The frontage of Luzern station - you can use these escalators to avoid crossing the road in front of the station

Milano / Milan / Mailand to Luzern / Lucerne by train

How to take the rail journey from Milan/Milano to Lucerne/Luzern

The easiest option for a rail journey from Milan to Luzern/Lucerne is to take the daily direct train.



From Milano Centrale to Luzern

Travel Information

Final Destination: Basel

Train also calls at: Lugano and Bellinzona

Note that two types of train are used on this route, on some departures an Astoro and an ETR 600 train are joined together.

2 x direct trains per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

The daily direct trains from Milano typically depart at 08:10 and 10:10, but if these timings don't suit, there are easy cross platform connections at Art-Goldau station from the Milano to Zurich trains into trains on to Luzern/Lucerne.

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)

Travelling with rail passes

Though Eurail and Interrail pass users can easily avoid paying the comparatively expensive rail pass reservation fees on this train, by taking one of the regional trains from Milan to Lugano, connecting there for a Swiss IC train on to Luzern.
The regional trains which usually depart Milano at 08:43; 12:43; 14:43 and 16:43 have good connections for trains on to Luzern.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trainline from €29

Trainline Guide

Trenitalia from €29

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.

On this journey

Journey Features

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

Good to Know

This daily direct trains typically depart from Milano at around 08:10 and 10:10, but if the timings of this train don't suit, there is a straightforward alternative.

The Milano to Zurich EC trains all call at Arth-Goldau station and from virtually all of these trains, guaranteed connections are available into trains to Luzern.

Making the connection is as straightforward as it could possibly be as all you have to is walk across the platform, from one train to another.

Journey Description

The first half of this journey is unexceptional, but things become a tad more fabulous once the train has passed through Chiasso and crossed the border into Switzerland.

Once you're in Switzerland, look out for these three highlights (the video was taken from a train travelling in the opposite direction)

(1) The views from the left over Lake Lugano, as the train nears Lugano.

(2) The crossing over Lake Lugano - with great views from both sides of the train.

(3) South of Lugano station, the views over the lake switch to the right.

After departure from Lugano, the train will now travel through the new Ceneri Base Tunnel.
After departure from Bellinzona the train will enter the world's longest railway tunnelThe Gotthard Base Tunnel - so long that it takes the train around 14mins to pass through it.

Despite the fact that this train now travels through The Gotthard Base Tunnel this is still a scenic journey through the Alps.
After the train has exited the tunnel and travelled through Schwyz, there are views on the left over Lake Luzern, which aren’t available when heading south on these trains.

Then shortly afterwards, before Arth-Goldau, also on the left there are views over the Lauerzersee.

The final journey highlight comes after departure from Arth-Goldau there are some spectacular views over Lake Zug, which can be seen on the right.

The two videos above were taken from trains travelling in the opposite direction.

The view over Lugano from the right hand side of the train The view over Lugano from the right hand side of the train
Looking over Lake Lugano Looking over Lake Lugano
After The Gotthard Tunnel After The Gotthard Tunnel
The view over Lake Luzern The view over Lake Luzern
The view over Lake Thun The view over Lake Thun
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