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How to Get To Bernina Express From Geneva

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Darla

The Swiss train system stretches over thousands of kilometers. One of the most spectacular ways to discover the Swiss Alps by train is along with the Bernina Express.

Image of Bernina Express by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of Bernina Express by TouringSwitzerland.com

With its best views of the canton Graubünden’s mountains, gorges, and natural landscapes, the Bernina Express is worth every penny. The journey begins in Chur and ends in Tirano, Italy. During the train’s journey, you will have the opportunity to see several highlights: the Landwasser Viaduct, the Bernina Massif, Ospizio Bernina, Alp Grüm, and the Brusio Viaduct to name a few.


The majority of those visitors who will want to experience the Bernina Express will come from Geneva. In this article, we will discuss the train commute from Geneva to get to Bernina Express. How long is the travel time from Geneva to reach the train? 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 Geneva to get to Bernina Express.

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

For Bernina Express, the Rhaetian Railway website is also relevant. In particular, you can visit it here: https://www.rhb.ch/en/panoramic-trains/bernina-express.


How to Get From Geneva to Bernina Express

Image of Geneva Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

Geneva to Bernina Express

You will need to get the following trains if you wish to go from Geneva to the Bernina Express.

  1. First, take the Intercity train from Geneva to Zurich.
  2. In Zurich, take the Intercity train to Chur.
  3. In Chur, change your train to the Bernina Express train.
Image of the Bernina Express Sign (Platform 10) at Chur’s Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

According to sbb.ch (updated December 2023), Bernina Express leaves Chur from Platform 10 at 8:28 AM.

Geneva Airport to Bernina Express

You will need to get the following trains if you wish to go from Geneva Airport to Bernina Express.

  1. First, take the Intercity train from Geneva Airport to Zurich.
  2. In Zurich, take the Intercity train to Chur.
  3. In Chur, change your train to the Bernina Express train.

According to sbb.ch (updated December 2023), Bernina Express leaves Chur from Platform 10 at 8:28 AM.


Are There Direct Trains From Geneva to Bernina Express?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), there are no direct trains from Geneva to the Bernina Express. You will have to go to Chur first before switching to the Bernina Express train.


How Long Is the Bernina Express Train Ride?

The Bernina Express takes 4 hours and 21 minutes from Chur to Tirano, Italy.


Is the Bernina Express Route Scenic?

Yes, the Bernina Express route is one of the most scenic routes in the entire country. It runs along the World Heritage Site of the Albula / Bernina landscapes of the Rhaetian Railway.

Image of Landwasser Viaduct by TouringSwitzerland.com

If you would like to read more about the route, check out our article: Bernina Express Route: Chur to Tirano Train.

Among the highlights of this route are the following:

  • Historical City of Chur – Switzerland’s oldest city and the gateway to Graubünden – one of the most beautiful regions in Switzerland. Chur is the starting point of the Bernina Express.
  • Landwasser Viaduct – The world-famous Landwasser Viaduct is the most spectacular construction in the 63-kilometer Albula Railway Line between Thusis and St. Moritz. The 142-meter long and 65-meter high Landwasser Viaduct leads the railway line in a radius of 100 meters across the Landwasser Valley directly into a tunnel in the steeply sloping rock face
  • Bergün/Bravuogn – one of the most beautiful villages in Graubünden located in the Albula Valley
  • Bernina Range – one of the highest ranges of the Alps, covered with many glaciers.
  • Ospizio Bernina – the highest station and highest point on the Rhaetian Railway network at 2,253 meters above sea level
  • Alp Grüm together with the views of the Palü Glacier, Lagh da Palü, and the Poschiavo Valley
  • Brusio Viaduct – a single-track nine-arched stone spiral railway viaduct between Brusio and Campascio

How Much Will the Bernina Express Train Ticket Cost?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), here are the train ticket prices for the Bernina Express are as follows:

RouteSecond Class (CHF)First Class (CHF)Seat Reservation Only (CHF)
Chur – Tirano66.00113.0032.00 (low season)
36.00 (high season, May to October)
Chur – Poschiavo59.00101.0032.00 (low season)
36.00 (high season, May to October)
St. Moritz – Tirano33.0057.0028.00
St. Moritz – Poschiavo25.0042.6028.00

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.

If you carry a GA Travel Card, you will simply have to pay a reservation fee of CHF 10 for the Chur to Tirano, Italy route.


Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

Yes, you will need to reserve a seat in case you want to ride the Bernina Express Train even if you have a General Abonnement or a Swiss Travel Pass. You can reserve a seat either online on the https://shop.rhb.ch/en/bernina-express website or by phone at +41 81 288 65 65. You can also complete a reservation at any train station in Switzerland.

There is an extra fee to be paid for the reservation.

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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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