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Paris to Venice via Switzerland by Train

We are a family of four looking to get from Paris to Venice by train through Switzerland in June 2025. I like the idea of taking the Bernina Express to enjoy the beauty of the countryside. We are good with making stops along the way (ie. Chur overnight, Lugano overnight, etc.) to break up the travel and enjoy the sites. My 14 year old son has one request, and that is to experience an alpine slide. Any recommendations on an itinerary that would give us the beauty of the countryside and old town sites, and possibly a trip down an alpine slide, without making the trip too complex or tiring? I am thinking 2-3 overnight stays max.

Posted by
5163 posts

How many days total after you leave Paris?
Pontressina, very close to Chur, is also a very nice town to spend a night or two in.
You could take the Bernina Express to Tirano , Italy, and then on to Varenna, Lake Como, then towards Venice.
Depends on how many nights for Switzerland. Going to stay in the Berner Oberland ( Murren or Wengen)?
The Bernina Express has been one of the highlights of my travel experiences . We took the regional train, runs on the same tracks as the panoramic trains, and gives more flexible schedule options,( with no reservations required). I can't recommend this experience enough.
With a few more details , someone here that is great with train routes will come up with some very workable ideas.
Safe travels.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for your feedback. We are flexible on time and which route to take - without breaking the bank of course. I was originally looking at the TGV Lyria from Paris to Zurich with a change onto Chur (overnight stay) - hopping on the Bernina Express there - then to Tirana or Lugano/Lake Como (two nights) - then onto Milan to Venice. We could go through Bern or Lucerne if that’s recommended and then stay in Murren or similar on the way. I believe Lugano has an alpine slide, which would be a plus. I will also look at staying around Chur.

Posted by
5163 posts

I'm not sure what an alpine slide is exactly, but I think there's something coming down Mt Pilatus in Lucerne. I think Lucerne is much more charming than Bern, which is a nice city. Of course, there is always tandem parasailing in Murren.

Posted by
16936 posts

Here is an excellent detailed guide to what one experienced Swiss traveler feels are the top 20 Summer luge (Rodelbahn) alpine slides in Switzerland. They explain the 2 types, rails or slide-style, and give detailed information about length, cost, overall experience, etc.

https://swissfamilyfun.com/best-alpine-coasters-switzerland/

The #1 slide, near Davos, would be close to Chur is you take the Bernina Express route. They say it is the longest in Switzerland (3 km) and very expensive.

If you choose a different scenic route, the Gotthard route which starts in Luzern and ends in either Locarno or Lugano, you could fit in two different slides, #6 at Främüntegg near Luzern, the longest “slide type”, and #16 near Lugano and Locarno. Make those 2 towns your 2 stops in Switzerland and have lots of fun. FWIW, I consider the Gotthard Pass route just as beautiful as the more popular Bernina Express.

Note that while Lugano is on the Bernina Express route as well, it is at the end of the bus section from Tirano to Lugano, a bus ride of several hours about which we hear very little. Most people taking the Bernina Express choose to continue by train to Varenna on Lake Como instead of taking that bus to Lugano. You can easily continue to Milan from either Varenna or Lugano.

Posted by
5163 posts

Lola, thx for that link, I'm bookmarking that for future trips.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for sharing your expertise, Lola, and the links as well. Much appreciated! This planning is exciting!

Posted by
33339 posts

we are getting older now so we no longer make a sommerrodelbahn excursion annually.

I haven't been since before covid but near Chur was the longest on rails, and a real ride it was too. Near Churwalden if memory serves (ha)

Posted by
16936 posts

This is the Churwalden one Nigel mentions:

https://www.pradaschier.ch/sommer-rodelbahn/

At 3 km, it the longest in Switzerland. The blog I posted above describes it as “fast and furious”. It is on rails, so more like a self-driven roller coaster than a slide. But no loops or spirals!