Bernina Express Zurich-Tirano in one day or not?

Bernina Express Zurich-Tirano in one day or not?

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aadalisay
aadalisay
2 posts
new member
Dec 3, 2017 - 9:54 PM

Dear Swiss Alps experts - would love your advise as we are planning to do the BEX over our Christmas holidays with our 2 kids (ages 10 and 16). We are coming from ZRH and planning to go to Tirano and then back, but now thinking if we should do it in one day or break down the trip going home to ZRH

Keen to book via bahn.de as per man onseat61 advise, but wondering how we approach the panoramic seat reservation given we don't know direction of travel of the carriages (and which carriage to book! Probably always the last 2nd class carriage to capture most of the train in pics?)

Also - conscious the panoramic windows don't go down. In the event of full glare pics, is everyone then sardined into the baggage area where there is a lone window to open for better pics?

We were thinking of winging the 4hour train ride in the normal coach but we might not be able to get good seats or 4 seats that are together.

Going back to ZRH, are there any towns worth stopping / sleeping over? Very open at this point to extend our BEX journey to 2 days.

Many thanks for your advise! Greatly appreciated.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3749 posts
expert
Dec 4, 2017 - 2:32 AM in reply to aadalisay

Hi aadalisay and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

Zurich to Tirano and back in one day is a VERY long day. The Bernina Express leaves Chur at 8:32am. If it was me I would want to be on the safe side and catch the 6:37 Zurich to Chur. There is a 7:07 train but that gives you just a 10 minute connection which by Swiss standards should be heaps . . . but then again.

You might want to have a read of this thread www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/help-with-bernina-express-itinerary which covers several issues relating to the Bernina Express. Of most interest to you might be the Bernina Panorama which is basically a regular train with a Panoramic coach bolted on. Reservations are only CHF5.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Dec 4, 2017 - 3:06 PM

Hello aadalisay, welcome to MySwissAlps,

Rockoyster is right. Zurich to Tirano and back will be a very, very long day (especially for kids). There’s also less daylight in December so you will be traveling in the dark as of 16.30. Extending your trip seems like a good idea to me.

You could consider taking the Bernina Express on your way south and taking a regional train (timetable here) back up to St. Moritz the same day and spend a night (or two) there. There are lots of winter activities to do. Information about accommodation can be found here.

If you still prefer to do the Bernina Express in one day, I suggest you spend a night in Chur to break up the trip. The old town is charming and offers a good choice of restaurants, but is less interesting (and fun!) for the children. There’s not a lot to do.

If you decide to extend your journey in St. Moritz / Graubünden, the Graubünden pass could be something you would like to explore. The rides with the Bernina Express are included and children from 6 to 15 years old travel for free with the Junior travelcard.

Last modified on Dec 4, 2017 - 6:08 PM by Chantal
rockoyster
rockoyster
3749 posts
expert
Dec 4, 2017 - 9:10 PM in reply to aadalisay

Hello again aadalisay,

A word of caution. Are you travelling in Switzerland with any form of Swiss Travel Pass? If so then the Man in Seat 61 cheap ticket trick (goo.gl/JEvBrm) becomes a bit irrelevant. Also please note that those DB Saver Fares will run out closer to the departure time AND apply to a specific train departure and are non-refundable if your plans change. Just saying . . .

aadalisay
aadalisay
2 posts
new member
Dec 4, 2017 - 11:21 PM

Dear Rockoyster and Chantal - thank you so much for your advise, all very helpful! We're definitely thinking of breaking up the trip now but Moritz is too expensive so we may have to look at Samedan or Pontresina for an overnight stay.

Rockoyster - can you explain more on why the bahn.de trick will be irrelevant? Many thanks!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3749 posts
expert
Dec 5, 2017 - 2:59 AM in reply to aadalisay

Hello aadalisay,

My point was that if you are travelling with a Swiss Travel Pass or a Swiss Half-fare card then the cheap DB ticket doesn't actually save you anything. With the STP you don't even require a ticket and with the SHFC the fare from Chur to Tirano is CHF32. See www.myswissalps.com/sw issrailpasses

To make an interesting round trip of it you can come back to Chur from Pontresina via Samedan or Sagliains then to Landquart and Chur. Saves back-tracking through Filisur to Chur.

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