Please sign in to post.

Accomodation in Lugano and Geneva for couple with 5 year old

We are just wrapping up our trip plans for our end of the trip in Europe and stay in Italy/Switzerland at the end of June. We are planning to stay in Stresa, Italy as a base for local day trips then head to Lugano for couple nights as we fly from Lugano to Geneva. Stay in Geneva for couple nights again before returning to Canada. We are still however in search for accommodation for couple nights each in Lugano and then in Geneva. Does anyone have any suggestions? We will be traveling with 5 year old and will try to minimize the time when we have car.

Posted by
8889 posts

I can't answer your accommodation question, but I would like to comment on your travel plans.
You mention a car. Where are you picking up the car from, and where are you leaving it? I hope the answer is not "Stresa to Lugano", because that will incur a large surcharge for an international one-way car hire. Check with the car hire company how much.
Stresa to Lugano involves a ferry across the lake, or a long detour around the south end of the lake.

Why are you flying from Lugano to Geneva? You are missing the Alps, doing that by train would give you a scenic few hours (about 6) on a train through the Alps.

Posted by
2 posts

I can't answer your accommodation question, but I would like to comment on your travel plans.
You mention a car. Where are you picking up the car from, and where are you leaving it? I hope the answer is not "Stresa to Lugano", because that will incur a large surcharge for an international one-way car hire. Check with the car hire company how much.
Stresa to Lugano involves a ferry across the lake, or a long detour around the south end of the lake.
Why are you flying from Lugano to Geneva? You are missing the Alps, doing that by train would give you a scenic few hours (about 6) on a train through the Alps.


Hi Chris,
Thank you a lot for the tip re: car rental. Yes we were considering "Stresa to Lugano" rental and I just found out that the difference is huge (car rental for week with the same location pickup/return will be $240 and when returning in Lugano one way car hire will be $1220. It is almost $1000 difference. The surcharge is not specified as a seperate entry in the rental quaote but clearly it is built in. Big Thank you! As to flying from Lugano, we did not think it would be feasible for our 5 year old bear the long, connecting train rides but we may reconsider. I just found the EuroCity train and this one is only one train lasting 3hrs.
Thank you very much!

Posted by
31471 posts

Using a flight from Lugano to Geneva (if there's even one available at a reasonable price) is absurd. That will take longer and be far more of a hassle for your 5 y.o. than a train. One of the shortest rail trips that I can find from Lugano to Geneva is a departure at 09:11, arriving Geneve Cornavin at 14:43 (time 5H:32M, one change at Olten, subject to reservation).

Rather than staying in Geneva, you might consider staying in Lausanne instead (it's not far from Geneva, only about a 40 minute train ride). If you decide to stay there, post another note and I can suggest a hotel. It would help to know what your hotel criteria are?

For your stay in Lugano, I found Hotel Pestalozzi very comfortable. Use a Taxi from the rail station, as that's the easiest method with luggage (it's not far). One point to mention is that Pestalozzi doesn't serve booze in their dining room (it's a long story), but not a problem as there are lots of restaurants nearby that do serve booze.

Posted by
8889 posts

Sylwia,
The whole thing gets a lot easier if you skip Lugano, or do Lugano before Stresa.
Whereas Lugano is on the main rail line to central Switzerland (Milan - Lugano - Gotthard tunnel - Zürich), Stresa is on the main line to western Switzerland: Milan - Stresa - Simplon tunnel - Geneva.
If you go to Geneva from Stresa, it takes 3 hours. Some trains change at Brig, but there are some through trains. For example:

Depart Stresa 09:21, train EC 32, arrive Genève 12:19
Depart Stresa 13:21, train EC 34, arrive Genève 16:19

That should be 5-year-old friendly. You could rent and return the car at Stesa.

The quickest way by train Lugano - Stresa is via Milan, an inefficient V-shaped trip.

Posted by
815 posts

This is a typical children's wagon on a Swiss train. Even on regional trains, kids can get up and move around unlike being in a car.