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Travelling in Switzerland and Northern Italy

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2 posts
new member
Aug 7, 2010 - 11:42 AM
Hi there,

I am travelling with my parents in Switzerland and Northern Italy according to the itinerary below.

22 August: arriving in Zurich
23-24 August: Lucerne
25 August: Lugano
26 August evening: Santa Margherita Ligure
29 August: Como
1 September: Venice
4 September: Zurich

Here are my questions:
1. What type of pass should I buy in Switzerland and Italy? I was thinking of getting the Swiss Flexi Pass from Zurich International Airport.
2. Can I use the Swiss Flexi Pass when travelling from Venice to Zurich, for the Milan-Zurich leg?
3. Are there any sights and things in particular you would recommend for the cities we are visiting?

Thank you very much for your help. This site is very useful!

Many thanks,
7157 posts
expert &
Aug 8, 2010 - 4:49 AM

Hello Rinta and welcome to the forum! As for which rail pass is best in your case: I'm not sure if a Swiss Flexi Pass will prove to be worth its money. You won't be spending a lot of days in Switzerland and you would need a 3 day Swiss Flexi Pass to cover your trips from Zurich Airport to Lucerne, from Lucerne to Lugano and from Chiasso (the border station from which a Swiss rail pass would be valid on your trip back from Venice) to Zurich Airport. Regular prices are as follows, in 2nd class and per person:

  • Zurich Airport - Lucerne: CHF 27.00
  • Lucerne - Lugano: CHF 55.00
  • Chiasso (the border station from which a Swiss rail pass is valid) - Zurich Airport: 69.00

This makes a total of CHF 151.00, whereas a 3 day Swiss Flexi Pass costs CHF 249.00. So for your travel in Switzerland, I think the two most economical options would be either to purchase regular tickets and not use a Swiss rail pass, or purchase a Swiss Half Fare Card. This costs CHF 99.00 and provides a 50% discount on most trips in Switzerland, making the total costs of this option CHF 174.50. This is still more expensive than regular tickets, but as you plan to do some travelling while you're in Lucerne, the 50% discount will easily make the Swiss Half Fare Card a cost effective solution. Other options, such as the Swiss Card, turn out to be more expensive than this alternative.

As for your other questions: a Swiss rail pass, including the Swiss Flexi Pass and the Swiss Half Fare Card, are valid up to and from Swiss/Italian border stations. In your case, the validity for your trip from Venice to Zurich Airport, via Milan, would start at Chiasso. A map showing the validity of each pass can be reviewed by clicking the link 'Overview of the network on which the... is valid' at the pages I linked to before.

I don't know if you have time left to spend in Zurich. If so, an easy stroll along the city centre up to the lake shore is very nice. The viewing point Uetliberg, which can be reached by tram from the central railway station, is interesting as well. When you're in Lucerne, you can choose from several day trips. A boat trip over the lake is very relaxing and true highlights are Pilatus (to be reached from either Alpnachstad or Kriens, close to Lucerne) and Rigi (to be reached from Arth-Goldau or Vitznau). Lucerne has an attractive town centre as well. I'm not familiar with the Italian towns you'll be visiting, so I think you could best look for the tourist websites of these cities and ask for information and brochures at local (online) tourist offices.

I hope this gets you started!

Last modified on Jan 27, 2020 - 11:14 AM by Arno
2 posts
new member
Aug 9, 2010 - 12:08 AM
Hi Annika,

Thank you for the very thorough advice and for replying so quickly. This has been very helpful!



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