dec
Zermatt 6 nights: 18 - 24 Dec
St Moritz 2 nights: 24 Dec - 26 Dec

The dates could be altered if the trains, cable cars as we really like to experience the scenery in Switzerland. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

13854 posts
expert &
Jan 25, 2019 - 6:34 PM in reply to Ozitraveller

Hi Ozitraveller,

All of that is perfectly doable by train. A 15-day Swiss Travel Pass will suit your plan well: isstravelpass. You won't use it much in Zermatt perhaps, but an 8-day Swiss Travel Pass Flex would cost almost as much, and would give you less flexibility despite its name. Additionally you would need a few tickets for France and Italy. I don't think a Eurail Global Pass will service you better, but you can compare the costs in detail if you like:

You'll find links to all towns here: eretogo/towns. From the town pages, you'll find links to details about things to do, like cable car rides.

You're lucky to travel just before and during Christmas, or you planned well :-) Things will be much busier from the 27th.

4 posts
new member
Jan 25, 2019 - 8:45 PM in reply to Arno

Appreciate the tips.

Thanking you Arno.

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