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Austria, Switzerland, Northern Italy

We are traveling to Austria and Italy in May and would love to include a day or 2 in Switzerland. We're flying into Vienna and out of Venice. So far we have reserved 2 nights in Vienna, 3 nights in Lake Como, and 2 night in Venice. We have a couple of flex days in between Vienna and Como and are trying to decide where to spend the 2 days in between. We'd love to visit Switzerland, if possible. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Laura C.

Posted by
12040 posts

Switzerland lies significantly to the west of the direct route between Vienna and Venice, which passes directly through some amazing Alpine scenery anyway, so I'm not sure going to Switzerland would add much except time and significant costs. At a minimum, I would consider driving the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße, which is one of the most spectacular mountain drives on the continent (possibly the most...). You could even consider staying the night in one of the high-altitude hotels located along the route. A significant amount of snow will still be on the ground, but the road should be open by May.

Posted by
8889 posts

How were you planning to get from Vienna to Lake Como? Where are you staying on Lake Como?
On obvious option, Como is near the southern end of the Bernina Pass line (Tirano), Travel by train from Vienna to either Salzburg or Innsbruck (first of your two nights). Then continue to St Moritz or somewhere else in the Engadin Valley (second night). This is a slow route because it goes lengthwise through the Alps, but pretty as a result. Then, from St Moritz, over the Bernina Pass line to Tirano, and on to wherever on Lake Como.

Other options are possible following that route.

Posted by
2712 posts

I'd have to leave Switzerland off this trip.
Short list of places to visit after Vienna and before Lake Como...
1- Salzkammergut (Wolfgangsee, St. Tilgen, St. Wolfgang)
2- Innsbruck/Hall in Tirol area
3- Italian Dolomites (Val Gardena)


Posted by
444 posts

I agree with Paul. The scenic train through Switzerland is amazing, but with only two days it is pushing it a bit.

Posted by
1167 posts

IMHO Austria is very much like Switzerland, but with more flowers, more ladies in local trachten dress, more baroque churches and a lower price tag. If you have not enough time, spend what you have in Austria.

Posted by
9993 posts

I would add a night each in Vienna and Venice instead of trying to add another location. Both "V" cities have a lot to offer and I think you would be sorry to leave after only one full day in each.

Posted by
834 posts

If you had a car you could get to Luzern in 3 hours or Grindelwald in 4 hours from Lake Como. The trick would be how to get to Venice after and the logistics of a rental car. If the weather is not clear blue skies then the trip to Switzerland probably would not be worth it.