Please sign in to post.

Basel Airport directly to Luzern - how to get there and back

We're big Rick Steves fans but decided to do a Viking Cruise.
Our ship starts from Basel. We thought we'd fly into Basel 4 or 5 days early. Go directly from
the Basel airport to Luzern. Spend a couple of nights there, then head back to Basel,
sightsee, the embark on the ship.

What is the best way to get to Luzern from Basel airport, then back again?

Posted by
6290 posts

Basel is a small airport so if you plan to fly to Basel your options will be limited. I'd suggest flying to e.g. Zürich instead. A larger airport with a larger selection of flights, including direct flights to several North american cities. And an easy train ride from both Basel and Luzern.

Posted by
8416 posts

Is the cruise company going to provide the flights? If so, they might require Zurich. Luzern is roughly half way between Zurich and Basel. Definitely fly into Zurich. The train (from the airport rail station) to Luzern is about 1.25 hours. It's about the same from Luzern to Basel.

Posted by
225 posts

It appears there are a few airlines that fly nonstop from Orlando and Tampa to Zurich a limited number of days per week. If these days work for your schedule you may find it easier to fly into Zurich on a nonstop and take the train to Luzern and then a train to Basel.

Posted by
381 posts

If you fly into Basel, you can take the #50 airport bus directly to Basel SBB train station (15-20 min ride). From there, it’s a little over 1 hour to Luzern on a direct train.
As others mentioned, if you can fly into Zurich airport, you can take the train from there directly to Luzern (about 1hr 15mins). Then direct train from there to Basel when you want to go to your cruise.
So, either airport works.

Posted by
1602 posts

The answer to any "how do I get from A to B by public transit" question in Switzerland is here:

http://www.sbb.ch/en

In the case of Basel you can just plan a trip from Basel Airport to Luzern on that website, and see what the trip would involve, what it would cost, and you can even buy tickets on line if you want. The same applies for any other origin-destination pair in Switzerland. The trip planner can even route you all the way to any street address.

Posted by
32659 posts

If you do wind up flying into Basel - and I agree that you may well find it easier to use Zürich, but a bit more info about your plans would help - it is straightforward to get from the airport to Luzern.

There is a bus stop right outside and the number 50 takes you right to the main station in Basel (Basel SBB). From there a frequent train service straight to Luzern.

If you change to landing at Zürich it is even easier - the station is right at the airport and trains go right from there to Luzern. Direct trains alternate with trains which require a change of train in Zürich HB, the main station. If you don't want to change trains in Zürich just wait a few more minutes for one straight to Luzern.

Whichever way you choose, when you get to Luzern it is really easy. The station is a dead end one so you don't need to be in a mad rush to get off, and many trains terminate there. All the tracks are on one level. Downstairs are the toilets and lockers. Restaurants and other food are on the main level, up a floor and down a floor in the passageway to the city. Buses and ships and the front of the station are all on the same level. You are very close to the old city.

To get to Basel, just return to the station and take any train to Basel SBB.

Posted by
23 posts

Thanks a ton, everyone. I never thought about flying into Zurich instead of Basel. Actually makes more sense. And if I can get a direct flight, even better.

No, we chose not to buy our plane tickets through Viking Cruise. We have a ton of points on our Chase Sapphire saved up from not traveling for 2 years.

Posted by
23 posts

Don, of Rhode Island. You mentioned you saw some direct flights from Orlando to Zurich. Do you happen to know which airlines it was? I'll go digging around if you don't remember.

Posted by
6290 posts

Swiss and Edelweiss air have direct flights between Zürich and Florida.

Posted by
72 posts

Direct trains alternate with trains which require a change of train in Zürich HB, the main station.

That's no longer the case. Almost all trains from Lucerne do service Zurich Airport. The timetable may suggest a change at Zurich HB for an even faster connection.

Posted by
32659 posts

that's great to know, rolandp954, thanks for the update