Tirano to St. Moritz train or Lugano

Tirano to St. Moritz train or Lugano

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sweety1
sweety1
7 posts
new member
Aug 7, 2015 - 12:54 AM

We are going to Zurich for a family get together and we are coming from Milan. We have the option of either going through Lugano or going out of the way (I figure it is an extra 2-3 hours) to go to Tirano then on to St. Moritz and then from there to Zurich. We will be leaving Milan early Thursday morning and we will need to leave either place by around 1 PM on Friday. Is it worth doing the extra time and going to St. Moritz? We will be going to Lucerne on Sunday if that makes any difference as I have been told Lugano is more similar to Lucerne and St. Moritz is a different beauty. If we do go to St. Moritz, I am looking at the train schedule on the cbb website and I see that the bex train(and the regional trains) is about $35 as opposed to the other sites which are charging $62. If it says bex is this the same bernina express or is that a regional train? Also it seems that those trains I can get an e-ticket so I don't need to have it mailed to me and pay for shipping is that correct also? If I would get it at the train station in Milan, firstly can I get the Tirano to St. Moritz portion there if it is for a regional train or Bernina express and would I be paying the same price ($35) or would I be paying more?And lastly if we do go to St. Moritz what would you suggest we do given that we only have a half a day on Thursday and a half a day on Friday? Thanks a lot.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 7, 2015 - 9:12 AM

Hi sweety1, and thanks for joining MySwissAlps!

If you don't mind a detour, then yes, in my opinion it's certainly worth it to travel via Tirano and St. Moritz. The Bernina Express route is stunning and if weather is good, you won't regret making this somewhat longer trip at all. Personally I don't feel Lucerne and Lugano are that similar, but in any case a short stay in St. Moritz (http://www.myswissalps .com/stmoritz) will be a very different experience. You can check www.myswissalps.com/up perengadine to get an idea of what this region looks like. If you have some time to spend and weather is good, there's a lot you can do. Consider visiting a viewing point like Corvatsch (www.myswissalps.com/co rvatsch) or Muottas Muragl, an easy hike along one of the lakes, or take the bus to Maloja and enjoy the views over the Bergell valley. If you start early on Friday morning, you can make such a trip before leaving for Zurich.

You can travel the exact same route from Tirano to St. Moritz route using two options:

The trip itself has a fixed price of CHF 31 per person in 2nd class (about USD 31.50), regardless of which type of trains you pick. You'll have to add the seat reservation fee in case you pick a Bernina Express train. I assume you checked fares also through Rail Europe US? The price of USD 62 listed there is for Bernina Express trains, not for regional trains, and already includes seat reservations, so that explains the difference.

I don't know if tickets from Tirano to St. Moritz (and further up north) are available in Milan. If not, you can buy them in Tirano before boarding your train. Alternatively, you can buy tickets for both the Italian and the Swiss legs of your trip in advance using www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/switzerland /price and www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/italy/price.

Last modified on Aug 7, 2015 - 9:15 AM by Annika
sweety1
sweety1
7 posts
new member
Aug 7, 2015 - 9:39 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly. That definitely explains things as to why the difference in price. I hope you don't mind but I am a little confused and if you don't mind my asking a few more questions.

Is the view so much better or are you seeing anything more when you take the Bernina express as opposed to the regional train?

Also it seems like the regional tickets you can have an eticket and then I don't have to worry about getting them sent is that true?

In addition when I go on the sbb web site it gives tirano, tirano stazione and tirano fs is it the one that is plain Tirano that is the same station as the train that comes in from Milan? They also have an option to go Bernia, Lagalb-Bus SBC-Pontresinf what is that and would we want to do that? I also see that for a few dollars more we can buy a city to city ticket would that include the cable car that you mention to Corvatsch or does it only include local buses and trains?

We are thinking of staying at the Crystal Hotel (are you allowed to say any opinion on that particular hotel?) would that be the St. Moritz Bahnhof train stop and given where we are staying if we are walkers will we be able to get around by walking or will we have to take public transportation and then it would be worth paying for the extra city to city ticket?

If we do go to Corvatsch is that walking distance from the hotel and if not how would we get there and how long does it take to get there? Also, I see that there are different stops on the cable car, given the time slot we have (getting in and dropping out stuff off by 1:30/2 and then however long it takes to get there? which one would make sense to do and I see that the last cable cars are about 5, if we wanted to walk down what time would we have to be down? Also, would you have any idea how long it takes to climb down from each point?

Thanks so much for your help.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 8, 2015 - 1:19 PM

Hi sweety1,

There are no differences between regional trains and the Bernina Express in terms of the views, as the trains ride the exact same route. The Bernina Express just has larger panoramic windows and more comfortable seats.

