How to Get To Bernina Express From Zurich

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

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 Bernina Express will come from Zurich. In this article, we will discuss the train commute from Zurich to get to Bernina Express. How long is the travel time from Zurich 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 Zurich to get to Bernina Express.

Overview: Navigating Swiss Trains

To begin, you can go to SBB’s website:  www.sbb.ch.

You can put your departure and arrival destinations on the website. It will then guide you to where and when you need to be. An app is also available for iOS and Android devices.

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.


If you wish to pay half the fare for all your train rides in Switzerland, a Half Fare Discount Card is available at  www.sbb.ch. Your discount card allows you to travel and board most trains throughout Switzerland for half the price.


How to Get From Zurich to Bernina Express

Image of Bernina Express by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay

Zurich to Bernina Express

First, you will have to take the Intercity train from Zurich to Chur. In Chur, you will change your train to the Bernina Express.

As of the time this article was published (October 2021), Bernina Express leaves Chur from Platform 10 at 8:32 AM.

Zurich Airport to Bernina Express

There are no direct trains from Zurich Airport to Bernina Express.

From Zurich Airport, you can take any train which will lead you to Zurich Train Station. From Zurich Train Station, simply board the next train connection heading Chur.

If you want to find out which train platform you need to go to and what time, you can check the screens and boards inside Zurich Airport. 

As of the time this article was published (October 2021), Bernina Express leaves Chur from Platform 10 at 8:32 AM.


Are There Direct Trains From Zurich to Bernina Express?

As of the time of writing (October 2021), there are no direct trains from Zurich to Bernina Express.


How Long Is the Bernina Express Train Ride?

The Bernina Express takes 4 hours and 17 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 (October 2021), here are the train ticket prices for the Bernina Express are as follows:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare Travel Card (CHF)General Abonnement Card (CHF)
Chur – Tirano, Italy73.0041.5010.00
St. Moritz – Tirano, Italy37.0021.005.00

As you can see, if you avail of the Half Fare Travel Card, you can definitely save on your fare for long train journeys. So this is definitely 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. You can reserve a seat either online on the https://www.rhb.ch/en/home website or by phone +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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Related Posts: Bernina Express and Glacier Express Articles