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Visit Paris or Venice after Zurich/Lucerne?


We are visiting Lake Lucerne this June/July. Flying from Chicago. We were planning on visiting Paris after, but haven’t booked tickets just yet, as the news of the strikes is kinda scary.
Plan B is to take a train to Milan and visit Bologna, then train to Venice, then train to Rome to fly back home.
Thoughts? Should we stick with Paris?
(Never been to Switzerland or Paris or Venice).


Posted by
60 posts

I'm a little concerned that you are planning to squeeze Bologna, Venice and Rome into the same time frame as you originally allocated to Paris. Even if you don't plan to spend much time in Bologna and Rome the layovers will still eat into your vacation time. How many days are we talking here?

I've just been to Venice last week but my trip to Paris was many year ago so my comparison isn't quite fair. One aspect where Venice trumps Paris hard is the novelty of a water based city. Everything operates either via boats or walking. The downside of it are the many many unavoidable stairs. One thing that took me some time to adjust to with Venice is that while every other building was a church, palace or mansion at some point, very few of them are in good condition. I never had this impression from Paris. Paris in my memory feels grand, open and orderly where Venice is an unbelieveable hodgepodge of buildings with not a straight or right angle anywhere. Which I found quite charming.

I enjoyed both places for different reasons.

Posted by
16932 posts

How much time do you have after Luzern? Will you also see other parts of Switzerland?

Posted by
18 posts

Thank you both.
Here is the plan:
June 24 - July 5
4 nights in Lucerne (staying at Buergenstock). Will have car to also visit Alsace on a day trip.
Was planning on taking the train from Colmar (maybe staying there for 2 nights) to Paris and stay for 4/5 nights.

Plan B is to take train from Zurich to Milan, 2 nights (day trip to Como and or Bologna). Train from Milan to Venice, 2 nights. Train to Rome, 2/3 nights.

Thanks again!!

Posted by
303 posts

Hi Agnes,
I will share with you the extreme anxiety we are having waiting to see how the strikes in France negatively impact our long awaited and already expensive trip. We are flying into and out of CDG during out travels in Italy and Switzerland. As you are already in Switzerland, I would save yourself the headache of trying to get to Paris and head into Italy. Lake Como is an easy train trip from Lucerne. We are staying in Varenna for 4 nights and looking forward to it. Keep Paris on your bucket list and visit when your trip won't be sabatoged by train and airline strikes! This should be a vacation from stress!

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks Barb! I really like that idea.
I do have a friend that got back from Paris literally yesterday and he didn’t even know there were strikes...
But who knows how June/July will pan out.
Good luck with your travels!

Posted by
8889 posts

Agnes, I am a little confused and worried by the logistics.
You don't say, but I guess you are flying into Zürich airport, picking up the car there (or possibly later in Luzern) and driving to Colmar.

Plan A: "Was planning on taking the train from Colmar" - If you hire a car in Switzerland, it will cost a large surcharge to return it in France.

"Plan B is to take train from Zurich to Milan" - Why from Zürich? If you are in Luzern, take the train from Luzern to Milan, Zürich is in the opposite direction.

For peace of mind, take plan B (Italy). Then you can start planning your trip to Paris as soon as you get home.

Posted by
18 posts

Hi Chris...
We are flying into Zurich. Renting a car. Driving to Luzern. We wanted a car, so we could visit wineries around Alsace (trains didn’t make sense). Planned on returning the car in Zurich, hence the train from Zurich to Milan. If I can return the car in Luzern, then the train from Luzern to Milan makes sense.

I do think that Northern Italy, for 2nd part of the trip, just makes more sense...for a peace of mind.
Should I stay in Como, instead of Milan...or is it similar to Luzern?

Thanks again!!

Posted by
16894 posts

Agnes, I'm confused why your trip sounds so similar to this other, poster, Hannah.

But any way, if you've been driving in Alsace you can drop the car at Geneva airport (Swiss side, if you pick it up in Switzerland or French side if you pick it up in France) and fly to Venice to save time, later heading to Rome by train; see Milan is not normally an itinerary priority when time is short.

Have you booked your flight home to Chicago?

Posted by
18 posts

Hi Laura!

I haven’t booked anything yet, but planning to do so within a week or two. France put us on hold...


Posted by
3206 posts

Your plans are very confusing.

Buergenstock is a lovely resort.

But it makes no sense to stay there as a base for visiting wineries in Alsace!! It is a long drive each way, and you must not drive back to Lucerne after tasting wine.

If you really want to visit Alsace, take the train to Colmar after landing at Zurich. Then take the train to Lucerne. And then from there to Lake Como.