I don't know which website you checked when looking for e-tickets. It's an option, but having tickets sent to you won't be a problem if you won't be leaving within a few days. And as mentioned, it's no problem buying your tickets at the spot before boarding either. The only thing you have to arrange for in advance is your seat reservation, if you want to travel in a Bernina Express train.

The city-city-ticket includes urban transportation in the town of arrival, and only on the day of arrival. It only covers urban transportation, not cable cars. You'll find details at the SBB website. Whether it's worth the extra costs (compared to a regular ticket Tirano-St. Moritz) depends on your exact plans. If you don't mind a bit of uphill and downhill walking, you will get by on foot in St. Moritz. But you may also like to take a bus to your hotel and do some more bus rides on the day of arrival. If that's the case, such a ticket could work for you.

The Crystal Hotel you referred to is in our list of recommended hotels at www.myswissalps.com/st moritz/hotels, and is located at a 10 minute (uphill) walk from the railway station; alternatively you can take a bus. The timetable at www.myswissalps.com/ti metable provides details on the bus trip to your hotel: enter "Sankt Moritz, Crystal (Hotel)" as your destination.

You can find details about the trip to the Corvatsch using the timetable as well. It's also explained in the 'Route' section of our Corvatsch page: www.myswissalps.com/co rvatsch. Cable cars leave about 3 times per hour, and it doesn't really matter which one you pick. The connection at Murtèl (halfway up) will be smooth, as all passengers directly transfer from one cable car to the other; just follow the signs and the other travelers. Please be very careful about hiking up or down, especially if you're not used to hiking in the mountains (www.myswissalps.com/hi king/preparation): in that case descending by foot will be very strenuous and will take a whole lot of hours you may prefer to spend on further sightseeing instead.

As for names and options in the timetable:

  • just enter 'Tirano', that's all;
  • don't pick a connection via Bernina Lagalb and Pontresina (it will partly be by bus), just choose a direct train connection between Tirano and St. Moritz.
Last modified on Aug 8, 2015 - 1:46 PM by Annika
sweety1
sweety1
7 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2015 - 4:29 AM in reply to Annika

Thanks again for answering me so quickly and in detail. You have definitely helped me sort out some of my confusion. Hopefully, just a few more questions. Both of your suggestions seem like good ideas I was able to see on the sbb web site how to go from St. Moritz to Muottas Murgal. It seems that there is between a 20-30 min wait from the funicular train and the bus. Are there hiking trails at the "in between" point and if there are when you buy a ticket are you bound to the exact times on the funicular and the bus or can we walk around and take a later train or bus?

Also I see on the web site when I clicked the prices there was the choice of point to point and then day pass (for double the amount), what is the difference?

If we wanted to hike down from the top, how long would it take? and is it a smooth path, easy, moderate or hard?

It would seem to me looking at the transportation schedule, it would make the most sense to go to Muottas Murgal on Thursday when we come as the buses and trains seem to go till much later then they do for Corvatsch. As far as Corvatsch there is a bus that leaves in the morning at 8:34 and gets into to Corvatsch (with the cable car) at 9:23 am. Then there is one leaving Corvatsch at 11:37, would that be enough time and would it be better to go up just to Murtel have an extra 25 minutes to walk around there or is the view so much better from Corvatsch that it is worth the extra time and money going all the way up and down?

It looks like the buses leave from the main train station in St. Moritz is that correct and if so do they have a place to leave your luggage for the train ride we will be taking later that day (so we don't need to bring it with us on our hike) and if so would you have any idea how much it would cost and is it safe?

Lastly (hopefully), on Sunday we are planing on spending the day in Lucerene we pretty much have the whole day, what would you suggest we do? Thanks again for all your help.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 11, 2015 - 8:06 AM

Hi sweety1!

Let's take a look at your questions:

