Switzerland and North Italy - itinerary help

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15 posts
new member
May 27, 2017 - 11:37 PM


I've a rough itinerary for our trip (2 adults, 2 kids) to Switzerland+North Italy in July. We are interested in visiting Bernese Oberland, Luzern, Milan and Lake Como for a total of 9 days. We would like to fly to Switzerland, visit BO and Luzern, and then travel to Milan, Lake Como for a few days and then fly out of Milan to USA.

While I finalize the sequence of place, on how many days at each place and what to do at each location, I've a few questions that I'm hoping someone can help me with.

1. Is Zurich the best airport to fly to from USA or is their a better option? Our first stop would be Luzern or BO whichever is closer to the airport.

2. How do I travel from BO/Luzern to Milan/Lake Como? what is the best from and to locations from my options? and how long is that travel?

3. What would be the best travel pass to cover these areas? Swiss Pass or EU multicountry pass or BO regional pass+pay full fare from airport to BO and from BO/Luzern to Milan/Lake Como?


10496 posts
top member
May 28, 2017 - 10:43 AM in reply to Asha1

Hi Asha1 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

  1. Yes, Zurich airport would be the closest airport to Luzern - Basel can work as well but I don't believe there are too many (if any flights going there from the U.S.)
  2. You can travel from any Swiss town to Milan and/or Lake Como. Are you planning to travel by train? You can search train schedules with the timetable web page here. Have a look at our Bernese Oberland Regional page here - it is a fairly large region and I would guess more specifically you are interested in the Jungfrau region with the Alps?
    Interlaken is the main town in the region and you will travel through Interlaken on your way south if you stay in another town - some nicer towns you may wish to stay at in the area are Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald (among others listed on the Bernese Oberland and Jungfrau links above).
  3. In order to help you choose the best pass you would have to do the math to compare. Have a look at our page here - but first you must decide on the towns and attractions you will be visiting while here.

    We have a rail pass page here that lists all your options for you to look at. Once you decide where you are going in Switzerland (a rough itinerary) we can provide more feedback/help!


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new member
May 29, 2017 - 12:42 AM in reply to Asha1

>> How do I travel from BO/Luzern to Milan/Lake Como? what is the best from and to locations from my options? and how long is that travel?

Probably the most popular routes that you can use to travel to Italy are the Bernina Express and the Gotthard Panorama Express. Both require compulsory reservations, but you can also travel along the same route on regional trains that don't require reservations, but may require one or two additional changes of train.

www.myswissalps.com/be rninaexpress

www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress

If you wanted to take the Bernina Express route, it would be best to stay somewhere like Chur or St Moritz on the night before taking this train.

Luzern is the ideal starting point for the Gotthard Panorama Express.

You can check travel times in the Swiss timetable:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable


15 posts
new member
May 29, 2017 - 2:09 AM

Thanks Lucas and Alpenrose666.

Here is my itinerary. Does it makes sense or suggest changes?

I’ve also listed questions in the itinerary. Would be great if I could help with those.


Fly into Zurich

Train from Zurich to Luzern.

2 days in Luzern –

Day 1 - Do Mt. Pilatus

Question 0 – Would there be any time left after the Mt. Pilatus trip? If so, what could we do?

Day 2 - Mt. Rigi or Mt. Titlis

Question 1 - which one is better?

Question 2 - www.myswissalps.com/ri gi looked interesting with hike on Rigi (www.myswissalps.com/hi king/rigistaffelhohe-freibergen), however from the link, I couldn’t figure out how I cover Mt. Rigi and the hike with starting and ending point being Luzern. Would appreciate to get the detailed route.

Question 3 – Would we have time to do Lake Lucerne boat trip on either of the days?.

Day 3 – Train from Luzern to Grindelwald. Spend 3 days in exploring BO

Question 4 – how long is the train from Luzern to Grindelwald? Would there be any time left in the day to do anything else in Grindelwald or neighboring towns? If so, what can we do?

