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Zurich to Venice, help!

Hello all!

We are traveling round trip to Zurich first week of May 2018 for 12 days for our honeymoon. Our vision is to visit Lucerne, Lake Como and Venice. Looking for suggestions on the best route. Are there cities/towns we should add to make it easier? We are looking into traveling by train once there and are trying to figure out how to loop though the trip rather then double back since we flying in and out of Zurich.

Recommendations on local eateries and hotels appreciated as well!

Many Thanks!

Posted by
10329 posts

Making a 'loop' is not possible with the choices you have.

Lucerne, Lake Como, Venice and fly back to Zurich, is the best order, given you have to use Zurich as your entry/ departure city

In an ideal world you would fly into Zurich or Venice and then fly out the other and travel 'one way' through your trip destinations.

Posted by
18485 posts

Are you flying Swiss? You could also add a connection from Zurich to Venice, then work your way back to Zurich from there.
4 nights in Venice to start.
3 nights in Varenna on Lake Como.
2 nights in St Moritz, using the Bernina Express to get there.
3 nights in Luzern, then direct morning train to Zurich Airport.
Since it is Spring, going south to north has some advantages.

Posted by
15103 posts

Are you flying Swiss? You could also add a connection from Zurich to
Venice, then work your way back to Zurich from there.

A good solution from Sam! This is what I'd do if planning the same itinerary of locations without an open-jaw flight option.

Posted by
947 posts

You are describing the exact route we took last summer. We loved it!

From Zurich, take any SBB train to Chur. Chur is a lovely town in the foothills of the Alps. It is in the part of Switzerland where they speak Romansch, but German is the actual language of the street. Spend an overnight in Chur. We can recommend the Ambiente Hotel Freieck, on a nice park and within easy walking distance of the train station.

The highlight is the Bernina Express from Chur to Tiranno, Italy. It leaves around 8:30 am which is why you should spend an overnight in Chur, but you can make it if you want to take an early morning train directly from Zurich. This train has panoramic windows to enjoy the Alps as you pass up to the top at Alp Grum, before descending down into Italy.

In Tiranno, you walk out the SBB (Swiss Rail) station and walk across the piazza to the Trenord (Northern Italy Rail) station. From Tiranno, there is a regional train timed to connect with the Bernina Express. The Trenord train passes down the Sondrio valley before running along the entire edge of Lake Como. You can get off at Varenna, Lecco or a number of other stops, depending where on Lake Como you want to go.

The Trenord train then continues to Milan, where you can transfer to any Trenitalia train to Venice. In Venice we liked the Pensione Guerrato, near the Fish Market and Rialto Bridge.

I agree that it is hard to make this a loop, but then nowhere to Venice is a loop because Venice is an island at the end of the train line. A possible loop back (depending on how adventurous you want to get) could be up through Croatia and Austria and back to Switzerland. Another way would be to double back to Milan and then go back to Switzerland via Lugano (the Italian-speaking part).

No matter what details you decide on, you have made a great choice of destinations.

Posted by
7 posts

Not flying Swiss, but will look into a flight to Venice from Zurich. Only trouble with that is I am certain we will need to go through customs then back through to catch a flight.

DarrenBlois, that sounds like something we could do! I’ll look into the trains and timing. Thank you!

Posted by
14922 posts

A perfect opportunity to ride the scenic Bernina Pass train route. For our most recent trip to Italy, we purposely flew into Zurich so we could take that route to reach Venice. From Zurich, we rode the train to Samedan (near St. Moritz but smaller and less expensive) and spent two nights. Then continued over the Pass to Tirano, connecting there to the TreNord train to Varenna, where we spent one night. Then Varenna to Milan to Venice.

Posted by
16893 posts

Flying will be most efficient for your time. If you were taking a different return route by train, it would not normally be via Croatia; that's a detour. Trains from Venice to Innsbruck take about 5 hours (most with a connection at Verona, except one direct afternoon departure) and from Innsbruck to Zurich is 3.5 hours. Both legs have some nice mountain scenery.