Best option for Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Zernez, Zernez to Interlaken, Interlaken to Grindelwald, Grindelwald to Lugano, Lugano to Milan?

Traveling from Zurich to Lucerne to Zernez to Interlaken to Grindelwald to Lugano to Milan in 9 days. What pass do you suggest we get? The Swiss-Italy pass? Or, just the Swiss pass and find another way to get to Milan?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 28, 2018 20:00
    Hi Lindsey,

    For this itinerary, I would recommend getting the 2 country option of the Eurail Select Pass for Italy and Switzerland. For this pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-select-pass-2-countries-8039.

    Zurich to Lucerne

    Trains from Zurich to Lucerne depart about once every 30 minutes throughout the day, and the ride only takes 45-50 minutes.

    Trains from Zurich to Lucerne do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can still use the route search feature under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) to just view schedules for trains from Zurich to Lucerne.

    Lucerne to Zernez

    Connections from Lucerne to Zernez take about 3.5 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Zurich and then once in Landquart.

    Reservations are not necessary (or even accepted) on any of these trains either, so the rail pass is once again all you would need to board. You can refer back to the route search feature under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) to view schedules; however, the route would just need to be pieced together segment-by-segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Lucerne to Zurich, another search for connecting trains from Zurich to Landquart, and then another search for connecting trains from Landquart to Zernez.

    Zernez to Interlaken via Bern (option #1)

    The fastest and most feasible connections from Zernez to Interlaken take about 4.5 hours in duration and involve 3 train changes along the way; once in Landquart, once in Zurich, and then once in Bern.

    On these trains, reservations would once again not be necessary, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    For planning purposes, you can again use the route search feature under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) to view schedules, you would just need to break up you search segment-by-segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Zernez to Landquart, another search for connecting trains from Landquart to Zurich, another search for requesting trains from Zurich to Bern, and then another search for connecting trains from Bern to Interlaken.

    Zernez to Interlaken via Lucerne/GoldenPass (option #2)

    If you don't mind adding about one hour to your journey time for this trip, you can take a different route that takes you over part of the famed GoldenPass scenic route. This option would take about 5.5 hours in duration and involves 3 train changes along the way; once in Landquart, once in Zurich, and then once in Lucerne. The segment Lucerne to Interlaken is the part that follows the GoldenPass route.

    On the segment from Lucerne to Interlaken, reservations are possible but not necessary. On the other trains that make up this connection, reservations are also not necessary. Therefore, the rail pass is again all you would need to board.

    You can refer back to our homepage (www.raileurope.com) to view the schedules, you would just have to piece together your search segment-by-segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Zernez to Landquart, another search for connecting trains from Landquart to Zurich, another search for connecting trains from Zurich to Lucerne, and then another search for connecting trains from Lucerne to Interlaken.

    The trains from Lucerne to Interlaken all have panoramic windows for enjoying all the surrounding scenery.

    Interlaken to Grindelwald

    Trains from Interlaken to Grindelwald depart about 30 minutes throughout the day, and the ride only takes about 33 minutes. They run along the famed 'Bernese Oberland Railway' on the way up to nearby Jungfraujoch. Eurail Select Passes are actually not valid on trains from Interlaken to Grindelwald, so you would just need to purchase a separate ticket for this short trip. If you do so locally, you may be able to receive a 25% discount by mentioning that you have the Eurail Select Pass. In the meantime, you can view the schedules by doing a search for the route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com).

    Grindelwald to Lugano via the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' (option #1)

    Connections from Grindelwald/Interlaken take you through Lucerne. If you like, you can get from Lucerne down to Lugano by taking the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' scenic journey. This specific route can even consist of taking a steamboat on Lake Lucerne from Lucerne to Flüelen (Flüelen being where the train part of the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' journey begins).

    The full route from Grindelwald to Lugano via the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' journey would take a bit longer and involves at least 3 changes along the way; once in Interlaken, once in Lucerne, and then in Flüelen.

    You would once again just need a separate ticket for the train from Grindelwald to Interlaken, since Eurail Select Passes are not valid on this particular rail line. If you purchase this ticket locally, you may be able to receive a 25% discount by mentioning you have the Eurail Select Pass.

    From Interlaken to Lucerne, you would go back over the GoldenPass scenic route.

    The steamboat from Lucerne to Flüelen takes about 2.5 hours, while a direct train from Lucerne to Flüelen only takes about 1 hour. Therefore, you can cut down a little on the time just by taking a train for the segment from Lucerne to Flüelen. For the steamboat, showing your Eurail Select Pass would get you a 50% discount locally.

    In Flüelen you can board a direct 'Gotthard Panorama Express' train that would take you all the way down to Lugano. The actual 'Gotthard Panorama Express' train, which runs direct from Flüelen to Lugano, requires reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. Currently, reservations for the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' are not able to be purchased on our website. To purchase reservations for this train you would instead have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.

    Just like the GoldenPass from Lucerne to Interlaken, 'Gotthard Panorama Express' has panoramic windows for taking in the scenery. For this year, the actual 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains only run between April 21st and October 14th.

    You can view schedules for the rest of the journey from our homepage (www.raileurope.com) by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Grindelwald to Interlaken, another search from Interlaken to Lucerne, and then another search for trains from Lucerne to Flüelen.

    Grindelwald to Lugano, involving a direct train from Lucerne to Lugano (option #2)

    The fastest connections from Grindelwald to Lugano involve taking a direct train from Lucerne straight to Lugano. These would still be scenic and cover much of the same ground as the 'Gotthard Panorama Express', but they take you through the new 'Gotthard Base Tunnel' for a stretch, causing you to miss some of the trip's best scenery.

    In its entirety, the full route for this option only takes about 5 hours in duration and involves at least 2 train changes along the way; once in Interlaken and then once in Lucerne.

    Since Eurail Select Passes are not valid on the trains from Grindelwald to Interlaken, you would still need a separate ticket for this segment, and the pass still may enable you to receive a 25% locally.

    The rail pass will then cover you for the remaining part of this journey (trains from Interlaken to Lucerne and Lucerne to Lugano). Reservations are not necessary on the trains from Interlaken to Lucerne and Lucerne to Lugano, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    You can view schedules for these trains on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) by doing one search from Interlaken to Lucerne and another search from Lucerne to Lugano.

    Lugano to Milan

    From Lugano to Milan, you can just take a direct regional train. The regional trains from Lugano to Milan do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you'd need board. The ride takes just over 1 hour. If you happen to take one of the EC (EuroCity) trains from Lugano to Milan, they would require you to purchase reservations.

    When you search Lugano to Milan on our site, only schedules for the EC trains would display. If you want the specific schedules for the regional trains on this route, you can call us.
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