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Venice to Paris by train

We'll be arriving Venice early May by cruise ship and flying back to US out of Paris five days later. We'd prefer a scenic train ride through the Swiss alps as opposed to a commercial flight but don't want to go too far out of our way or spend too much time since we haven't been to Paris and feel we'll need the most days there. Tentatively planning on breaking up the trip by spending a night in Lugano to ensure being able to see the mountains etc in daylight during the rest of ride to Paris via Basil. Anyone taken this route who can advise if one actually sees more than the inside of tunnels? Thanks for your help.

Posted by
32237 posts

Paul,

The route that I'd probably use in this situation would be to start with the train departing Venezia S.L. at 07:50, arriving Lugano 12:10 (time 4H:20M, 1 change in Milan, compulsory reservations).

For the trip from Lugano to Paris, there's a train departing Lugano at 07:12, arriving Paris Est at 14:34 (time 7H:22M, 1 change in Basel, reservations compulsory). The trip from Basel to Paris is via TGV, so REALLY fast! From Paris Est, you can use the Metro to get to the area where your Hotel is located. Taxi would also be an option if you're hauling lots of luggage and don't mind paying the higher costs.

The arrival times both in Lugano and Paris are probably about right for Hotel check-in, as rooms are not always ready until early afternoon.

With regard to the trip from Lugano to Paris, I'm not sure this would be any faster via budget airline. You'd have to allow time to get to a larger city with an airport, get to the airport, check-in & clear security which is going to add to the time. On arrival in Paris, there would be the usual waits for de-boarding, collecting luggage and then getting into the city (which could take A WHILE if the airline terminates at Beauvais!). Unless you're used to packing really light, you'd likely face overweight luggage charges. For a trip of ~7 hours, I'd choose the train any day!

Keep in mind that the schedules will most likely change slightly between now and next May so you'll have to verify the routes and times closer to your departure times!

Happy travels!

Posted by
8700 posts

To both see the Alps in daylight and maximize your time in Paris, you could go all the way from Venice to Paris in one day. Leave Venice at 06:20, connect in Milan to a train to Zurich, connect there to a train to Paris, and arrive in Paris at 18:34. See the timetables at www.bahn.de. Click on the drop-down flag menu for English. Enter any date between today and 12 December to get complete timetables. After you get summary timetables for Venezia Santa Lucia-Paris, click on the arrow to the left of each departure time to see the connecting points.

Posted by
34 posts

The problem I see with trying to do this in one day is that we're arriving via cruise ship and I'm just not confident we'd be able to accomplish a disembarkment in time to facilitate an early departure from Venice. Good ideas though.