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4-day Swiss itinerary, starting/ending in Como/Milan, late July

Hi, all. My wife and I are going to a wedding in Como in July, and want to spend a few days afterwards in Switzerland. We can leave Como on Thursday morning (7/25) and fly back out of Milan on Monday morning (7/29). I've done a bunch of research and read through a ton of threads on here, but I still feel pretty overwhelmed about what to do/where to start. Can you help me answer a few questions?

-Our main goal is to eat/drink/relax. We're not looking for serious hikes or anything like that. Between Milan and, say, Interlaken, which towns/cities should top our list?

-I'm thinking our "longest" trip in Switzerland should be that first morning, so that we then work our way back towards Milan during the weekend. Does Milan to Interlaken/Grindelwald on the first day make sense? Should we adopt a home base in one of those towns, and then do day excursions from there?

-We'd originally planned to rent a car, but reading this forum has made me think we should do it all by train. Is that our best bet? What kind of pass should we purchase? Do we need something extra ticket/pass to get us from Milan to the Swiss border on Thursday, and from the Swiss border back to Milan on Monday morning?

Thanks so much for any advice. I only discovered this forum a few days ago, but I've plowed through it. This seems like a great community, and I know we're in great hands.

Posted by
17968 posts

Assuming you are in the city of Como, You could start with taking the Gotthard Panorama Express to Luzern. First you get a train from Como San Giovanni station to Lugano, where you get the GPE. It goes over the main spine of the Alps, taking the now relatively short Gotthard Tunnel, continuing down the mountain to Lake Luzern (the Vierwaldstaettersee to be more precise), then transfer to a lake boat to Luzern. Spend Thursday night in Luzern. Next day take to train to Interlaken Ost then to Lauterbrunnen and stay there Friday and Saturday night. Sunday take train back to Milan.

You could buy a 4-day Swiss Travel Pass. That would cover you from Chiasso, Switzerland, just north of Como to Domodossola just over the border on the way back to Milan.

Just buy Italian train tickets at the station. Coming back, you can buy the ticket at a Swiss train station and show your passes and they will just charge you the portion in Italy.

In Lauterbrunnen, the STP will allow you to take Schilthornbahn cable car all the way to the top.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you both for your replies. They've been extremely helpful. After further research, we've settled on the following:

-Thursday morning: train from Como/Milan to Grindelwald
-Hotel in Grindelwald for Thursday and Friday nights
-Train to Luzern on Saturday
-Hotel in Luzern on Saturday night
-Gotthard Panorama Express southbound on Sunday, eventually ending in Milan
-Hotel in Milan on Sunday night
-Fly home Monday

It seems clear that we'll need the 4-day Swiss Pass Travel Pass, so I'll be booking that soon.

Since our time is limited, we're looking for recommendations for the 1 or 2 must-sees in the Grindelwald/Interlaken area. So far I've looked into Harder Kulm and Schilthorn, as you both recommended. Is there anything else specific we should target?

Thanks again.