Luzern to Milan by car or train? fastest option?

Luzern to Milan by car or train? fastest option?

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Itsme1977a
Itsme1977a
2 posts
new member
Apr 20, 2018 - 4:27 PM

Hello, We are a family of 4 with 2 young kids ages 6 and 3. We'll be visiting swiss in first week of June. After spending 4 days in wengen and 2 days in luzern, we are planning to go to Milan for 2 days. What is the best quickest way to get from Luzern to Milan - by train or by car?

Also any recommendations if we should skip Milan and go to lake geneva area instead?

Thank you!

Lucas
Lucas
7269 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 20, 2018 - 5:31 PM in reply to Itsme1977a

Hi itsme197.7a and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Travel time is pretty similar...around 3.5 / 4 hours. The big question is are you using a car prior to this trip? If you don't already have a car rental than I don't see the need to rent one just to make that trip.

Will you already have a rail pass of any sort for your trip?

Itsme1977a
Itsme1977a
2 posts
new member
Apr 20, 2018 - 5:38 PM

Thank you, Lucas. No - I have not looked at rail pass nor car rental. We plan to go by train from Zurich to Interlaken to Wengen - Luzern.

I was considering renting a car to have flexibility to go to Milan and back.

Peterli
Peterli
459 posts
top member
Apr 20, 2018 - 6:31 PM

Hello.

You will have to decide if you want to go to Milan or not. It is obviously quite different from the alternate you have selected, the Lake Geneva area. If you are going to purchase train passes, they will take you to the Italian border and back from the Italian border. Anything once you are in Italy will be an extra expense. On the other hand, if you decide to explore the Lake Geneva area, and you have purchased train passes. they will allow you to go pretty well anywhere along, around, and on the lake. I am not an expert on train passes, and I assume that Lucas will advise you on this option, and whether your kids can travel for free.

You did not mention where you would be arriving in Switzerland and from where you will depart. You mention Zurich in your second post (to Lucas) so I am guessing that is where you arrive. Are you also departing from Zurich ? The other possible city would be Geneva, and Basel/Mulhouse would be less likely. Have you worked out whether it is less expensive to rent a car or travel by train for your itinerary ? Not that cost is the only factor, as there are other advantages and disadvantages associated with each, some of which are discussed elsewhere on this forum.

If you decided to stay in Switzerland and visit the Lake Geneva are, I can come up with a few suggestions.

Last modified on Apr 20, 2018 - 6:38 PM by Peterli
Arno
Arno
10765 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 20, 2018 - 6:34 PM

Hello Itsme1977a,

Driving into Milano is hectic if you don't know your way around. There are plenty of trains to and from Milan so I wouldn't rent a car for flexibility. Renting one for remote Italian villages could make sense, but not Milan in my opinion.

www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/italy

Peterli
Peterli
459 posts
top member
Apr 20, 2018 - 6:55 PM

Hello again,

I just saw Arno's post. If flexibility in Milano is your idea, forget it ! A few years ago, I stayed at an AIrBnB in Vigevano, a little to the SW of MIlano, and instead of following the advice of my host, I did not park my car in a town part way to Milano (Abbiategrasso) and take the train. I decided that I would drive right in with my car, and if it had not been for my TomTom (GPS) I would probably still be there looking for the place I wanted to get to, a certain bookstore. Yes, I exaggerate somewhat, but the traffic was no fun. In any case, I found a place to park near my bookstore and did the rest of my exploring with a public transport pass I bought for a very reasonable price in a metro station. Take it from Arno and me, and don't think about exploring Milano with a car.

If the flexibility you want is on the way to Milano or on the way back, that is another thing, and quite understandable.

Last modified on Apr 20, 2018 - 7:00 PM by Peterli
1960man
1960man
391 posts
top member
Apr 21, 2018 - 12:06 AM

If you are going to Milan as a tourist, going by car would not be a good idea.

The trains from Switzerland to Milan are fast and quite frequent, and Milan itself has an efficient public transport system.

If staying in Switzerland, just get the Swiss travel pass for simplicity. It gives you free travel on all the main transport routes and discounts on the heavily trafficked mountain railways (with a few exceptions the major mountain railways not free as that is where the operators know that they can make money out of tourists)

Lucas
Lucas
7269 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 21, 2018 - 7:03 AM in reply to Itsme1977a

For help choosing a rail pass have a look at our page to help you with the math here. You need to plan out all your trips you will make by train, bus, boat and cable car but then you know for sure which is best economically.

Obviously Milan and Lake Geneva are very different so I can't say which one is better for you. I would NOT rent a car just to drive to Milan - as everyone notes above! Traffic there is horrible and a the streets are mazes. The train is much, much simpler and about as fast if not faster.

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