Find out more about Chur
11 Highlights in Chur
- The old town with its winding alleys is car-free and offers a Mediterranean charm with numerous restaurants, bars and boutiques
- Starting point from Kornplatz via Untere Gasse to Welschdörfli
- Chur has a large music, art and theater scene, which also attracts international artists
- The spectacular Rhine Gorge of the Ruinaulta with a raging river, white cliffs and vast forests begins 10 km west of Chur
- The wild Albula Gorge south of Chur is popular for cycling or rafting
- At least 86 hiking routes start in and around Chur
- The Rhaetian Railway runs from Chur to Arosa, Landquart or Domat / Disentis
- 20 km of wide slopes and 5 lifts in the ski area Brambrüesch/Dreibündenstein - Chur offer good conditions for winter sports enthusiasts
- 6 km long toboggan run to Känzeli
- Hiking and snowshoe trails lead to Pradaschier or over the Dreibündenstein to Feldis
- Chur and the surrounding villages offer several old churches worth seeing
Chur is the oldest city in Switzerland. It was founded on a previously Celtic settlement area by the Romans as Curia Raetorum. Chur is known as the hub of the Rhaetian Railway and for a particularly pretty and car-free old town
Chur is located in the Grisons Alps in the wide valley of the Alpine Rhine on the eastern side of the Rhine. From here you have quick access to several more and less risky sports.
You can get to the mountains directly from the city center. The cable cars bring guests in a few minutes to the local mountain Brambrüesch (1600 m above sea level). Chur is the capital of the canton of Graubünden.
Sights in Chur
The area of Chur has been settled for more than 5000 years. In places even much older evidence of our ancestors was found. The pretty old town of Chur is not quite as old, but definitely worth a visit.
Old Town Chur
The houses in the old town date from the 12th to the 18th century. Chur's central post office square leads to the old town via Poststrasse. The town hall there was built in the 15th century. From the Post Square, the old town continues to the Bishop's Castle and the river Plessur
St. Lucius Church was built on a Carolingian three-apsidal hall church of the 8th century. St. Stephen's Church stands on the remains of an early Christian tomb of the 6th century. In the old town there are many guild and burgher houses dating from the 16th to the 18th century.
It is considered one of the most beautiful old towns in Switzerland. Very positive is the fact that the old town of Chur is almost completely car-free. In addition, red signs will guide you to the most beautiful sights. If you prefer one of the professional city tours through Chur, you will find a large selection.
The castle was built in 1732/33 on a hill in the Hof district above the old town. The listed building with its inner courtyard is still used today as the official residence of the bishop of the diocese of Chur. Rich stucco decorations adorn the facade of the castle
Directly after the consecration of the cathedral opposite, the construction of an episcopal castle began as early as 1272. The present building is the result of a redesign during the Baroque period
The former canons' houses adjoin the castle in the direction of the old town.
Cathedral of St. Mary's Assumption
Opposite the Episcopal Castle stands the mighty Cathedral of St. Mary's Assumption, also above the Old Town. It was built in the period from 1150 to 1272 on the ruins of a predecessor cathedral. The first cathedral dates back to around 450. Due to the long construction period, the cathedral contains elements of Romanesque, late Romanesque and Gothic styles.
Inside, the magnificent high altar and beautiful frescoes in the side aisles are especially worth seeing. The ceiling paintings were created in the Baroque period of the 17th century. The four apostle columns, two guardian lions at the choir entrance and the lion rider in the pre-crypt are among the special medieval masterpieces from the time around 1220.
From the outside, the cathedral looks rather plain.
Culture in Chur
In Chur there are very many meeting places and venues for culture. The theater of Chur is the largest in the whole canton.
Localities for musical concerts in Chur
- the workshop
- the Palazzo
- the Quadro22
- the Palazzo Bowling & Music
- the Stadthalle
- the Kulturhaus
- Toms Beer Box
- the Rockpalast
Concerts from the hard rock and heavy metal scene are regularly held in Chur.
