Welcome to the oldest city in Switzerland, Chur (pronounced “kur”, in case you wondered).
In this article, we’ve found the 15 best things to do in Chur based upon tourist reviews and ratings all over the web.
If you are looking for a fun, relaxing city to visit with your friends or family then Chur is the perfect place. Located in the heart of Switzerland, you can enjoy all of the pleasures that Switzerland has to offer including delicious food and wine, beautiful scenery, skiing in winter, and hiking in summer. You’ll never run out of things to do here!
The Rhaetian Railway has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the old town features buildings from different eras – medieval to Baroque – with cobblestone streets, fountains, and squares that make it an ideal place to spend an afternoon exploring or shopping.
Let’s have a look at the best things you can do and see while visiting Chur in Switzerland!
With its narrow lanes and walkways filled with historical buildings, Kirchgasse is a great place for sightseeing. The street runs along the side of St. Martin’s church and is a great location for a relaxing stroll.
Some of Chur’s main attractions, such as Ratisches Museum and Gate tower, are located on this street.
This adventurous walk is best done with a map. Otherwise, you might find yourself lost in one of the many dead ends. At a comfortable pace, it should take you about an hour to walk around the entire area—a fun and entertaining way to spend the evening.
14. Haldenstein Castle
This beautiful 16th-century castle is the main attraction in Haldenstein. Haldenstein Castle is part of Switzerland’s inventory of art and cultural-historical protected items.
The main feature here is the blooming rose garden which attracts numerous visitors. The many white roses enclosed within the castle walls are a picaresque sight. During spring, an exciting garden festival takes place.
The inside of the Castle is interesting to visit for fans of medieval architecture. What’s more, during the summer, the castle hosts entertaining opera shows which are worth checking out.
A quick tour around the castle and a leisurely walk in the rose garden is definitely worth spending your afternoon on.
13. Rote Platte, Chur
This hiking track is easily the most popular amongst visitors. The Rote Platte trail provides the ultimate experience for daredevils and adrenaline enthusiasts. The track starts at Fürstenwald and ends at Montalin massif. Although short, this hiking journey will take up a lot of your energy and should only be done by experienced hikers.
The further you go inside the forest, the steeper the climb. The final reward of this hike is the view from the summit.
Standing at the height of 1,506 meters, the summit is a tedious location to reach. But, once up there, you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the city. Overall, it is an excellent adventure.
12. St. Martin’s Church
St. Martin’s church was built in the 8th century and is the largest Gothic-style building in Graubünden. Initially built as a Romanesque church, it was destroyed during a fire in 1464. The church was later reconstructed in 1491 and given a gothic design.
During the year 1523, St. Martin’s church became a base for the protestant reformation. It is said that Martin Luther himself gave a memorable speech in this church which instilled a protestant growth amongst the masses.
One of the main features of the church is the stained glass windows created by Augusto Giacometti. The three windows portray a unique depiction of the Christmas story.
Rustic trees, natural vegetation, and serene little hideaways. Fürstenwald forest is an amazing place to get away from the loudness of the city. One can find many vantage points which give you beautiful views of Chur city. The forest is filled with many trails, which are ideal for walks, hikes, and bike rides.
To get there, you can take a bus from Bahnhofplatz or drive to Fürstenwald cemetery; the forest is within walking distance from there.
The different species of trees are a wonder to explore, and the air itself is rejuvenating in nature. Once you’re here, you might find yourself idling away into its many cozy corners.
10. Shelter for Roman Ruins
In the year 1986, Peter Zumthor designed a shelter over an ancient Roman excavation site in Chur. The purpose of the construction was to protect the relics underneath from exposure to harsh elements.
The shelter is made out of long rectangular slabs of timber, lined together. The gaps in between the slabs allow for the entrance of air while providing shade against the sunlight. Its overall modernistic look is opposite to characteristics of the Roman relics underneath.
The inside of the shelter is filled with various metal stairways and equipment such as lights and cables. It almost feels like you’re in an archaeological site.
The project was awarded the prestigious Pritker Prize in 2009.
9. Bündner Kunstmuseum
The BündnerKunstmuseum is located in the iconic villa planta, which is an architectural marvel in itself. The building was initially used for residential purposes and then later converted into an art gallery.
