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Where to stop on the route from Zurich to Lugano?

Where to stop on the route from Zurich to Lugano?

Aug 16th, 2007, 12:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 173
Where to stop on the route from Zurich to Lugano?

Many thanks to everyone who responded to my questions on Lugano day trips, especially schuler, TuckH and LLindaC. I now have a good list of places to visit and things to see during our stay.

We are planning to travel to Lugano by train from Zurich and I am toying with an idea of stopping somewhere for one day, ideally so that we can see a location in Switzerland different from a big city (Zurich) or Ticino. I am particularly interested in a location that would allow us to break down the train journey efficiently -i.e., 1.5 hours from Zurich and 1.5-2 hours from Lugano. Luzern was one thought, but it would appear that the train ride from Luzern to Lugano is at least 3 hours long, so from train efficiency point of view, it's not ideal. Interlaken adds a few hours to the overall train traveling time, and since we only have one day to spend in that intermediate stop, I thought it was not a great way to allocate the limited time.

Is there a location that you would recommend, on Zurich - Lugano train route, that would not add hours to the overall train ride?

We could just get on with it, and proceed to Lugano directly, but I thought if there's a great place to stop half way, I'd love to find out about it.
kasperdoggie is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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If you put the journey into sbb.ch, you have an option to see intermediate stops.

On the current timetable, almost exactly halfway is Goschenen, just before the Gotthard tunnel. I haven't been there myself, but according to the Bradt guide, you can hire bicycles at Goschenen station ride to Fluelen on lake Lucerne and get the train back. Or you could get another train to Andermatt in the mountains (then train back to Goschenen to pick up the Lugano train again later).

If that train's too early, it looks like your best bet on the direct routs is to stop at Arth Goldau about 45 mins out of Zurich, and perhaps take a train from tehre to Schwyz or Fluelen.
Nonconformist is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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I've been to Zug a couple of times. It's a beautiful place. It doesn't fit your time specifications, being only half an hour from Zurich and over 2 hours to Lugano.

I would reserve on the CIS from Zug at 19h32 and enjoy dinner on the train as you pass the most extraordinary views from any train in Europe. This assumes that you are traveling soon while there is still daylight during the train journey.

hopscotch is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 05:33 PM
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Bellinzona, while fairly close to Lugano, is quite interesting with its World Heritage fortresses:
lovisa is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 09:03 PM
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Well, let me first say that if you have not seen Zurich, you might consider that. It is NOT a “big” city, it only has 450,000 people (Paris has 8 million, now that’s a big city), and the tourist bits are all walkable from the train station. It has a very charming old town, including a cathedral where you can climb the tower and get a bird’s eye view of the town. There are about half a dozen excellent museums (for a rainy day or otherwise). If you get a nice day you can take the little train up to the top of the Utliberg for an unparalleled view of lake and Alps. You can take ferry rides on the lake, and there are many excellent restaurants. A great place to spend a day and then head on down by train to Lugano. See the Fodor’s guide on this site (click Desintations above), they give a nice overview and suggestions. I have posted quite extenstively on things to do for a day and otherwise as well.

I would agree on the Zug suggestion, they have a small but very nice old town with painted buildings, hard to find in Switzerland. If you like the work of Klimit, Schiele, and other 20th century artists, their Kunsthaus museum would be a great place to visit. Go to http://www.kunsthauszug.ch. This town can be “done” in 2-3 hours with a stop for lunch at the very good Gausthaus Rathauskeller (http://www.rathauskeller.ch)

Arth-Goldau is “William Tell” country and is quite pretty, rolling countryside and along the lake of Zug, you could bike or walk around there. You can also take the cogwheel-railway from Arth-Goldau to the top of Mt Rigi.

If you are going to spend any time on a day trip on your way down to Lugano, I would suggest that you try to send your luggage ahead as unaccompanied baggage from Zurich airport to Lugano. This will save you having to lug it around and store it in stations. The service is called “Fast Luggage”, it costs about US$15 a piece, and guarantees delivery in 8 hours, take a look at http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/...isegepaeck.htm, or go to rai.ch and click on “Services” and then “More at the Counter” and then “Luggage” and then “Fast Luggage” . If you miss the deadline for Fast Luggage you can of course also send your luggage ahead by using the regular Swiss Rail baggage service, the only problem is that they don't guarantee delivery by a certain time other than to say it won't take longer than 36 hours. In that case, take the baggage with you but store it at whatever train station you stop in for the day. There are lockers at virtually every train station and manned luggage rooms at larger train stations. The charge is something like CH5 per piece per day (about US$3). For the manned luggage room, look for a blue sign with a white suitcase painted on. For the lockers, look for a blue sign with a white suitcase and a key painted on it.
Cicerone is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:50 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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Zug would be the easiest stop off because
1) The waterfront is beautiful
2) The old town is interesting
3) The connections to Lugano are very good

Arth-Goldau would only be interesting if you're going up to the Rigi. The Rigibahn station is located next to the train station and very easy to catch. For Rigibahn times, you can check sbb.ch. Goldau is not a pretty town but they have Migros, Coop etc. If you have children with you, Goldau would also be interesting because of the Tierpark.
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 03:31 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 173
Thank you very much for your suggestions. It looks like staying an extra day in Zurich or stopping for one night in Zug would work best for our itinerary. We are traveling in a week, so I'd better get on with making up my mind!
kasperdoggie is offline  

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