Day 4 - Do Jungfrau

Day 5 – Lake Brienz and an easy hike

Day 6 – An easy 1:30 hr hike Walking in the Lauterbrunnen valley: Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg

and then go to Trummelbach falls

Question 5 - how to get to the Trummelbach falls after the hike?

Question 6 – Is there a glacier cave or grotto in BO that we can visit? Which day would that be in the itinerary?

Question 7 – Is there a chocolate factory in these two regions that we can visit?

Day 7 – Travel from Grindelwald to Lake Como, Italy

Day 8, 9 – Lake Como

Day 10 – Travel to Milan and fly out in the evening or next morning depending on flight schedule

I also have a set of travel related questions.

Q8 -What train do we take from Zurich to Luzern?

Q9 - What train from Luzern to Grindelwald? Is there an option for a scenic train?

Q10 - What train from Grindelwald to Lake Como? I see that Gotthard Panorama express goes from Luzern to Lugano. Shall I travel from Grindelwald to some intermediary station to hop onto Gotthard? Bernina doesn't seem to be in my path. or any other suggestion?

Q11 - Do I need to get a travel pass for both Switzerland and Italy or shall I buy EU multi-country pass to cover the two countries? Feel like Swiss Travel Pass might suit the need but Italy is not covered.

Thank you very much in advance.


10496 posts
top member
May 29, 2017 - 4:19 PM in reply to Asha1

Hi Asha,

Day 1 - Yes, I would say you would spend 1/2 a day on Mt. Pilatus. You could visit another mountain, explore the town of Luzern or take boat trip on the lake.

Questions 1 - personal preference here, I can't say one is better than the other.

Question 2- There is a route description on the hiking page you linked to above: http://www.myswissalps .com/hiking/rigistaffe lhohe-freibergen/route

Question 3 - Yes, either mountain trip should only take you 1/2 a day (4/5 hours).

Question 4 - you can find train schedules by entering your details here. You can find a list of activities in the Grindelwald area here.

Question 5 - Trümmelbachfäll is along the route of your walk a from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg
Google Maps can help you visualize this

Question 6 - The only Glacier Cave I am aware of in the area is on Mt. Titlis.

Question 7 - There is the chocolate museum at the Luzern museum of transport and the Cailler chocolate factory near Gruyeres.

Questions 8 - check the timetable link on Question 4

Q9 - See above. You will travel on the Luzern - Interlaken Express between those 2 towns and then a regional train to Grindelwald - very scenic route!

Q10 - The train timetable will show you the most direct routes to Lake Como. You could indeed travel to Luzern (you have to almost go there to get down to Lake Como anyway) and pick up the Gotthard panorama Express to Lugano which is a very scenic trip.

Q11 - If you are traveling a fair bit in Italy, then the Eurail Select Pass is a good option. If most of your train trips are in Switzerland, then I would go for the Swiss Travel Pass still.


5008 posts
expert &
May 29, 2017 - 4:52 PM in reply to Asha1

Hi Asha1,

There's an ice grotto with beautiful sculptures up at the Jungfraujoch. You can visit it on day 4.

15 posts
new member
Jun 4, 2017 - 6:44 PM

Thank you very much, Lucas and Annika. I'm updating my itinerary based on the info you provided and the trip reports posted by others.

I'm wondering if the Jungfrau trip is worth the money (even after STP, its quite expensive). How would you compare this trip to Schilthorn trip which gives views to the same mountains? What would we miss if we did Schilthorn as opposed to Jungfrau?


10496 posts
top member
Jun 5, 2017 - 8:52 AM in reply to Asha1

That is a question my wife and I talk about all the time - we have yet to go to either mountain due to the expense - we will probably do one of the 2 eventually, but I doubt both of them.

Seeing as how I haven't been to either yet, I can't give an opinion - I think you would enjoy the experience on visiting Schilthorn or Jungfraujoch though - as long as the weather has been good I've never heard a complaint about either mountain.

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