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Train From Varenna to Salzburg mid Sept. Bernina express or not

Hi,

Will be taking the train Sept 11 from Varenna to Salzburg. I know this will be a long day but we may only be passing this way once in our lifetime.So I am looking for opinions and help.Looking for the least amount of transfers and given the time of year the most scenic route. Bernina or more direct route? and any suggestions on how and where to book this journey.Thank You.

Posted by
19319 posts

Well, the route over the Bernina Pass is as direct as any.
Leave Varenna at 8:24 with train changes in Tirano, St Moritz, Chur, and Sargans, getting to Salzburg at 20:03

A little faster with fewer changes is going through Milan, Verona, and the Brenner Pass.
Leave Varenna at 10:37 with train changes in Milan, Verona, and Rosenheim, getting to Salburg at 21:00

Posted by
57 posts

Thank you Sam

Does either of these train routes need to be booked in advance?

Posted by
16893 posts

The trains departing Milan and Verona require seat assignments, built in when you buy the tickets, though you probably can book on short notice. The route via Switzerland does not require reservations, unless you want a seat in the panorama car between Tirano (departing 10:03) and St. Moritz. In either Italy or Austria, buying a nonrefundable advance-discount fare would also lock you into a particular train departure. I would choose the Bernina route. Connections go very smoothly there.

Posted by
57 posts

Thank you Laura

So looks like I am leaning twords the Bernina panoramic car, and taking this route I will depart Varenna north to where to pick up the Bernina in Tirano and take it to Chur and transfer to Salzburg? That sound about right?

Posted by
19319 posts

One thing to be aware of, the connection time in Tirano is only 11 minutes and you have to change stations, although the RHB station is just across the piazza from the Trenord station. The SBB site shows it as a 5 minute walk, probably accurate, but don't lolligag. Also, there are no ticket facilities at Varenna station. It is only a 7.30 EUR fare, but it might be good to have your ticket already purchased, either an on-line prevalidated ticket, or a ticket for that day purchased elsewhere in Italy and you validate it in the platform stamping machine before boarding.

Posted by
1487 posts

As far as I remember, in Chur you take a train to nearby Sargans, where you meet an Austrian train coming from Zurich and going to Innsbruck/Salzburg.