Chur, Switzerland: travel guide & 10 things to do

Chur Drone Shot

Chur is a picturesque city located in the eastern part of Switzerland – and is in fact the oldest city in the country. Capital of the Graubünden canton, the city is known for its charming old town, stunning Alpine mountain views, and historic centre.

I’d recommend a visit to Chur (pronounced ‘kur’) for whose who are looking to explore the beauty of Switzerland and take in a bit of history along the way.

You’ll find a handful of things to do in and around Chur, from exploring the historic old town to hiking in the nearby soaring Swiss mountains.

In this travel guide, I share 10 of the best things to do in Chur. Plus, I share my top tips to help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in this delightful city.

While Chur is undoubtedly charming, I wouldn’t recommend staying in the city for too long. Quaint is part of its charm – but that does mean that you can struggle to find things to do in Chur for a longer stay.

Instead, I’d recommend it for a quick stop or to pass through on one of Switzerland’s scenic train rides.

Author Bio: Jessie Moore

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

How to get to Chur

Chur is located in the eastern part of Switzerland and is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. That’s why I think it makes a lovely city stop-off.

By train

By far the most convenient way to get to Chur is by train, as the city is well connected to major cities across Switzerland and Europe.

The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) operates regular train services to Chur from Zurich, Basel, Geneva, and other major cities in Switzerland.

The journey time from Zurich to Chur is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Discover more of the best day trips from Zurich in my guide.

Chur is a stop on both the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express, where you can enjoy unparalleled panoramic views of the Swiss Alps at a leisurely pace.

Glacier Express Switzerland

If you already have the Swiss Travel Pass (which I’d really recommend as it gives you unlimited travel on trains, buses and boats across Switzerland), then you’ll just need to pay for your seat reservation on each of these train journeys.

Remember that you don’t need to join for the entire route; personally, I travelled from Chur to Brig.

By car

Chur is easily accessible by car as the city is located along the A13 motorway, which connects Zurich and the Italian border, north of Milan.

The journey from Zurich to Chur by car takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Discover the best hotels in Zurich if you plan to stay in the city.

Good to know: Parking in the city centre can be both difficult to find and expensive. So I’d recommend travelling by train for a more stress-free journey.

The historic old town is completely car-free, so factor this into your travel plans. 

By plane

Chur does not have its own international airport – with the nearest international airport to the city being Zurich Airport (ZRH).

This airport is well connected to major cities in Europe and the rest of the world. From the airport, I’d recommend hopping on a train to Chur. 

By bus

The PostBus service in Switzerland operates regular bus services to Chur from regions such as Flims, Lenzerheide, Savognin or Viamala.

Board the iconic yellow buses for hassle-free transportation around the Graubünden canton.

By bike

For those who love cycling and a challenge, the city is located on the Rhine Cycle Route (EuroVelo 15). This route connects Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

The epic route is 1,500 km long, visits nine UNESCO sites and offers stunning views of the surrounding juxtaposing mountains and valleys.

Bikes in Chur

By foot

The city is located just off the Alpine Pass Route, which starts at the nearby Sargans in eastern Switzerland and concludes at Montreux.

For those brave enough, the route is around 325 km long with 16 mountain passes. It takes at least 15 days, and offers striking views of the Swiss Alps.

Many people choose to do sections at a time, so stopping at Chur can offer you a well-deserved break. 

Best time of year to visit Chur

The best time to visit Chur depends on what you want to experience and your personal preferences. One thing is for sure, the scenery is just as striking all year long.  


Spring is my favourite time to visit Chur, espcially if you want to experience the city’s natural beauty in all its glory. The mild weather and the blooming flowers create a wonderfully colourful landscape.

Breathe in the fresh Swiss air and wander around the city, making the most of the culture, food and things to do. 


Summer is the peak season in Chur, and it’s the best time to visit if you want to enjoy outdoor activities.

The weather is warm, and there are plenty of events and festivals happening during this time, including the anticipated annual Churer Fest.

You can explore the city on foot, hike in the nearby Swiss mountains, or take a dip in the Rhine River. 

Chur Aerial Shot


Autumn is a great time to visit Chur if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the beautiful autumnal foliage.

The weather is cooler, and the golden leaves offer a different perspective to the luscious green landscapes you’ll find in summer. 


Winter in Chur is magical, and it’s the perfect time to visit if you’re a fan of winter sports. The city is surrounded by mountains, and there are plenty of ski resorts to explore in Graubünden.

