Things to do in Milan

Milan to Switzerland on the Bernina Express Rail

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Picture forested mountains, lush gorges, and sprawling, snow-speckled topography en-route your day trip from Milan to Switzerland- that's what you're signing up for, along with a myriad of other exciting highlights. The distance from Milan to Switzerland by the Bernina Express covers 257km and takes about 3.5 to 4 hours. Here's everything you must know about taking a day trip from Milan to Switzerland.

Switzerland: Home to The Matterhorn & Swiss Fondue!

When it comes to raw alpine scenery and quaint villages dipped in storybook charm, there is little competition for Switzerland.

Be it the snow-capped Alps, the shimmering blue lakes, the lush valleys, or picturesque bankside hamlets, there is an otherworldly charm that surrounds this mountaineous region.

Scenery isn't the only thing Switzerland has to offer: many are charmed by the cultural attractions.

Historic cities like Geneva, Zurich, Lausanne, and St. Moritz are filled with museums, buildings, galleries, and musical festivals for you to frequent.

The capital city of Bern boasts a gorgeous medieval town that hugs the crook of a river!

Of all the neighboring countries, most people find it most convenient to travel from Italy to Switzerland- for multiple reasons- key among them being you're promised a scenic route with plenty of stops along the way for a great day trip!

Day trip from Milan to Switzerland on the Bernina Express

milan to switzerland

The bordering countries of Switzerland are Germany, Italy, Austria, and France. Of the four, most people prefer traveling from Italy to Switzerland for a reason: the Bernina Express. The convenience of this train along with the scenic route it takes makes this a MUST-TRY. So, if you're in Milan or Tirano and want to explore the Swiss Alps, don't think twice before booking Bernina Express tickets to get you there!

Reasons To Visit Switzerland

Go hiking in the idyllic mountain ranges

Located in the heart of the Alps, Switzerland offers some of the most diverse trekking options in the entirety of Europe. You can find tailored experiences based on your expertise and fitness. Strolling around in the foothills can be just as tranquil an experience as ascending to the peaks. Hiking through the Alps in winter can be both challenging and immensely rewarding.

Stumble upon enchanting medieval architecture

Some of Switzerland’s castles date all the way back to 10th century AD! Burrowed in the lap of the Swiss countryside, many of these castles also feature full-fledged museums and other historical attractions. You will find many of these structures perched high atop a mountain or jutting out into a lake, making for some marvelous photo opportunities.

Take one of the continent’s iconic train rides

The train ride from Milan Central Station to Zurich Central Railway Station is nothing short of stunning. Catch sweeping vistas of Alpine meadows, lakes, and pristine forests from the window of your Eurocity train. A visit to the Bahnhofstrasse shopping avenue, which is just a few minutes away from the Zurich railway station, is a perfect way to start your tour of Switzerland.

Experience diverse cultures

Each of the 26 cantons (member states) of Switzerland boasts its own unique culture. The art collections housed in museums across the country exemplify the country’s rich history and culture. Swiss cheese, chocolate, and alphorns are all a part of this fascinating tradition.

Get your adrenaline pumping with adventure sports

From skydiving to kayaking, adventure sports in Switzerland span the full spectrum of adrenaline-inducing activities. Owing to its massive collection of mountains, paragliding and mountaineering are also popular tourist attractions.

Best Day Trips from Milan to Switzerland

Guided Tour from Milan To Switzerland

Not one for planning your own itinerary from scratch? Woudl you prefer an organized guided tour, led by a local tour guide, and inclusive of all your tickets and transportation costs along the way? A guided tour is the way to go! This is the most efficient use of your time: you'll see the most without having to worry about the travel logistics.

St. Moritz Switzerland - Things to do

If you're booking either of the guided tours, you'll reach the picturesque town of St. Moritz- home to an array of iconic pit stops and landscapes. Here’s what you can expect during your day trip from Milan to Switzerland:

Corviglia Funicular

Take a trip down the snow-covered slopes of the Swiss Alps onboard the Corviglia Funicular, a funicular railway route. The enjoyable railway route will acquaint you to many-a-spectacular ski locations and brings you closer to life on the Alps like never before.

Lake St. Moritz

Overlooking a verdant valley, the placid Lake St. Moritz attracts tourists from all around the world that stop by to spend some time amidst nature. Best known as the birthplace of Alpine Winter Tourism, sports enthusiasts often find themselves drawn to the lake for a plethora for adventure sports that take place during the winter.

