The Ultimate Guide to Riding the Bernina Express in Switzerland

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The Bernina Express in Switzerland is a scenic train route that takes passengers on a breathtaking journey through the Swiss Alps. It is considered one of the most beautiful train rides in the world and is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Switzerland. The train travels from Chur, the oldest town in Switzerland, to Tirano, a small town in Italy. Along the way, passengers are treated to stunning views of snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and charming alpine villages.

Bernina Express 6

History of the Bernina Express in Switzerland

The Bernina Express has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. The train route was originally built to connect the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland with the Lombardy region in Italy. Construction of the railway began in 1906 and was completed in 1910. Over the years, the route has undergone several upgrades and improvements to enhance the passenger experience.

Route of the Bernina Express

The Bernina Express in Switzerland

The route of the Bernina Express takes passengers on a scenic journey through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Switzerland and Italy. The train starts in Chur, known as the gateway to the Alps, and travels through picturesque valleys and over dramatic mountain passes. Highlights of the journey include crossing the famous Landwasser Viaduct, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and passing through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Albula/Bernina. 

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Bernina Express Brochure

Embark on an unforgettable adventure and discover the wonders of the Bernina Express with our captivating and comprehensive brochure. This essential travel companion is filled with intriguing highlights, essential information, and fascinating facts that will enhance your journey. Download it now and prepare to be amazed.

The Bernina Express Timetable 

The timetable provides comprehensive details on the train’s departure and arrival times, along with the duration of the journey and any intermediate stops. It is an indispensable resource for travelers who wish to meticulously plan their trip and avoid missing their train. The timetable (2024) can be accessed online or obtained at train stations across Switzerland.

Best time to ride the Bernina Express

The best time to ride the Bernina Express depends on personal preferences and what you want to see along the way. The train operates year-round, but each season offers a different experience. In spring and summer, you can enjoy lush green landscapes and blooming flowers. Autumn brings vibrant colors as the leaves change, while winter offers a magical snowy landscape.

Bernina Express in Switzerland

How to book tickets for the Bernina Express

Tickets for the Bernina Express can be purchased online or at the train station. It is recommended to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, as the train can get crowded. When booking online, you can choose your preferred date and time of travel, as well as your class of service.

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Classes of service on the Bernina Express

The Bernina Express offers three classes of service: Standard, First Class, and Panoramic. The Standard class offers comfortable seating and large windows for enjoying the views. First Class provides more spacious seating and complimentary snacks and drinks. The Panoramic class is the most luxurious option, with panoramic windows that offer unobstructed views of the surrounding scenery.

How to book tickets

What to expect on board the Bernina Express

On board the Bernina Express, passengers can expect a comfortable and enjoyable journey. The train has modern amenities, including air conditioning and onboard toilets. There is also a bar where passengers can purchase snacks and drinks. We recommend bringing your own headphones if you want to listen to the audio guide available in multiple languages.

Scenic highlights of the Bernina Express route

The Bernina Express route is filled with scenic highlights that will leave you in awe. One of the most iconic sights along the way is the Landwasser Viaduct, a curved stone bridge that spans a deep gorge. Another highlight is the Morteratsch Glacier, where passengers can catch a glimpse of one of Switzerland’s largest glaciers. Other scenic highlights include Lake Bianco, Val Poschiavo, and the Brusio Circular Viaduct.

Stops along the Bernina Express route

The Bernina Express makes several stops along its route, allowing passengers to explore different towns and attractions. Some of the notable stops include St. Moritz, a glamorous resort town known for its luxury hotels and high-end shopping. Another stop is Poschiavo, a charming village with colorful houses and a picturesque town square. At each stop, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the local culture, cuisine, and natural beauty.

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Scenic highlights of the Bernina Express route

Tips for taking photos

If you’re looking to capture the best photos on the Bernina Express, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, try to sit on the right side of the train when traveling from Chur to Tirano, as this side offers the best views. Second, make sure to bring a camera with a wide-angle lens to capture the expansive landscapes. Lastly, be respectful of other passengers and avoid blocking their views when taking photos.

What to pack?

When packing for a ride on the Bernina Express, it’s important to bring a few essential items. These include a jacket or sweater, as temperatures can be cooler in the mountains. It’s also a good idea to bring sunscreen and sunglasses, as the sun can be strong at higher altitudes. Lastly, don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture the stunning scenery along the way.

Other activities to do in the area around

There are plenty of other activities to do in the area around the Bernina Express before or after your train ride. Chur offers a delightful opportunity to wander through its enchanting old town and discover its rich history by visiting iconic landmarks like the Cathedral of St. Mary’s Ascension. St. Moritz offers a plethora of indulgent experiences, from luxury shopping to exquisite dining, as well as thrilling outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. Meanwhile, Tirano boasts the renowned Basilica of Madonna di Tirano and charming, winding streets to explore in the historic old town.

 Train Route

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, you should not miss riding the Bernina Express when visiting Switzerland as it offers an unforgettable experience. The train offers stunning views of the Swiss Alps and takes passengers on a journey through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique travel experience, the bernina express in switzerland is sure to leave you in awe.

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