Milano / Milan / Mailand to Genève / Geneva by train

How to take the stunning rail journey from Milan/Milano to Geneva/Genève

Making the rail journey from northern Italy to western Switzerland is straightforward thanks to a direct service of comparatively comfortable trains, and it's also fantastically beautiful.
A wonderful showcase for the best of European rail travel!



From Milano Centrale to Genève/Geneva-Cornavin

Travel Information

Final Destination: Geneve

All trains also call at: Sion and Montreux (connect for MOB trains to Gstaad) and Lausanne

Connect at Sion for the bus to Crans-Montana, route 353 departs from the bus station which is adjacent to the train station in Sion.

4 x trains per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings usually open: 4 months ahead of the travel date; though this period of time can be shorter, particularly when searching for journeys more than three months ahead during October and March.

Reservations will automatically be assigned when booking tickets (but rail pass users will need to make reservations prior to boarding at a ticket office - they're not available from the Trenitalia ticket machines)

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.

Check that you're booking for the direct trains - using the journey time to guide you.

Rail Pass Users:

If you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass you will either to pay the reservation fee to travel on this train

Our guide to using using rail passes to travel from Italy has all the info you'll need, OR you can avoid paying the fee by following this alternative routing.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Italia Rail from €39

Italia Rail Guide

Italiarail lives up to its name by selling tickets for rail journeys within Italy and the core feature of its service is that it is primarily designed to be used by international visitors to Italy.
So the English translations of place names are used when looking up journeys and the terms and conditions for using each type of ticket are clearly explained.
It also clearly points out the additional costs of upgrading to other classes and types of tickets while spelling out the additional benefits of doing so.
Though Italiarail will charge a booking fee, typically of around €3.

The Early Bird service

Italiarail has launched an 'early bird' pre-booking service for journeys by Frecce trains.
Tickets can be booked up to a year ahead of travel at a flat-rate price per route, before the tickets have been released for sale by Trenitalia.
If when they are placed on sale, the price is cheaper than what you have already paid to Italiarail, it will automatically refund the price difference.
Conversely, if the price is more expensive, you won't be charged the price difference.
You can also have the peace of mind of securing your seat(s) on the Frecce train(s) when you are first planning a trip.
If before the tickets are placed on sale, you decide to change your plans, you can request a refund; but once the tickets are released for sale, you will then be bound by the terms and conditions of the ticket(s) you have booked.

Trenitalia from €39

Trenitalia Guide

Trenitlalia is the national rail operator in Italy and in addition to its cheaper types of ticket; it also typically offers other discounts available to non-Italians, which include:

  • Group Offers, provides for a discount of up to 50% when 3-5 Adults travel together.
  • Family Offer for when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 11 and under.
  • The Children Free Offer is available for journeys by Frecce trains, when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 15 and under.
    Those aged 15 and under travel for free, but the Adults will need to purchase full price 'Base' tickets.
Save A Train from €39

Save A Train Guide

Rail Europe from €39

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake viewsLandscape (Hills / Mountains)Not High Speed

Good to Know

The Astoro trains are used for the majority of departures.

The view over Lake Maggiore after Arona The view over Lake Maggiore after Arona
The view over Lake Maggiore after Stresa The view over Lake Maggiore after Stresa
Heading towards the Simplon Tunnel Heading towards the Simplon Tunnel
Between Visp and Sion Between Visp and Sion
The 11th century Valeré Basilica on the left departing from Sion The 11th century Valeré Basilica on the left departing from Sion
Crossing the Rhone between Sion and Bex Crossing the Rhone between Sion and Bex
Arriving at the shore of Lake Geneva Arriving at the shore of Lake Geneva
On the left you can't miss seeing the Chateau Chillon On the left you can't miss seeing the Chateau Chillon
The railway line often runs right by the lake The railway line often runs right by the lake

This is an enchanting journey, which tends to get overlooked, but not by ShowMeTheJourney; as it's been included in our list of Europe's Most Epic Express Train Journeys

If your reserved seat is on the right of the train (when facing the direction of travel) there are some fabulous views over Lake Maggiore after Arona.

Though this video, filmed in the opposite direction, only gives a sense of the view of the beautiful islands that can be seen by the lake shore, shortly after the train has departed from Stresa.
ShowMeTheJourney has been a tad unlucky with the weather when making this train ride.

The train then travels through a spectacular valley between Domodossola and The Simplon Tunnel - which for much of the 20th century was the world's longest railway tunnel.

Between Visp and Sion, the train threads through spectacular valleys lined with vineyards.

The views on this part of the journey are wonderful from both sides of the train - but the video shows what can be seen on the right.

And then the journey ends with a flourish, as either side of Montreux, there are some great views over Lake Geneva from the left of the train

This clip was also filmed from a travelling in the opposite direction - and technically it isn't our best attempt at capturing a train journey, but it gives a sense of what you can expect to see in fine weather!

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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.