Milan to Swiss Alps
Cafe Hanselmann

The celebrated tea room of St. Moritz is famous for its decadent Engadine nut tart amongst its other sinful bakery products. Hanselmann Cafe is also one of St. Moritz’s most decorated buildings. Whether it's pralines, tarts, cakes or macarons — Hanselmann’s has a solution for every sweet temptation.

Milan to Swiss Alps
Piz Corvatsch

A part of the ski area, Piz Corvatsche is one of highest peaks of Eastern Alps that draws crowd from all around the world in summer. One can take in spectacular panoramic views from the observation deck or simply spend some time in the lap of nature.

Milan to Swiss Alps

Self-Guided Tour from Milan To Switzerland

Planning to go from Milan to Switzerland by yourself? Not one for co-ordinated fun? Prefer making multiple stops along the way for impromptu photoshoots? Maybe a self-guided tour is your best fit.

What then, are some of the must-visit cities and attractions in Switzerland you should definitely stop at and explore further? Let's find out:

Must-Visit Cities in Switzerland

Guided Vs Self-Guided: How To Decide?

While a self tour allows you the liberty to spare enough time to every attraction, a guided tour involves the company of a skilled tour guide that will brief you to local bytes and facts of Switzerland. A guided tour also involves the security of groups, and allows you to socialise with other travellers with safety. A guided tour often also involves several perks and added ancillaries to make your tour a memorable one. Apart from this, you may also put your worries to rest about travel and food apart from comfort — all of which goes hand in hand with your ticket.

That said, a guided tour is not for everyone- waking up a certain hour, mingling with other tour group members, and following a perfectly-charted out itinerary for instance- is not everyone's cup of tea! So choose according to your fancy.

Best Time To Visit Switzerland from Milan

The best months to visit Switzerland are July through September.

Tourist crowds can be quite high during the early summer and spring months; the crowds begin to thin out around August. Although the popular belief is that Switzerland gets unbearably cold post-summer, this is not quite the case. Temperatures hover between 18°C to 22°C during the day and night-time temperatures rarely fall below 8°C.

Paleo Festival De Nyon is one of the most popular folk festivals that generally takes place in the third week of July. You can enjoy the beautiful music and vibrant atmosphere of the festival if you are planning to visit the country in late July.

If you are a jazz music fan, the Montreux Jazz Festival held in July is an excellent place to come face-to-face with all your jazz icons.

milan to switzerland

Best way to get from Milan to Switzerland: All Transport Options

Mode of Travel Time Cost Best For
Train 3 hours 40 min from CHF 60 Scenic route
Car 3 hours 10 min CHF 40 Fastest route
Bus 5 hour 10 min CHF 47 Longest route
Organised Tour 13 hours roundtrip from CHF 135 (all inclusive) Hassle-free travel

Milan to Switzerland by train

Travelling to Switzerland from Milan is easily facilitated by voyaging onboard the Bernina Express, that takes you through some of the most scenic routes in the world. With plunging gorges, spiralling tunnels and lush slopes, the train takes you through a well-known UNESCO World Heritage Route.

To book your tickets and for more information, head here.

Milan to Switzerland by Bus

Traveling from Milan to Switzerland by bus is pretty convenient, albeit slightly more time consuming than the other travel options. Multiple buses run throughout the day. Explore your options to travel by bus here.

Milan to Switzerland by Car

Driving from Milan to Switzerland by car is quite rewarding: the winding roads and ever-glorious beauty of nature on both sides will make your drive worthwhile. The average fuel cost ranges between CHF 40-60.

A recommended route would be:

  • Milan - Lugano in 1.5 hours (stay for an hour)
  • Lugano - Goschenen in 1 hour (stay for an hour)
  • Goschenen - Zug in 45 minutes (stay for an hour)
  • Zug - Zurich in 40 min (stay for as long as you please)

Organized tour

You can avoid the hassle of planning the day trip by simply booking an organized tour. No more waiting in lines, worrying about planning a step-by-step itinerary and arranging travel from scratch. Soak in the best of the scenic region with this guided tour from Milan to St. Moritz.

Grab a bite on your day trip

Here is a list of some of the places you should stop at and satiate your cravings. We've chosen our favorite eateries at each city- so if you're in the area, definitely try them out!

