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to Chur from Luzern

Someone suggested we take the train to Chur from Luzern to spend the night in Chur before taking the Bernina Express part of the way and eventually getting back to Milan. Any suggestions on where to stay in Chur that would be convenient to the train station. We will not have a car. Also, any suggestions of places to stay and things to do while we are in Luzern from Sunday afternoon until Wed. afternoon? THANKS for your help. Linda

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It is only two hours to Chur from Luzern. I suggest you go past her to one of the mountain villages on the route. Then you will have nice mountain views when you take a walk upon arrival. We chose the very small village of Samedan, but Pontresina, the next stop, or St. Moritz would work as well. (The place we stayed in Samedan, Garni Laager, was more reasonably priced that what I could find in the more famous villages nearby).

Take a look at the Swiss rail map to see the route:

http://www.railguide.jp/routemap/pdf/015.pdf

Coming from Luzern, make sure you still route through Chur, not the more easterly line younsee on the map (around Klosters). The Chur route is the actual Bernina Express route and you will cross the famous and picturesque Landwasser Viaduct. You can forgo the named Bernina Express train for this section and ride one of the regular regional trains that ply these tracks frequently. No reservations necessary.

The journey from Luzern to, say, Pontresina, is just over 4 hours, leaving you with half a day to explore. There are lifts you can ride from Pontresina for nice views, and one has a nice restaurant at the top.

Then if you want to ride the "real" Bernina Express train with the panorama cars for the rest of the way the following day, you can book that from Pontresina to Tirano.

As for what to do in Luzern, I recommend the Rigi Loop, by boat to Vitznau, cogwheel train to the top of Rigi, then back down as far as Rigi Kaltbad (or walk this part), then cablecar down to the lake at Weggis where you board another boat back to Luzern.

There is a similar trip up Pilatus with only one boat ride, but we prefer Rigi for the walking.