You can also attend the Chur Christkindlmarket (Christmas market), which typically takes place from late November to late December and offers a variety of traditional Swiss crafts and food.

Discover the best ski resorts in Europe in my guide.

10 best things to do in Chur

From wandering the endearing old town to taking a cable car to Brambrüesch, here is my pick of the best things to do in Chur and attractions you won’t want to miss.

1. Wander the old town

One of my favourite things to do in Chur is to simply wander the old town of Chur. You’ll be greeted with cobbled streets, historic buildings and bundles of character.

Chur Old Town

Take in the traditional architecture, grab a bite to eat and a hot drink in one of the local cafés, and watch the world go by.

2. See the view from Haldenhüttli

For a gorgeous view of Chur and the surrounding mountains, I’m recommend heading to Haldenhüttli. This viewpoint is a wooden pavilion which can be reached via a short hike from the city centre.

Chur from Haldenhüttli Viewpoint

The panoramic view is worth the effort though – and the information board will help you to identify the peaks you see.

Good to know: Pack a picnic for when you reach the viewpoint, you’ll want to sit back, relax and take in the scenery.

3. Relax in Fontana Park

A pretty green space in the heart of Chur, Fontana Park offers visitors an escape from the city.

Enjoy being immersed in nature and take a walk through the park, refuel with a picnic and treats from local cafés or simply relax and plan your next activity.

Fontana Park Chur

The small park is also home to a small pond and a playground, making it a wonderful spot for families to enjoy together.

4. See St Martin’s Church

St Martin’s Church is a lovely example of Gothic architecture and adds to the charm of the old town in Chur.

You can admire the intricate stonework and gorgeous stained glass windows that frame the church in technicolour, or attend one of the church’s services.

St Martins Church Chur

Even if you aren’t religious, it’s worth a stop by to admire the craftsmanship that’s gone into this building.

5. Take the cable car to Brambrüesch

Opening times: View operating hours and tariffs

Prices: View operating hours and tariffs

For a unique and unforgettable perspective on Chur and the surrounding mountains, I’d recommend taking the cable car to Brambrüesch.

The ride up the mountain is breathtaking, and you can enjoy hiking, biking, or simply taking in the views once you reach the top.

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6. Discover the Graubünden Art Museum

Opening times: 

  • Tuesday – Wednesday; Friday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00
  • Thursday: 10:00 – 20:00


  • Adults: CHF 15.00
  • Children under 16 years: Free
  • Groups (of at least 10 people): CHF 10.00
  • Students: CHF 12.00

The Graubünden Art Museum is a must-visit for art lovers. The museum features a collection of contemporary art from across Graubünden, acting as the region’s home for art, as well as exhibitions from renowned international artists.

I’d also advise stopping for a delicious coffee or bite to eat in the museum’s café.

7. Embark on a culinary tour of the City

Chur is known for its local Swiss cuisine, and visitors can embark on a self-guided culinary tour of the city to sample some of the very best local dishes and exports right from the source.

Chur Shop

From mouth-watering traditional Swiss cheese and delectable chocolate from independent artisans to delicious dining in the restaurants, there’s something for every taste.

8. Visit the nearby Rhine Gorge

The Rhine Gorge (sometimes known as the Swiss Grand Canyon) is a breathtaking natural wonder located just a short distance from Chur that’s certainly worth a visit.

You can take a leisurely scenic train ride through the heart of the gorge, or get your walking boots on and hike one of the many trails that wind through the impressive landscape.

9. Have a drink at the Giger Bar

Opening times: 

  • April – October: Daily 10:00 – 20:30
  • November – March: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 20:30

Fans of the Alien movie franchise won’t want to miss the Giger Bar. Designed by the artist H.R. Giger, the bar features a unique interior that’s reminiscent of the Alien films.

Giger Bar Chur

You can enjoy a drink or a meal surrounded by the artist’s eerie, otherworldly creations.

10. Explore Würth Sculpture Park

Opening times: Daily 11:00 – 17:00

Located just outside of Chur, Würth Sculpture Park features an impressive collection of contemporary sculptures from Switzerland and around the world.

You can take a leisurely stroll through the park and admire the bold art, attend one of the events held at the park throughout the year, or book a local-led art and culture tour of Chur. 

Best hotels in Chur

I’d only recommend spending one night in Chur, as you can see the city in a day. It’s not even necessary to stay over, but it’s a useful base for picking up one of Switzerland’s scenic trains.

While there are no five star options for hotels in Chur, I’ve included my pick of the very best four and three star establishments. 

