Bernina Express

From glaciers to palms

The Bernina Express is the most spectacular of all Alpine crossings. It seamlessly connects the cool north with the warm sunny south, effortlessly overcoming the steepest gradients. This is one of the most beautiful rail trips in the world. Crossing the Alps in the Bernina Express is an unforgettable experience. From Chur, Switzerland’s oldest town, the train passes through the dark Schinschlucht (Schin Canyon) and over the roughly 90-metre-high Solis Viaduct into the wild and romantic Albula Valley. Near Filisur, the train glides over the 65-metre-high Landwasser Viaduct – Hollywood-style. Passing over masterpieces of engineering and through brilliantly constructed loop tunnels, the train now winds its way up to Engadine and onward the 2,253-metre-high Ospizio Bernina. By the time the first distant glaciers sparkle through the panoramic windows, few passengers remain in their seats. The train tackles the 70 permille gradient withease – and without the help of cogwheel technology. After that, the Bernina Express meanders down through the sun-drenched Val Poschiavo towards the Italian Valtellina region.

Highlights along the route

Domleschg Region


The Domleschg is a region renowned for its countless castles, due mainly to its strategic position on the route to three main Alpine passes – the Splügen, San Bernadino and Julier. Fortresses were built to control this ancient route, making the Domleschg one of the regions in Europe richest in castles. The largest is Schloss Ortenstein, which is located on a 120-metre rock overhang high above Tomils.

Solis Viaduct


In ancient Roman times, according to legend, Saint George escaped his pursuers by making a mighty leap over the Albula River on horseback. The modern form of gorge-crossing is also mighty in its own way. The Solis Viaduct, built in 1902, rises to 89 metres and spans 42 metres – making it not only the highest bridge of the Rhaetian Railway but also the widest span of any along the Albula line.

Landwasser Viaduct


The 65-metre-high Landwasser Viaduct, coming into view shortly before the village Filisur, is the most spectacular bridge construction on the Albula Line between Thusis and St. Moritz. The viaduct built of natural stone has a length of 142 metres and leads in a bold curve over the rugged (untamed/untouched) Landwasser Valley – and straight into a tunnel.

Loop tunnels between Bergün and Preda


The direct distance between Bergün and Preda is only six kilometres. But the Rhaetian Railway has to travel more than twice that distance to make the maximum gradient climb of 3.5 percent between the two. To cover the 418-metre difference in altitude, trains have to pass through five loop tunnels, cross four valleys and negotiate many smaller tunnels, viaducts and dams.

Montebello Curve and Morteratsch Glacier


After Morteratsch, the Bernina Express passes the Montebello Curve – and reveals a magnificent view of the Bernina massif and the Morteratsch Glacier. This third-largest glacier in the Eastern Alps lies in the upper section of the Morteratsch Valley. The highest peak in the Eastern Alps – the 4,049-metre Piz Bernina – sets the scene to perfection.

Bernina Hospice

The Bernina Pass is just one of the many highlights of a trip on the Bernina Express – and at 2,253 metres it is the highest-altitude station on the Rhaetian Railway network. Before reaching the Ospizio Bernina the train passes the three small lakes Lej Pitschen, Lej Nair and Lago Bianco marking the watershed between the Black Sea and the Adriatic.

Alp Grüm

On Alp Grüm you’ll probably find the only restaurant along the route accessible solely by train. Its sun terrace offers fine views of the rugged Bernina massif, the eternal ice of the Palü Glacier and the sunny Val Poschiavo extending into Italy. Just after the train departs, Lake Poschiavo and the distant Bergamo Alps come into view.


Poschiavo is a perfect place to linger: enjoy a leisurely stroll and some of the delicious regional specialities. The historic centre of the idyllic village with its inviting piazza and the local museums offer fascinating insights into the history of the valley. Also highly recommended: the colourful “Spaniard’s quarter” originally built by emigrants.

Lake Poschiavo


In Val Poschiavo – one of the most remote regions of Switzerland – the Bernina Express runs in close proximity to the waters of Lake Poschiavo. This natural lake was formed by a prehistoric landslide, but a man-made water catchment at the southern serves to regulate the outflow. Today, the two small communities of Le Prese and Miralago are popular vacation destinations.

Brusio Circular Viaduct


No other landmark along the Bernina line is as striking as the Brusio Circular Viaduct. From below Brusio, the Bernina Express overcomes an entire altitude level by means of two loops each of 100 meters in diameter each. The open stretch across the viaduct allows passengers to appreciate fully this remarkable feat of railway engineering.


Tirano lies in the upper Valtellina at the entrance to the Val Poschiavo. The tiny town in the Italian province of Sondrio is renowned for its impressive 16th century Church of the Madonna. This is where the train line terminates, and where in summer passengers change to the Bernina Express Bus to continue their journey to Lugano back in Switzerland.

Bernina Express Bus


Between March and November, guests can prolong their Bernina Express experience by a bit – on the red Bernina Express Bus waiting in Tirano. The route passes through the Valtellina with its Mediterranean-style climate via Sondrio and Morbegno to palm-lined Lake Como. Then, the journey continues to Lake Lugano and eventually back to Switzerland. Last stop is Lugano, the cultural centre of the Canton of Ticino.

Lake Como


Idyllic Lake Como is where many celebrities (among them Brad Pitt) own a vacation residence. In summer Bernina Express Bus passengers too can discover the delights of picturesque promenades, spacious parks and tranquil fishing villages, extending along the western shore as far as Menaggio with its Piazza Garibaldi. From here the bus heads back to Switzerland.

Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano lies at Ticino’s southernmost point and extends into Italy. The lake is surrounded by several mountains, including Monte Generoso, Monte Brè and Lugano’s “home” mountain, Monte San Salvatore. A leisurely lake cruise is the perfect way to explore this diverse region. The Società Navigazione del Lago di Lugano operates a fleet of 10 motor vessels.

Catering service to the seat


Guests on the panoramic train are in for a treat. Each passenger is offered an exclusive Bernina Express ice tea as well as delicious chocolate hearts in a Bernina Express box at the seat. On its journey from the rugged hights of the Bernina massif down to the Italian town of Tirano, the Bernina Express runs through the sun-kissed Valposchiavo. There, in the lush meadows around Le Prese, grow the tasty organic herbs that lend the exclusive herbal ice tea its unique taste. Lindt treats guests to a sweet temptation. Chocolate hearts are gift-packed in an exclusive box shaped like a Bernina Express coach.

Facts & Figures

Bernina Express Train:
■ Chur – Tirano and vice versa (daily)
■ St. Moritz – Tirano and vice versa (May to October)
■ Tirano–Chur and vice versa (May to October)
Bernina Express Bus (March to October):
■ Tirano – Lugano vice versa

■ Panorama railcars 1st and 2nd class
■ InfoT(r)ainmet system: a personal, digital travel companion with audio guide and interactive route
map. The app can be used free of charge with one’s private mobile device (i.e. smartphone,
tablet). It is available in 6 languages: GE, EN, FR, IT, JP, CN.
■ Good-to-know audio information in English, German and Italian between Tirano
and St. Moritz. Between St. Moritz and Chur in English and Germany only
■ Bernina Express travel guide at your seat
■ Onboard library in 1st class
■ Bernina Express souvenir certificate, obtainable from the railway stations
of Chur, St. Moritz or Tirano on presentation of ticket
■ Bernina Express Souvenir Shop
■ Handicapped-accessible toilets and wheelchair seating
■ Free WiFi available
■ Bernina Express-Box filled with Lindt chocolate hearts
■ Tea with organic herbs from Valposchiavo

■ On Bernina Express, the minibar serves regional snacks, refreshing drinks and hot coffee directly
at the seat
■ The train has no dining car. During lunchtime in Poschiavo, Le Prese or in Tirano (Italy) many
restaurants are on offer

Chur/St. Moritz–Tirano–Lugano

Train 9751)9751)
St. Moritzdp 16.14
Bus 59512)   

Lugano–Tirano–St. Moritz/Chur

Bus 59502)   
Luganodp 10.00
Tiranoarr 13.00
Train 9721) 952
St. Moritzdp12.35 
Churarr 18.20

Chur/St. Moritz–Tirano–Lugano

Train 971951973955975
Churdp 08.32 13.33 
St. Moritzdp09.17 13.17 16.14
Bus 59512)      
Tiranodp  14.20  
Luganoarr  17.30  

Lugano–Tirano–St. Moritz/Chur

Bus 59502)       
Luganodp  10.00  
Tirano arr  13.00  
Train 950972974952976
St.Moritzarr 12.3515.45 18.25
Churarr12.39  18.20 

■ Chur – Tirano 4 h 13 min
■ St. Moritz – Tirano 2 h 30 min
■ Bus Tirano – Lugano 3 h 10 min

■ Chur–Tirano: 144 kilometres/89.5 miles
■ St. Moritz – Tirano: 61 kilometres/38 miles

■ Chur – Tiefencastel – Filisur –Bergün –Alp Grüm –Poschiavo – Le Prese – Tirano – Lugano
■ St. Moritz –Pontresina –Alp Grüm –Poschiavo – Le Prese – Tirano – Lugano
The Bernina Express reservation supplement applies to the entire itinerary, regardless of which
part(s) of the route is or are actually travelled. A separate seat reservation is also required for
the Bernina Express Bus.

Surcharge (mandatory)
Surcharge Bernina Express:
Summer season, 01 Jun–30 Sept 2022: CHF 26
Shoulder season, 01 Mar–31 May 2022/01 Oct–31 Oct 2022: CHF 24
Winter season, 12 Dec 2021–28 Feb 2022: CHF 10/01 Nov–10 Dec 2022: CHF 20
Surcharge Bernina Express Bus:
Summer season, 01 Jun–30 Sep 2022: CHF 16
Shoulder season, 04 Mar–31 May 2022/01 Oct–30 Oct 2022: CHF 14
Winter season, 03– 27 Nov 2022: CHF 10

Bernina Express Bus operates from 04 Mar–26 Mar 2022 always from Friday to Saturday and
from 31 Mar–01 May 2022 as well as from 03 Nov–27 Nov 2022 always from Thursday to
Sunday. Between 02 May–30 Oct 2022, the bus operates daily.

Individual passenger fares (excluding supplement):

TicketRoutes and fares
Chur – Lugano
or vice versa
Swiss Travel Pass
Swiss Travel Pass Flex
Swiss Travel Pass Youth
Swiss Half Fare CardCHF 44.80 2nd class
CHF 69 1st class
Children aged 6 – 15.99 with Swiss Family Cardfree of charge
Without reductionCHF 89.60 2nd class
CHF 138 1st class

All prices are subject to change

■ Swiss Travel System tickets and reservation – Write to
■ Every railway station in Switzerland