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Lugano To Locarno Train: All You Need To Know

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Darla Uhl

The sunny canton of Ticino has two popular tourist destinations – Lugano and Locarno.  

There are a few specifics to be aware of if you are planning to travel via train from Lugano to Locarno. How do I get from Lugano to Locarno by train? Is the ride scenic? How much does the ticket cost?

In this article, we will discuss the train commute from Lugano to Locarno. How long is the travel time from Lugano to Locarno? How much are the tickets? Read on for more information. 

On this page, you can find all the information you need regarding the train journey from Lugano to Locarno.

Overview: Navigating Swiss Trains

You can start by visiting the SBB website: www.sbb.ch. Using the website, you can type in your departure and arrival destinations. It will then guide you to where and when you need to be. An app is also available for iOS and Android devices.

If you wish to pay half the fare for all your train rides in Switzerland, a Half Fare Discount Card (1-month validity) is available on www.sbb.ch. This allows you to travel for half the price on all SBB routes and most other railways during the duration of your discount card.

Using the Swiss Pass, you get unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat in Switzerland. Over 500 museums are also free or discounted, and there are free or discounted excursions to mountain summits.

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Getting tickets from RailEurope is convenient while traveling within Europe and/or visiting multiple countries. Having been in operation since the 1930s, RailEurope‘s extensive history, user-friendly website and mobile apps, flexible currency payment options, commitment to customer satisfaction, and strategic partnerships with leading rail operators, collectively establish it as a reliable and trustworthy platform for booking European train travel.

You can obtain from RailEurope the following travel passes:

  • Swiss Travel Pass – choose between continuous or flexible Swiss train passes for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days. The perks? unlimited use in over 90 Swiss cities, free admission to more than 500 museums, and discounts on mountain railways and cable cars. You also get discounts on high-speed Lyria trains between France and Switzerland as well as Nightjet trains that go through Switzerland. See RailEurope for more information.
  • Eurail Global Pass – unlimited train travel to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for non-EU residents
  • Interrail Global Pass – access to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for citizens and permanent residents of the EU

Are There Direct Trains From Lugano to Lugano?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), there are two direct trains per hour from Lugano to Locarno.

The Regional Express train that goes from Lugano to Locarno also stops at the following: S. Antonino, Cadenazzo, Riazzino, Gordola, Tenero, and Minusio.


How to Get From Lugano to Locarno

Image of Lugano Lake by Andreas from Pixabay

Aside from the direct trains, some trains go via Giubiasco. Slow trains take 16 minutes longer than direct trains, but if you just missed the last one and don’t want to wait half an hour, you can take it. 

You can change to your connecting train in Giubiasco. Take the Interregio train to Locarno. You’ll get to Locarno 9 minutes earlier than if you waited for the next direct train.


How Long Is the Train Ride From Lugano to Locarno?

  • The direct train ride from Lugano to Locarno takes 33 minutes. If you get the train that goes via Giubiasco, the total travel time from Lugano to Locarno takes 49 minutes.
  • The direct train ride from Locarno to Lugano takes 32 minutes. If you get the train that goes via Giubiasco, the total travel time from Locarno to Lugano takes 48 minutes.

Is the Train Route From Lugano to Locarno Scenic?

No, the Lugano to Locarno route is not a scenic route. But both places are beautiful and worth visiting.


How Much Will the Train Ticket From Lugano to Locarno Cost?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), here are the train ticket prices from Lugano to Locarno

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Lugano – Locarno18.209.10

As you can see, if you avail of the Half Fare Travel Card, you can save on your fare for long train journeys. So this is something to consider during your travel to Switzerland. You can do simple calculations and decide from there if it will be worth it for you.

Ticino Ticket

If you are staying for at least one night at a partner hotel, youth hostel, or campsite, then you will be eligible to get a Ticino Ticket. The Ticino Ticket will allow you free travel in almost the whole canton of Ticino. The ticket also affords you discounts for various mountain railways, museums, and activities.


Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

No, there is no need to reserve a spot on the train. But you can always add this option if that is your wish.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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