Venezia / Venice / Venedig to Zürich / Zurich by train

How to take the rail journey from Venice/Venezia to Zurich

Making the rail journey from Venice to northern Switzerland has been improved for the better on the new timetable, as the departure time has been moved forward by four hours to 13:18.
Aside from arriving in Switzerland in time for an evening meal, the two particular positives are:

  • connections are available to destinations across Switzerland (Brig, Geneve, Lausanne and Sion have a daily direct train from Venice)
  • for all by the shortest winter days, the entire journey will be daylight; and many of its highlights will be towards its conclusion.

Though if the timings of this direct train don't suit, the other option is to take a train to Milano Centrale and connect there for a train on to Zurich.
Taking an overnight journey isn't a feasible option on this route.



From Venezia Santa Lucia/Venice S. L. to Zürich HB / Zurich main station

Travel Information

This train is usually scheduled to depart from Venezia S. Lucia daily at 15:18 and arrive in Zurich at 21:27.

Final Destination: Zuerich/Zurich

This train also calls at: Lugano (connect for Locarno); Bellinzona and Arth-Goldau (connect for Luzern and Basel)

1  x direct train per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

(When looking up this journey on Trenitalia select Zuerich (city) as the arrival station)

This one direct train of the day is usually scheduled to depart from Venezia S. Lucia station at 15:18, so target that time when looking up this journey.

When looking up this journey you will see other options which involve:

(1) taking a train from Venice to Milan, and then connecting there into a

(2) another train from Milan to Zurich

But if you do opt to change trains in Milan instead, then pay particular attention to the time allowed to change trains.
It's not particularly uncommon for the Frecce trains from Venice to arrive in Milan 20 - 30 mins late; and any ticket you have booked will only be valid on a specific train on to Zurich
This is a route on which having to swap tickets to a later connecting train, in the event of a delay, is definitely a scenario to avoid if possible.

Travelling with InterRail and Eurail:

Rail Pass users will need to pay a reservation fee prior to boarding this train, but it can be the best option for a Venice to Zurich journey.

If you opt to travel to Zurich, by making a connection in Milan, you'll need to pay the rail pass reservation fees on both the Frecce train from Venice to Milan AND the EC train from Milan to Zurich.
OR avoid the fees completely by making more connections and experiencing a slower journey.

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.
Omio from €39

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

Save A Train from €39

Save A Train Guide

On this journey

Good to Know

The train will reverse direction on departure from Milano Centrale.

Departing from Venezia S.Lucia Departing from Venezia S.Lucia
Passing through Lugano Passing through Lugano
Looking over Lake Lugano on the right to the south of the city. Looking over Lake Lugano on the right to the south of the city.
Lake Zug can be seen on the left after Arth-Goldau Lake Zug can be seen on the left after Arth-Goldau
Heading north from Bellinzona towards the Gotthard Base Tunnel Heading north from Bellinzona towards the Gotthard Base Tunnel
The train will reach Lake Zug shortly after 18:30 The train will reach Lake Zug shortly after 18:30
After the tunnel look out on the left for the glimpses of Lake Luzern After the tunnel look out on the left for the glimpses of Lake Luzern

Aside from the views on the right as the train departs Venice and a brief view over Lake Garda, as the train leaves Desenzano, the Italian section 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 highlights:

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

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

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 tunnel, The Gotthard Base Tunnel - so long that it takes the train around 18mins 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.

After departure from Arth-Goldau there are some beautiful views over Lake Zug - also on the left.

(All of the videos were taken from a train travelling in the opposite direction)

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