Theater in Chur
- the Theater Chur,
- the Klibühni and
- the Postremise
They all offer a varied program. The Theater Chur in Zeughausstrasse 6 is the largest theater in Graubünden. The season at this theater lasts from September to June. International choreographers and directors are increasingly staying here. In addition to drama, music and dance theater, there is also puppet theater here. Youth theater and amateur theater are especially encouraged. The Klibühni is located in the old town of Chur at Kirchgasse 14. It is an association with about 700 members. Here you will discover children's theater, various guest performances, co-productions and in-house productions. The Postremise is located at Engadinstrasse 43. Built in the mid-19th century as a riding hall and playhouse, it was soon converted into a transportation hub for horse-drawn carriages. Today it is used by an association for cultural events. You can also take part in a guided tour of the Theaterleben in Chur. You will get a look behind the scenes of the theater in Chur since the 16th century until today.
If you love museums, you'll find them in Chur. These are some of the most important museums
- Fündner Kunstmuseum: In the historic Villa Planta and a modern extension, paintings by various Grisons artists from the 18th to 20th centuries are on display. The collection shows mainly works of Grisons artists such as Angelika Kauffmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner or the artist family Giacometti.
- The museum began with collections of renowned Graubünden naturalists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the museum exhibits not only animals and plants, but also fossils and minerals from Graubünden
- Museum of Prehistory: You can find the museum in the Tittwiesenstrasse 100. Its theme is the origin of the earth up to the Roman times. In this didactic museum you can experience and understand history with all your senses. The target group of the museum are mainly school classes, but it is open to all interested people by appointment.
- Winemaking Museum Torculum: It shows the action and work inside and outside the torkel (wine press). The main attraction is a powerful tree press. The exhibition goes into the 2000-year history of viticulture in Chur.
- Domschatzmuseum: Since 2020 the cathedral treasure is shown in the Chur Cathedral Treasure Museum of the Episcopal Castle. Here you will also find a mural made in 1543 from the old building with 35 death dance pictures. The Cathedral Treasury Museum is of national importance and attracts visitors from all over Switzerland. Guided tours must be arranged in advance.
- Rhaetian Museum: You will find the Rhaetian Museum in the old town of Chur in a baroque patrician house of the 17th century. It shows objects from prehistoric and early times to the present and is affectionately called "the memory of Graubünden". Special activities are offered for children. For example, they playfully experience which school utensils were used by children in the Middle Ages
- You can visit the Roman settlement Curia Raetorum in the Welschdörfli in the southern part of the old town. You can get the key for the protective fence at the Rhaetian Museum. fee 3 CHF and deposit 50 CHF
- Sewing Machine Museum: On display are sewing machines from the period between 1871 to 1940. It is located in an animal and recreational park and offers a restaurant.
- Emsorama: The science museum shows technical phenomena and puzzles. The public tour at Emsorama (once a month) is free.
Museums Chur Opening hours 2022
|Museum||open (days)||from to (clock)||Specials|
|Bündner Kunstmuseum||Tuesday to Sunday||10:00 to 17:00||Thursday until 20:00|
|Bündner Naturmuseum||Tuesday to Sunday||10:00 to 17:00|
|Viniculture Museum||by appointment|
|Domschatzmuseum||Tuesday to Sunday||10:00 to 17:00||November to April only from 14:00|
|Raetian Museum||Tuesday to Sunday||10:00 to 17:00|
Art has a high priority in Chur. Although these two locations are not museums, they also offer collections for the public
Art and Culture Forum Würth: Forum Würth is an exhibition site for art in the Lacuna quarter. It includes about 18,000 exhibits (sculpture, paintings and graphics). The temporary exhibitions are complemented by a sculpture park.
Fundaziun Capauliana: This is a collection of Grisons pictures and art-historical documents at Rheinfelsstrasse 1. Some 28,000 objects consist of original paintings, graphics, postcards, maps, posters and photographs from five centuries.
Other sights in Chur
Some sights are respected as components of the total of 24 national cultural assets in Chur
These include, for example:
- Fontanapark: a city park in Chur, which was already created in 1729 as a baroque garden, including Fontana statue. Benedikt Fontana was a hero of the Calven battle of 1499. Especially interesting is a contained sequoia tree
- Altes Gebäu (today courthouse): located at the Fontanapark patrician house, built in the 18th century
- City Hall Chur: a late Gothic listed building from the 16th c.
Post office building on the Postplatz, built in 1904 in Renaissance style
- Marsöl: This row of houses is located above the old town and is a listed building. They were an exclave of the court. Here there used to be stables and prebend properties belonging to the members of the Chur cathedral chapter.
