Romantic Switzerland: restaurants, hotels, spas and activities

From romantic mountain retreats to luxurious spas and fine dining in Zurich, Geneva and beyond, here's some top spots for your Swiss love affair.
Panorama Resort & Spa
©Panorama Resort & Spa The infinity pool boasts romantic views across Lake Zurich
By Time Out contributors and Claire Doble |
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Whether it's for Valentine's Day, a place to pop the question, or you just want to treat that special someone in your life, read our guide to the best places for romance in Switzerland.

Restaurants, Swiss

El Paradiso • St.Moritz

icon-location-pin Graubünden

The stunning views, and stylish sun deck, are almost enough to make this one of the most fun restaurants in the country. You can dine on a light lunch, or a gourmet evening dinner or just have a drink and get cosy under the blankets on the sun deck and enjoy the blue skies and mountain setting.

Time Out says
Restaurants, Italian

Kornhauskeller • Bern

icon-location-pin Zähringerstadt

The Kornhauskeller in Bern is highly recommended for a special occasion, thanks to the beautiful dining room created from a former granary. The kitchen serves up unpretentious reinterpretations of Italian cuisine accompanied by hearty Swiss classics and Bernese specialties. 

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Jules Verne Bar, Zuerich, Juni 2014. Photo by Elisabeth Real
Elisabeth Real
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Jules Verne • Zurich

icon-location-pin City

Sitting here with 360° views of the city, sipping on a cocktail and holding your significant other's hand might be as close to a perfect date as it can get in Zurich.

Time Out says
Restaurants, Modern European

Anne-Sophie Pic • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Ouchy

France’s first female chef to be awarded three Michelin stars, Anne-Sophie Pic's second restaurant is in Lausanne. Drawing on the flavours and seasonal ingredients of her childhood home as well as local Swiss produce, Pic creates imaginative, beautifully presented dishes that have earned the restaurant two Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau points.

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Restaurants, Mediterranean

Clouds • Zurich

icon-location-pin Kreis 5

You won't fail to impress your lover with the views here from the 35th floor of the Prime Tower, and the food might actually exceed your expectations. David Martinez Salvany creates dishes inspired by his Catalonian heritage, and there is even a full tasting menu for vegetarians. 

Time Out says
Restaurants

Château de Pleujouse • Jura

icon-location-pin Northwestern Switzerland

Wind through lush, Jurassic mountains, to find this hidden castle of gastronomy with majestic views of the Ajoie valley. Britain-born chef Gérard Praud and his wife Catherine, a native of Porrentruy, are known for their artisanal cuisine and passion for delighting guests through culinary surprise.

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Restaurants, Haute cuisine

Der Teufelhof • Basel

icon-location-pin Altstadt Grossbasel (central Grossbasel)

A cosy and unusual hotel, restaurant and cultural venue, Der Teufelhof offers several possibilities for creative or traditional date nights with activities including wine tasting, theatre and cabaret performances, and fine dining. 

Time Out says
Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville
Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville
Restaurants, French

Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville • Crissier

icon-location-pin Lausanne

Serving classic French food, Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, has a long reputation for world class dining after holding onto three Michelin stars since 1998. Even though the menu changes throughout the seasons, the quality doesn't.

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Izumi, Geneva restaurant, Time Out Switzerland
Izumi, Geneva © Will Pryce/Four Seasons
Restaurants, Japanese

Izumi • Geneva

icon-location-pin Rive Droite / Right Bank

The newest restaurant from the luxury Four Seasons Hotel is this Japanese-fusion affair from the Nobu stable. Drawing on Nikkei cuisine, a selection of beautifully prepared sashimi, tuna tartar and tempura gives way to larger fusion dishes. It’s an intimate, cosy kind of place, so in winter it’s best to book early to secure one of the few tables indoors. 

Time Out says
Restaurants, French

Schauenstein • Graubunden

icon-location-pin Chur

Situated 650m high up in the mountains of Graubunden lies the three Michelin star Schauenstein restaurant, which was recently rated the fifth best restaurant in the world by French publication La Liste.

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Eat Me, Lausanne bar, restaurant, Time Out Switzerland
Anne-Laure Lechat
Restaurants, Global

Eat Me • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Ville Marché

This cocktail bar and tapas restaurant takes inspiration from all over the world to produce an intriguing menu with diverse flavours. Cocktails are pricey but classy with no Sex on the Beach in sight. Instead try the Black Pearl, a sweet-sharp mix of rum, ginger, lime and cardamom.

