Advice Please - Tirano to St Mortiz

Advice Please - Tirano to St Mortiz

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chrisnel
chrisnel
3 posts
new member
Aug 4, 2010 - 6:58 PM
Hello everyone.
I have just discovered your extremely useful and informative website and would welcome some advice for a first time Swiss Railway traveller. My family and I (four of us) will be holidaying near Lake Como during August. We would very much like to take a trip on a scenic swiss railway and we are also keen to visit St Moritz at some point so I thought we might combine the two by taking a train from Tirano to St Mortiz for the day. Looking on the map it looks like an interesting route! Would I be right in thinking that the Bernina Express is the train to get?
Any advice on how to book or what day of the week, time of the day is best to travel would be most appreciated. Is it possible to book specific seats? If so what side of the train is preferred? What is car parking like at Tirano at or near to the station?
So many questions - I am sorry. This will be a very new experience for us and we are very much looking forward to it.
Thank you
Chris
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 5, 2010 - 3:04 AM

Hello chrisnel and welcome to the forum! There are several options for a nice trip from lake Como. The Bernina Express is definitely a beautiful train ride. You could first get to Tirano by bus and get on board of the Bernina Express there to St. Moritz. You may get back through the same route or decide to go for a round trip. In that case you could take the bus to Maloja and through the beautiful Bergell valley from St. Moritz, ending up in Chiavenna and then heading on for lake Como again. An alternative would be to get to Thusis by train from St. Moritz and change for the bus to Bellinzona there. An advantage of this option is that you'll experience a spectacular part of the Albula train line as well, including the famous Landwasser viaduct between Filisur and Thusis.

Such round trips require quite some time though and they may be a bit long for 1 day. For example, the round trip via Tirano, St. Moritz, Thusis and Bellinzona takes about 11 hours. You could spend the night in one of the towns on the route. But if you leave early, say at about 7 pm, you could be back by 7 am again.

As for the Bernina Express: a few times a day a special Bernina Express train leaves from St. Moritz and Tirano, with large panoramic windows. These trains require seat reservations and it would be best to reserve seats as early as possible, as trains like these can be crowded in high season (which includes August). Weekends can best be avoided, as panoramic trains may be even more popular then. If enough seats are left, you'll be able to choose on what side of the train you want to be seated. If you leave from Tirano, my advice would be to sit on the left, as this offers the best views. Accordingly, take a seat on the right if you leave from St. Moritz/Pontresina. Instructions on seat reservations can be found on our seat reservation page. The Bernina Express timetable can help you out with planning your trip. Besides the special Bernina Express trains, regular trains run on this route as well. They have smaller windows, but the journey and the views will be beautiful nevertheless. So if a panoramic Bernina Express train doesn't fit well in your itinerary, or if there aren't enought seats left, just hop on a regular train from Tirano/St. Moritz. All trips, including the options I mentioned above, can be planned through the timetable. After having filled out jour departure and arrival station, the timetable will show connections. You can choose 'advanced search' to define via-stations and make up your own preferred round trip.

I hope this gets you started! Have a beautiful trip.

Last modified on Feb 22, 2014 - 8:32 PM by Annika
chrisnel
chrisnel
3 posts
new member
Aug 5, 2010 - 3:00 PM
Annika
Thank you very much for all that very helpful advice. I really appreciate the comments and suggestions and we shall look to make a booking very soon. Do you happen to know what the car parking facilities are like at or near Tirano station?
Chris
ddlam
ddlam
1 post
new member
Aug 5, 2010 - 11:16 PM
Hi, i've booked wrongly the date for Bernina Express from Tirano to St Moritz, departing in Aug. Is there any way that i can recover?
Since I'm going in Sept, should i reserve ahead the bus from Lugano to Tirano, or the train from Tirano to St Moritz?
Please advise.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 7, 2010 - 5:04 AM
chrisnel said: Annika
Thank you very much for all that very helpful advice. I really appreciate the comments and suggestions and we shall look to make a booking very soon. Do you happen to know what the car parking facilities are like at or near Tirano station?
Chris


Hello Chris! Unfortunately, I don't have personal experience with car parking at the Tirano railway station. Most larger railway stations, such as Tirano, offer good facilities though. But to be sure, you can best contact the Swiss Federal Railways and ask about car parking at Tirano. Good luck!
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 7, 2010 - 5:22 AM
ddlam said: Hi, i've booked wrongly the date for Bernina Express from Tirano to St Moritz, departing in Aug. Is there any way that i can recover?
Since I'm going in Sept, should i reserve ahead the bus from Lugano to Tirano, or the train from Tirano to St Moritz?
Please advise.


Hello ddlam! I'm sorry to hear that something went wrong with your booking for the Bernina Express. I don't know where you arranged for your booking, but it's best to contact that specific company/website. You can try to contact the Rhätische Bahn (the railway company of the Bernina Express) anyway, as they process bookings as well and as they may be able to look into all bookings made through various travel agencies.

Whether or not you should book seats for your trip in September, depends on your exact plans. Regular trains run over the Bernina Pass as well, and they don't require seat reservation. Special Bernina Express trains, with larger panoramic windows, do require seat reservation. So if you want to make the trip in such a panoramic train, it's best to see if your booking can be changed into the right date. More information is available on the seat reservation page. Reservations for the bus between Lugano and Tirano can also be made by e-mail to the Rhätische Bahn in advance. Please review the Swiss post bus website and select 'Bernina Express bus (Tirano-Lugano)' for contact information.
maribel
maribel
4 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2010 - 4:32 PM
hello,
I would like information about how to go by car from St.moritz to lago di Garda ,Italy,visiting small villages during the trip,
thank you very much in advance
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 11, 2010 - 7:11 AM
Hello maribel! For the Swiss leg of the journey, you can cross the impessive Bernina Pass, which will take you to Tirano at the Swiss-Italian border. Between the Bernina pass and Tirano you'll find some attractive small towns in the Poschiavo valley, for example Poschiavo itself. From Tirano you can get to the Garda lake via Brescia. It's best to fill out your route in an online map, for example Google maps Italy, and find out which route is best. The Italian tourist office should be able to provide you with information on towns along the way. Good luck!
chrisnel
chrisnel
3 posts
new member
Aug 25, 2010 - 4:21 PM
Annika
Back home now and thought I would drop a quick note of thanks for all your very helpful advice. We booked Bernina Express and made seat reservations online, printed out the electronic tickets and found it all so straightforward.

Parking at Tirano was not a problem. We didn't manage to find a car park but there was plenty of on-street parking on meters all around the station area. We got there early morning just to make sure we found a space - cost about 7 euros for the day.

The journey was spectacular, scenery was stunning and the whole experience was breath-taking. Well worth it and a MUST DO jounrey for anyone visiting the area. Thanks again.

Chris
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 26, 2010 - 1:13 PM
Hi Chris! Thank you for getting back to us. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip and that your online seat and ticket reservation worked out that well. The Bernina Express is spectacular indeed and it's great that you've been able to make the trip. Thanks again.

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