canton of Switzerland
(Redirected from Graubunden)
Europe > Central Europe > Switzerland > Graubünden

Graubünden (Romansch: Grischun, Italian: Grigioni), also known as Grisons, is a canton of Switzerland and the country's largest canton by area.

Regions edit

Map of Graubünden

  Surselva and Rhine valley (Arosa, Chur, Disentis, Flims, Laax, Vals)
Along the Rhine river from the source of its tributary in the Surselva valley to the capital Chur.
  Prättigau (Davos, Klosters)
The Prättigau valley and the neighbouring Landwasser valley with the mountain resort of Davos.
  Central Graubünden (Lenzerheide, Lostallo, Soazza, Thusis)
Around the second tributary of the Rhine (Hinterrhein) and the valleys surrounding it.
  Engadin (Pontresina, Samedan, Samnaun, Scuol, St. Moritz)
A long high alpine valley source to the river Inn. The most famous destination is St. Moritz which is by some considered the most expensive ski resort in the world.

Cities edit

Other destinations edit

At the mouth of Morteratsch Glacier
  • 1 Bernina   - Italian speaking district with famous Bernina Pass and Val Poschiavo
  • 2 Flims Laax Falera ski resort
  • 3 Lostallo
  • 4 Oberalp Pass   - pass on the western border of the canton, popular hiking starting point
  • 5 Rhine Gorge   - beautiful canyon with several hundreds meters high cliffs, nicknamed Swiss Grand Canyon
  • 6 Swiss National Park - the only national park in Switzerland
  • 7 Vals well known thermal bath

Understand edit

Graubünden is a mountainous canton, from maps one can see that it is dominated by the Engadin and Rhein valleys. However these have many a side valley that offers hidden and isolated splendours. From Graubünden, rivers flow to the Mediterranean, North and Black seas; it is the watershed of Europe. It is a spectacular landscape, home to Switzerland's only National Park. Graubünden combines wild rugged scenery with charming villages and a unique Romansch culture. The capital is the ancient Chur which has existed since Roman times (Latin: Curia); it is a small city with a fully cobbled and painted shuttered old quarter. Like the rest of the canton it is modest; concealed here is some of the best outdoor sports in the world, ancient mountain towns, stunning panoramas, three official languages and distinct culture, yet it does not boast; little is known by outsiders of the delights within.

Geography edit

Graubünden covers an area of 7,106 square kilometres (2,744 sq mi), making it Switzerland's largest canton.

The canton is further divided into 11 regions and 106 municipalities. More than 50% of the canton's municipalities have less than 1,000 inhabitants.

Public Holidays edit

There are no public holidays in addition to those observed in the whole of Switzerland. However there are some local holidays which are only observed in some towns.

Talk edit

See also: German phrasebook, Italian phrasebook, Romansh phrasebook

The official languages of the canton are German, Romansh, and Italian.

German is the most widely-spoken language in the canton, with nearly four-fifths of Graubündners having it as their primary language. The variant of Swiss German spoken here is Graubünden German (Bündnerdeutsch), which differs markedly from Standard German, i.e., German spoken in Germany. Most Graubündners are fluent in Standard German.

Romansh is the second most widely spoken language in the canton, spoken by almost 14% of the inhabitants of the canton. Although the number of Romansh speakers has declined considerably over the past few decades and most Romansh people are bilingual in German, trying out a few words of the language is appreciated.

Italian is spoken in regions − namely Moesa, Maloja, and Bernina − close to the border with Italy.

As is the case throughout Switzerland, you should have no problems getting by using English.

Get in edit

There are no airports in Graubünden so the easiest option is to take the train from either Zurich or Milan, where there are international airports. You can also take the train into Zurich Bahnhof from other European cities, as it is an international train station.

Get around edit

The views not only from the train but of the tracks in their natural environment can be breathtaking in this part of the country, as in the case of the Wiesener Viadukt pictured above

The Rhätische Bahn  RhB  is the backbone of railway transportation in Graubünden. Some lines are operated also by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), Matterhorn Gotthard Railway  MGB  and Thurbo. The trains are nearly always on time and can get you to most places. Services are frequent, usually at least once per hour. Post buses will take you from the stations up the mountains to the villages.

Here can be found a network map of public transportation system in Graubünden.

It is worth buying a network ticket if you are planning to travel around the canton. There is, for example, Allegra 1-day Travel Pass, GraubündenPass (2 days out of 5 / 5 days out of 14) or BÜGA (monthly or yearly ticket).

See edit

St.John Abbey in Müstair

Itineraries edit

Do edit

  • You may want to visit the Thermal Bath in Vals.
  • Skiing is the biggest winter-time activity in Graubünden. There are resorts throughout the Engadin valley, St. Moritz being the most famous, but also in the Prättigau valley, Davos and Klosters, and the Surselva valley. Flims Laax Falera is among the biggest. Apart from these larger famous resorts there are many smaller resorts to be found throughout Graubünden. There are 2,200 km of ski pistes in the canton.
  • Hiking is the main activity in the summer. Cable-cars, railways and ski-lifts can help you up or down in some places, or you can go it alone on the thousands of trails that wind across the mountains, valleys and lakes of Graubünden. The views are absolutely stunning. One of the more famous hikes in this part of the Alps is the Via Spluga.
    • The Swiss hiking trail network is one of the best in the world, and the trails in Graubünden are no exception. Trails marked in yellow, or with a yellow diamond, are the easiest and require very little other than a pair of good shoes. Trails marked with white-red-white are harder and may require hikers to have a good head with heights. Trails marked with white-blue-white are alpine trails and require the highest level of conditioning, as well as specialized alpine hiking equipment (e.g. crampons, ice axe, etc.). Trails marked with pink trail markers are often the same as basic yellow ones, but can also be traversed in winter without much difficulty.
    • Many hiking trails leave directly from rail stations or bus stops, so a car is not needed to access them.

Eat edit

Traditional Romansch foods include Capuns, Rösti and Pizokel. Rösti is shredded potatoes, fried, with cheese melted on top. Occasionally, bacon and a fried egg are added on top of the rösti.

Drink edit

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Graubünden. The beer Calanda Bräu is brewed in Chur. Wine is made in the canton as well. Von Salis grows wine in the villages Malans, Jenins and Maienfeld, which is unusual for Switzerland let alone Graubünden.

Mineral water is also bottled in vast amounts in Graubünden. The water Valser is bottled in Vals and Calanda Wasser is bottled in Lenzerheide. Apfelmost, available in alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms, is a refreshing apple drink, similar to cider.

Stay safe edit

There is very little crime in Switzerland, Graubünden being one of the safest cantons. There may be areas of Chur that could be dodgy after dark.

Go next edit

Italy and Austria border much of Graubünden and both countries are easily accessed from the Engadin and San Bernadino pass. There is also the rest of Switzerland to explore, including the nearby Italian-speaking region of Ticino.

This region travel guide to Graubünden is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!