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Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

Orlando, Florida
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Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

Hi All: I really need your help! We will be in Milan (MXP) late May to go to Grindelwal for 3 days. We land in Milan at noon and plan to head out by 1-2 pm to Grindelwald

Our question is should we rent a car or take the train?

Cost for the car = $300 rental + gas I assumed about $200 to go and return + swiss Winget (?) $40 = approximately $600

Is train cheaper? Car got to be faster as we do not have to go to Milan as the train does. Correct?

We are 2 adults and 2 teenagers.

My plan for now is (per Google Maps) take road SS33 going up to enjoy the views and coming back, take the A2 motorway and go to Cinque Terre in Italy.

If we leave at 2 pm to go to Grindelwal, I think we can be there by 6 pm so we have bit of that days too to enjoy. Plan for the next 3 days is to get the 3 day train pass and go to Wengen, Murren and cable car to peaks, etc.

Hope you guys can tell me your take on this plan and specially what is the best, easiest, cheapest, and fastest- train or car?

Many thanks,

Asel

27 replies to this topic
Mannheim, Germany
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1. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

The normal way by train from Malpensa would not go through Milan but taking a coach to Domodossola or Stresa and a train from there.Train is FAR faster as it will go through Simplon and Lötschberg base tunnels while you have to drive over Simplon pass, down into the Rhone valley, then up to the old Lötschberg tunnel and take the car train through it. Overall its probably about 2 h faster.

Orlando, Florida
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2. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

Thanks so much for the response! Google says 4.5 hrs on that path but I am sure the actual time is longer like you said. How about via Lugarno and Lucerne? Google says 3.5 hrs on A2. That seems pretty fast.

I could not find the cost to go from MXP to Grindelwald on bus/train. I can compare the costs if so. Hope you guys have an idea. We are 4 people so anything on public transit is X by 4. This is why I thought car may be cheaper. Also with car, I pick up the rental and get on the road Vs. waiting for a bus. Flight lands 12:30 noon so I have to get the 2:50 bus so a bit of time wasted at MXP if I take the bus.

Other thing is after 3 days, we will go to Cinque Terre in Italy and we need a car to do that.

This is why we thought of a car but I know very little about which mode is better as I have not done this before. I searched the forum and could not find responses on a similar scenario, so hope you guys can weigh in!

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

First, I would use viamichelin.com for driving times - it will also estimate tolls and gas costs.

You can get prices from the bus and rail websites:

http://www.comazzibus.com

https://www.sbb.ch/en

There's no need or even advantage of a car in visiting Cinque Terre.

Wengen, Switzerland
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4. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

A car is a huge liability in the Cinque terre. You can comfortably travel there by train, certainly from Switzerland.

Mannheim, Germany
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5. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

If you land at 12:30 and rent a car you are not going to drive out before 14:30 so i fail to see any major difference. But if these 20 min are so valuable for you - fine.

Orlando, Florida
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6. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

Thank you for your responses!

I have to apologize as there has been a change of plans. We are not going to Cinque Terre but instead will be in Lake Como on our 5th day. Here here is the plan>

Day 1 - Land at MXP 12:30 pm then drive or take transit to Grindelwald

Day 2-4 - Use 3 day train pass to go Murren, Wengen, take gondolas to few peaks

Day 5 - Grindelwald to Lake Como - Car?

Day 6 - Catch return flight at MXP at 2pm

I love transit and no issue using it (while live in Florida, which is not the place for transit lovers!) but I want to make sure it is both the faster and cheaper option if I do. I am still not sure which is better???

Canton of Valais...
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7. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

If you rent a car in Switzerland and drop it in Italy you will be hit with HUGE drop charges - around $1000 is not uncommon. here is what I would do:

Buy a Swiss Half Fare card - 120frs and you can buy this online or at the Brig station.

Day 1 - land at MXP and take the bus to Domodossola. Half Fare card will get you 50% off the cost of the trains Domodossola/Brig/Spiez/Interlaken Ost/Grindelwald. then once in Grindelwald will get you 50% off ALL the cable cars etc.

Day 5 - Grindelwald to lake Como - use the HFC to get 50% off the train ticket Grindelwald/Spiez/Brig/Domodossola/Locarno/Lugano/Chiasso. (BTW the sector Domo/Locarno is VERY scenic) Then normal fare (not much) Chiasso to Como San Giovanni station. Rent a car there. It will be VERY useful around lake Como.

Then drop the car at MXP.

Orlando, Florida
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8. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

You guys are jus awesome!!

Hambagahle, great info! Thanks so much! this gives lot of clarity. Hope you don't mind, but I have some clarifications/questions.

-- If I do rental it will be pick up and drop off at MXP. I have one reserved for $300.

-- Is it still worth doing transit even though I pay for 1 car and carry 4 people while with train/.bus it is 4 tickets?

--Someone said even if I land at 12:30, I will not leave until 2:30pm. why? Here it takes no more than an hr to land, pick your rental, get out. what am I missing?

--So you say get Swiss half fare card X4 = 480 frcs then with all the 50% off rides after that, it will still be cheaper for 4 people than one car carrying all MXP-GDWLD-COMO?

Sorry for asking too many questions! :)

Salisbury, United...
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9. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

How old are your teenagers? There is free/reduced travel depending on their ages.

Orlando, Florida
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10. Re: Milan Airport to Grindelwald - Car or Train?

I think I agree with you all that bus/train seems to be the best!! I am glad I asked you!

I just saw that my 13 old will get a free half fare card or something, so it makes this option hard to beat.. I will check it out more on that but after a long trip, that will also be more relaxing than driving.

So my conclusion - Time - Car saves some time but not a lot.

Cost - Transit is cheaper, specially you have young ones <16yrs.

Is this correct?

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