One advantage of staying in this area is the "Mountain Railways Inclusive" offer. This offer, available at over 90 hotels in the area, allows for those who stay for 2 or more nights to receive a card that covers all local transporation, including buses, local trains, funiculars, chairlifts, and cable cars. Even if some of the hotels might be on the expensive side, it might be a good idea to consider the potential saved money if you plan to use the trains and mountain lifts a lot. The way it works: you check into your hotel and receive your "Engadine Card," valid for the duration of your stay. You'll normally have to pay a CHF 10 deposit, which you get back when you return the card at the end of your stay. Sorry, transport is not usually covered until you check in, nor is it covered after you check out -- ask your hotel for specifics when you book.
Very few national trains run in this remote Canton. Instead, most train service is provided by the private, narrow-guage Rhaetian Railway (Rhätische Bahn in German, Ferrovia retica in Italian, and Viafier Retica in Romansch). The trains are generally smaller and slower than their main-line counterparts, but they are generally just as punctual and reliable. Major rail passes, including Swisspass, are also valid on this train line (though extra reservations and supplements may be required on special tourist trains such as the Glacier Express).
One advantage of these trains is that you can get off at quite remote areas. Quite a few of the stops on the line are "request-stops" only. That means, if nobody wants to get on or off, the train just goes right through. To get to Muottas Muragl, you get off at one such "request only" stop, Punt Muragl, then take the funicular to Muottas Muragl.
To request the train to stop, press the green button on the train to let the conductor know you want to get off. If you are waiting at a remote station, be sure to press the "Zug Aufhalten" button on the platform. Don't get carried away and try to flag one down on your own -- you might find yourself on the wrong end of Newton's Second Law!
One of the more famous scenic trains in Switzerland is the Glacier Express, running from St. Moritz to Zermatt. It is accessible in Graubünden from several stations, including St. Moritz, Pontresina, Samedan, and Chur. Many say the Glacier Express is aptly named not only because of the glaciers you will see, but also because it is about how fast the trains run (nearly 8 hours for the entire trip). But with all of the scenery around, you won't mind. You might want to consider packing a picnic lunch, however.
The train route runs on a series of private railways; the entry points to this railway system from the SBB train lines are Brig, Visp, and Chur. You can also enter the system by changing at Göschenen (between Arth-Goldau and Bellinzona) for a local train to Andermatt.
The highlights of the trip are the journey from Brig to Zermatt, and the section between Andermatt and Disentis as you cross the Oberalp Pass.
As of June 2009, 1-way base fare from St Moritz to Zermatt is CHF 133 2nd class, CHF 221 1st Class. 1-way Chur to Zermatt is CHF 107/CHF 178 respectively. In addition, you will be charged a "Glacier Express" supplement of CHF 33, or CHF 61-74 including lunch. Finally, seat reservations are compulsory on all Glacier Express trains. To avoid supplements and required reservations, you can take a series of local trains, though this will require you to make several transfers along the way.
RAILPASS VALIDITY: If you have a Eurailpass, select pass, or multi-country pass, the Matterhorn-Gotthard Bahn (running the section from Zermatt to Disentis) will not honor your pass. Swisspass, Swiss Card (50% discount), and General Abonnement (GA) is valid on the entire route. Note, however, that you will still need to pay at least a CHF 33 surcharge and reserve your seat in advance, even with Swisspass or GA.
Post bus from Zernez start regularly from early in the morning, the bus drivers are very friendly and kind ready to give you advice.
It is worth to arrive to Zernez by train, or by car, and leave it at the main station. In the same place you will find the bus stop
The best way to reach Saint Moritz is with Bernina Express. It connect Tirano to Saint Moritz every hour and reach the Bernina Pass (2253 m). During the journey you see wonderful landscape. It is a great experience.
To get there, you can also go by train:
to Chur (Switzerland) is the best option.
Coming from Italy you can also go by train to Tirano, end of the Bernina-line from the Rhätische Bahn, which is close to the ski resort of Bormio.
If you come through Austria, you can come by train to Landeck and from there by bus to Scuol/Schuls-Tarasp, the station closest to the Austrian border. This is also one of the best routes by car.
Other (scenic) busroutes cross the Swiss National Park near Zernez and go to the Vintschgau/Venosta valley (Merano/Bolzano).
Very elegant hotel, relaxing stay, staff very nice! Pool, sauna, iacuzzi, ice skating different...more
Bahnhofstrasse, Chur, Grisons, CH-7000, Switzerland
Good for: Business
Thank you, Ingo for suggesting this wonderful place. We had such a good stay with Maria-Louise and...more