Please sign in to post.

Day trip to Lugano from Milan

I am staying in Milan, one block from Lambrate train station, which is one train stop or 4 metro stops from Milano-Centrale.

I would like to take a day trip to Lugano. However, the both Trenitalia and SBB websites keep malfunctioning when I try to buy a Milan-Lugano train ticket.

At Milano-Centrale, do I buy the ticket to Lugano from the Trenitalia ticket machine, or is there an SBB ticket machine or counter there?

Alternatively, would it be better to take a bus to Lugano?

Posted by
253 posts

I did a day trip to Lugano from Milan and bought the ticket from a kiosk at the station. I'm pretty sure it was Trenitalia kiosk but if you try that and aren't having any luck just ask someone, there are usually people around to help. I don't recall it being any problem at all. There is also a manned ticket office (but those often have line, whereas the kiosk lines are very short or non existent). The train was very easy, can't imagine a bus would be any easier or faster. Make sure you have your passport with you, they were spot checking them.

Posted by
44 posts

I just did the train trip from Milano to Lugano on 12/30. I purchased my tickets online at The website recommends this website for purchasing tickets because you can print them out in advance. Good luck

Posted by
30020 posts


It would help to have some idea when this trip is taking place? If you're staying near Lambrate station, many of the trains on that route will be Regionale. You'll need to check the type of trains you'll be using for the departure you want, as there could be some express trains. There's no price advantage to buy Regionale tickets in advance, as you can easily buy them locally. You can buy tickets either at a staffed ticket window or from the Kiosks. One important point - be SURE to validate the tickets prior to boarding the train or you'll risk hefty fines which will be collected on the spot.

Which departure were you planning to take?

Posted by
1277 posts

We just took the train from Milan to Lugano a week ago. Like you I was unable to book on Trentalia or Trainline.
The regional train (noted as RE) are as quick and half the cost than the EC train. We bought our tickets in Turin at a window. While tickets on Italian regional trains are not tied to a specific train, Swiss regional trains are specific to a train and time. (According to the Trenitalia ticket window)

When you get off the train, there is a funicular down to the centre, but if your do not have luggage and are mobile, just walk down the stairs. You will enjoy walking along the lake as it is gorgeous. There is a small machine at the top and bottom to buy tickets. (I think 1.10 CF per person- pay in Euro, CH, or credit card).

Every one takes credit cards so don’t bother going to ATM for Swiss francs. We took the funicular behind Hotel castagnola to the top. Funicular didn’t take credit cards that day but accepted Euros.

Posted by
362 posts

You can buy your entire ticket from the Trenitalia machine or at the ticket counter in the Lambrate station. In terms of purchasing them in advance, in my opinion, its only really necessary if you're traveling on an IC or EC since that line can get REALLY crowded and getting a seat can be challenging or if the price advantage of buying early is huge and you know the exact train you're going to travel on. An easy way to purchase the tickets in advance is to book a ticket from Milan to Chiasso on the Trenitalia site and a ticket on the SBB site from Chiasso to Lugano. I did the same thing a few months back when I traveled from Verona to a town in Switzerland.