Swiss intercity trains depart from Chur to Zurich every 30 minutes at the same station and reservations are not required. So just hop on the train on the next platform and sit wherever you want for the hour-long journey to Zurich. When you finally arrive in Tirano, the Bernina Express train station is just across the courtyard from Trenord station. There’s plenty of time to grab a quick bite to eat at one of the city’s cafes before the Bernina Express departs for Chur. Otherwise, there is a soda cart on the train where you can get coffee, tea, snacks and other souvenirs on board.
The 2nd class seats on the Bernina Express train are comfortable, but quite narrow. There are hooks next to the window for hanging jackets and the space under the seats is open to store things like a backpack, for example. The table opens up for people in the window seats, with a map of the trip printed on it and a small garbage can. You wouldn’t get such sweeping views by taking the regional train, but you’d save money on your ticket.
Later, just take another regional train to continue your journey. If you only take this route once in your life, you have to make the best of it! The reservation for the Bernina Express train is worth the extra fee. This short trip starts in Tirano with an overnight stay in a hotel category of your choice. On the second day you travel with the Bernina Express via Alp Grüm, Bernina Pass and Lake Bianco to St. Moritz.
He stopped several times on the highway and had significant shifting problems and a significant lack of power. It went off with a big jerk every time it stopped and the gears made a lot of grinding noises. We lost over an hour in our travel time to St Moritz due to a traffic accident that we were told would slow us down by 15 minutes and problems with the bus. This was a very well organized tour, and Jo was a great guide!
In winter, the last part of the route to the north will be in the dark. There are several trains that run the route between Chur and Tirano, but not all of them are the Bernina Express. Although the Bernina offers panoramic windows, the other trains offer similar facilities, follow exactly the same route and are much cheaper. I personally Treno rosso del Bernina took the train in the winter and I’m glad I did. While the summer season is enjoyable and offers perks like larger open windows from which photos can be taken, there’s something just as surreal about approaching snow-capped sun-drenched places. When you travel by train, there are several points where you can stop along the way.
You can always take the quaint carriage on the way to St. Moritz and the normal carriage on the way back. Personally, as beautiful as the stops were, I wouldn’t prioritize getting in and out or enjoying the scenic drive. If you want to hop on and off at any location to look around, look for point-to-point tickets valid for the day on regular regional trains and skip the panoramic Bernina Express. But there’s a small window that opens into the luggage lobby on the other side of each car from the front door, which is great for taking pictures without reflections.
If you’re worried about a language barrier, as many of the employees are multilingual, they speak up to 10 languages, according to TripAdvisor reviews. And if you’re hungry, there’s a food cart that drives around to offer you delicious sandwiches and drinks. Both first-class and second-class seats are comfortable, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, first class can give you more space.
The winter months offer views of a beautiful wonderland with large glaciers and deep snow. In summer, snow gives way to emerald fields, glaciers that melt and invite to blue lakes. If you want to book the Bernina Express for yourself, you should know that there are several ticket options available.
Here’s how to do the Bernina Express as a day trip from Milan, including where to take the train, how to get there, and more. St Moritz is a beautiful town, but because it was low season when I went in early November, it was very quiet in the city: most hotels were still closed and only a few restaurants were open. The Bernina Express train ride was beautiful and passed some beautiful Swiss mountain villages with autumn leaf colors in all their glory. Travel to the highest point accessible by train in Europe on this full-day tour of the Swiss Alps and Saint Moritz, a luxury alpine resort in Switzerland’s Engadine Valley. After some free time in Saint Moritz to shop or sample pastries, hop aboard the red Bernina Express train for a 2.5-hour ride through the Alps, on a UNESCO World Heritage Route.
Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, you’ll want to bring sunglasses, as the sun can be pretty strong! Although the coffee on the train is what you would expect to pay in the rest of Switzerland, it is not of the highest quality and the rest of the food is a bit pricey. Pack a picnic to eat along the way, or buy some snacks in advance.