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Train Luzern to Stresa (Lake Maggiore)

Hello
what is the best train booking site to use for booking trains from Luzern Switzerland to the Italian Lakes region? Does it matter if we book using SBB (SwissRail ) or the Italian Trenitalia (italiatren.com) site ? or should we use another 3rd party like RailEurope, Trainline.com, etc ?

also big concern: some of the connection times being populated by the train apps to walk between platforms are only 4 or 5 minutes. isn't that risky?

Also, is booking 1st class worth it?

which class has the most room for luggage, if bringing larger than carryon (overhead) sized luggage?

Thank you so much!

Posted by
20309 posts

I'd say SBB, but look at both. Don't worry about 4 minutes in Lugano as that is standard. Adjacent platforms should take 2 minutes.

Posted by
1937 posts

Luzern to Stresa is bit of an odd choice of city pairs to visit. It isn't exactly easy to get between on and the other, because of geography. If you wanted to be on the "Italian Lakes" I would suggest you head for Como, as that would be logistically a lot easier.

When is this trip going to be? Because of engineering works you cannot yet book (not plan) this trip for dates beyond June 8th.

Regarding those connections: This is the railways doing you a favor by not wasting your time. SBB is very good at not wasting your time. You can only wish that other railways take that as an example...
Oh, and 1st or 2nd class both have room for luggage. Trains would not be very useful otherwise...

Posted by
2768 posts

which class has the most room for luggage, if bringing larger than
carryon (overhead) sized luggage?

This is an unpopular opinion here, but I’m going to share it anyway. :-) I prefer first class when traveling with luggage. I have always found the 1st class train cars to be less crowded (in Switzerland and in other countries). I travel with a 26-inch suitcase in Switzerland (more room for chocolate) and it usually won’t fit on the racks over the seats. So, it causes me less stress to have a 1st class ticket. I know in 1st class, I am more likely to find a seat and a spot for my suitcase. This is an additional expensive I am happy to pay for.

Posted by
16651 posts

You might consider taking the Treno Gottardo from Luzern to Locarno, and the Lago Maggiore ferry from there to Stresa. Low-stress, highly scenic travel, with only the one transfer.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you all for your replies. very helpful.

WengenK: to answer your question on When is this trip going to be? Because of engineering works you cannot yet book (not plan) this trip for dates beyond June 8th.
It will be in September. when I was on the SBB site, it appeared that I was able to book for then. I believe the engineering issue may be for another time period. ?? I need to look again.

WengenK: answering your comment about Como. Como was the original plan and I agree with what you are saying, but a friend of ours who lived in Switzerland for many years, recommended Lago Maggiore over Lake Como and has also traveled to Lago Maggiore often with no issues.

Lola, Thank you for the suggestion on 'Treno Gottardo from Luzern to Locarno, and the Lago Maggiore ferry'. I had come across that option a while back and so I will reinvestigate that option. thanks for reminding me.

Carrie: Thank you for the advise about 1st class!