  • you can get to Punt Muragl by either train or bus. From there it's a short hike (5 to 10 minutes) to the valley station of the funicular. The ticket you buy will be valid during the entire day. As for hiking down from Muottas Muragl: how well trained are you? It's a descent of well over 600 metres, and that's usually too much if you're not used to mountain hiking. Alternatively, take the panoramic path to Alp Languard (www.myswissalps.com/hi king/muottasmuragl-alplanguard/route) and descend by chairlift to Pontresina from there
  • in the Engadine region, you can buy regular single ticke;ts or day passes indeed. The single tickets allow one point to point journey. Day passes allow you to travel the same route as much as you like during one day, so that's what you buy if you need a return journey instead of a single trip;
  • buses to the valley station of the Corvatsch run all day, until (late) afternoon. Murtèl is quite fine as a viewing point too, but I do have to mention that they're currently building a new ski lift there, so the direct area isn't especially scenic right now. You can make a nice hike from there to Fuorcla Surlej though, a beautiful viewing point looking down on the Roseg valley near Pontresina. Getting up to the Corvatsch gets you close to the snow-capped mountains. But unfortunately, this Summer has been extremely hot and dry so far, and you'll encounter less snow up there than previously;
  • regional buses depart from the station in St. Moritz. You can leave your luggage at the luggage department or in lockers. The SBB website informs you about services and equipment available at the station: www.sbb.ch/en/station-services.html
  • depending on the weather, you can explore the town of Lucerne, take a boat trip over the lake or get up to the Pilatus. Suggestions are listed at www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne;

You seem to be doing more traveling than I initially thought. Based on what you've mentioned so far, I think it's worth looking into rail passes and see if you'll save money buying one. Especially consider the Swiss Half Fare Card: www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard. Here's how to calculate if that's more economical than buying regular tickets: www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass. If the Swiss Half Fare Card seems to be a good deal, you can find purchase options at www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard/price. Since you're from the US, it's cheapest to buy through www.raileurope-world.com.

sweety1
sweety1
7 posts
new member
Aug 18, 2015 - 3:27 AM in reply to Annika

Things are coming together due to your help. I am looking at the weather report for St. Moritz, I know things could change but if it says thunderstorms, does that usually mean it is all day or it just a passing shower? Also, is it dangerous to go on the cable cars if they are predicting thunderstorms and do they close down? We are not the type to be scared off by rain but is there what to see in the rain and should we worry about taking a hike if they are predicting thunderstorms? Would you still suggest to do the Muottas Muagl and Corvatsch just limit the actual hiking? If not do you have any other suggestions? Also, if it is really pouring Friday morning is there anything you would suggest we do instead of going to Corvatsch which is between St. Moritz and Zurich. Thanks again.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 18, 2015 - 6:10 PM

Hi sweety1,

Good to year you're finalizing your travel plans. I'm not sure when you'll be in Switzerland (is it next Friday?), but apart from next Wednesday and Thursday, weather forecasts for St. Moritz aren't that bad at all. It now mentions sun and some clouds for Friday. Reliable sources are listed at our page about weather: www.myswissalps.com/we ather.

In general: if rain and thunderstorms are predicted, this can either result in bad weather all day long or (which is much more common) a few passing showers and dry or even sunny periods too. This recent topic may be interesting, as it addresses similar concerns.

In case of genuine bad weather, you should reconsider your plans. Cable cars will shut down if there's a high risk of lightning or if there's strong wind. They do run when it's simply rainy, but there's not much point in paying for a ride up if it's drizzly and clouds obstruct the views. You should definitely not go hiking if thunderstorms and lightning are predicted; limit yourself to indoor activities in that case. Consider the National Park visitor's centre in Zernez, the Albula rail museum in Bergün, or a city visit to Chur. But again, looking at the current forecasts and assuming you'll be traveling next Friday, I think you don't have to change your original plans.

sweety1
sweety1
7 posts
new member
Aug 23, 2015 - 5:25 PM in reply to Annika

Problem is you start looking up things and you get more ideas but not sure if they make sense or not. Does it make sense to stop at the Morteratasch Glacier on the way to St. Moritz or would it be too much if we wanted to go to Muottas Muagl also on that day? How much time would be the minimum that we can spend in both places? If we buy a regular ticket from Tirano to St. Moritz can you just get on and off the train with the same ticket for the same day or do you need to buy a ticket to the Glacier and then another one to St. Moritz? Also which stop would we get off at to go Morteratsch Glacier? In addition, I have been told to be careful of altitude sickness and it is best to slowly go up in altitude. We are in our 40's of good health do you think it will be an issue to go the first day to Muottas Muagl and the second day to Corvatsch or do you think either of them will be too high too fast? Also, any ideas on how not to get altitude sickness? Thanks again for all your help, your advice really helped me a lot.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 24, 2015 - 2:26 PM

Hi sweety1,

If you want to hike to the Morteratsch glacier, you should get out at "Morteratsch". The hike towards the glacier takes about 1h15 (one way), so you should decide if it's too much to fit into your schedule. You can also return once you've enjoyed the view at the glacier from a distance. In that case 1h00 to 1h30 may suffice for the entire hike. The train ticket will be valid all day, so it's no problem to get out and board a later train.

Altitude sickness can occur at both Muottas Muragl (not very likely though) and Corvatsch. Please read tips at www.myswissalps.com/co rvatsch.

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