Time Out says
Aroma Basel
www.a-roma.ch
Restaurants, Italian

Aroma • Basel

icon-location-pin Altstadt Grossbasel (central Grossbasel)

Regarded as one of the best Italians in Basel, Aroma is an upmarket trattoria that offers a romantic atmosphere and excellent Italian cuisine.

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Restaurant Seerose
©Restaurant Seerose
Restaurants, Seafood

Restaurant Seerose • Zurich

icon-location-pin Wollishofen

Located right on the lake, in summer Seerose is Zurich's answer to St Tropez, while in winter it's a romantic spot to dine. Service is attentive, while the Mediterranean-inspired menu is seasonal and varied. Although it doesn’t come cheap, the food’s quality matches the prices.

Restaurants

Gondolezza at Hotel Walther • Pontresina

This cozy converted cable car makes for a quirky romantic dinner-setting. Gondolezza serves up Swiss specialties of cheese Gletscher fondue or raclestte, and other traditional dishes including Grisons barley soup, sausages and salads. 

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Le Cinq chefs Michael Rochat & Théotime Bioret
© 2016 Lecinq
Restaurants, Contemporary European

Le Cinq • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Ville Marché

There’s quite some pedigree behind owner-chef duo Michael Rochat and Théotime Bioret, who between them have worked in some of the finest kitchens around. Drawing on seasonal, local ingredients, the food is delicate, original and classy without being over fussy. 

Time Out says
L'Atelier Cocktail Club, Geneva bar, Time Out Switzerland
Roxypunx / Sarah Dos Santos
Bars and pubs, Wineries

L’Atelier Cocktail Club • Geneva

icon-location-pin Eaux-Vives

One of the best places for a cocktail in Geneva, the drinks in this small neighbourhood bar are a cut above. The copious menu includes both classic cocktails and more inventive creations (aperol, chilli-pepper and kumquat is one).

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Restaurants, Swiss

Chäsalp • Zurich

icon-location-pin Zurich

Tourists rarely stumble upon this cosy restaurant way up on the Zürichberg. Popular with locals for its wide variety of cheesy dishes, try the 'sparkling' fondue with champagne on a romantic night out!

Time Out says
Bars and pubs, Sports bars

Les Boucaniers • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Ville Marché

A relative newcomer on the Lausanne bar scene, this smart pub is a classy affair. A small outside terrace leads into a stylish interior – all muted colours and dark wood furniture – where you can partake of an artisan beer from a vast range of local and international tipples. 

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Restaurants

Maison Manesse • Zurich

icon-location-pin Alt-Wiedikon

This modern, Michellin-starred brassiere makes for an unusual eating experience that, like marmite, you either love or hate.  Based on set menus which feature a series of small tapas style dishes that are fixed around the themes of veggie or meat, it makes for an interactive gourmet pick ‘n’ mix experience. 

Time Out says
Restaurant du Cerf
©sifon
Restaurants

Restaurant du Cerf • Jura

icon-location-pin Northwestern Switzerland

If you’re picky about what you eat and looking for bespoke gastronomy, Chefs Jean-Marc Soldati and Christian Albrecht have your best interest at heart. Set at a crook in a road that winds through the celebrated Watch Valley this is one of the most beloved restaurants in the Jurassic Arc.

Time Out says
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Die Waid restaurant Zurich
Thomas Joachim
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Waid • Zurich

icon-location-pin Wipkingen

Restaurant Die Waid has two eateries that offer some of the best views of Zurich. Couples will enjoy the classy Jahreszeiten, while those on a casual night out might prefer the more down-to-earth Wok-Beiz.

Time Out says
Restaurants, Swiss

Manger & Boire • Basel

icon-location-pin Altstadt Grossbasel (central Grossbasel)

As the name suggests, this cosy pub-restaurant is dedicated to the finer things in life and celebrating time to enjoy them. On the menu are classic Swiss dishes and a pronounced Italian influence – there’s nothing overly fancy, but Manger & Boire specialises in doing simple things well.

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Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

La Verre à Monique • Geneva

icon-location-pin Quartier des Bains

This is the sort of place that makes you forget you’re in Geneva. A self-proclaimed speakeasy, it evokes the dirty glamour and clandestine excitement of prohibition-era America. 

