Bernina Express Scenic Train Switzerland

Bernina Express Scenic Train
The Bernina Express train route takes you through incredible alpine landscapes and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - it's that amazing. Think of all the clichés about the beauty of scenic train travel and multiply them by 1000. You'll end up on this journey through Switzerland.
Find out about the Bernina Express route and how you can experience it yourself.
Bernina Express Route and Journey Highlights
The Bernina Express route begins in Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland.The Bernina Express route begins in Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland. Trains run along the Albula Railway, one of the most spectacular narrow gauge railways in the world.Trains run along the Albula Railway, one of the most spectacular narrow gauge railways in the world. You'll pass over the 213 feet high (65m) Landwasser Viaduct, surrounded by high trees and mountains.You'll pass over the 213 feet high (65m) Landwasser Viaduct, surrounded by high trees and mountains.

At the 
highest part of the route, you'll travel beside 3 lakes within the Bernina Mountain pass.At the highest part of the route, you'll travel beside 3 lakes within the Bernina Mountain pass. The Brusio loop is a unique part of the Bernina Express route - a circular viaduct, with 360° views.The Brusio loop is a unique part of the Bernina Express route - a circular viaduct, with 360° views. The Bernina Express ends its journey in Tirano, Italy.

It passes through the town before reaching the 
station.The Bernina Express ends its journey in Tirano, Italy. It passes through the town before reaching the station.
The Route in Numbers
  • Journey time: 4 hours from start to finish
  • Distance: 76 miles (122 km) of track
  • Top elevation: 7392 feet above sea level
  • Highlights: 55 tunnels; 196 bridges & viaducts
Where Does it Start and End
  • Trains run in both directions, from Chur, Davos, or St. Moritz in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy. There are 25 stops along the route.
  • To enjoy all the thrilling twists, turns, and views, we recommend riding from start to finish.
Bernina Express Map and Directions
How to get to the Bernina Express Route
From                               Train Information
Zurich                               You can take the direct Intercity to Chur (1hr 15min), as well as                                                   direct regional trains.

Milan                                You can take a direct regional train to Tirano, which are operated by                                           Trenord and covered by the Eurail Pass.

Austria                              From Vienna or Salzburg, you can take a train to 
Sargans (Switzerland).    Switch trains here and you'll arrive in Chur in only 30 minutes.

France/Germany              From Paris, Munich or Cologne, take a train to Karlsruhe (Germany)                                           or Zurich (Switzerland). There you can switch to a direct train to                                                 Chur.
Get Train Times Using Our Timetable
Which Trains Run Along This Route
Two Types of Train
  1. It's good to know that the Bernina Express is the name of the unique panoramic train that runs on this particular route.
  2. Standard regional trains also operate on the same route, through the same beautiful scenery!
See How the 2 Trains Compare
Train Type
Regional Train
  • Passes through the UNESCO site and mountains
  • Included in the Eurail Pass.
  • Reservation not required.
  • Runs every hour.
  • You'll have to change trains along the way.
  • No panoramic windows.
  • No refreshments on board.
  • No on-board commentary.
Bernina Express
  • Passes through the UNESCO site and mountains.
  • Included in the Eurail Pass.
  • Reservation required (10 Swiss Francs in winter and 14 Swiss Francs in Summer)
  • Limited daily services, depending on where you board the train.
  • This is a direct train.
  • Panoramic windows.
  • Refreshments on board.
  • On-board commentary.

Glacier Express Questions and Answers

Should I take a normal train or the Bernina Express train 
If you're only traveling this route once in your lifetime, you should make the most of it!
The reservation for the Bernina Express train is 
worth the extra fee.
The Bernina Express train has panoramic cars, more personal space, and an overall better atmosphere. It's also direct. With regional trains on this route, you'll have to change trains and transfer your luggage at least once.
However, the regional train journey is still an amazing trip. You'll see the same incredible views for free! You'll also be able to stop in one of the small towns along the way for a closer look.

The choice is yours. (editors note: Go on both the
Bernina Express and the Glacier Express. You will remember it forever)
When is the best time to go on the Bernina Express
The Bernina Express route runs all year round. Visit in spring and you'll see green fields and farming villages in all their colorful beauty.

Visit during winter, and frozen lakes, snow-covered mountains, and local skiers are the main sights. In short, any time is a good time to take this ride.
Regional Train Insider Tips
  • Stop along the route to enjoy the small villages along the way.
  • Simply go on another regional train later to continue your journey.
  • In winter, it gets dark quickly.
  • If you want to experience the wonderful scenery on the Bernina Express route by regional train, be sure to board a train earlier in the day.
What is Included in the Pass
The regular regional trains that run on this route are entirely included in any Eurail train pass valid in Switzerland.
The Bernina Express train is also covered by a Eurail Pass valid in Switzerland as long as you reserve a seat (for a small fee).
What is a Eurail Pass
The Eurail Pass is a train pass that lets you access almost all trains in European countries of your choice, including Switzerland. 
You can take as many trains as you want on each day your Eurail Pass is valid. It's also valid for some ferries and other benefits.


Bernina Express Observation Car
Winter (Dec 11, 2017 to May 12, 2018):
  • 9 Euros (10.50 CHF)
Summer (May 13, 2018 - Oct 29, 2018):
  • 11.50 Euros (13.50 CHF)
Additional bus route in Summer
  • In Summer you can also take the Bernina Express bus between Tirano and Lugano.
  • The bus rides through beautiful landscapes and past Lake Como.
Summer only (April 14, 2017 - Oct 29, 2017):
  • 13 Euros (15 CHF)
You can find more information about the Bernina Express on the official website.
How To Make A Reservation
Go to our Bernina Express webpage. For a seat on the observation car, choose a route with the Bernina Express symbol.
  • When filling in your passenger details, you'll see a drop-down box called "Tickets / Reductions". 
  • Simply select "Eurail" from the options.
  • You only have to pay for your seat reservation(s).
  • You'll receive the reservations by email.
At the train station
  • Keep in mind that trains can become full during busy times.

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