Between Arth-Goldau and the Gotthard Tunnel

Frankfurt to Lugano by train

How to take the wonderful rail journey from central Germany to beautiful Lake Lugano



From Frankfurt Main Hbf to Lugano

Travel Information

Final Destination: Milano

The train also calls at: Luzern and Bellinzona (change for Locarno).

It will reverse direction on departure from Basel SBB station and on departure from Luzern.

1 x train per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date (usually)

Note that bookings do NOT open 6 months ahead.

This train is usually scheduled to depart from Frankfurt Main daily at 08:06, so target that departure time when looking at this journey.

On the DB Bahn booking site look for the journey which:

  • has 0 in the Chg. column
  • has EC in the Products column.

Seat Reservations:

Book 1st class ticket journey tickets on DB Bahn and your seat reservation is included - but they're optional when booking 2nd class tickets, or if you will be travelling with a 1st or 2nd class rail pass.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
DB Bahn from €39.90

DB Bahn Guide

DB is the national railway operator in Germany, so its website can be used for booking journeys by German express trains; the ICE and IC trains and it doesn't charge booking fees.
It also sells tickets for journeys by direct trains on all international routes from Germany regardless of whether DB is operating the train service.

It also sells an extensive range of end-to-end journeys which involve making connections both within Germany and in neighboring countries, but journeys between Germany and Britain cannot be booked on DB.

A key feature of DB website worth keeping mind is that it offers 1st class ticket purchasers complimentary seat reservations on journeys both within and to/from Germany.

Seat reservations for daytime in both 1st and 2nd class can also be booked separately from tickets.

Omio from €39.90

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Trainline from €39

Trainline Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake viewsLandscape (Hills / Mountains)High Speed (partial journey)

Good to Know

ShowMeThe Journey has also observed ETR 600 trains being used for this service.

Note that there is no return direct train FROM Lugano TO Frankfurt.

Final Destination: Milano

The train also calls at: Luzern and Bellinzona (change for Locarno).

It will reverse direction on departure from Basel SBB station and on departure from Luzern.

Departing Luzern Departing Luzern
The view over Lake Zug #1 The view over Lake Zug #1
The view over Lake Zug #2 The view over Lake Zug #2
Looking over the Lauerzersee Looking over the Lauerzersee
Between Bellinzona and the Gotthard Tunnel Between Bellinzona and the Gotthard Tunnel
The ascent from Bellinzona The ascent from Bellinzona

These scenic highlights are all south of Luzern where the train will reverse direction.

Between Luzern and Arth-Goldau station there are views over Lake Zug on the left.

After departure from Arth-Goldau, on the right, the train passes the Lauerzersee...

...and then further south, there are glimpses of Lake Luzern. These lakes are on the right.

North of Bellinzona the train will spend around 15 mins travelling through Europe's longest rail tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

South of Bellinzona the trains on this route now use the new Ceneri Base Tunnel.

Take the stress out of your journey Everything planned to your specification, so sit back and relax… Try Concierge

Please support ShowMeTheJourney

Help keep us advertising and paywall free!


This second version of ShowMeTheJourney is exciting and new, so we are genuinely thrilled that you are here and reading this, but we also need your help.

We’re striving not to let anything get in the way of providing the most useful service possible, hence a facility has been set up with DonorBox which can be used to support the running costs and make improvements.

Instead of advertising or paywalls, your financial support will make a positive difference to delivering an enhanced service, as there’s a lot of ideas which we want to make happen.

So if you have found the info provided here to be useful, please consider saying thank you.

See if there’s a unique journey guide for your trip, featuring info on the trains, tickets & stations.
Leaving From
Going To

This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.