- Oberer Spaniöl: a house built in 1645 opposite the Marsöl
- SAND small power station: A 130 year old water wheel shows the power generation of bygone times. It is the last of about 30 waterworks along the mill streams at that time.
- Small power station CADA: The small power station produced electricity for the pasta factory CADA from 1906 to 1997. It is now in operation only for demonstration purposes.
- 27 bridges alone lead over the Plessur before it flows into the Rhine northwest of Chur
Excursion destinations Chur
Around Chur there are many popular destinations for excursions. Due to the location in the Rhine valley, you can easily reach the neighboring villages in the valley. You also have the choice to look for a nearby destination in the mountains. The mountain railroad to the Brambrüesch starts in the middle of the city of Chur.
Tamins and Reichenau
About 10 km west of Chur you will come across Tamins. The village counts as a gateway to the fascinating world of the Rhine Gorge in the Ruinaulta. The villages of Tamins and Reichenau are located at the confluence of the Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein rivers. Here is also the station Reichenau-Tamins of the Rhaetian Railway. At this station the railroad lines to the Surselva valley and to the central Grisons separate.
Reichenau Castle, which belongs to the municipality of Tamins, can be reached via the Emser Bridge. It dates back to the 17th century and is now used as a winery. Visits to the castle are combined with wine tastings.
Church of S. Gieri
Via the A13 highway south of Chur you reach the village of Rhäzüns. Here you will find a very interesting church, which used to serve as a parish church for the villages of Bonaduz and Rhäzüns. It dates back to the 10th century. The church is easily recognizable because it stands on a wooded hill between Rhäzüns and Bonaduz. It is a high plateau on the steep bank of the Hinterrhein. You can reach the church from Rhäzüns in about ten minutes on foot.
The walls are made of quarry stone masonry, roughly plastered. The corners are reinforced with tuff stones. The magnificent paintings inside were created from the middle of the 14th century, when a new choir was also built. They depict, for example, the legend of St. George, a dragon fight and scenes from the Old and New Testaments.
According to a legend, the church was built on this spot in thanksgiving. Exactly here, in the 4th century, St. George is said to have been on the run. He had crossed the Rhine with a mighty leap of his horse
The Rhine Gorge was formed by a huge rockfall 9500 years ago. Initially, the debris masses formed a 25 km long dammed lake. Over time, the river cut into the masses of debris and flowed away. Thus the Rhine Gorge was formed. The Rhine Gorge begins only 20 km southwest of Chur. You can find orchids and rare animals here. Hiking, biking, paddling and rafting are popular activities here.
A particularly beautiful hiking trail runs between the stations Valendas and Versam-Safien. From it you have a beautiful view of the Rhine Gorge.
Local mountain Brambrüesch
Brambrüesch is a terrace on the mountainside above Chur. It lies at 1600 meters above sea level and is reached by two cable cars. The Chur-Dreibündenstein aerial tramway first goes to the Känzeli middle station. From there, a four-person gondola lift goes up to Brambrüesch.
Other Chur excursion destinations
The castles from the Middle Ages are only ruins, but still worth seeing. Pleasant hikes lead to the excursion destinations and are combined with a beautiful view.
- Castle Haldenstein: A Renaissance castle from the 16th century with public castle garden
- Castle Haldenstein (rock castle), Castle Grottenstein (cave castle) and Castle Lichtenstein (rock castle): all three castles are only in ruins and are located in the area of the Haldenstein district
- Castle Ober Ruchenberg: the ruins of the high castle (1058 m above sea level) can be reached from Chur via a hiking trail in 1.5 hours. The castle dates back to the 13th/14th century.
- Mittenberg with the St. Luzikapelle: An alp and a Maiensäss, which is the annual destination of the Chur Maiensässfahrt. Here is also the pretty St. Luzikapelle from the 17th century. The chapel can be reached from Chur in 45 m by foot.
