train travel italy to switzerland

I'd like to travel from Venice to Milan to Interlaken and then get on the Golden Pass for a scenic trip to Wengen. Our primary goal is to get from Venice to Wengen, Switzerland. What's the best way and how long will it take?

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6692 posts

Adrienne, it will take you about 8.0hrs to get from Venice to Wengen. The routing is generally Venice/Milan/Spiez/Interlaken Ost/Lauterbrunnen/Wengen. You will only be on the Golden Pass segment from Spiez to Interlaken Ost. It does not run up to Wengen. Not to worry. It's very scenic from Interlaken Ost up to Wengen. You can't buy this complete ticket from the Italians should you wish to buy your tickets in Italy when you get there. The Italian system cannot see beyond Interlaken Ost. But, that's not a problem. If you want to buy your tickets when in Italy, buy the Venice->Interlaken Ost ticket. When you get to Intelaken Ost, simply buy the remaining tickets. Been there done that. Or, if you want to buy in advance, you can buy the entire trip on the Swiss train network www.sbb.ch. The regular fare is 147CHF but I see a special fare of 98CHF on June 6. I can't see the full schedule beyond June 8 (no morning or mid-day trains) because the Italians control the Venice/Milan and Milan/Swiss border portion of the trip and they haven't yet posted their new schedules which is scheduled to be complete by June 9. If you want to buy from the Swiss for a date later than June 8, you will have to keep looking until they appear.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8637 posts

The Trenitlia timetables don't show regional trains that travel entirely within Switzerland so they don't show Interlaken Ost at all. They only show EC trains that stop in Spiez on their way from Milan to either Basel or Geneva. To see detailed timetables for your entire route use either the Swiss Rail site or the German Rail site. To get the cheapest tickets, book Venezia Santa Lucia-Milano Centrale and Milano Centrale-Spiez well in advance (up to 120 days allowed) on trenitalia.com. A Super Economy ticket for Venezia-Milano costs €19.00. A Smart fare for Milano-Spiez costs €22.00. Buy your tickets for Spiez-Interlaken Ost-Lauerbrunnen-Wengen when you get to Spiez. The fare is 24.80 CHF.

Posted by adrienne
Pittsburgh, PA, usa
9 posts

Thanks so much. this is very helpful. Are you familiar with Lake Como? We are wondering if we could stay there on the way to Interlaken Ost to break up the train ride. I think we have to go Venice/Milan/Como but am hoping that we don't have to go back to Milan to get to Spiez, rather, just go from Como to Spiez. Thanks so much!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8637 posts

I haven't been to Como, but I assume that it would be a very pleasant place to spend a night. According to the timetables on both the Swiss Rail site and the German Rail site, your fastest routes from Como to Spiez with the fewest connections require going either via Milan or via Zurich.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3058 posts

Don't waste your time attempting to ride on of those specialty scenic trains in Switzerland. If your schedule naturally lends itself to hopping on the Golden Pass then go for it...otherwise normal trains travel on the same tracks and have the same scenery as the Golden Pass. We've done the trek from Venice to Mürren via Milan several times. It's a long ride, but the destination is truly worth every second of sitting on the train. Lake Como area is very nice, but if your destination is Wengen then don't waste a day of vacation just to break up the trip. It's not really bad at all.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

The section of the Golden Pass route between Spiez and Interlaken is just a regular train ride along a lake. Nice, but not worth planning a route just to see. If you want to spend a night in Como to break up the trip between Venice and Wengen, you would either (1) return to Milan to catch the train north via Brig to Spiez, Or (2) skip the backtrack to Milan and go north from Como into Switzerland on the Gotthard Pass route. Then head to Luzern and ride the Golden Pass route from Luzern to Interlaken. This is a scenic trip, and it avoids the two very long tunnels on the Milan to Spiez trip. (There are tunnels on the Gotthard route but they are much shorter, and you have views of the Alps between. The Spiez route basically tunnels under the Alps). We don't like to spend all day on a train, so if we were traveling from Venice to Wengen we would break it up with an overnight on the way, although I would probably choose Lugano rather than Como. From Lugano ( which is also on a lake) there are direct trains to Luzern, soyou can get to Interlaken with only one train change.

Posted by adrienne
Pittsburgh, PA, usa
9 posts

Lola and Tim! Thank you so much for this invaluable advice!

Posted by Paul
Morrilton, AR, US
55 posts

A nice stop to break up the trip is stresa....just beautiful...i am posting this from lauterbrunnen just below wengen...we did fast train venice to milan..then local to stressa..stayed 2 nites...then ec train stressa to spiez..local from there to interlaken ost. .then berner oberland bahn to lauterbrunnen....hope this helps paul

Posted by Paul
Morrilton, AR, US
55 posts

A nice stop to break up the trip is stresa....just beautiful...i am posting this from lauterbrunnen just below wengen...we did fast train venice to milan..then local to stressa..stayed 2 nites...then ec train stressa to spiez..local from there to interlaken ost. .then berner oberland bahn to lauterbrunnen....hope this helps paul