Jul 7, 2015 - 12:57 PM
in reply to Annika
Thank you so much Annika for your reply!
Regretfully, just have time to spend one night in Switzerland. The trip begins in Germany visiting family, and will be ending in Rome. We will be leaving Germany along the Southwestern border, and Singen appeared to be a good town for returning the rental car. Planning to overnight in Lucerne as it was on the way and although touristy, beautiful. I've researched taking the Pilatus Round - lake steamer, railway and return via cable car and bus.
I wanted to avoid the expensive one way drop fee of renting car in Germany and dropping in Italy, but more than that, wanted to experience train travel as well. I'm realizing that cost wise, it will not be less expensive for a party of four to take trains north to south through Switzerland. However, I also am not keen on the idea of driving over the Alps on the Gotthard Pass, and I read that the Gotthard Tunnel can have 1-2 hour traffic delays in the summer. Are there tips for avoiding the traffic delays?
I've researched both the Wilhelm Tell Express from Lucerne and the Bernina Express from Chur. Logistically the Wilhelm Tell makes more sense to take however the boat ride portion seems rather long. I've also read that regular train follow the same route as the Wilhelm Tell, but the cars just don't have the large panoramic scenic windows.
My largest confusion lies in trying to understand if the Swiss rail passes allow for train travel outside of Switzerland? As from Singen to Lucerne, Bellizona or Lugano to Milan. It seems simpler to just keep the rental car, but I'm hoping I can figure it out. Is their an online planner for train travel?
Thanks for your help!