September travel: Paris to Lausanne to Luzern to Zurich to Milan ending Venice

  • 19 February 2023
  • 2 replies

Two seniors, first class travel



1.) What Eurorail pass is best?  When should it be purchased?

2.) How soon can reservations be made for September travel?

3.) How are reservations made?

Thank you

2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

1. If you live in Europe, look up Interrail and if you live elsewhere Eurail. It can be purchased anytime. A mobile pass can be activated within 11 months and for a paper pass you need to choose a starting date (and wait until it is delivered home).

2. Usually bookings are open 90 days in advance, sometimes more, sometimes less. Be aware that not all trains will require a reservation.

Paris to Switzerland yes : the direct TGV Lyria option has an expensive reservation fee, especially for 1st class passengers but there are options to avoid it.

within Switzerland no

Zurich - Milan yes 11€ on ÖBB website

Milan - Venice yes 10€ on ÖBB website

3. Usually on the companies operating the trains but there are exceptions : for Italy it's better doing it on the Austrian Railways website ÖBB (don't ask me why)


But, and it's a big but, I'd seriously consider buying regular tickets instead of a pass for the journeys you'll be making. September isn't high season anymore and buying in advance will be quite cheap.

I'll do just a quick calculation for you :

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

From what I could see you live in the USA so 2 1st class Eurail passes would cost 1054$ (2×527) + the mandatory reservations. That's quite expensive !


On the other hand, regular tickets (bought way in advance) should be :

Paris - Lausanne TGV from 54€ (1st class)

Lausanne - Lucerne about 60 CHF for a specific connection (supersaver tickets) or 114 CHF for a ticket valid all day (1st class)

Lucerne - Zurich 30 CHF (supersaver) or 44 CHF flexible ticket (1st class)

Zurich - Milan Eurocity from 65€ (1st class)

Milan - Venice Frecciarossa from 30€ (1st)

This makes about 250 USD per person so half the price of the pass (and that's without reservations) !

For the day between Lausanne and Lucerne I'd recommend buying a 2nd class saver day pass (from 52 CHF) or a 1st class one (from 81 CHF) and that gives you a lot of flexibility !

It includes all trains, buses, trams, boats of the country !

For example you could take a train to Montreux, then the Golden Pass (panoramic train) to Interlaken, take a boat (included) between Interlaken and Brienz and a last train to Lucerne. It is totally doable in one day.


Let me know if you've got any other questions.