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10 Best Day Trips from Chur

Last Updated on July 5, 2024 by Darla

The capital of Graubünden, Chur, is an alpine city located in eastern Switzerland. It is the gateway to Graubünden’s mountains. Bernina Express, one of Switzerland’s most scenic trains, departs from this city. The Glacier Express route also stops in Chur on its way to either St. Moritz or Zermatt.

Although Chur has so many activities to offer, those who spend several days there might still want to take day trips from the region. Below are some suggestions for the best day trips from Chur for those based there.

Typically, these day trips are located one to two hours away from Chur by train.

This article discusses the 10 best day trips from Chur. Let’s go!

10 Best Day Trips from Chur

1. Arosa

Arosa is a charming mountain town renowned for its breathtaking scenery, Walser heritage, and abundance of outdoor activities. From exploring the fascinating Bear Park to experiencing excellent skiing on its slopes, Arosa will be a worthwhile day trip from Chur. It takes 44 minutes to drive from Chur to Arosa.

Image of Arosa by TouringSwitzerland.com

Arosa is a scenic mountain resort in the Schanfigg Valley, easily accessible from Chur by regional train. A high mountain resort similar to St. Moritz, it’s 1,800 meters above sea level. As a sunny holiday region with impressive mountain peaks and a lake, it’s part of one of Switzerland’s largest ski resorts alongside Lenzerheide.

The former Walser village of Arosa offers incredibly picturesque mountain views, a lake, a variety of hotels, and easy access from Chur.  From the Weisshorn, the highest point accessible by aerial cableway, you can see all the way to Säntis and the Bernina region. On a clear day, you can even see the Bernese and Pennine Alps.

During the winter, it is part of the Arosa Lenzerheide Ski Resort, one of the largest in Switzerland. The ski resort features 225 kilometers of slopes that include peaks such as Weisshorn, Parpaner Rothorn, Hörnli, Piz Scalottas, Piz Danis, Lavos, Stätzerhorn, and Windegga.

Families will enjoy this region with its Arosa Bear Park and free ski school (for guests staying at least 2 nights at one of the participating hotels or apartments).

Don’t miss these attractions in Arosa
* Arosa Bear Park
* Arosa Squirrel Path (Eichhörnliweg)
* Arosa-Lenzerheide Ski Resort
* Weisshorn Panoramic Views
* Obersee Lake
* Bergkirchli Chapel

How do you get from Chur to Arosa?

To get to Arosa, there is a direct train that leaves Chur once an hour.


2. Lenzerheide

A haven for bikers, skiers, and families, Lenzerheide is a great day trip from Chur. From gliding down the slopes to exploring the scenic Heidsee Lake, embarking on the Globi Themed Trail, or conquering the thrilling Bike Kingdom, Lenzerheide offers a captivating blend of adventure and relaxation for all ages. It takes approximately 25 minutes to reach Lenzerheide by car from Chur, making it easily accessible for a memorable day trip.

Image of Lenzerheide (Globi Trail) by TouringSwitzerland.com

Within half an hour from Chur, you can reach Lenzerheide. Chur and Lenzerheide are only 18 kilometers apart.

The Lenzerheide region is another popular mountain resort in the canton of Graubünden. It is connected to another mountain resort – Arosa. Lenzerheide is famous for two things: biking and families.

In June 2020, Bike Kingdom Lenzerheide opened its doors to visitors. Various levels of freeride trails are available at the Bike Kingdom. As such, Lenzerheide is a well-known biking paradise with lots of trails and facilities for bikers.

For families, there are also so many activities: a Globi (cartoon character) themed trail, rope park, toboggan run, tennis court, swimming pool, fox trail, and family-friendly lake (Heidsee). Watersports enthusiasts also have windsurfing, sailing, wakeboarding, and stand-up paddling offers in the Heidsee Sports Center.

Don’t miss these attractions in Lenzerheide
* Lake Heidsee
* Globi Hiking Trail (Globiweg)
* Bike Kingdom
* Arosa-Lenzerheide Ski Resort
* Scharmoin Marble Run
* Zauberwald Lenzerheide (Christmas Festival)

If you would like to learn more about Heidsee, check out our article The Best Things to Do in Heidsee, Lenzerheide.

How do you get from Chur to Lenzerheide?

Buses leave Chur for Lenzerheide twice per hour. The most popular stops are Lenzerheide/Lai, Rothornbahn to get to Rothorn and Bike Kingdom, and Lenzerheide/Lai, La Riva to get to Heidsee. It takes around 40 minutes to get to Lenzerheide from Chur.


