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Zurich to Venice via Bernina Express etc - make sense?

Alameda, California
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Zurich to Venice via Bernina Express etc - make sense?

We arrive day 1 in Zurich from San Franciso at 8:40 am. Does it make sense to take the train to Chur that day, spend the night, and then catch the Bernina Express and other trains to get to Venice by the end of day 2? Is that reasonable stress-wise? What would be the best pass to get adults/kids? Thanks for any help!

St. Moritz...
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1. Re: Zurich to Venice via Bernina Express etc - make sense?

You dont tell us when you plan to do this journey - it's different in winter and summer (different timetables and options, see http://www.rhb.ch/index.php?id=33?&L=4 ).

Then you have to consider that Chur is roughly 2 hours from Zurich and mainly in winter it does not make sense to stay overnight there - nothing to do once you have seen the old town center, which takes about 20 minutes.

I leave the answer about passes to others, as I dont know a lot about this.

Alameda, California
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2. Re: Zurich to Venice via Bernina Express etc - make sense?

We are doing this in early April. Thanks for any help you can provide!

St. Moritz...
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3. Re: Zurich to Venice via Bernina Express etc - make sense?

It's doable, but this would be an awful long day sitting in trains and concentrating to make the connections with probably a jet-lag.

If I would be in your place, I would at least do part of the journey on your first day, keeping in mind that you will probably not enjoy it that much however, after the long flight. If you go just as far as Chur, you drop into your hotel bed at lunch time and nurish your jetlag even more. I usually sleep almost through the whole journey if I travel back from the US. And you would certainly miss a lot, as the journey from Chur up to St. Moritz is very panoramic.

If however you are not affected by jetlag, you might even go further, as you dont necessarily have to take the "express" train, so after arrival in Zurich, go to Chur and travel on with the next train to Samedan or St. Moritz and interrupt the journey when you think it is time. This way you could start the next leg the next day more relaxed. Regular trains go each hour on the same track, so the same views as the "express".

Starting from April 1, the Bernina Express bus to Lugano is offered again, connecting to the train. This would be another option..

baton rouge, la
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4. Re: Zurich to Venice via Bernina Express etc - make sense?

Did you do this trip yet? We are going Aug 23, 2011 and want to over night in Zurich, go to Chur and catch Bernina Express to Lugano, on to Venice with an overnight along the way, possibly Tirano. I cannot figure what type ticket 2 seniors will need and a routing to get us there sometime on the 26th. Any suggestions?

Alameda, California
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5. Re: Zurich to Venice via Bernina Express etc - make sense?

I am assuming you mean you are travelling Aug 2012. We landed in Zurich in the morning and spent the day staggering around Old Town. In summer you'll be able to catch a boat around the lake to pass some time. The next morning we took a very early train to Chur, the Bernina Express to Tirano, and a train to Milan. We stayed in Milan one night, took a half day tour the next day (to see the Last Supper) then took the train to Venice. So our nights were Zurich day 1, Milan day 2, Venice day 3. It was a long day on trains on day 2 but doable. Not much in Tirano. Maybe spend the night at Lake Como? The train goes right through there.

The only ticket you need ahead is the seat reservation for the Bernina Express. That get right away, I believe on rhb.ch. They were about 36 CH for 4 of us first class. You can buy the actual train tickets to Chur at the Zurich train station, and you buy the train tickets to Tirano (or wherever you are going) at the Chur train station, which has a live agent. I suggest getting a 'picnic' for the Bernina Express at the train station in Chur - there is a nice market. They only sell coffee on the train.

In Tirano there is a cafe next to the train station (on the Italian side) which sells train tickets, as the ticket window wasn't open when we were there. Let me know if you have any other questions! Joni

Alameda, California
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6. Re: Zurich to Venice via Bernina Express etc - make sense?

A second note. I agree with the poster who said you won't miss anything by skipping Zurich. So feel free to travel as much as you like the first day after you land. It was good for us to just walk that day and try to stay up, without trying to 'learn' or 'tour' anything serious. If you enjoy upscale shops they certainly have all of them on the main drag. Beware, Zurich is very expensive; you will have some sticker shock. The upside is that no where else in Europe seemed expensive to us after eating out in Zurich a few meals. :)

7. Re: Zurich to Venice via Bernina Express etc - make sense?

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