- Viamala, the gorge created by the glacier between Thusis and Andeer is up to 300 m deep and spectacular to look at. Via the A13 you can reach it from Chur in less than half an hour by car. Two bridges of an old mule track built by the Romans are still easily recognizable today. open: April to end of October
Swiss Activities Tips for Chur
In the Welschdörfli, a part of the southern old town, you can visit the Roman settlement Curia Raetorum. For security reasons, the site is inside a locked protective fence. You can get a key at the Rhaetian Museum at Hofstrasse 1 (phone +4181 254 16 40) or in the train station underpass at Chur Tourism (phone +4181 252 18 18). The fee is 3 CHF. The deposit (50 CHF) will be returned to you when you return the key.
Children's theater Zapperlot
From September to June your children can take theater classes at Scalettastrasse 145. Alternatively, they can take part in various events at the Zapperlot Children's Theater. It is located in the family center Planaterra in Chur. Circus weekend, theater rehearsal, pranks or jesters and pranksters, the operators of the children's theater always come up with something new.
Have you ever seen a sequoia? Sequoia trees are largely protected against forest fire by their bark. In Fontanapark you will find a magnificent specimen. Sequoias are mainly native to the Sierra Nevada (California) and grow to about 45 m high in Europe.
Church of S. Gieri
This church stands between the villages of Bonaduz and Rhäzüns. The interior of the medieval church shows very splendid paintings and frescoes on the ceilings and walls of St. George's Church. The church is definitely worth a visit.
Activities and experiences around Chur
The variety of excursion destinations tempts you to experience them on hikes and mountain walks. Also trips by e-bike are immensely popular in this area.
The most common activities around Chur include:
- Hiking and mountain walking
- Mountain biking and e-biking
- Via ferrata and bouldering
- Skiing and snowboarding
Hiking and mountain walking around Chur
In addition to short and longer hikes, you will also find a moor course on Brambrüesch. The wooden footbridges make sure that you can easily walk across the flat moor. The moor is located in the south of the mountain railway station. The biotope is located in the area Riedboden.
Day hikes lead for example from Brambrüesch to Pradaschier. From there you have the possibility to take the chair lift down to Churwalden. With the post bus you come back to Chur
Other hikes bring you to the Dreibündenstein (2156 m above sea level) or further to Feldis. The Dreibündenstein is not a mountain peak, it indicates a triple border point. Here, the borders of the former Free State of the Drei Bünde met. This included the Gotteshausbund, the Zehngerichtebund and the Obere or Graue Bund.
Bike and e-bike tours around Chur
The mountain pass (Kunkelspass) above Tamins and Vättis is popular with mountain bikers.
For somewhat more leisurely tours by e-bike or bicycle, the Rhine Valley is quite suitable. You could, for example, take a self-guided e-bike tour through the Chur Rhine Valley incl. lunch. Lunch is reserved in three restaurants that are on your way.
A similar bike tour takes you through vineyard landscapes in Trimmis and Zizers. The culinary bike tour from Chur also has five villages and a castle along the way.
Via ferrata and bouldering in Chur
Just 4 km north of Chur you will find the Haldenstein climbing garden. It is easily accessible and also designed to be child-friendly. The climbing garden has been around since the 1950s and was redesigned around 2013.
The via ferrata Pinut is located about 22 km west of Chur. From Fidaz near Flims, you walk for about an hour. The effort is worth it just for the great view from the metal stairs of the via ferrata.
All year round and in any weather you can climb in the city of Chur in the climbing center Ap'n Daun and in the bouldering hall Quadrel.
Skiing and snowboarding around Chur
The Brambrüesch/Dreibündenstein ski area is not covered with snow. It lies at an altitude of between 1170 and 2176 meters above sea level and can be reached directly from the center of Chur. From 2025, a new 10-passenger gondola lift will operate between Chur and Brambrüesch. The new middle station will be built in Fülian.
Brambrüesch mountain railroads ( m a.s.l.)
|name||capacity (passengers)||type of lift||time (min)||altitude of bottom station (m a.s.l.)||altitude of top station (m a.s.l.)|
|Chur - Känzeli||45||cable car||2||594||1188|
|Känzeli - Brambrüesch||4||Gondola lift||6:20||1190||1597|
|Brambrüesch - Hühnerköpfli||1||Ski T-bar||11||1611||1950|
|Hühnerköpfli - Furggabüel||2||Chairlift||8:10||1951||2176|
In Brambrüesch there is a 100 m long children's lift
Snowshoeing above Chur
The area between Brambrüesch and surrounding mountain peaks is very suitable for snowshoeing from Chur. The route to Pradaschier is particularly popular. From there you take a cable car down and come back to Chur by post bus.
