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Venice to Switzerland?

Hello, we will be in Venice and have an extra 5 days to tool around before we head home. We were thinking of making our way to Zurich via Interlaken. A few questions:

  1. Is this the best use of our time? Should we explore northern italy or a different part of switzerland instead? I don't know the region well and don't want to inadvertently skip a whole awesome area that we should check out.
  2. Any advice what kind of itinerary we should follow? We will have 4 adults and 4 kids (ranging from infant to 12 years old), so want to avoid unnecessary car/train time and would like to be outside as much as possible.
  3. Any advice as to whether to take a train or car around switzerland? With such a big crew, I see the benefits of getting two cars, but I think that the train rides might be very scenic.
  4. Is 5 days too much time for just the travel between Venice/Interlaken/Zurich? If so, can you recommend other areas we should check out?

Thank you so much!

Posted by
31465 posts


A few thoughts on your questions.....

  1. That's difficult to answer, as what constitutes an "awesome area" will differ between travellers. The Berner Oberland would be a fantastic place to spend several days (depending on what time of year your trip will be taking place). That's a great area for hiking and other outdoor activities and there are some interesting sights in that area (although not cheap), such as the trip to the Schilthorn via Cable Car, where you can have lunch in a revolving restaurant where the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service was partially filmed.
  2. I'd have to give some thought to an efficient Itinerary suggestion. I'll try and come back to that question later today, but I'm sure the others will have some good suggestions. One other possibility you could consider would be to split your time between Lucerne and the B.O. It's a beautiful and historic city and the Museum of Transport there would probably be interesting to the older kids in your group. It would be easy to spend five days just in Lucerne, between trips to Mt. Pilatus, cruises on the lake or whatever.
  3. Especially with only five days to work with, using high speed trains (where possible) would be a much more efficient use of your travel time. The trip from Venice to Interlaken Ost will be about six hours, but still faster than by car.
  4. If you decide to visit Lucerne and the B.O., five days is probably too short (albeit possible).

One other point to mention is that depending on what time your flight departs from Zürich, it's only about an hour from Lucerne direct to the Zürich Airport, so you might be able to stay in Lucerne the night prior to your flight. There are some direct trains to the airport and some with one change at Zürich Hbf and then to the airport.

Posted by
7205 posts

I do the trip Venice -> Interlaken Ost -> Lauterbrunnen -> Murren every year. Yes, you definitely want to do this trip and do it by train. Your 4 kids travel absolutely free with you all over Switzerland as long as you get the free Swiss Family Card. Do try to spend the night in Lucerne instead of Zurich if possible. If not, then 1 night in Zurich is ok.

Posted by
16883 posts

If you already have a plan to fly out of Zurich, then the fastest train connections are via Milan and north to Switzerland (6-8 hours total), giving you maximum time to enjoy your stay within Switzerland. Another, slower train route could take you through the Italian Dolomites (with a stay near Bolzano) and via Innsbruck, then heading west through the Tirol to Zurich. However spending that time in Italy and Austria probably means no time to see Switzerland.

Also, it looks like EasyJet flies from Venice to Geneva or Basel and Swiss Air flies from Venice to Zurich affordably; see Fastest travel times from those airports to Interlaken range from 2.25 - 3 hours, each with one connection.

For Switzerland, you might want a Swiss Travel Pass for the adults. Get a free Swiss Family Card for any kids ages 6-15 who will travel with a parent or legal guardian. Under 6 does not need a ticket in Switzerland and under 4 does not need a ticket in Italy. Cheaper pass options include 3 or 4 consecutive travel days, or 3 or 4 days to spread over a month, but there's no 5-day version. If you're just buying tickets as you go in Switzerland, kids are still nearly free, but you pay $30 per child for the Junior Cards sold there (valid for a year).