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Bernina Express

I am planning a vacation for next May. I would like to take a ride on the Bernina's Express. Does anyone know if I can just purchase the train portion of the ticket without taking the bus from Lugano.
I will have a rental car, so where I begin is where I must end. I'm in the planning stage right now and your suggestions would be helpful. Thanks! Kathy

Posted by
19982 posts

Not sure if we understand your dilemma. If you have a car, and you are in Lugano, just drive to Tirano, Italy and purchase a round trip ticket on the Bernina Express.

Posted by
60 posts

Thanks Sam for your quick reply. Sorry, if I was not clear. I was reading Rick Steves guidebook for Switzerland and it sounded like the Bernina Express is a package deal of bus in Italy and train in Switzerland.
Yes, I would prefer to leave my car in Tirano and buy a round trip ticket and skip the bus tour. Perhaps I may spend a night or two in one of those cute little villages.

Posted by
19982 posts

Yes, you may also think about taking the Bernina Express just one way and returning on a regular train for a little less money. The regular train has the same scenery, just not the panorama roof train cars that the Express uses. http://www.rhb.ch/Bernina-Express.1676.0.html?&L=4
Make sure its a nice day you take the Express.

Posted by
518 posts

Hello Kathy, Traveling toward Chur, you can take the bus from Lugano to Tirano. The bus drops you at the train station in Tirano, where you make a direct connection to the train. The bus ride is itself quite interesting. The traffic was such that the driver several times got out of the bus to direct traffic. It was quite entertaining, and I was glad not to be driving. You could also drive to Tirano and get the train there. We did enjoy the day, and it does take the better part of a day one way. However, if it meant having to take the route round trip to return to my car, I'd skip the whole thing. Two days would be too much for me. Perhaps you could turn in your car in either Lugano or Tirano and pick up another in Chur. If I couldn't do that, I would just plan a car route to see the area. The B. express is a very nice ride, but it not part of that trip that either my wife, son, or I remember as a highlight. We wished we had gone straight to the Berner Oberland area.
Have a great trip.

Posted by
60 posts

Thanks for the link Sam. This will be a big help in my planning.
We are leaving for Europe on the first of May. We are flying into Venice, picking up a rental car and driving through Northern Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy. Now I hope to take the Bernina Express through the Swiss Alps before returning to Venice. Thanks again for your help.

Posted by
60 posts

Thanks Thomas. As usual I am cramming as much as possible into the time we have. When we return to Venice we are taking a thirteen night relaxing Adriatic Cruise This is my land itinerary so far. Marco Polo airport to Rovinj, Slovenia 3 nights Plitvice Lake National Park, Croatia 1 night Ljubjama, Slovenia 2 nights Lake Bled, Julian Alps, Slovenia 2 nights Castelrotto, IT Dolomites 2 nights Bernina Express,overnight Pontresina 2 nights
Venice, IT 1 night