Other activities in and around Chur
You won't get bored in Chur in all seasons. The 6 km long toboggan run leads from the top station Brambrüesch down to the middle station Känzeli
- trail running
- winter hiking
- Sledging and night sledging (Saturdays until 22:00)
- Ice skating and ice hockey
- Summer tobogganing in Pradaschier (3 km long)
- Cross-country skiing
- Fun train rides
- Bathing and swimming
- Golf in the old town of Chur
Events in Chur
Colorful markets regularly decorate the old town of Chur. On Saturdays, the weekly market (farmers' market) takes place in the mornings during the summer months. On the Arcas, the Gänggelimarkt (flea market) is held on the first Saturday of every month, and the traditional Christmas market is also held every year in the old town.
The most popular event location in Chur is the Loucy - Bar Club Eventhall.
The most popular events in the calendar:
- May/June Maiensässfahrt: The Chur school youth goes on a day trip to a Maiensäss (alp with stables and huts) of Chur's local mountain
- June Buskers Chur: 2 days of street art in the old town of Chur with musicians and artists from all over the world
- June Garden Festival at Haldenstein Castle
- August Chur Festival: summer festival with entertainment in various squares of the city
- August Haldenstein Castle Opera: An opera is performed every year on the stage in the courtyard of the castle.
- September Schlagerparade: The big Schlagerparade takes place with parade and nostalgic roller skating parade.
- September street food Festival: The diverse offer invites you to a culinary trip around the world.
- October Big Air Festival Chur: The international elite of freeskiers and free airboarders meet here at the end of October for a big event.
- November Long Saturday: The culture houses in Chur open from 12:00 to 24:00 and offer dance, theater, concerts, exhibitions or readings.
Arrival to Chur
Chur is a central transportation hub in southeastern Switzerland. Apart from the SBB and RhB trains and countless Postbus lines, long-distance buses such as FlixBus and IC Bus travel to Chur.
By car, you can reach Chur from the north and south via the A3 and A13 freeways. From Munich and Milan you can reach Chur in about three hours.
by public transport
National and international trains terminate here. From Zurich, trains run every half hour to Chur and take between 75 and 90 minutes. From St. Gallen, you can also reach Chur every hour without changing trains within about 80 minutes.
In the arrival hall in Chur numerous post bus lines start and end in all directions. From Chur you can travel directly to Lenzerheide, Tschiertschen, Flims and many other remote places in the canton of Graubünden.
Hotels in Chur
Chur has 14 hotels to offer. You will not find luxurious hotels here, these are rather in Arosa
The four-star hotel is centrally located and has modern facilities. Besides a fitness room, you also have a spa lounge with steam bath and sauna. Dogs are allowed.
Suitable for: Travelers with a medium budget
Franziskaner Hotel am Ochsenplatz
The small hotel has 28 rooms and a world famous restaurant (Arvenstube).It is located a few minutes walk from the train station in the middle of the old town.
Suitable for: City travelers with lower budget and lovers of good regional food
The Ibis Hotel offers simple rooms with private shower at a moderate price. Its pyramid shape makes it easily recognizable from a distance. It is located near the A13 freeway at exit no. 17 Chur-Süd.
Suitable for: Uncomplicated car travelers with low budget
Restaurants in Chur
In Chur you will find 130 restaurants with regional specialties and international cuisine.
Zollhaus Bündner Stube
The Bündner Stube is one of three restaurants in the Zollhaus. It offers a rustic ambience from more than 400 years of tradition. Whether it's beef fillet prepared in a variety of ways or meat fondue for two, the menu primarily offers fine Swiss cuisine.
Suitable for: higher price range, also gluten-free
Felsenbar in the Welschdörfli in Chur
On the first floor of the bar and event location, those who love nightlife with hot music and cool drinks meet from Wednesday to Sunday. Until the early morning, the DJ plays the music of today and yesterday
Suitable for: mixed groups and night owls
The simple Lebanese restaurant Valentinos offers oriental dishes in the Untere Gasse of Chur's old town. Among them are dishes with ostrich meat as well as vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Suitable for: low price range, also vegan