3. Flims

With the turquoise waters of the lakes Caumasee and Crestasee, as well as the dramatic Rhine Gorge, Flims is a highly recommended day trip from Chur. Surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, as well as the renowned Laax ski resort nearby, Flims offers a perfect blend of tranquility, outdoor adventures, and thrilling winter sports for all to enjoy. It is only a short drive away from Chur.

Image of Caumasee, Flims by TouringSwitzerland.com

Within twenty minutes from Chur, you can reach Flims. Chur and Flims are only 20 kilometers apart and really quite close. A truly beautiful place to visit, it provides visitors with a wonderful experience.

One of the most popular spots to visit in Flims is the turquoise lake Caumasee as shown in the image above. Another option is the nearby Crestasee.

There is also a beautiful viewpoint of the Rhine Gorge called Il Spir, quite near Caumasee Lake that I can highly recommend.

Image of Rhine Gorge from Il Spir by TouringSwitzerland.com

Flims Laax Falera is a huge ski and snowboard resort well-known for its numerous snow parks. This resort has the world’s largest half-pipe. It also hosts numerous world events during winter. Due to its size and variety, it is a prized destination for beginners and advanced winter athletes and sports enthusiasts alike.

Don’t miss these attractions in Flims
* Lake Caumasee
* Lake Crestasee
* Rhine Gorge
* Way of the Dragon Treetop Walk (Senda dil Dragun Baumwipfelpfad)
* Flims Laax Falera Ski Resort

How do you get from Chur to Flims?

Buses leave Chur for Flims twice or thrice per hour. It takes around 30 minutes to get to Flims from Chur.


4. Tschiertschen

With its charming Walser houses and stunning natural surroundings, Tschiertschen is a wonderful day trip from Chur. It exudes a captivating sense of history and culture, due to its preserved heritage and timeless charm. It is only a short drive away from Chur.

Image of Tschiertschen by TouringSwitzerland.com

Within twenty minutes from Chur, you can reach Tschiertschen. Chur and Tschiertschen are only 12 kilometers apart and really quite close. It is a place of true tranquility, ideal for recharging the batteries.

Voted in 2020 as the most beautiful village in Graubünden, Tschiertschen lies close to the alpine city of Chur. It is an original Walser village, meaning people from Valais came here to live. This manifests in the architecture of the homes. The wooden houses show typical characteristics that you can also see in other Walser villages. Well-kept wooden houses contain sayings on them traditionally taken from the bible.

Tschiertschen is a beautiful village worth visiting and an attractive starting point for hikes. It is located in the middle of the mountains, yet has a beautiful vantage point of the valley. Tschiertschen contains 70 kilometers of hiking trails. From it, you can hike further to Lenzerheide, Arosa, or Churwalden. As an example, you can also do the high mountain trail from Tschiertschen to Arosa, and enjoy the majestic panorama of the Schanfigg valley through Ochsenalp.

Don’t miss these attractions in Tschiertschen
* Tschiertschen Village
* Alp Farur
* Lake Urden

For more information regarding Tschiertschen, visit our article The Charming Tschiertschen Village.

How do you get from Chur to Tschiertschen?

A bus leaves Chur every hour for Tschiertsichen (except typically at 3:05 p.m. when there is no bus available). Travel time by bus is 29 minutes from Chur to Tschiertschen.


5. Guarda

Immortalized in the beloved Schellen-Ursli children’s book, Guarda offers a glimpse into a bygone era, inviting guests to wander its quaint streets and experience the enchanting atmosphere of this timeless alpine gem. With its well-preserved Engadine architecture, it is a fairytale village worthy of a day trip from Chur.

Image of Guarda by TouringSwitzerland.com

Only 77 kilometers away with a car and perfect for a day trip, you can reach Guarda from Chur in 90 minutes. It is a small, incredibly picturesque village made famous by the children’s storybook Bell for Ursli (Schellen-Ursli).

The charming houses showcase an art called sgraffiti. Sgraffito is a technique of wall decor produced by applying layers of tinted plaster in contrasting colors to produce art or patterns. Windowsills are also often adorned by flowers.

Schellen-Ursli is one of the most famous children’s books in Switzerland. The book was written by Selina Chönz and illustrated by Alois Carigiet. It is set in Guarda and talks about the bell that Ursli received for Chalandamarz. Chalandamarz is an annual tradition on the first of March wherein the young children try to drive out winter using their bells.