Time Out says
Le Hall
©JeremyMasonMcGraw
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Le Hall - Baur Au Lac • Zurich

icon-location-pin City

Everything is done to a high standard at this hotel, making it a consistently excellent all-rounder, yet it manages to remain relaxed and unstuffy. 'Le hall', as the lounge is called, features a huge Art Deco glass dome, which overlooks a dazzling Empire period chandelier. It’s an enchanting location, which is only enhanced further by indulging in their afternoon tea service.

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Restaurant - generic
ViktorHanacek.cz
Restaurants, Seafood

Restaurant Le Furet • Geneva

icon-location-pin Charmilles/Saint-Jean

For a more casual, seafood-lovers night out, treat your date to the best garlic prawns in Switzerland at this unassuming Geneva restaurant. The gambas are all-you-can eat and are served with piles of golden fries.

Bergrestaurant Spielboden
©Bergrestaurant Spielboden
Restaurants

Bergrestaurant Spielboden • Saas Fee

icon-location-pin Saas-Fee/Saas Valley

As far from self-service ski dining as you can get, the skilled team at Spielboden serves up Swiss specialities such as Alpine cheese soup, braised water buffalo and lamb tenderloins in an unbeatable location at 2,450 metres above sea level overlooking “Pearl of the Alps”, Saas-Fee, and a basin of 4,000-metre summits.

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Helvetia hotel restaurant
© WAC
Restaurants, Contemporary European

Hotel Helvetia • Zurich

icon-location-pin Werd

This brassiere restaurant, awarded 15 points by the Gault-Millau gourmet guide, attracts a bohemian and lively crowd. This is partly due to the cooking skills of the charismatic Swiss star chef Françoise Wicki and her menu which is built on a fusion of gourmet cuisine with down-to-earth Swiss fare.

Time Out says
Restaurants, Contemporary European

L’Eléphant Blanc • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Cité / Old Town

Tucked away in Lausanne’s medieval Cité is this lovely little bistrot serving the food of chef Anthony Macé. Much loved by locals in the know, the intimate surrounding of the small interior make for a great place to spend a romantic dinner.

Hotels

Hotel Saratz • Pontresina

icon-location-pin St Moritz

Hotel Saratz is a winning combination of elegant grown-up attractions, with some fantastic, family-friendly features including a range of sport and relaxation options. 

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Carlton Hotel
A family suite at the Carlton Hotel in St.Moritz
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Carlton Hotel • St Moritz

icon-location-pin St Moritz

The Carlton Hotel offers a mix of old-world luxury and contemporary features. All suites have their own private butler and the restaurant is under the direction of three-star Michelin chefs Enrico and Roberto Cerea.

Hotels, Guest houses

Grimsel Hospiz • Valais

icon-location-pin Canton of Bern

For those who want to get away from it all, this hotel is perched above the Grimsel reservoir on the high alpine Grimselpass which connects the cantons of Bern and Valais. It's a journey to get here but once you arrive, you'll be well rewarded. 

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Waldhotel Fletschhorn
©Switzerland Tourism
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Waldhotel Fletschhorn • Saas Fee

icon-location-pin Saas-Fee/Saas Valley

While popular ski resort Saas-Fee buzzes with holidaymakers and sounds of après ski, you don’t have to travel far for a romantic escape. Most guests come here to sample the gourmet cuisine of chef Markus Neff, served in a wood-panelled room with gentle spotlighting and cosy corners.

Hotels, Boutique hotels

Montagne Alternative • Valais

icon-location-pin Martigny

This concept hotel aims to give visitors a real flavour of life in rural Valais, but without roughing it. Spread over several sympathetically converted barns in the tiny village of Commeire, the hotel’s rooms are simple yet luxurious, rustic yet modern. 

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Berghaus Bort, Grindelwald hotel, Time Out Switzerland
©David Willen
Hotels, Guest houses

Berghaus Bort • Grindelwald

icon-location-pin Grindelwald

If you’d enjoy being stranded in beautiful isolation half way up a mountain, then the Berghaus Bort is the place to stay. In winter it’s only accessible by skiing down a black run or by taking the cable car. Luckily, it’s a gorgeous place to be stranded. 

Private spa suite at the Victoria Jungfrau Hotel

Indulge yourself and your partner this Valentine's Day by booking an exclusive spa suite at this luxury hotel. The suite comes with a private steam room, your own sauna and an elegantc double bathtub filled flower-infused waters and surrounded by flickering candles.
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Hotel Helvetia in Zurich
© Zimmer
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Hotel Helvetia • Zurich

icon-location-pin Werd

For a romantic urban retreat in Switzerland's largest city, look no further than Hotel Helvetia. Dapper striped wallpapered bedrooms and retro white-tiled bathrooms showcase a quirky interior design attitude. And the the gentrified brassiere restaurant attracts a bohemian crowd of local literati and financial wheeler-dealers.

