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Travel from Lake Como to Lucerne.

After doing research on common sites, It seems the preferred automobile route between Lake Como and Lucerne includes the Gotthard Strassentunnel. Unfortunately due to severe claustrophobia, long tunnels (10-15 minute through time) are not an option . I am open to any suggestions including alternate auto or train routes as well as air travel. Thank you.

Posted by
7128 posts

Land options---https://www.rome2rio.com/map/Como-Italy/Canton-of-Lucerne

Flights look to be from Milan to Zurich--- https://www.skyscanner.com

I did not examine this in detail, but as it avoids tolls, I suspect it avoids any large tunnel.
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Province+of+Como,+Italy/Lucerne,+Switzerland/@46.4440565,7.5758621,8z/am=t/data=!4m16!4m15!1m5!1m1!1s0x478423947f8118e7:0x30678022e667e30!2m2!1d9.0851793!2d45.8080416!1m5!1m1!1s0x478ffa2a79547379:0xaef02ad1409952af!2m2!1d8.3093072!2d47.0501682!2m1!2b1!3e0

You did not say where on Lake Como you would be coming from so just chose the town of Como as an origin point.

Good luck.

Posted by
15763 posts

From Bellagio, there are 2 options.
1. Take bus or ferry to Como, then taxi to Como San Giovanni station on the side of the hill. There from there you can get frequent trains to Luzern with one or 2 changes. If you take the bus, you might find it takes you to Como San Giovanni. From the ferry dock its a short taxi ride.
2. Take the mid-lake shuttle boat to Menaggio, then the bus to Lugano, and get a train to Luzern from there. It is the same train connection as Como, just further along the line.

Both of these have long tunnels if you go the standard (and fastest) route. You can take a slightly longer journey time by specifying a stopover (0 time) at Goeschenen. Then it will take the older route, mostly over the mountains through the shorter old Gothard Tunnel. The fast route uses the new, very long Gothard Base Tunnel, and next year will also include the new Ceneri Base Tunnel.

For the longest, most scenic route with no really long tunnels. take the mid-lake shuttle the other way to Varenna and then a train to Tirano and from there take the Bernina Express train over the mountains. From Chur. switch to trains to Zurich, then Luzern. That's a full day.

Driving can be problematic. If it is a car you rented in Italy, you will have to return it to Italy or pay a big return fee. Also, you will need to stop at the border and buy a Swiss vignette sticker and attach it to the windshield. They're 40 CHF if I recall. But there are ways over the mountains without going through long tunnels. Just be aware of many hairpin turns in the mountains.

Posted by
24893 posts

Sam has given the same options that I would have done.

The mountains are really in the way for that connection so both road and rail go under unless you take extra time and lots of extra effort and go over.

There really isn't an easy way around the mountains. Even the Bernina Express slow train route uses plenty of smaller tunnels and has to crawl up and over the mountains.

Posted by
28 posts

Thanks for all these specific suggestions. After reading them, I think we will be flying. Any tips on that?

Posted by
24893 posts

flying will be much slower and probably more expensive but will help with the tunnels

I don't suppose you could go at night or pull the shade down in the day on the train (or even add eye shades) and the result will probably be like being in an airplane.

The tunnels are exceedingly smooth, the trains are comfortable and you can probably find a way not to focus on the tunnelness.

Posted by
15763 posts

There are 4 nonstops a day on Swiss from Milan Malpensa airport to Zurich. If you have a car it will take a hair less than 2 hours to drive, figure arrive 2 hours before flight departure time, 1 hour in the air, then about 1 1/2 to 2 hours after arrival at Zurich to get on the train and arrive at Luzern.

At present, it is about 3 hours from Como to Luzern and there is a direct train at 10:50 am. I can understand that long highway tunnels could be a problem for you, especially if you are driving. But the experience of long tunnels by train is that is daylight, then suddenly night time for about 15 minutes, then its daylight again.

Posted by
28 posts

I have no problems with tunnels. It is my wife who suffers from claustrophobia. And as they say, a happy wife makes for a happy life. Now I'm asking for any tips or suggestions concerning flying. Thanks.

Posted by
1766 posts

As mentioned, flying will not save any time. And a cramped airplane is hardly the best place for someone with claustrophobia. Driving the slow route will take about the same time as flying, and will let you enjoy the scenery (which should not be missed in my opinion).

Posted by
5954 posts

For flying, as someone suggested above, check Skyscanner, which gives an idea of different flights available.

Since someone mentioned Zurich as a place to fly into, I don’t know what the tunnel situation is between there and Lucerne.

Posted by
28 posts

First, I want to thank everyone for their comments. As far as I can determine, Milan Malpensa (MXP) to Zurich Airport (ZRH) is my only choice for air travel. Are there any other alternatives concerning air available?

Posted by
1766 posts

No, since there is a fast train connecting the cities demand for air travel is very low. Your only choice if flying is Swiss from Malpensa to Zürich.

Posted by
750 posts

If you are not doing it in the winter, take the St Gotthard Pass Road and when you come to the Chiosco Overlook ( About 1/3 of the way up), by all means stop for an expensive drink and snack and then eat it on their patio with the million dollar view. The new road is an easy drive, the old road is a bit more challenging. The views from going from south to north are impressive and the ones from north to south are flat out awesome. I would recommend getting off the A2 at least one exit before Airolo as the traffic back ups for the tunnel can be legendary.

It's easy to check out the pass road on line, there are a number of attractions along the way. Driving the St Gotthard Pass Road one more time is on my permanent bucket list. While I am not claustrophobic, driving 10 miles in the dark on a die straight roadway with no visual references in the tunnel gets very tedious in itself.

Hope it works out for you.

Posted by
5 posts

Please tell me the distance between Lake Como to Lucerne. Also,suggest me which transport is suitable for me.

Posted by
24893 posts

where on Lake Como?
200 km Varenna to Luzern by car

have you read the rest of this thread with options?

Hard to say which is suitable for you because we don't know anything about you or what else you are doing

better that you start your own question really