1. ABC Swiss Quality Hotel

Address: Ottostrasse 8, 7000 Chur

Best for: Central location

ABC Swiss Quality Hotel is a four star hotel located in the heart of Chur. The hotel offers its guests comfortable rooms with all the modern amenities you need, including free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and Nespresso coffee machine for a pick-me-up.

The hotel also features a restaurant, a bar, and a fitness centre which can be used during your stay.

Book here

2. Hotel Stern

Address: Reichsgasse 11, 7000 Chur

Best for: Wine lovers

Hotel Stern Chur

I stayed at Hotel Stern, a four star traditional hotel situated in the city centre. The hotel prides itself on its personal touches, and offers several different room types as well as apartments.

They have their own restaurant to enjoy, and boast the region’s largest selection of red, white and rose wines on offer in their Wine Cellar. 

Book here

3. EH Apartments Neptun

Address: Goldgasse 6, 7000 Chur

Best for: Dog-friendly option

EH Apartments Neptun

Surrounded by the Swiss mountains, EH Apartments Neptun is a four star apartment hotel set in the heart of the region’s winter sports and hiking tourism.

The hotel offers spacious apartments with modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and fully equipped kitchens.

Stylishly furnished, the apartment also welcomes four-legged friends, so pets can come too. 

Book here

4. Mercure Chur City West

Address: Comercialstrasse 32, 7000 Chur

Best for: Contemporary style

Modern, spacious and embracing the power of natural light, Mercure Chur City West is a four star hotel located on the outskirts of Chur.

With a contemporary bar and inviting restaurant, the hotel has all you need to make the most of your stay in Chur. 

Book here

5. Ambiente Hotel Freieck

Address: Reichsgasse 44, 7000 Chur

Best for: Budget-friendly option

The three star Ambiente Hotel Freieck offers comfortable accommodation with traditional furnishings. Guests at the hotel can bring along a furry friend, as long as they’re well behaved, for an additional charge. 

Book here

Best places to eat in Chur

Foodies, I’ve got you! Chur features several quality restaurants where you can trial traditional Swiss cuisine cooked by locals.

Here’s my pick of the best places to eat in Chur, Switzerland.

1. Die Veltliner Weinstube Z Stern

Address: Reichsgasse 11, 7000 Chur

Best for: Excellent wines

Die Veltliner Weinstube Z Stern is a traditional Swiss restaurant located at Hotel Stern. The restaurant offers a cosy atmosphere with wooden interiors and serves traditional Swiss dishes accompanied by a wide selection of Swiss wines.

The menu includes dishes such as cheese fondue, raclette, and various meat dishes – my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

2. Restaurant Drei Bunde

Address: Rabengasse 2, 7000 Chur

Best for: Steak lovers

Restaurant Drei Bunde is a steak-loving fine dining restaurant located in the city. The restaurant offers a sophisticated atmosphere and serves a fusion of Swiss and international cuisine.

The menu includes dishes such as beef tartare, venison, and seafood. There is also an extensive wine list on offer to complement the dishes.

Good to know: The restaurant opens for groups on Sundays and Mondays. 

3. Zunfthaus zur Rebleuten

Address: Pfisterplatz 1, 7000 Chur

Best for: A traditional Swiss experience

Zunfthaus zur Rebleuten is a historic restaurant located in a near 700 year old building in the old town of Chur.

The restaurant offers a traditional Swiss atmosphere with a terrace and serves regional dishes such as Capuns, a Swiss specialty made with chard leaves and dough.

4. Restaurant Falken

Address: St. Martinsplatz 9, 7000 Chur

Best for: Alfresco dining

A modern restaurant located in the city centre of Chur, right next to St. Martin’s Church, Restaurant Falken is a perfect stop when exploring the city.

Outdoor seating options on the sun terrace make this restaurant ideal on a warm summer’s day. 

5. Va Bene

Address: Gäuggelistrasse 60, 7000 Chur

Best for: A cosy atmosphere

Va Bene is a cosy restaurant in the city which caters for both small parties and large groups.

Closed on Mondays, the restaurant frequently has special menus on offer, letting you indulge in authentic Swiss cuisine. 

Watch my vlog of Chur and my honest experience of riding the Glacier Express:

Planning a trip to Switzerland? You may also like:

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Jessie Moore
Jessie Moore

Jessie is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


Want up to 25% off hotels?

Subscribe to my newsletter and get immediate access to my guide on how to save money on flights and hotels. Our weekly emails are filled with adventure inspiration, insider travel tips and exclusive discounts.