In 1975, Guarda received the Wakker Prize. The Wakker Prize is a yearly award for a specific city, town, village, or group by the Swiss Heritage Society. It honors efforts to preserve and develop the architectural heritage of a location.

Don’t miss these attractions in Guarda
* Guarda Village
* Schellen-Ursli House and Museum
* Schellen-Ursli Hiking Trail

If you would like to learn more about Guarda, check out our article Guarda: Explore This Fairytale Village in Engadine, Switzerland.

How do you get from Chur to Guarda?

To get to Guarda, you have to go from Chur to Landquart first. In Landquart, change to the connecting regional train to Guarda. In order to reach the village by train, you will need to walk for about 40 minutes or take the bus to Guarda, Cumün. The total travel time from Chur to Guarda, cumün is 1 hour and 41 minutes.


6. St. Moritz

Tucked in the heart of the picturesque Engadine Valley and surrounded by beautiful lakes, St. Moritz is an unforgettable day trip from Chur. With its grand hotels and world-class facilities, St. Moritz also exudes elegance and luxury. It is about an hour and a half away drive from Chur.

St. Moritz Lake by TouringSwitzerland.com

St Moritz is a fantastic day trip destination from Chur, well worth driving 90 minutes to reach. It is a delightful journey, especially when passing through the Julier Pass. It’s worth noting that Chur and St Moritz have starkly different atmospheres, making the trip worthwhile despite the 85-kilometer distance.

The first winter sports resort in the world, St. Moritz is world-famous. St. Moritz has always been about beauty and luxury. In addition to its grand hotels, the town is known for its ski resorts. St. Moritz is a high-end vacation spot that offers modern amenities and architecture.

You can find St. Moritz above St. Moritz Lake (St. Moritzersee in German), which gets frozen in winter. In the village, there are many things you can do. You can visit the following town, go shopping, visit museums, swim, or go to the Bob Run.

St. Moritz has 25 crystal clear mountain lakes adding to the beautiful Alpine scenery. Some of the nearest ones are Lake Staz, Lake St. Moritz, Lake Champfèr, and Lake Silvaplana. There are forests and glaciers to enjoy. Hiking, climbing, sailing, windsurfing, horseback riding, golf, tennis, and skiing are also possible here.

Don’t miss these attractions in St. Moritz
* St. Moritz Village and Shopping
* Fuorcla Surlej
* Chastè Peninsula
* Celerina

How do you get from Chur to St. Moritz?

Buses leave Chur for Flims twice or thrice per hour. It takes around 30 minutes to get to Flims from Chur.


7. Lucerne

Lucerne, 142 kilometers away from Chur, is an excellent place for a day trip. A must-see destination for travelers, Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful cities, boasting breathtaking views of the lake and mountains, a fascinating history, and a wealth of cultural attractions.

Image of Lucerne by TouringSwitzerland.com

The city of Lucerne is one of the most popular tourist spots in Switzerland. In Lucerne, you’ll find everything you’d want in a typical Swiss city. The beauty of its fjord-like blue lake, charming old town, and mountains are unbeatable. For those who want to spend some time in Lucerne city, there’s so much to see: the Transport Museum, the Lion Monument, the Rosengart Collection, and Chapel Bridge, just to name a few. 

You can get around Lake Lucerne with the Lake Lucerne ship company. Various basins and bays provide exhilarating and changing views of the landscape on the lake – Stansstaad, Weggis, Buochs, Gersau, and Uri.

Don’t miss these attractions in Lucerne
Lion Monument
Chapel Bridge
Transport Museum (Verkehrshaus)
* Rosengart Collection
Glacier Garden

You can read more about other stunning places to visit near Lucerne such as BürgenstockEngelbergVitznau, and Weggis in this article 10 Beautiful Places Near Lucerne. And for those who wish to visit the mountains near Lucerne, you can find out about the Closest Mountains To Visit From Lucerne.

How do you get from Chur to Lucerne?

To get from Chur to Lucerne, you can ride the Interregio train to Thalwil. In Thalwil, take the Interregio that will bring you directly to Lucerne. The total travel time from Chur to Lucerne via Thalwil is 2 hours and 9 minutes.


8. Zurich

Zurich’s numerous museums, shops, and activities make it one of the most vibrant day trips from Chur.
Zurich is within easy reach from Chur, with a travel time of approximately 90 minutes by car.

