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Milan or Zermatt

Hi. This is my first time on this site! I would like to know if my itinerary makes sense!
We are going on a Mediterranean cruise on Nov. 10th from Venice.
We will be flying into Zurich on Oct. 30th and staying one night at a hotel in Old Town.
I want to get an 8 day Swiss travel pass.
Oc 30t: Train from the Zurich airport to Zurich HB.
Oct.31 : Lucerne by train (walk around the town, shop etc.
Nov 1: Mt Rigi by boat and then return by train . (Is Pilatus or Titlis better)
Nov 2: Train to Bern (and maybe Basel) return to Lucerne
Nov 3: Golden pass route to Montreux
Nov.4: Martigny and Mt Blanc Express to Chamonix return to Montreux
Nov:5: Vevey, Chillon Castle, Gstaad and /or Gruyeres.
Now the dilemma!
Nov.6: Go to Milan for the night or go to Zermatt and take the morning train from Zermatt to Brig and then Brig direct to Venice. People told me to skip Milan. I would like to see Zermatt. Should I do this or skip both Milan and Chamonix and stay 2 nights in Zermatt. We are NOT Skiers- just sightseers.
Is the 8 day travel pass the best thing to do?
Thank you all very much for suggestions:

Posted by
15113 posts

I can help with some of this.

Normally one would not use a pass for Zurich airport to Zurich, and Zurich to Luzern, but after these you have 6 days of heavy use, and there is no 6-day pass. So yes, the 8-day pass might be your best option, but you might consider a Half Fare Card. (The Pass is more convenient as you just board the train without stopping to buy tickets, so consider what that is worth to you).

Between Rigi and Pilatus, Inwould choose Rigi in November. The cablecar down from Pilatus to Kriens will not be operating when you are there, so younwould have to go both ways on the cogwheel train. The Swiss Pass gives a discount on this, but does not fully cover it.

Rigi is fully covered by the Swiss Pass. The cablecar from Weggis up to Rigi Kaltbad closes for maintenance 4 November, but you will be there before that. The cogwheel train from itznau up to Rigi Kulm will be running.

Zermatt will be very quiet and possibly cloudy and gloomy, but my opinion is that any day in the mountains is better than a city day. So I would choose a night in Zermatt over one in MIlan. But you may find many hotelmrestaurants and hotels closed for an off-season break.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you so much! I think that Zermatt is where I will stay! I wish that there was a 6 day pass! Is it possible to visit Bern and Basel in the same day? Thanks.

Posted by
8201 posts

alison, its possible, but is it advisable? That would be two similar cities, neither in the mountains, and not enough time in either to see much of anything. I would rather spend that time in the mountains. Also you do note that your Swiss pass is not valid for your travel past the borders (i.e., all the way to Venice or Milan)?

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks again. I know that the pass is not valid to Milan but, I believe it is on the Mont Blanc Express to Chamonix! Is that a g good day trip from Montreux or should I just stay around Montreux! What is Rochers -de- Naye? Is that a better than Chamonix! Thank you. I appreciate your help!

Posted by
842 posts

I would recommend that you drop a couple places on your itinerary. Zurich needs at least a full day, Lucerne needs 3 days including Mt. Rigi or Pilatus, Zermatt needs two full days and Basel a couple days. Your itinerary has you running around on trains quite bit and doing a lot of drive by sightseeing.

Posted by
4637 posts

Anytime Zermatt over Milan. And if you are lucky and Matterhorn will be visible you certainly won't regret.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks! I Will drop Milan and stay in Zermatt.That was my main concern. Is Rochers -de- Naye worth seeing or should I go to Chamonix! Thanks.

Posted by
8889 posts

Alison, my input:

30th October: Train direct from Zürich airport to Luzern. Only 70 minutes. Skip Zürich, extra day in Luzern.

1st November Rigi: Be flexible which day you do this. Look at the weather forecast and pick the best day for Rigi, save Bern/Basel for the cloudiest day.

2nd November: Bern OR Basel, not both.

6th November: Definitely Zermatt. ". . . . and then Brig direct to Venice" -you may well have to change trains in Milan as well.

"Is the 8 day travel pass the best thing to do?" - probably, but you will have to buy a separate ticket from the last Swiss station (Domodossola) to Venice.

Posted by
613 posts

Your itinerary includes a lot of scenery. What if the weather is bad? What's your alternative? Looking at fog all day?

Forget Bern & Basel (except maybe in bad weather). They are at best third rate sights.

Consider a Switzerland/Italy Eurail pass so that if the weather is really bad, you can shoot over to Milan, Pisa, Lucca, Florence, Verona, & Venice

Posted by
7209 posts

Eurail Pass??? Seriously?? Swiss Pass, yes. Otherwise Italy train travel is dirt cheap. Eurail is never a good idea and especially not on this simple itinerary.

Posted by
9 posts

Hi. Thank you for the information. I decided to get an 8 day SWISS travel pass. It might cost a little more but, the convenience factor is great. I decided to not stay overnight in Zurich and stay in Lucerne for 3 nights and Montreux for 4 nights. This way, I can visit Zermatt and/or Chamonix for a day trip or just tour the Montreux area, Gruyeres etc. I will definately go Zermatt on a day but, is it also worth it to visit Chamonix?
I decided to stay in Milan on the last day before going to Venice. Should we take the train to Domodossola and have lunch (I think that this is covered by the Swiss pass )and then to Milan, Or should we just go directly to Milan? I heard that Domodossola was a nice city to visit.

Posted by
8889 posts

Alison, If you want a stop-off between Zermatt and Milan, I suggest Stresa, further down the line.
Lakeside town. Two offshore islands (Borromean islands) you can visit by boat.
Info here:

You could even make that your overnight, instead of Milan.