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Train route travel from Chur to Lucerne & Murren

Suggestions? In 9/2022 will be staying in the Lake Como area for two weeks and then will take the Bernina Pass Train to Switzerland (via Varenna and Tirano). We will stay one night in Pontresina to break up the trip, then complete the train journey from Chur to Lucerne for 1-2 nights. From there we'll train to Murren for 2-3 nights, ultimately training our way up to Zurich to fly home. Two questions:
1. Does the above plan sound the most efficient time-wise via train travel. After the Bernina Pass Train, we hope to minimize our train time so hope to connect to fast trains through the rest of our journey.
2. Should we spend two nights in Lucerne & two in Murren, or one in Lucerne & three in Murren? We like easy hiking, but nothing too strenuous as we are youngish seniors. Since we will be spending ample time in the Lakes Region of Como, we wonder if Murren and the alps would be more enjoyable than add'l time in Lucerne? Or any other suggestions?

Posted by
756 posts

Tough call here. Lucerne is a very nice city and a lot to see. Murren is so much different because it sits in the Alps and has spectacular scenery and very easy, great hikes. I'm sure you have reasons for being in the Lake Como area for two weeks. If you don't, I would shorten that trip and use the extra days in Lucerne and Murren. For me, a week in Lake Como is plenty, but as I said it has to be your choice on how to spend your time there.

Posted by
15948 posts

I vote for 3 nights in Muerren, then 2 nights in Luzern. It is 7 train changes, but only 6 1/2 hours. Pontresina-Samedan-Chur-Zurich-Bern-Interlaken Ost-Lauterbrunnen-Grutschalp-Muerren.

Since Luzern is only 1 1/4 hours from Zurich airport on a direct train, stay there rather than Zurich for your last night.

Posted by
1750 posts

If you haven't been to Switzerland, the Berner O is what you are hoping to see

Posted by
25583 posts

for context, the thread painting the background from July is https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/lake-como-to-switzerland-suggestions-for-senior-travel

This shows that Liz will be on a tour in the Lake Como area.

Luckily, Liz, the fastest route between Luzern and Mürren and other parts of the Berner Oberland is also the most scenic. Take the narrow gauge route via Brünig Pass and Meiringen - a cog wheel train route that is well past gorgeous - you will even go near the Reichenbach Falls in Meiringen of Sherlock Holmes fame.

Two nights anywhere only gets you a single day sightseeing. That's risky in the Alps which have variable weather and afternoon clouds many days.

Posted by
5906 posts

Any votes for the Glacier Express route from Chur? I'm too lazy to figure out the timeline for that, but if its comparable?

I vote for two and two, because one night anywhere is only half a day or less on the ground due to the travel time. As much as I love Mürren, Luzern is a great destination because of the surrounding mountains and the lake, and ease of getting to Zurich airport. Better if you can scrounge a couple of days from the rest of your trip.

Posted by
15948 posts

By Glacier Express, going to Muerren, it is 9 1/2 hours vs 6 1/2 hours the "quick" way, although fewer changes. To Luzern it is also 9 1/2 hours vs 4 1/2 hours.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks all, we'll settle on two nights in Lucerne & three in Murren. As I suspected, it sounds like a fair number of train changes which we were hoping to avoid, but we'll manage and try to pack light. That's the challenge, since our two weeks in the Lake Como area will be an official tour, so not just a backpack for these two youngish seniors with sensitive backs. I've tried to find a "transport" tour only of Switzerland, but most are fairly lengthy and expensive and we're not interested in spending time in Zurich & Bern. We may simply package up and ship half our clothing/shoes back to Seattle after our Como stay to lighten the load and save our backs.