How To Get To St Moritz

How To Get To St Moritz

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  • St Moritz Local Transport Map

Where is St Moritz, Switzerland?

St Moritz is located deep in the Engadin valley of canton Grisons (Graubünden), splendidly surrounded by snow & glacier-clad mountains.

The town of St Moritz is 86km south of Grisons capital Chur, and 203km from Zurich by road. Milan Italy is 125km to the southwest as the crow flies.

The three main ski areas are all close to St Moritz. Corviglia is directly above St Moritz & the Corvatsch Silvaplana-Surlej base is a quick 7km to the south of town. Diavolezza Lagalb is 17km to the east. The ski areas are connected by an excellent bus & train system. The local trains & buses are all included on St Moritz regional ski lift passes of 2 days or more.

Flights into the St Moritz Ski Resort

Gateway international airports are Zurich (ZRH) & Milan Malpensa (MXP). Both are linked to St Moritz by train, but private transfers & car rentals are readily available.

For the well-heeled, St Moritz has an airport for private & charter flights a few kilometres north of town.

Search for a great deal on a flight to Milan Malpensa, Zurich, or other European airport.

Airport & Hotel Transfers

Private, shared & group transfers are available to/from all airports & hotels to/from St Moritz. The Powderhounds recommend taking the train to St Moritz, but for those that just cannot abide public transport or are travelling in larger groups, a private transfer from Zurich airport may be the most efficient mode of travel - other than one's own car. Private transfers may also make sense for travel in a post-covid world!

Search & book all private airport transfers to St Moritz.

Train Transport to St Moritz

Unless you are on a European road trip, a visit to St Moritz is best done by train. From either Milan (MXP) or Zurich (ZRH) airports, the train journey is fascinating. From either direction, it culminates in some of the world’s best alpine railway experiences. On arrival at the well-appointed St Moritz train station, buses & taxis are ready to complete your journey.

From Zurich airport, the train journey to St Moritz tends to be in 3 parts and takes under 4hr. After a short trip from the airport to Zurich station, a change to Chur sees the transition from city to country to mountain valley. From Chur, one joins the Rhaetian (Rhaetische Bahn or RhB) railway (see Rhaetian rail network map here), where a series of superbly engineered viaducts & tunnels sees the train climb deep into the mountains to St Moritz.

From Milan Malpensa airport, the train journey is in three stages, but is equally fascinating over its 5.5hr travel time. The Malpensa Express rolls into the beautiful Milano Centrale station at regular intervals. If one has time, a wander around Milano Centrale reveals all its outrageous pomp & grandeur.

In Milan hourly trains from Milano Centrale station to Tirano take 2.5hr to make the trip from bustling city to mountainous apple orchard country. Arriving in Tirano, one crosses a small piazza to the Bernina Express station for the final leg to St Moritz (or Diavolezza Lagalb) over Bernina Pass.

The Bernina Express emerges from the Tirano station & clatters onto the main road thoroughfare in front of the imposing 16th century Basilica (Sanctuary of the Madonna of Tirano). A peek inside the basilica is worthwhile if nothing else to see the staggeringly complex 18th century 3000 pipe organ & associated sculptures & artwork. For the 2.5hr journey, the train passes over and through engineering marvels including the Circular Viaduct Bursio. It climbs nearly 1900m vertical, up and over the 2328m Bernina Pass to Lagalb & Diavolezza stations, passes the toe of the Morteratsch glacier & eventually to St Moritz.

Search & book train tickets to St Moritz.

Driving to St Moritz

Driving a rental car to St Moritz is not the easiest thing to do in the world, which is both a blessing and a curse for the ski resort. Surrounded by mountains and high passes on three sides, the easiest road access to St Moritz is via the Inn River valley via Landeck or Innsbruck in Austria (drive time under 3hr). This route is not particularly useful for most travelers to St Moritz; hence three mountain passes tend to provide the main driving routes, all of which are questionable in bad weather. If in doubt take the train!

