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Zurich to Pontresina Train: All You Need To Know

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Pontresina is a stunning mountain village and one of the most popular winter and summer destinations in Switzerland. The pretty Engadine village of Pontresina is nestled amid pine forests, glacial valleys, and high mountains. At 1,805 m above sea level, it’s a sunny spot at the mouth of Bernina Valley, Upper Engadine’s highest valley.  

Image of Pontresina by TouringSwitzerland.com

Pontresina offers glaciers, snow-capped peaks, dense forests, spas, wellness, and a long list of activities for kids and adults. In addition, it is home to beautiful 17th and 18th-century houses as well as chic Belle Epoque hotels. 

The majority of those visitors who will want to go to Pontresina will come from Zurich. In this article, we will discuss the train commute from Zurich to get to Pontresina. How long is the travel time from Zurich to reach this popular mountain resort? 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 Pontresina.

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 Zurich to Pontresina

Image of Pontresina by TouringSwitzerland.com

Zurich to Pontresina via Chur

To get from Zurich to Pontresina via Chur, you will have to take the following trains:

  1. Take the Intercity train from Zurich to Chur.
  2. Take the Interregio train from Chur to Samedan.
  3. Take the regional train from Samedan to Pontresina.

Zurich to Pontresina via Landquart

To get from Zurich to Pontresina via Landquart, you will have to take the following trains:

  1. Take the Intercity train from Zurich to Landquart.
  2. Take the Regional Express train from Landquart to Samedan.
  3. Take the bus from Samedan train station to Pontresina.

Zurich Airport to Pontresina

There are no direct trains from Zurich Airport to Pontresina. 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. 

  1. From Zurich Airport, you can take any train which will lead you to Zurich Train Station.
  2. From Zurich Train Station, simply board the next train connection heading Chur or Landquart.
  3. In Chur or Landquart, change to the regional train to Samedan.
  4. Take the train or bus from Samedan to Pontresina.

Can I take the Bernina Express train to Pontresina?

If you would like to take the Bernina Express train to Pontresina, you will have to catch the Bernina Express train that leaves from Chur.

As of December 2023, the Bernina Express leaves Chur from Platform 10 at 8:28 AM.


Is There a Direct Train From Zurich to Pontresina?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), there are no direct trains from Zurich to Pontresina. You will have to change to a connecting train in Chur or Landquart.


How Long Is the Train Ride From Zurich to Pontresina?

The train ride from Zurich to Pontresina takes around 3 hours and 19 minutes (via Chur) to 3 hours and 16 minutes (via Landquart), depending on which route you catch.


Is the Train Route from Zurich to Pontresina Scenic?

Yes, starting Chur, the train ride becomes incredibly scenic. It follows the Bernina Express route, which is one of the most scenic routes in the entire country. This train route 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 the Bernina Express 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 Train Ticket from Zurich to Pontresina Cost?

As of the time of writing (updated December 2023), here are the train ticket prices from Zurich to Pontresina:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Zurich – Chur – Samedan – Pontresina80.0040.00
Zurich – Landquart – Samedan – Pontresina82.4041.20
Zurich – Chur – Samedan – Pontresina84.0042.00
Zurich – Landquart – Samedan – Pontresina87.4043.70

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.


Does the Bernina Express Stop in Pontresina?

Yes, the Bernina Express stops in Pontresina before heading to Alp Grüm, Poschiavo, Le Prese, Campocologno, and Tirano.

If you would like to learn more about the various stops of the Bernina Express, check out our article Bernina Express Route: Chur to Tirano Train.


Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

If you go on the Bernina Express train, you will need to reserve a seat. You can reserve a seat either online on the https://www.rhb.ch/en/home 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. I would recommend taking the Bernina Express if the schedule works for you.

If you go with the normal regional train, there will be no reservations necessary for your journey.

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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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