Ever since I crossed the Landwasser Viaduct on the Glacier Express, I’ve wanted to see this beautiful structure again, and this time, for longer than a minute.
I’ve come across photos of it from above and thought that maybe they were taken by drones. But it turns out there is an easy and scenic hike that takes you to a perfect viewpoint to observe the viaduct and watch the trains travel across.
When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that the Swiss built this 136m-high limestone bridge, connecting two mountain tunnels, over a hundred years ago. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage sight, and well worth a stop if you’re in Graubündern area.
So here are my tips for enjoying this sight.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Zürich, it’s just under two hours by car or just over two hours by train. By car, you need to set your destination to Parkplatz Landwasserviadukt (it’s the parking lot for the hike, you can find it easily in Google Maps). By train, you would travel to Filisur (with a stopover in Chur), and then walk 20 minutes to the Parkplatz Landwasserviadukt.
The way to the hike is marked, but still, we almost missed the way up because we didn’t realize that you can watch the viaduct from above and from below – so there are two hikes you can do.
The hike to the top goes up a narrow steep path through the woods, then flattens out as you walk under another viaduct, before turning right and above, and finally towards the Landwasser viaduct viewpoint. We didn’t have the best weather when we went (rain + leftover snow/mud on the ground) but still managed to do it, though in bad weather I recommend hiking shoes. Altogether it took us about 25 minutes.
There are plenty of pretty spots along the way (again, probably even more beautiful when it’s full winter or full summer), and I thought it was cool how much proximity you have to the other viaduct along the way. It’s such a cool feat of engineering.
After you hike back down, the path towards the bottom of the Landwasser Viaduct is on the left. Here it is pretty flat and easy, and less than 10 minutes walk. Once there, you can go right under the viaduct by crossing the little bridge, and the hiking path continues on the other side, though we didn’t venture that far because of the rain.
WHEN THE TRAINS COME
The trains come always around the hour mark and they go in both directions within minutes of each other. To check the time, you can type for example Chur to St Moritz into the SBB app and check when the train passes around Filisur (see example).
I would recommend first going up to see the viaduct from above and waiting for the train crossing. Then you can hike back down and take the second route to the bottom of the viaduct. There are some benches and picnic tables there where you can have a nice break. Since it will likely take you around 20-25 minutes to descend and then walk the other route, you’ll have another 25-30 minutes until the trains come again and you can watch them from the bottom!
OTHER THINGS TO DO NEARBY
The village of Bergün is a short drive away and is very charming. You can stroll its tiny streets and observe the locals go about their favorite winter activities. If you want to stop for a cup of tea and a delicious slice of cake, I recommend the Kurhaus Bergün, a beautiful Art Nouveau building with nice views.