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Aspen Alpin Lifestyle Hotel
©Philippe Hahn
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Aspen Alpin Lifestyle Hotel • Grindelwald

icon-location-pin Grindelwald

Set above the village of Grindelwald right on a ski run, this luxurious hotel is a wonderful base for exploring the huge ski area under the shadow of the Eiger. Be sure to make time to visit the hotel’s spa and take a dip in the outdoor whirlpool (nude only, so beware passing skiers) which in winter is accessible directly from the slopes.

Hotels, Guest houses

Berggasthaus • Davos

icon-location-pin Davos

Set at 1,800 in the mountains west of ski resort Davos, this hotel is a rural escape in the picturesque wilderness of Graubunden. Around 300 years old, this former farmhouse has been a hotel for the last century, so its simple, rustic, wood-filled rooms have plenty of history.

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The Dolder Grand is a luxury hotel and spa in Zurich
© Heinz Unger
Hotels, Luxury hotels

The Dolder Grand • Zurich

icon-location-pin Hottingen

Really push the boat out by booking a stay at Zurich's Dolder Grand hotel. It has hosted celebrities such as Sophia Loren, Albert Einstein and the Rolling Stones and offers some of the most exquisite accommodation in town. 

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Chalet Berghof Sertig, Davos hotel, Time Out Switzerland
©RUPA/Destination Davos Klosters
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Chalet Berghof Sertig Davos • Davos

icon-location-pin Davos

The Alps are a pinnacle of natural beauty and there's nowhere better to experience them than out in the wilds - with, of course, lots of creature comforts thrown in. 

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Health and beauty, Spas

Mineralbad & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad • Lucerne

icon-location-pin Vitznau

Capitalising on the longstanding history of wellness tourists ‘taking the water’ on the Rigi mountain near Lucerne, this spa, opened in 2012, offers modern-day visitors the chance to luxuriate in the mineral waters of the Kaltbad spring.

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Health and beauty, Spas

Thermalp • Les Bains d’Ovronnaz

icon-location-pin Ovronnaz

It’s worth making the trip by postbus to reach this mountain spa at 1,400m altitude, if only because of the beautiful views of the surrounding peaks. 

Dampfbad Basel
©Dampfbad Basel
Things to do

Dampfbad Basel

icon-location-pin St. Johann

Whether you are local or in town for shopping, a meeting or an event, the Dampfbad in northern Basel’s St. Johann is the perfect retreat.

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Health and beauty, Spas

Splash & Spa Tamaro • Ticino

icon-location-pin Monteceneri

Get set for a tidal wave of fun and, er, relaxation! Splash & Spa Tamaro has a huge amount of water-based activities on offer. First up, there's five exciting waterslides to try (we suggest the Gravity Killer!). 

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Things to do

Sole Uno Wellness • Basel

icon-location-pin Basel-Stadt

This large wellness facility includes: three types of saltwater pool; a fire and ice pool; themed showers; and saunas and hammams.

Panorama Resort & Spa
©Panorama Resort & Spa
Hotels, Spa hotels

Panorama Resort & Spa • Feusisberg

icon-location-pin Central Switzerland

It’s all in the name when it comes to Panorama Resort & Spa. Situated at 700 metres above sea level in Feusisberg, the resort has floor-to-ceiling windows that frame romantic vistas of Lake Zurich and the hills beyond. 

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Things to do

Stadtbad • Zurich

icon-location-pin Aussersihl

Run by the tenants of Seebad Enge, this stylish and modern hammam inside the Volkshaus offers various treatments, from Thalasso therapy to oriental sugaring. 

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Health and beauty, Spas

Thermes Parc • Val d’Illiez

icon-location-pin Champéry/Val d'Illiez

A recently built spa resort nestled in a valley on the train route just out of Champéry in the popular Franco-Swiss Portes du Soleil region. 

Health and beauty, Spas

Bains de la Gruyère • Charmey

icon-location-pin Alpes vaudoises

Hang out in the bubble beds and jacuzzis in the indoor and outdoor pools, sunbathe on the rooftop terrace, sample the hammam and Turkish baths or head to the Nordic Pavillion to try a trio of saunas followed by an icy bucket shower.