Switzerland Restaurants
Chez Vrony

Perched atop Rothorn Mountain near the hamlet of Findeln, Chez Vrony is has been operating since the early 1900s. The restaurant serves homemade rosti, bresaola, and house-cured speck in a traditional Swiss chalet ambiance.

City: Zermatt

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Switzerland Restaurants
Hotel Hofgarten

Known for mouth-watering delicacies made only from freshly sourced ingredients from local greenmarkets and cheesemongers, this is one of the finest restaurants in Lucerne. Try out the roasted scallops, porcini ravioli, and braised veal if you plan on stopping by.

City: Lucerne

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Switzerland Restaurants
Haus Hiltl

This restaurant is a vegetarian’s paradise. What’s more, Haus Hiltl is the country’s first-ever vegetarian hotel that has been running for over 120 years! The Hiltl Tartar is a special dish that you should definitely try.

City: Zurich

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Switzerland Restaurants
de Ville de Crissier

L’Hotel de Ville is a top-notch restaurant that has been ranked amongst the top 10 restaurants in the world on multiple occasions by La Liste. The menu is completely dynamic and season-based.

City: Crissier

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Switzerland Restaurants
Restaurant Engiadina

No trip to Switzerland is complete without tasting the famous Swiss fondue. Restaurant Engiadina is your one-stop-shop for an incredible variety of champagne and fondue served with pickles to tingle your palate.

City: St. Moritz

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Where can I stay in Switzerland?

Rest your weary legs after a long day of sightseeing at a local hotel. This is also super beneficial if you're thinking of extending your trip for another day or two. Here are some of our top hotel recommendations.

Hotel Gletscherblick

Located less than 500 meters from Hasilberg Congress, Hotel Gletscherblick is known for its pastoral setting and alpine views. The scenic Reichenbach Falls is very close to the hotel as well (15km).

Starts from $186/night

City: Grindelwald

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Hotel Dakota

Hotel Dakota offers functional rooms and a delectable breakfast in a semi-formal setting. The grayscale paintings inside the hotel are the prime attractions.

Starts from $188/night

City: Meiringen

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Crowne Plaza Zurich

Enjoy fine dining and fitness activities at the Crowne Plaza Zurich. This is also one of the most affordable 4-star tourist hotels in the city.

Starts from $161/night

City: Zurich

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Buying souvenirs from Switzerland

Swiss chocolates, cheese fondue sets, and Swiss watches are some of the popular souvenirs you can purchase in Switzerland.

Now that we now WHAT to get, let's find out WHERE to get them from:

  • Teuscher: A charming shop situated in Zurich’s Old Town, Teuscher features an extraordinary range of Swiss chocolates and confectionaries. The famous ‘Lake of Zurich’ box comes with all your favorite sugary treats including truffles, marzipan, and pralines.
  • Schweizer Heimatwerk: You can get gorgeous hand-painted ceramic pots specifically for making Swiss fondue here. If you are willing to go all the way, you can even purchase an entire set of these pots.
  • Les Ambassadeurs: Looking for a new Chopard or Rolex to complement your personality? Les Ambassadeurs gives you the full watch-shopping experience and sells only the finest products in the Swiss market.

Tips for your day trip from Milan

  1. Always purchase chocolate from local outlets. Larger international chains package their products better, but the chocolate from local chocolatiers is generally cheaper and has its own unique flavor. Avoid buying chocolates at the airport.
  2. You do not need to buy bottled water. Carry a few empty bottles instead. Switzerland is known to have the most robust water processing system, and hence, the cleanest tap water in the world.
  3. If you are planning on trekking in the Alps, make sure you have all the right medication for altitude sickness (AMS). Keep yourself hydrated and try to stay with your group while trekking.
  4. Don’t be afraid to go off the grid and explore the countryside. Switzerland is a very safe place to wander around.
  5. Buying a travel pass is one of the best ways to travel around Switzerland. Cabs can be exorbitantly expensive.
  6. People in Switzerland generally speak one of four official languages: French, Italian, German, or Romansh. This might be daunting for a newcomer, but English will work in most scenarios.
  7. Stores and restaurants can have surprisingly early closing times. Ensure that you are aware of the closing time of your intended destination at all times.
  8. Swiss culture does not favor boisterous partying or being unnecessarily loud. Although this is not always the case, it is usually better to be respectful of local traditions.
  9. Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc instead of the Euro as its local currency. Although you do not need too much, it’s a good idea to keep a few Swiss Francs in hard cash while traveling.

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