Image of Zurich by TouringSwitzerland.com

As Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich offers plenty of restaurants, bars, museums, and shops. Here you will also find beautiful churches such as Grossmünster and Fraumünster. My personal favorite family outing here is the Zoo, which, in my opinion, is the best zoo in the country.

There are many things that you can do in Zurich so if you would like to visit somewhere larger and livelier than Lucerne, I highly recommend that you give it a try.

Don’t miss these attractions in Zurich
* Landesmuseum Zurich
* Grossmünster Church
* Uetliberg Mountain
* Limmat River Cruise
* Lindenhof
* Lake Zurich
* Bahnhofstrasse for shopping

How do you get from Chur to Zurich?

Chur and Zurich are connected by several direct trains every hour. The fastest train connections usually take between 74 and 76 minutes.


9. Pontresina

With its stunning vistas of the Bernina Range and situated near the picturesque Roseg Valley, Pontresina is one of the most picturesque day trips that you can do from Chur. Visitors can embark on breathtaking hikes, take in the panoramic views from the Muottas Muragl, or embark on a scenic journey aboard the famous Bernina Express train.

Image of Pontresina by TouringSwitzerland.com

Pontresina is one of the best mountain resorts near Chur and it’s only 1 hour and 32 minutes away. And while it is possible to reach Pontresina by car, I highly recommend embarking on the scenic Bernina Express panoramic train journey from Chur to Pontresina. This unforgettable experience allows you to immerse yourself in the stunning alpine landscapes, offering a unique perspective and a truly memorable way to arrive in this charming mountain village.

Located in the Engadine Valley, Pontresina is surrounded by fragrant pine forests, glacial valleys, and high mountains. Located at 1,805 meters above sea level, it’s a beautiful sunny place at the mouth of Bernina Valley, the highest valley in Upper Engadine.  One of the most popular winter and summer resorts in Switzerland, Pontresina is a picturesque mountain village you have to see.

Image of Alp Languard, Pontresina by TouringSwitzerland.com

Pontresina has gorgeous 17th and 18th-century houses and chic Belle Epoque hotels. Pontresina boasts glaciers, snowcapped peaks, and thick forests, as well as spas, wellness centers, and plenty of activities and adventures for young and old.

Don’t miss these attractions in Pontresina
* Bernina Express
* Steinbock Paradies Pontresina
* Val Roseg
* Muottas Muragl
* Alp Languard

How do you get from Chur to Pontresina?

The best way to get from Chur to Pontresina is to take the Bernina Express which leaves Chur at 8:28 AM. You will reach Pontresina in approximately 2 hours with the panoramic train. If you do not take the Bernina Express, you can take the Interregio to Samedan, where you can take the connecting train to Pontresina.


10. St. Gallen

St. Gallen is 100 kilometers north of Chur and offers a different, yet nonetheless memorable experience for a day trip from Chur, with its picturesque Abbey Quarter, Old Town, and textile heritage. The Abbey of St. Gall, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is worth checking out.

Image of St. Gallen by TouringSwitzerland.com

Switzerland’s eighth largest city, St. Gallen, is quite different from Chur. St. Gallen is famous for its old town, but also for the St. Gallen Abbey Quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded by the Irish monk Gallus, St. Gallen lies between Lake Constance and the mountainous region of Appenzell in northeastern Switzerland.

Einsiedeln was also an important station on the Way of St. James during the Middle Ages and Early Modern Era.

Don’t miss these attractions in St. Gallen
* St. Gallen’s Old Town
* Abbey of Saint Gall
* Textile Museum

How do you get from Chur to St. Gallen?

To get from Chur to St. Gallen, you can ride the Interregio train to Ziegelbrücke. In Ziegelbrücke, take the slow train to Uznach, before changing to the connecting train to St. Gallen. The total travel time from Chur to St. Gallen is 1 hour and 39 minutes.


Summary: Best Day Trips from Chur

For those who are staying for a couple of days in Chur, Switzerland, and wish to venture out to other places, we hope that this list was helpful.

To summarize, there are so many beautiful mountain resorts that you can visit on a day trip from Chur. I can recommend Arosa, Lenzerheide, Flims, Tschiertschen, Guarda, St. Moritz, and Pontresina.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for large cities with lots of activities, Zurich, Lucerne, and St. Gallen are great choices.


Darla 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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