September 22, 2023

I let myself be carried away by the diversity of the landscape. From Swiss mountains and lakes, through Italian landscapes and the high Alps. If you take the bus, you have to pay the booking fee and then you also have to book the train and pay for it again. If you want to travel from Lugano by bus and then the Bernina Express train to Chur, it will cost you CHF 116 for a single adult journey, with no discount codes and mandatory reservation fees included. Of course, you can take several cable cars or cogwheel trains through the mountains to enjoy the view.

This is quite short, everything taken into consideration, and can certainly be done one day. If you are going to Tirano from Milan, I recommend staying in a hotel near Milan train station. We stayed at the Glam Hotel when we were in Milan and this provided easy access to the train station for our ongoing journey.

If you want to get back on board, you will have to buy tickets for the normal regional train. You’ve probably seen the photos and videos of a striking red train making its way through the Swiss Alps, treno rosso del bernina through fairytale villages and breathtaking landscapes. Well, after reading this post, you know if this famous red railway, the Bernina Express train, should stay at the top of your bucket list.

If you are travelling in the direction of Tirano, make sure you are on the right side of the train. That way, you’ll get the most spectacular views of the snow-white glaciers as you walk through the Ospizio Bernina. Instead, sit on the left side of the train when you return from Tirano to Chur. In fact, on our return trip to Pontresina we switched to regional trains to experience it and compare the difference. Overall, I’d say you’ll have exactly the same views in terms of scenery, whether it’s aboard the Bernina Express or the regional one. Therefore, taking the latter is absolutely fine, especially if you’re on a budget.

They are not ticket agents, they create a package for you and manage the whole process. Travelling from London to Chur through the picturesque Rhine Valley? In Tirano, the trenitalia and rhaetian railway stations are right next to each other and there are many bars and restaurants near the stations. You can have time for a beer at the Margi bar across the street, or you can have lunch and later take the train to Milan. Bring your own food and drinks if you wish, as there is no catering on the Italian train. It is not necessary or even possible to book for the Tirano-Milan trains, just buy a ticket at the station and hop on, do not forget to validate your ticket on the small validating machine at the entrance of the platform.

In winter, the views of the snow-capped mountains are truly breathtaking. We made the trip north in the summer from Tirano on a trip to the Swiss city of Zurich. The Bernina Express is a great way to travel from Italy to Zurich and I highly recommend this train trip. There are two train stations in Tirano, one is the main train station with trains to Milan, the other is the Rhaetian Railway (‘Ferrovia Retica’ in Italian or ‘Rhaetian Railway’ in German) for the Bernina Express. They are next to each other, but the latter is well signposted, so you will find it without any problems.