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4 days in Switzerland

Florence to Zurich. Originating and ending in florence. Leave florence july 3-7. Should i travel by train from florence to milan then take swiss air to Zurich. Limited time, want to minimize travel time. Recommendations also needed for what to do the days I am in Switzerland. Where to go, what to see. Traveling with daughters 20 and 22. Thank you for all suggestions. First time to Europe and Switzerland.

Posted by
7209 posts

Why Zurich? It's an OK city, but there are better places to take in the beauty of Switzerland other than Zurich. And why do you mention Swiss Air in particular? There are lot of airlines that fly in and out of Zurich Airport. Any particular reason to go to Milan? If you haven't already bought your airfare it would be very advantageous to fly open jaw - into Florence and home from Zurich.

Posted by
7 posts

I chose Zurich bc it seems easy to get to from Florence by air. But up for other suggestions. Mentioned Swiss air bc they had the best fare and travel times when I googled air travel. As for open jaw, great idea but...flying American from the states. They were going to charge $900 for daughter that is already in Europe. She flew out of Dallas and will be returning to little rock, Therefore already has one open jaw so the charge to have 2 open jaw is astronomical.Our other two tickets were going to charge $245 change fee per tix. Airlines... Gotcha by the yang yang. Suggestions? Thank you!

Posted by
2 posts

I'm planning a trip that includes Florence, Cinqueterre area and then up to/through Switzerland and flying back home days later from Germany. Question is what did you do in Switzerland, find of fun/interest. I'm traveling with my 23 year old son. We like outside/hiking/etc. Looking for any recommendations for the Italy/Switzerland area. Thanks,

Posted by
15857 posts

Jackie, I find your plan description a bit confusing, but I will just say that Milan to Zurich is 3 hours 41 minutes by train, and Milan to Luzern ( which is delightful and more worth a vist than Zurich) even less. Flying time from Milan to Zurich would probably exceed that, by the time you travel from Milano Centrale to the airport, and add security and wait time. If you book well in advance on Trenitalia those tickets from Milan to Luzern are generally very inexpensive ( under 30 euro).

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you Lola, that is the type of information I was hoping to learn. Are you familiar with train travel from Florence to Luzerne would that be a better option? Using Luzerne as our arrival city are there certain day trips you suggest or any place we should travel and stay for a portion of the 4 days?

Posted by
521 posts

Starting in Florence would add at least 1 hour 40 minutes to the journey, and you would require a change of trains in Milan.

Posted by
501 posts

In regards as to what to do in Switzerland, here is my recommendation:1) get your hands on Rick Steves Switz. Guidebook and study up on Lucerne(Luzern) and Berner Oberland, 2) go to top of this page and enter Lucerne and/or Berner Oberland in search box and read ALL the past posts( the subject comes up every week). Rick's G.B. is very clear and specific, your 4 days or less will be totally filled. Remember, for the expensive train/gondola rides go EARLY, best views and costs less. You may want to consider half-fare Swiss card unless Lola or Pat or a few others tell you otherwise! Of course there are other fantastic places in Switz., you can get to these on a later future trip. Good Luck!

Posted by
15857 posts

From Florence to Switzerland, you start with the train to Milan (buy tickets ahead on Trenitalia to get economy fares). At Milan you have several choices, but the two easiest are (1) to Luzern, with a change at Arth-Goldau, or (2) to Spiez (gateway to the Berner Oberland). There is a train to Arth-Goldau departing at 11:10 and one to Speiz at 11:25. Lots of later trains as well. If you go to Luzern, I suggest one night there and then head to Lauterbrunnen in the Berner Oberland, or one of the car-free villages perched aboe Lauterbrunnen. Take a boat trip on the lake at Luzern (Vierwaldstättersee) before you depart (you can store luggage in lockers in the train station). If you go to Spiez, you change there for a train to Interlaken (about 25 minutes) and then another change to get to Lauterbrunnen. If your goal is Mürren, you would ride a cablecar up from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp, and then another little train th eshort distance to Mürren. sounds complicated, but it is not. The Swiss transpport system is a marvel. You can see the routes and schedules on their website at www.rail.ch or www.SBB.ch. Option 1 (Luzern) would give you more varietya charming Swiss city, a lake trip, and then a village in the Berner Oberland Alps. It also breaks up the train travel into more manageable pieces (florence all the way to Lauterbrunnen is a very long day; Florence to Luzern not so bad). Once you decide what you want to do, we can talk about train passes for Switzerland. It is the one country where I find them useful.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for all the comments! I appreciate the options Lola and have read many of the reports on RS, great advice Jim. I am narrowing down my plans and will repost with a few more questions. Very much appreciate all the information.