Need some clarity on Italy to Switzerland train

Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 4
This thread is closed. You are welcome to log in and submit a new thread.
2 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2012 - 10:30 PM

I am finishing up a week of travel in Lake Como, Italy on 6/16/12. I then plan on taking a train from Lake Como to Wengen that day. There is also a possibility that I will accompany my travel partners to the Milan airport before training to Wengen on that day. I was just starting to research which Swiss discount rail pass (I’ll refer to it from here on out as generic 'RailPass' since I don’t know yet which variety I’ll be using) would be appropriate for me and I became confused as to how the Italian and Swiss Railroads interact with each other regarding recognition of train passes. I am sure that regardless of whether I originate from Lake Como or Milan that a Swiss RailPass obviously has no effect but I’m not sure as to when I cross into Switzerland on a train that originated in Italy what will be covered by a RailPass. In addition to getting from Italy to Wengen I will also be staying in Wengen for 4 days and very likely be using trains there as well. I then train toLucerne for a 2 day stay before taking a train to Zurich for my flight back to the States. So, I have two questions:

1. Can anybody enlighten me as to what if any part of my journey from Italy to Wengen by train would be covered by a RailPass.
2. Given my itinerary, any suggestions as to which RailPass would be most appropriate. I’ll be traveling solo.

Thanks. Rob
6101 posts
expert &
Mar 17, 2012 - 4:41 AM

Hello Rob, and welcome to the forum! All Swiss rail passes will become valid from specific border stations onwards. For most connections from Italy to Switzerland, this is Domodosolla; in some other cases it's Chiasso. If you use the timetable to plan your inbound trip, you'll see which one applies to your connection. This means that you have to buy a regular ticket up to Domodossola or Chiasso. From there on, your Swiss rail pass will take over. Depending on which pass you take, you will either enjoy free traveling or a 50% discount.

Which pass is best, can only be said for sure once some detailed calculations have been made. As for now, I'd say you should look into either the Swiss Half Card or a 3 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass. Both have a detail page (I just linked to) listing all details, purchase options and a downloadable map showing the area of validity.

Does that get you started? You're welcome to get back with further questions!

Last modified on Nov 1, 2018 - 4:17 PM by Arno
2 posts
new member
Mar 19, 2012 - 11:28 PM
Guten Tag Annika! Thank you for your post. Let me try to simplify things. Since I originally posted I have been trying to simplify things. So, please note the following:

1. Since my last destination will be in Lake Como Italy prior to entering Switzerland I will simply take a bus from Menaggio to Lugano and will begin my Swiss train journey in Lugano.

So my itinerary will look like this:
16.06.12 Take a train from Lugano to Wengen
17.06 Local train/tram/gondola travel to facilitate day hiking. For example: Wengen to Murren

18.06 Local train/tram/gondola travel to facilitate day hiking.

19.06 Local train/tram/gondola travel to facilitate day hiking.

20.06 Take a train from Wengen to Lucerne
21.06 Local train travel to sightsee Lucerne (possible boat ride on Lake)
22.06 Take a train from Lucerne to Zurich Airport

I am travelling alone. Will not go to the Jungfraujoch. I may go to the Shilthorn from Wengen on either 18.06 or 19.06.

I think that the Swiss Half Card is probably the most straightforward and cost effective card for me. I do have one question though and that is regarding the Swiss Card that I also have been reviewing. In taking a look at the Swiss Card it says that it provides a free round trip from either the airport/port of entry to your resort. I assume 'round trip' means that you end where you begin (as it does in most cases) so the fact that I am starting in Lugano and ending in Zurich makes this pass inappropriate for me?

Danke. Rob
6101 posts
expert &
Mar 23, 2012 - 7:37 AM
Hello Rob! Either a Swiss Card or a Swiss Half Fare Card would be best indeed. The FAQ I referred to in my previous post may help you to calculate which one is cheapest. as for the Swiss Card: the "round trip" doesn't have to start and end at/from the same town. You can get to any destination in Switzerland during your free inbound trip, and depart from any (other) destination back the airport or border station during the free outbound trip. So you could use it for Lugano-Wengen and Lucerne-Zurich Airport. I hope this helps you decide.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:31 PM by Arno

More about Swiss trains and rail passes

More on

Get a free account to plan your trip

Planning your trip is much easier with a free MySwissAlps account. Learn all about Switzerland and get in touch with us quickly if you have questions.

Learn more

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They will book your entire trip.

© 2002-2019