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hwinokur Apr 20th, 2004 11:12 PM

Milan to Zurich
Can anyone tell me if this train route is particularly scenic? I know from reading some posts that there are some prettier routes through Switzerland. My decision is whether to fly to London from Milan (after our stay in Cinque Terre) or fly out of Zurich, since my boyfriend will be flying home from there. I leave 4 days after he does, so I plan on seeing Bath and the Cotswolds before I fly out of London. I'd lose a day of sightseeing with the latter option, but I'm wondering if the train ride would be enough sightseeing in itself. Plus I'd get to spend an extra day with boyfriend, which after traveling together for 10 days may or may not be a bonus. :)

Cicerone Apr 20th, 2004 11:59 PM

I have done the ride twice and am doing it again on Friday. It is very pretty, you go through countryside and mountain areas, and pass Lake Como. It is not as beautiful or spectacular as any of the panoramic trains like the Glacier Express, but it still is quite beautiful.

That being said, you may find many low cost flight options from Milan to London rather than from Zurich to London. You might want to compare. Also if you take a fast train like the Cisalpino, you will pay a supplement in addition to the train fare. You might want to compare the price options betwen flights and train prices. Also assuming you are not staying in Zurich but are going right from Milan to the airport at Zurich, you will most likely have to change from trains at Zurich main station. Not hard to do, but if you have a lot of luggage it may be a pain.

You can view routes and get prices on the Swiss Rail website at As the journey is between countries, you have to send them an e-mail to get a price quote; although you may be able to call them at 41--900 300 300. This is a toll-free number for Switzerland, so I am not 100% sure it will work from where you are. The line is open 24 hours and you should be able to find an English speaking operator, but you might have more luck during normal business hours in Switzerland.

You can also look up train schedules on the website for the Italian national train system at, but I find that site very hard to use.

If you decide to take the train, you can wait to buy your ticket in Italy. Or you can buy it over the web at the site. Don't buy it from a commerical operator like Raileurope, as you will pay more.

Singletail Apr 21st, 2004 01:05 AM

You can buy your tickets once you get to Europe. Whereas the Cisalpino service out of Milan uses high speed tilting equipment be aware that for this particular trip you could only take it as far as Brig where you would have to change for Zurich.
There are also direct trains (no changes involved) from Milan to Zurich which take a somewhat different route, use a different tunnel to get under the highest alps, etc. That trips takes slightly less than four hours and depending on the time of year you may not need seat reservations as you would on a Cisalpino.

Singletail Apr 21st, 2004 01:10 AM

Oops..I apologize: there IS some Cisalpino service from Milan to Zurich that does not require a change; you can leave Milan at 7:15 Am and arrive Zurich at 10:51 AM.

hwinokur Apr 21st, 2004 10:15 AM

Thank you Cicerone and Singletail for all the great info! I'll check the train and flight fares. -Heather

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