West of St Moritz, the Maloja Pass (1815m) is the lowest and easiest of the driving routes, but it originates in northern Italy. Super convenient for travelers Milan Malpensa airport as their gateway, the route goes via Lake Como and Chiavenna in Italy, before crossing into Switzerland and up to the pass. Below the Maloja, an easy journey along the scenic upper Engadin valley leads to Corvatsch ski resort on the right before entering St Moritz proper, 6km further along. In good road conditions, the journey time from Chiavenna to St Moritz is a little over 1hr by car. Public buses also complete the route.

To the north, the main driving access route from within Switzerland is via Chur, Thusis and Albula then south to the ski resort towns of Savognin and Bivio, where the Julier Pass (2284m) is climbed. All Powderhounds will note the abundant ski touring options here. You cannot miss the 30m tall Julier Theatre Tower at the top of the pass. Its vivid red juxtaposed against a blanket of deep snow will no doubt stir up some intense discussion! Over the Julier Pass, the road descents into the Engadin at Silvaplana, where a left turn sees one in St Moritz in minutes. In good road conditions, the journey time from Thusis to St Moritz is 1.5hr by car. Public buses also complete the route.

To the south is the classic Bernina Pass (2328m), the highest and most interesting of the driving routes. From Tirano in Italy, the road vaguely follows the route of the fabulous Bernina Express railway, over the pass, then between the ski resort areas of Diavolezza and Lagalb before heading down to Pontresina and St Moritz. In good road conditions, the journey time from Tirano to St Moritz is over 1.5hr by car. The Bernina Express train also completes the route in safety and comfort, taking around 2hr 20min.

Note that winter tyres and chains should be carried by all vehicles using the above routes. All wheel drive vehicles are preferable, check road and weather conditions prior to attempting any mountain pass crossings.

St Moritz Car Rental & Hire

For those travelers wishing to drive to St Moritz or want to pick up a car once you have already arrived in the St Moritz area, car hire & rentals are readily available, with some caveats however! If renting cars in Switzerland, some companies have exorbitant security deposits on each car, but at least they are all winterised (unlike in Italy & parts of France!). In St Moritz itself, hiring a car could require an CHF8000 deposit! Check the fine print before booking online. Search & book car rentals.

The airports at Milan Malpensa or Zurich provide the most convenient location for picking up & dropping off a rental car We do not recommend picking up a car in the city of Milan, as the traffic and navigation challenges are not worth the effort. If getting a car from the airport in Milan, ensure it is winterised – i.e. winter tyres as a minimum.

Getting Around St Moritz

Comprehensive local bus services connect all of the Corviglia base areas & nearby villages (see route map here). From St Moritz to Corvatsch, it is possible to take the Line 3 bus (called the Hahnensee Express). The bus runs every half hour between 8am & 5.30pm and is free for lift pass holders from the Signal cable car valley station in St Moritz Bad to Corvatsch Surlej base area. It is possible to ski back to St Moritz Bad from Corvatsch via the Hahnensee trail. Have a well-deserved drink at the Sonnenstuebli yurt at the bottom.

Regular buses and the Bernina Express train link St Moritz to Diavolezza & Lagalb. Local bus links run between Silvaplana (near Corvatsch ski resort) via St Moritz to Diavolezza Lagalb providing an easy alternative to the longer train journey. The bus stops at more locations & accommodation providers along the route than the train.

If driving yourself from nearby villages, each of the ski areas has adequate parking in the base areas, those at Corviglia & Corvatsch cost a small fee. For Corviglia, Celerina & St Moritz bad Signal base are best. Sils base car park at Corvatsch is always nearly empty. The car parks at Diavolezza & Lagalb are close to the cable cars and free.

Nearby Resorts

As if skiing all the brilliant St Moritz ski areas wasn’t enough, the Rhaetian train network puts so many other superb ski resorts in play. Davos Klosters and little known Scuol are directly accessible by train from St Moritz.

Regular trains to Chur from St Moritz allow a swift move to set up for easy day trips to the superb Arosa, Lenzerheide, Laax, Brigels and some other fun small ski resorts.

The polar opposite of St Moritz in terms of size and facilities is the isolated Bivio. Together with Savognin they are accessible by bus to Chur.

The ultimate Swiss ski trip is to take the Glacier Express train all the way from St Moritz to Zermatt via wonderful Andermatt Sedrun and Brig for another week or two of skiing.