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Zurich to Chur Train: All You Need To Know

Last Updated on March 5, 2024 by Darla Uhl

Located in the eastern part of Switzerland, Chur is the capital of Graubünden. It’s also the gateway to the Graubünden Mountains. 

Image of Chur by TouringSwitzerland.com

Chur is approximately 1.5 hours away from Zurich Airport, so it’s convenient. It’s also the starting point for the Bernina Express, one of Switzerland’s most scenic trains. 

The old town is a must-see. You’ll find churches like St. Martin’s Church and St. Maria Himmelfahrt Cathedral. You can do lots of other things in this picturesque city.

Some of those visitors who will want to go to Chur will come from Zurich. In this article, we will discuss the train commute from Zurich to get to Chur. How long is the travel time from Zurich to reach this alpine city? 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 Chur.

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

How to Get From Zurich to Chur

Zurich Train Station
Image of Zurich Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

How To Get From Zurich to Chur

The fastest and easiest way to get from Zurich to Chur is to get the direct train. You will have several options to get from Zurich Train Station to Chur. These three options are:

  • Intercity 3 or IntercityExpress train (fastest) – This train stops in Sargans and Landquart before reaching Chur. It is the fastest train connection from Zurich to Chur.
  • Interregio 35 train – This train stops in Thalwil, Wädenswil, Pfäffikon SZ, Siebnen-Wangen, Ziegelbrücke, Walenstadt, Sargans, Bad Ragaz, and Lanquart before reaching Chur. It is the second-fastest train connection from Zurich to Chur.
  • Interregio 13 train – This train also connects Zurich to Chur but has a lot of stops in between. If you are starting at the Zurich train station, I do not recommend taking this train since it adds 1 hour to your journey. It’s better to wait until the next Interregio 35 train. 

How To Get From Zurich Airport to Chur

Image of Chur Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

There is one direct train from Zurich Airport to Chur. It’s the Interregio 13 train that goes to St. Gallen. 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. 

Note: Taking the direct train from Zurich Airport to Chur will take you 30 to 50 minutes longer, but at least you don’t have to switch trains at the Zurich train station. This option might be more relaxing if you’re traveling with a lot of luggage. You can also change to a faster train at Zurich train station. It’s up to you.

From Zurich Airport, you can take any train which will lead you to Zurich Train Station. From Zurich Train Station, you can head to Chur.


Is There a Direct Train From Zurich to Chur?

At the time of this writing (updated December 2023), there are several direct trains an hour from Zurich to Chur.


How Long Is the Train Ride From Zurich to Chur?

The following table shows the train ride duration from Zurich to Chur (as of December 2023):

RouteDuration (fastest)
Zurich – Chur1 hour 15 minutes
Zurich Airport – Zurich Train Station – Chur1 hour 34 minutes
Zurich Airport – Chur (Direct)2 hours 25 minutes
Chur – Zurich1 hour 14 minutes
Chur – Zurich Train Station – Zurich Airport1 hour 36 minutes
Chur – Zurich Airport (Direct)2 hours 25 minutes

Is the Train Route from Zurich to Chur Scenic?

The train route from Zurich to Chur is not that scenic. But you’ll be pleased to know that the Bernina Express train starts in Chur if you’re after a scenic train. This route can be booked for the next day. The Glacier Express train also stops in Chur if you want to head over to either Zermatt or St. Moritz.

Image of Landwasser Viaduct by TouringSwitzerland.com

Your other options in detail are the following:

  • Bernina Express – Bernina Express is another train route that begins in Chur. Chur is the oldest alpine city in Switzerland and is worth visiting. This train route spans 196 bridges. It goes through 55 tunnels and passes 20 beautiful villages in Switzerland. For you to go on this scenic train, you will have to go from Zurich or to Chur first.
  • Historical Train Davos to Filisur – May through October, vintage carriages are pulled by the century-old crocodile locomotive from Davos Platz to Filisur. The train line covers a total length of 4,200 meters through 14 tunnels and 28 bridges. Its scenic highlights include the Wiesen Viaduct and the Zügen Gorge.
  • Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. You would take a train from Zurich to Lucerne, then change to Interlaken. This is sometimes referred to as the east end of this route. The Golden Pass has panorama coaches and is scenic.
  • Glacier Express – Glacier Express is a long journey that starts from Zermatt, home of Matterhorn. It then traverses 291 bridges and 91 tunnels before stopping in St. Moritz. Zermatt and St. Moritz are beautiful mountain resorts worthy of a longer stay. The Glacier Express passes by several idyllic mountain villages.

How Much Will the Train Ticket from Zurich to Chur?

The following table shows the train ticket prices from Zurich to Chur (as of December 2023):

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Zurich – Chur (Intercity 3, Interregio 35)42.0021.00
Zurich Airport – Chur (Direct)59.0029.50
Zurich Airport – Zurich – Chur47.0023.50

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.


Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

No, there is no need to reserve a spot on the train. But you can always add this option if that is your wish.

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Darla Uhl 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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