What is the best( easiest/ cheapest etc) way to travel from Basel Switzerland to Milan Italy

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
5412 posts

There are only 2 ways. By car: ~ 4 hours. By train: ~ 4 hours. Cheapest? It depends. One person traveling alone: train. Two people traveling together: probably car. Three or more people traveling together: almost certainly car. However it depends on whether you own a car or you have to rent one, and on whether you can purchase a discounted train ticket with sufficient advance. The cheapest I've found is 23 Swiss Francs on the SBB website:

Posted by jack
georgetown, texas
39 posts

Thank you very much. We are two people without a car.Will have to travel by train. If I have to pay a little more( not a discounted ticket) Ill do it.Have read some threads and they say that for the most part I can go to the train station at almost any time and get a ticket.(Well be traveling on a weekday.)And that the trains are never that full.True?

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
6472 posts

As for "easiest", you have to factor in time of year, since it's much easier to take the train in bad weather than it is to drive.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21487 posts

jack, The "best" and easiest way (IMO) would be to travel by train, as there are numerous trains on that route every day. Some will be direct and some will have one or two changes. Travel time is about four hours. One of the problems with renting a car in one country and dropping it in another, is that usually there's a huge extra charge applied. Are you planning to return to Basel? I'm not sure if it's possible to buy discounted tickets in Switzerland, but the current second class fare from Basel SBB to Milano Centrale is CH$ 104-111 PP (US$ 110-118). You can purchase tickets at the station a day or so before you'll be travelling. Happy travels!

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11671 posts

There are 2 usual train routes from Basel to Milano. The most direct route is Olten - Bern - Spiez - Brig - Domodossola - Milano. It is fast because it uses new very deep tunnels under the Alps and, while scenic, is less scenic because of the tunnels. A slightly less direct route is Olten - Luzern - Gotthard Tunnel - Bellinzona - Lugano - Como - Milano. The great things about this route is it follows the Vierwaldstaettersee (Lake Lucerne) and the winds about the mountains so you go past the same church three times on different sides of the train. Your nose can be pressed to the glass... Figure the fastest trains on the Brig route at 4:07, the fastest on the Luzern route at 4:46. Either route can be a little slower if you pick times which involve changes of train. The train goes in the same direction throughout via Brig. Luzern is a dead end station so if you sit facing backwards leaving Basel you will be going forwards leaving Luzern.

Posted by jack
georgetown, texas
39 posts

Thank you all for your replies. Actually were going to Como, Italy and I just saw on googled Lake Como info that a train from Swizterland( well be in Basel) goes to Como( confirmed by one of your replies) Im hoping to get the train the same day(AM) we get there( itll be in April)