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Health and beauty, Spas

Thermalbad Brigerbad • Brigerbad

icon-location-pin Brig

In winter only the thermal (outdoor) pool and the indoor pools are open. The Brigerbad also has a full range of spa treatments along with sauna and hammam.

Things to do

Les Bains de Lavey • Lavey-les-Bains

icon-location-pin Saint-Maurice

Drawing on the hottest thermal water in Switzerland, its large outdoor pool is equipped with various jacuzzis, massage water spouts, a mushroom fountain and a rather addictive whirlpool that’s fun to drift around in the strong current. 

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Centre Thermal Yverdon-les-Bains, Yverdon spa, Time Out Switzerland
©Centre Thermal Yverdon-les-Bains
Health and beauty, Spas

Centre Thermal Yverdon-les-Bains

icon-location-pin Yverdon

There are more scenic thermal baths in Switzerland, but what this one lacks in bucolic views it makes up for in convenience and a reasonably entry price.

Things to do

Bains des Pâquis • Geneva

icon-location-pin Pâquis

Built in the 1930s, the Bains des Pâquis is a public swimming baths right on Lake Geneva and a popular social meeting place for Genevois of all ages, shapes and wallet-sizes. In winter you can still swim – if you’re that nuts – or take advantage of the sauna, Turkish bath, hammam and massage service instead.

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Things to do

Solbad & Spa • Schönbühl

icon-location-pin Bern-Mittelland

Less than half an hour from Bern, Solbad Schönbühl boasts the largest natural brine spa in Switzerland. You can also opt for the 'Experience Spa' and its detoxifying salt scrubs, depending on how much your energy levels need to be revived.

Things to do

Hammam Basar • Zurich

icon-location-pin Seefeld

With its little café and shop and airy feel, it wants to attract primarily women - men are only allowed in on Thursdays and Saturdays. 

St-Luc
www.valdanniviers.ch/
Things to do

Saint-Luc • Val d'Anniviers

With its modern François-Xavier Bagnoud astronomical observatory and planet walk, contrasted with splendid Belle Epoque guesthouses and 18th century flour mills, a visit to the village of St-Luc offers a romantic blend of the old and new.

Rhine Falls
©Rheinfall
Things to do

Rhine Falls • Schaffhausen

icon-location-pin Schaffhausen

At 150 metres wide and 23 metres high and with up to 600,000 litres of water rushing over the rocks per second, the Rhinefalls are an impressive sight. There's a range of date ideas around here - from hikes to cozy meals to a tour of the magestic Schloss Laufen situated right above the falls.

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Uetliberg Zurich
© Christof Sonderegger
Things to do

Uetliberg • Zurich

icon-location-pin Friesenberg

More of a day-time date location, on a clear day, the views from Uetliberg - the peak of Zurich - are simply breathtaking.

Things to do

Chillon Castle • Montreux

icon-location-pin Montreux

Step into centuries of intrigue and romance when you explore this historic catle, which inspired the likes of Lord Byron, Rousseau, Delacroix and Courbet. 

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Jet d'Eau Geneva
© Olivier Miche
Things to do

Jet d’eau • Geneva

icon-location-pin Rive Droite / Right Bank

Don’t fight it: as possibly the most recognisable image of Geneva (you can even see it from the plane), it’s practically the law to get your photo taken in front of the city’s giant water fountain. Perfect for second-date selfies... if things are going well!

Glacier Express
©Glacier Express
Things to do

Glacier Express • Zermatt to St Moritz

icon-location-pin Switzerland

Amp up the romance with the ride of a lifetime. Zooming along the south of Switzerland, this 7.5-hour route goes through 91 tunnels and crosses 291 impressive bridges, with mesmerising scenery of Switzerland’s natural wonders, such as the Swiss National Park and the Matterhorn pass along the way.

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Bellinzona
hotel-paladina-tessin.ch
Things to do

The Castles of Bellinzona • Ticino

icon-location-pin Bellinzona

Among the most famous monuments of Ticino are the impressive collection of medieval castles at Bellinzona, the capital of the canton, just north of Lugano. Visit one or more for a romantic day out.

Bernina Express
­©Bernina Express
Things to do

Bernina Express • Graubunden

icon-location-pin Switzerland

The Bernina line is wonder of civil engineering and a marvel to experience. Passing through glaciers and mountain passes, Bernina Express stops by skiing hot spot towns like St. Moritz, Preda and Davos Platz. The carriages come with panoramic views and a minibar on-board offers refreshments.

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