Switzerland is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and efficient rail system.  For this reason, it’s a haven for train enthusiasts and travelers alike.  Among the many scenic train routes, the Bernina Express stands out as one of the most spectacular.  Here is a Bernina Express guide, highlighting key attractions, travel tips, and how to ,make the most of your journey.

What is the Bernina Express?

The Bernina Express is a scenic train route that runs from Chur, Switzerland to Tirano in Italy.  Did you know Chur is Switzerland’s oldest city?  Operated by the Rhaetian Railway, the journey covers 122 kilometers.  More importantly, it offers passengers stunning views of the Swiss Alps, glacial landscapes as well as picturesque villages.

Key Attractions Along the Route

Landwasser Viaduct

Landwasser Viaduct

The journey on the Bernina Express is incomplete without marveling at the iconic Landwasser Viaduct.  In fact, this six-arched viaduct stands over 65 meters high and spans 136 meters across the Landwasser River.  As a result, this engineering marvel is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the highlights of the trip.

Albula Tunnel

Albula Tunnel, Bernina Express

One of the longest railway tunnels in the world, the Albula Tunnel stretches 5,865 meters and was completed in 1903.  Traveling through this historic railway tunnel offers a glimpse into the remarkable engineering achievements of the past.  Consequently, a must-do for any train enthusiast.

Morteratsch Glacier

Morteratsch Glacier

As the train passes by, you’ll catch breathtaking views of the Morteratsch Glacier.  As a matter of fact this is one of the largest glaciers in the Eastern Alps.  Moreover, this alpine glacier is also a popular hiking destination, allowing visitors to explore its icy expanse up close.  That’s for those who wish to leave the train!  In fact, one of the things to do in Switzerland for young travelers.

Bernina Range

Bernina Range, Switzerland

The Bernina Range features some of the highest peaks in the Alps.  This includes Piz Bernina which stands at 4,049 meters.  Additionally, this stunning mountain range offers unparalleled views and is a testament to the natural beauty of the Swiss Alps.  Of course, the train route is named after this beautiful range.

Read about Glacier Bay National Park viewing on an Alaska cruise.

Lago Bianco and Lago Nero

Lago Bianco and Lago Nero

The Bernina Express offers views of two stunning alpine lakes, Lago Bianco (White Lake) and Lago Nero (Black Lake).  Furthermore, the contrasting colors and breathtaking scenery make these lakes a highlight of the journey.

Brusio Circular Viaduct

Brusio Circular Viaduct

Another engineering feat, the Brusio Circular Viaduct, is a remarkable spiral viaduct that allows the train to gain elevation in a short distance.  Thus, a unique structure which is both functional and visually striking.

Tirano, Italy

Tirano, Italy

The journey concludes in Tirano, a charming Italian town where travelers can explore local culture, cuisine, and historic sites.  Consequently, this Italian border town offers a perfect ending to the scenic journey.

Travel Tips for the Bernina Express

Travel Tips for the Bernina Express

  • Book in Advance: Given the popularity of the Bernina Express, especially during peak seasons, it’s advisable to book tickets and reserve seats in advance to secure your spot.
  • Best Time to Travel: Each season offers unique views on the Bernina Express.  Summer showcases lush green landscapes, while winter transforms the scenery into a snowy wonderland, providing different perspectives of the scenic views.
  • Photography Tips: Panoramic windows providing excellent opportunities for photography.  Therefore, bringing a good camera is essential to capture the stunning views along the route.  Look out for the best photography spots to make the most of your journey.
  • Onboard Amenities: The Bernina Express offers various amenities, including a dining car.  In addition, an audio guide that provides information about landmarks along the route, enhancing your travel experience.
  • Connecting Journeys: Consider combining your Bernina Express journey with other scenic train routes like the Glacier Express.  Using a Swiss Travel Pass can offer added convenience and savings, making it easier to explore more of Switzerland’s beauty.

Enjoy Riding the Bernina Express

The Bernina Express is more than just a train journey; it’s an unforgettable experience that showcases the best of Swiss and Italian landscapes.  From engineering marvels like the Landwasser Viaduct to the natural beauty of the Bernina Range.  This scenic route offers something for every traveler.  Plan your trip on the Bernina Express and immerse yourself in one of the most breathtaking rail journeys in the world.  Finally, with Chur being the starting point for the Bernina Express, maybe it’s the top tourist city in Switzerland?