Transportation in Graubünden
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Travelling in Graubünden
The RhB (Rhätische Bahn) is the most important public transport company in Graubünden. This company provides the train services throughout the canton. In addition there are bus and gondola services. Below you will find a map showing the most important railway connections in Graubünden. You can click on the map to see a larger size with more details.
The major railways and stations in Graubünden. Click on the map for a larger view.
The most important road to and within Graubünden is highway E43 from Landquart through Chur and Thusis to Bellinzona, in the neighbouring canton of Ticino. The rest of Graubünden can be reached by several two-lane roads. Coming from the north, the Oberengadin can be reached by an excellent road via Thusis - Tiefencastel - Julierpass (2,284 m, 7,493 ft) - Silvaplana. One of the alternatives is a narrow road from Tiefencastel through Filisur, Bergün and the Albulapass (2,312 m, 7,585 ft) to La Punt-Chamues-ch. Coming from the south, you can reach the Oberengadin by a good road from Poschiavo via the Berninapass (2,328 m, 7,638 ft) to Pontresina. Coming from the north, the Unterengadin can be reached by the well ridable Flüelapass (2,383 m, 7,818 ft) between Davos and Susch. You can also use the car train on this route, which takes you from the railway station of Selfranga near Klosters to Sagliains near Susch within 18 minutes. This quick connection is possible thanks to the longest 1 meter gauge tunnel in the world: the 19 kilometer long Vereina tunnel, which was opened in 1999. The car train comes in handy mainly in winter time. More information about the Vereina tunnel is provided by the RhB.
There are two railway connections between the largest cities of Graubünden. Once an hour a train departs from Chur through Thusis, Tiefencastel, Filisur, Bergün, Samedan and Celerina to St. Moritz (travelling time about 2 hours). There is also an hourly express train service on the route Landquart - Klosters - Scuol (travelling time about 90 minutes). This train uses the aforementioned Vereina tunnel. In addition, there is a number of secundary fast- and local trains and a firm number of special trains, like the Bernina Express and the Glacier Express. The railway network of the Rhätische Bahn completely consists of narrow gauge track. There is no cog railway technology in use. Many spiral tunnels can be found on a number of routes as an alternative to gain height.
The public transportation is of such quality, that it is often possible not to use your car during your holidays. In a number of cases public transportation is the only way to reach your destination. Places like the health resort of Arosa cannot be reached by car. Furthermore, many hikes start at the mountain station of a gondola. In that case you can park your car at the valley station. If you are not making a perambulation, you will also have to use public transport to get back to your car. Transportation during your holidays will therefore often be a combination of your car and public transport.
Buying train tickets for every single trip may be rather expensive. Therefore we advise you to estimate the number of journeys and places you want to visit in advance. Often a season-ticket will limit the costs. For travelling in Graubünden the Graubünden Holiday Pass may be a good choice. With a ticket like this you can cross the region for a day and visit a number of viewing points for a reasonable price. It is advisable to know the possibilities of your season-ticket well, so that you will know whether a gondola or bus route will offer you free travelling or a discount, and in the latter case: which percentage. There are so many different European, Swiss and regional tickets, that even the personnel of the transport companies does not always know all the details.
Italy can, among other routes, be reached through the Bernina pass and Poschiavo. This route can be done by train or by car. For cars there is an alternative route over the Maloja pass (1,815 m, 5,955 ft). From the Unterengadin, you can reach Italy through the national park and the Pass dal Fuorn (Ofen pass, 2,149 m, 7,051 ft). Austria can be reached from Scuol by car or by bus. If you like to visit Liechtenstein, you can drive via Landquart - Maienfeld - Balzers, or take the train from Landquart to Sargans, where you change to a bus to the capital Vaduz (travelling time 45 - 60 minutes).
A tip as a final word: check the timetable of gondolas if you depend on them for reaching the valley again after a hike. Most gondolas shut down at the end of the afternoon, some of them continue until late at night. Many gondolas and funiculars do not run in spring and fall, because of maintenance and less passengers. There may be maintenance in summer as well for some gondolas, resulting in limited or no services on that particular day.
- Not all towns can be reached by car. Examples are Arosa and all mountain stations of gondolas. If you travel by car, you have to use public transportation in some cases.
- Buying a ticket for every journey will turn out rather expensive. Make sure you are informed about season-tickets.
- Gondolas mostly shut down at the end of the afternoon. Some of them continue until late at night. Many gondolas do not run in spring and fall and may temporarily be closed for maintenance in summer as well. Take this into account if you depend on a gondola to reach the valley on your way back after a hike.