Driving from Como to Zurich in early May 2016. We plan on stopping in Lucerne for 2 nights. Is the a recommended stop somewhere either between Como and Lucerne or outside of Lucerne that we should stay for 1 night? We will then stay in Zurich for 1 night.
If your looking for a place to stay overnight in Lucerne or close by I would recommend looking online at couchsurfing.com
I learned about it from one of Rick Steve's guidebooks and it will definitely be an experience and a great way to save some money.
The only place I would highly recommend seeing in Lucerne is the Lion Monument.
It is a pretty short drive from Como to Luzern. Most of the drive will be underground in the Gotthard Tunnel.
You will pass Lugano almost immediately so that can't be called midway. There are some things to see including a cheese factory in Canton Uri but by that time you are practically in Luzern and you can see the Canton by boat from Luzern.
I take it that you know you will need a CHF 40 toll Vignette attached to your windscreen going into Switzerland unless (very difficult) you will exclusively drive on back roads?
Are you renting your car in Italy and returning it in Switzerland? Are you aware of the very large drop charge?
In my opinion, after many visits to Luzern over the years, there is way more in Luzern than just the Lion Monument. In fact in all the years I have only visited the Lion Monument once.
There is loads to do in and a short distance around Luzern.
Thanks. I do know about the drop charge - and I will have to talk to the rental car company about the toll.
There is little to talk to rental company. If the car has not the sticker, as soon as you enter Switzerland on the motorway at Chiasso you will be diverted to a separate lane where an attendant will sell you the sticker on the spot.
If you are entering Switzerland through a back road (say, coming from Menaggio to Lugano) you won't be sold the sticker and it is up to you to get one, for example at a post office, before entering a motorway.
You do not want to drive on motorways without a sticker. Checks are frequent and if caught there will be a fine literally skinning you alive.
Literally? I think the Swiss are a bit more civilized than that.
And yes, just glance at Rick's chapter on Lucerne there is at least a half-day's worth of sightseeing on foot to do, and/or a lake cruise.
Get rid of that rental car and take the train in Switzerland. It will be much more enjoyable and relaxing and will take you exactly where you want to go city center. You won't have a cross country drop fee and you won't have to purchase a vignette. You won't pay for parking or petrol and you'll be "really" free. Swiss transportation goes literally anywhere you could possibly want to visit. Between the buses, boats, gondolas, funiculars and trains there's hardly any area not covered by frequent on-time and CLEAN transport.
I agree with Tim's suggestion. Skip the car and use the excellent rail system. Rather than stopping for a night somewhere outside of Lucerne or where ever, add the night to Lucerne and use if for a day trip somewhere. There are lots of good day trips possible such as Mt. Pilatus, cruises down the lake, etc. Check the guidebook for details, or the official website - http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/citytrips/cities/lucerne.html?gclid=CIbxgLyNh8oCFYqGfgod7qQKGg