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Glacier Express and Bernina Express reservations

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Jmbau13
Jmbau13
3 posts
new member
Jan 8, 2020 - 6:19 AM

I’m travelling in Switzerland in mid/late May with a friend. We want to travel in the Glacier Express on a specific day and after two nights in Chur, catch the Bernina Express to Tirano on another specific date.

should I make a reservation first, and then the tickets Ilater when they are available? Or is the reservation included in the ticket price? I am a bit confused about order of events.

(We do not have rail passes, as we are staying a few days in different places )

rockoyster
rockoyster
8863 posts
expert
Jan 8, 2020 - 6:58 AM in reply to Jmbau13

Hello Jmbau13 and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

You can buy seat reservations up to 6 months in advance on bit those trains. Buy them as soon as your plans are firm. You can buy tickets (or a Saver Day Pass which may be cheaper) anytime within 2 months of travel.

If you want to pick seats the official sites are best - shop.glacierexpress.ch/gex_en/specials/daytrips/glacier-express and shop.rhb.ch/en/bernina-express.

If you just want seat reservations and are happy to take pot luck on seat location then you can make reservations at www.myswissalps.com/glacierexpress/tickets and www.myswissalps.com/berninaexpress/tickets.

What are you doing once you get to Tirano? If you are proceeding to Italy see www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/italy.

I strongly recommend using the SBB Mobile app (bit.ly/2ICIUHi) for checking train, bus, boat and cable way timetables, finding fares* and buying tickets on-line if required. In the unlikely event you don’t have a device capable of running the app then you can use the timetable on the SBB website (bit.ly/2HH1U7B). If you are not familiar with using the SBB timetable it is worth first reading the instructions at www.myswissalps.com/timetable.

* The SBB website shows half-fare prices by default, the mobile app allows you to nominate whether to show full or half-fares (by editing the passenger details in settings) and is also smart enough to offer you the Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/saverdaypass) if that offers the best fare. The app can also display a platform map (at least at the larger stations) to help you make connections. You can also easily filter modes of transport (eg bus or ship).

Just because you are not travelling every day does not mean that a pass may not be advantageous. At Chur you might want to take a day trip to Arosa for example.

Based on your personal itinerary you should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass), download the handy spreadsheet calculator and do the math. The spreadsheet also includes links to the “Where it's valid" page for all available passes. Be sure to check those pages for each pass you are considering. Study the map AND read all the text on those pages to fully understand what is covered by the respective pass.

Last modified on Jan 8, 2020 - 6:59 AM by rockoyster
Jmbau13
Jmbau13
3 posts
new member
Jan 8, 2020 - 7:35 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you SO much for your very quick and so very helpful reply, I really appreciate your generosity in helping.

I have just bought the B Express reservation and will shortly go do the Glacier one.

Then from Tirano, we are going on to Bellagio ( having spent a couple of weeks in Switzerland) and my plan at this point is to take the train down to Varenna and hop across to Bellagio on the ferry. The alternative would be to go via Menaggio - any views on either alternative?

I will definitely get the app you mention - so lucky to live in a time when all this information and so many apps are available! And will do more research on passes. The itinerary is now reasonably set - I got that sorted before December and have booked us at various places, so now I am moving on to the ‘getting from A to B to C’ part of our trip. I did this at a fairly high level before settling the itinerary and now need to focus on it a bit more. We are planning trains all the way as we both love travelling by train in Europe.

Again, thank you very much for your help.

Jane

rockoyster
rockoyster
8863 posts
expert
Jan 8, 2020 - 9:47 AM in reply to Jmbau13

Hi Jane,

Glad to help. Go via Varenna. Tirano to Menaggio has a lot of boring stuff.

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