Sep 8, 2010 - 1:52 PM
Hello deepakjain, and welcome the forum. As for your questions:
1) You can search for train routes from Milan to Switzerland by entering Milano as your departure station and the first Swiss town of your trip in the online timetable. If you have a valid Swiss rail pass (I'll get to this in question 3 and 4), the Swiss part of your trip will be for free. So from the Italian/Swiss border station on, your Swiss Pass will serve as your ticket. This means that you'll have to purchase tickets for the trip from Milan to the Swiss border station, and that you can travel with your Swiss rail pass once you've entered Switzerland. This border station will be (depending on the exact connection you'll pick) either Chiasso or Domodossola. As this is an international trip, you should arrange for seat reservations. If you possess a Eurail Global Pass, you won't have to pay for the Italian part of the trip either. In that case you'll only have to make seat reservations.
2) Nearly all Swiss towns are beautiful, or at least located beautifully. It's very hard to choose and your choice will depend on personal preferences. If visiting the Alps is your main priority, I'd suggest that you stay in (or near) Interlaken, St. Moritz, Zermatt, and maybe Lucerne. Geneva and Zurich are both a bit further away from the Alps, although they're great for a city visit. The Jungfraujoch, by the way, is not a town but a spectacular viewing point in the Bernese Alps, which can be reached by a mountain train. It's do-able to pick one location as your base, but this would require you to make long train trips if you want to visit all towns/regions you mention. It's also worth considering to pick only two bases and regions to explore a bit more thoroughly. This will definitely end up in a more relaxed travel scheme. In that case, Interlaken and either Zermatt or St. Moritz would be my favourites. Again, you can plan your trips by using the online timetable. This will give a good impression of travelling times, and you'll be able to find out what appeals to you most. Take a look at the Bernese Oberland, Wallis and Graubünden sections (in the menu on the left of this site) as well. One last tip: one of the most central bases in Switzerland is Spiez. I'ts close to the Bernese Alps and gives direct access to a quick train connection which will get you to the southern side of the Alps. It's on the scenic train route to Geneva as well and it's located along the shores of lake Thun.
3) Yes, if you have a Swiss Pass, the Glacier Express trip is for free. You only have to pay a small additional reservation fee.
4) No, the Eurail Global Pass and the Swiss Pass are different passes. The Eurail Global Pass allows free travel on the main rail networks in many European countries. The Swiss Pass is meant for Switzerland only, but covers a lot more than the Eurail Global Pass does. So for extensive Swiss travel, my advice would be to purchase an 8 day Swiss Saver Pass. If the trip from Milan to Switzerland is the only Italian rail trip you'll be making, it wouldn't be cost effective to use a Euraill Global Pass.
5) Low-budget hotels in many towns can be found through the hotel page.
6) Generally, September and October are nice months for a visit. No guarantees for good weather are available though. Weather circumstances can range from warm and sunny to cold, rainy autumn skies. This table on sun rise and sun set times will give an impression of the amount of day light in this period.
Good luck on your further preparations!
Last modified on Nov 1, 2018 - 4:17 PM by Arno