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From Como to Amsterdam -- Where to stay/ what to see in between?

Hi! My husband, 3 yr old son, and I are traveling from Lake Como to Amsterdam in May. We have 2-3 days to travel. We love nature and outdoor beauty. We are looking for 1-2 places to stop, see, and sleep along our route. We love mountains and water and beautiful natural vistas. We have already been to The Lauterbrunnen Valley (the best!) and Lucerne. Can anyone offer suggestions for a route or favorite places along the way? We are hoping to avoid large cities and keep travel time somewhat manageable for a toddler. Our travel will be via train or car, TBD.
Thank you so much for any help or ideas.
Excited for the adventure.
Best wishes!

Posted by
11677 posts

Can you say a bit more about the car option? Will this be in your own car, or a rental car? The drop fee for a car hired in Italy and dropped in Amsterdam could be horrendous.

For train routes, it depends on which side of the lake you will be starting. east or west side? If east side, you have an opportunity to take the very scenic Bernina Pass train route, which I highly recommend.

Posted by
15573 posts

Yes, where on Lake Como is your starting point.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for your help. We actually have not decided where we will be staying on Lake Como, so suggestions here are also greatly appreciated. We were hoping to take the trains for this journey from Lake Como to Amsterdam, but will rent a car if the trains aren't efficient or reasonable for travel plans. I'm sure you're right that picking up a car in Italy and returning to Amsterdam could be problematic. Thank you again.

Posted by
433 posts

You have many options to drive through beautiful scenery in eastern Switzerland, maybe the Alsace in France or the Rhine in Germany. If you enjoy driving you could easily cover the distance in two drive days (about 11 hours driving time) with an evening and morning in one stop over place. However, every photo stop, lunch/snack break or added scenic town visit will add to your travel time. Two nights with three drive days is still 4hours per day in the car.

I’m actually contemplating a similar drive for early April but I am not traveling with a toddler and might spend 3 or 4 nights, maybe via Great St. Bernard Pass - hardly a direct route 🙂. We are still planning this later part of our trip.

The ViaMichelin website or app is very handy for looking for stopover places. Playing with the map options is fun and it’s useful for understanding what’s available along the way even if you choose the train.

I bet someone will chime in with the excellent train options available for this journey. It’s probably the best choice unless you like driving.

Enjoy the planning and the trip!

Posted by
15573 posts

If you rent a car in Italy and drop it in the Netherlands, it will cost a lot because the car has to be transported back to Italy at your expense, plus the loss of rental income during this process.

I will suggest staying Varenna or Bellagio on Lake Como. You can get a train from Varenna to Tirano, the change to a Swiss train over the scenic Bernina Pass to Pontresina. From there it is about 6 hours by train to Gengenbach, Germany, on the edge of the Black Forest. From there, it is a 6 1/2 train ride to Amsterdam.