Bring your own food and drinks if you wish, as there is no catering on this train. You can check the timetables of the Milan-Tirano train at You can use your Global Pass valid in Switzerland on board the Bernina Express and regional trains.
What I love is that it feels like such a luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it can be done on a budget. And while speed is sometimes an inconvenience, it also makes the train more accessible as a day trip to your northern Italy route or to brighten up your holiday in Switzerland. But if you’re a photographer and only go to this experience to photograph, I would recommend taking the regional train instead. It may seem mediocre compared to the Bernina, but the photos you shoot through glass will never be as good as the ones that don’t! As a compromise, you can try to make the Bernina Express one-way and then the normal regional transport on the way back.
Since a return trip on the Bernina Express would take about 8 hours, you can do it in a day if you leave early. But in the case of the Glacier express, it would not be possible to follow the entire route, which takes 8 hours, and return for another 8 hours. There is no noticeable difference if you choose to travel from Chur to Tirano, or from Tirano to Chur. The only factor you have to take into account is daylight.
One of Switzerland’s most beautiful train journeys, the Bernina Express travels from north to south of the Canton of Graubünden through UNESCO World Heritage Sites and famous mountain passes. If you don’t have a rail pass and want to travel on the Bernina Railway and don’t want to pay to travel on the actual Bernina Express train, you can also take a regional train. Tickets are available at the regular ticket machines or online.
The offer is a round-trip express flight from Chur to Tirano, including lunch in Tirano. You also have the option to spend a night in Tirano or I think at any point of the trip. The price for two people, including lunch, totals 159 Swiss francs/US dollars, including 2nd class seat reservations in both directions. I will share more comparisons with second-class cars and regional trains later. To take the Bernina Express from Milan, you must first arrive in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Although the train runs in both directions, it is best to take the train from St. Moritz, Switzerland to Tirano, Italy if you want to do it as a day trip from Milan.
If you want to experience the beautiful scenery on the Bernina Express route by regional train, you should board a train earlier in the day. Railbookers is a train travel specialist that can customize a European tour or a getaway to Switzerland with train travel, transfers Treno bernina and hotels, all arranged for you, as long as you want, departing on any date you want. They can easily book rides with the Bernina Express to or from Italy or as part of a tour of Switzerland. They take good care of their customers and I highly recommend them.
The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl in winter, overlooking St Moritz and the Engadine Valley. The upper station of the cable car that climbs the mountain from Punt Muragl station is next to the hotel. So I recommend making a Bernina Express seat reservation first and buying a ticket later. Here I will describe a trip north from Milan Centrale to Zurich, but the landscape is exactly the same in both directions. In fact, the excellent Trenord trains connect milan central with Tirano every two hours, with no reservation required, just buy a ticket and hop on.
If you stand on the fence and think “Bernina Express is worth it?”, you can jump off, because the answer is a resounding yes. During the summer season, which lasts from 15 to 29 October, only one Bernina Express train runs north to Chur daily. In winter, the service runs a little later from Monday to Friday, with Tirano departing at 15:00. For updates to the timetable amid COVID-19, read more here. It can definitely be worth taking the Bernina Express one way and returning by regional train, especially since you can decide in your own time how much you want to spend on St. Moritz/whatever your destination city is. And the other good thing about the regional train is that it probably doesn’t have reserved seats, so you can choose your spot/move more easily around the train to find the best place to take photos/open windows.
In Chur, it’s usually a simple interchange between platforms between Bernina Express and the train to/from Zurich that departs every 30 minutes. Along the way, the landscape never stops trampling passengers. Some of the natural wonders are glaciers, lakes, peaks and flora and fauna. But you’ll also want to take a look at the artificial views on the line, including 196 viaducts and 55 tunnels. Considering that even using a day on a Eurail Globalpass would cost 48 per person for seat reservations in the off-season, it’s really an obvious deal. However, these are some of the key differences you should be aware of when choosing between the Bernina Express or regional trains.