From Switzerland to Milano

  • 17 April 2023
  • 5 replies

I made a seatreservation from Basel to Chiasso. This train, the EC151, goes to Milan. That's the city where We have to go. But a reservation from Chiasso to Milan is impossible when ik look at the trainorganisations ÖBB, DB and NS international. How do I solve this problem?  It's the same train so We can stay in the train. Or what can We do?

The day of travelling is 27th of July.


5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

It’s a waste of money to book seat reservations in Switzerland usually. Nobody makes them and you might have a hard time convincing someone to move. On the other hand seat reservations are required in Italy : 11€ for the cross-border EC trains. Your Swiss seat reservation is worth nothing unfortunately.

EC151 is the worst train to take to Milan. It is very crowded (people standing up) and always 20 min late because it comes from Germany. I’d advise to take another connection if possible. The 10:28 train from Basel is quicker and much less crowded. Really any other train will do

The summer timetable in Italy hasn’t been published yet so seat reservations are not possible at the moment.

You can also take any train to Lugano (via Zurich too) and from there the reservation-free RE to Milan (doesn’t take more time). They will have lots of capacity, there might be extra trains from Zurich too. If you can afford the extra hour take the Old Gotthard Line by all means. It is very scenic. For example :

  • IR26 Basel SBB - Bellinzona 10:03 - 14:00 (or 14:25 in Locarno)
  • you could spend a few hours in Bellinzona, Locarno or Lugano along the way :)
  • any train to Lugano
  • RE Lugano - Milano Centrale xx:02 - xx:17 (1h15, hourly). Otherwise the same train leaves Locarno at xx:25

Use SBB app for train connections

I’m curious where did you buy seat reservations for Basel - Chiasso ? SBB only offers tickets 2 months in advance


Thank you so much for this information. For now I have two questions left:

- when will Italy spread the summerscedule of the traintables?

- which train is best to reservate from Florence to Aachen/Keulen on the 8 of august?

It's so difficult to find how everything works with seatreservations and timescedules. Every country has it's own organisation and traincompanies. Pfff..

Thank you for answering already.

Best regards, Tineke van Dellen

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

We don't know. Maybe some time in May Trenitalia will publish its timetable. But don't worry trains will always run.

To get an idea you can have a look at next week trains, the timetable shouldn't change much.

Here is an itinerary suggestion for 8th August (I've looked at next week). I used as it's a reliable planner for all of Europe :

- Firenze S.M.N (Florence) - Milano Centrale 08:55 - 10:50 10€

- Milano Centrale - Mannheim Hbf 11:20 - 17:58 11€ seat reservation (often quite busy)

- Mannheim Hbf - Köln Hbf 18:36 - 20:04 optional reservation

- Köln Hbf - Aachen Hbf 20:15 - 21:07 (or any other train)

That way you travel via the Lötschberg route instead of the Gotthard one :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

- Firenze S.M.N (Florence) - Milano Centrale 08:55 - 10:50 10€

- Milano Centrale - Mannheim Hbf 11:20 - 17:58 11€ seat reservation (often quite busy)

- Mannheim Hbf - Köln Hbf 18:36

- Köln Hbf - Aachen Hbf

If you're in Mannheim in time, you can still get the 18:04 ICE to Frankfurt Flughafen and change there to ICE 10 to Aachen. But EC 52 from Milan is not very reliable and that's why DB doesn't show that connection anymore.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Yes indeed, SBB shows both connections but EC51 is not really reliable yes... but the one on the other direction (EC151) is often worse (I don't have stats here though). Maybe the 18:04 ICE will be delayed too and the connection will still be possible. Who knows...

Btw @Tineke you can also travel in the Netherlands on 2 of your travel days. Just so you know if it fits you better :)