It has an alluring collection of artwork done by various Swiss artists. The most prominent of all is the work of local-born painter Angelika Kauffmann, one of the greatest artists of the 18th century.
The museum is decorated with a distinctive white texture, marble-like in appearance, and has a very modernistic and sophisticated look.
It is a great place to study the works of renowned artists, many of which are a remark on the social and political elements of the time.
Are you tired of the hustle and bustle of the city? Want to get away to a serene location to relax and work on your personality? Say no more. The Fontana Park is a cozy recreational center ideal for relaxing walks amongst nature.
Take some time off, read a book, take a stroll through the lush pathways and admire the beauty of nature.
The park has a memorial dedicated to Benedict Fontana, who died in the battle of Calven in 1499. It was built in 1720 and then later remodeled in 1860 into a Baroque design.
Fontana park has become a crowd favorite and is often visited by locals and tourists alike.
7. Rätisches Museum
During the 19th century, Chur saw a massive migration of varying cultural and social elements into the city. As a result of this vast intake, The Rätisches Museum was established.
With over 100,000 exhibitions, this museum packs a serious punch.
It takes you on an exciting journey through various eras and timelines throughout history. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, this place has it all.
Each floor is dedicated to a specific theme in Graubünden’s rich and varied history and is an interesting experience.
The museum highlights a special item every month and gives an in-depth presentation about its characteristics.
Official website: raetischesmuseum.gr.ch
6. Forum Würth Chur
If you’re a huge fan of the arts, this is the perfect place for you to visit. Since 2002, the Forum Würth Chur has housed approximately 18,000 works of art. Most of the pieces are from the 20th and 21st centuries and are part of the Reinhold Würth collection.
The establishment includes a variety of paintings, sculptures, and graphics. Each item has been passionately crafted by a number of famous and iconic artists.
The gallery is owned by the Würth company and is located in their office building. It holds numerous exhibitions that allow the public to peek at their corporate culture and taste for arts. The entrance to these exhibitions is free and is definitely worth checking out.
Ticket price: FREE
5. St. Maria Himmelfahrt (Chur Cathedral)
The St. Maria Himmerlfahrt Cathedral is the only church that dates back to the medieval era. Built between 1154 and 1270, the cathedral holds a vital place in the country’s prestige.
It houses the relics of St Lucius of Britain, who was martyred in the region during the 2nd century. The St. Maria Himmerlfahrt Cathedral is located in the upper part of the city, distinguished by its walled zones. During the Protestant reformation of Switzerland, many Catholics were pushed and confined to this walled space.
Overall, it is a monument of great cultural significance and history and makes for an interesting visit.
4. Chur Bergbahnen (Brambrüesch)
Brambrüesch is a skiing and hiking resort located in the southwest of the city. It is a fun recreational area filled with lots of games and adventures. Enjoy the open air as you hike across the varying landscapes. Drive a mountain bike through the many available trails.
Enjoy a range of culinary delights from the many restaurants.
Play golf! Yes, that’s right, shoot a golf ball over the edge of the mountain. There’s no end to the list of adventures here.
To get there, one must access the Chur Bergbahnen.
This handy cable car takes you 1,600 meters above sea level while bringing you to the destination. The amazing view from the car is totally worth it!
3. Bündner Naturmuseum
The Bündner Naturmuseum, founded in 2001, holds an impressive collection of natural elements found in the Graubünden canton.
The approximately 500,000 item collection is divided into two segments- Life sciences and Earth sciences.
The museum features many exciting exhibitions of various animals, plants, and rocks. The animal exhibition features some infamous bears and goats with interesting backstories.
One such display is that of the brown bear JJ3.
The JJ3 was a wild brown bear who immigrated to Switzerland in 2007. The bear was known to be extremely witty, often outsmarting and escaping the rangers pursuing him.
He was finally shot and killed on the 14th of April, 2008. Ever since then, his model has been displayed in the nature museum.
If you’re planning on crossing the Alps, the Bernina-ekspress is the ultimate train for the journey. In just a span of four hours, you will be exposed to a slideshow of changing environments. From snowy glaciers to warm tropical mountains, you can witness it all from the comfort of your seat. What’s more, the train has panoramic windows, which make the cozy visuals much more immersive.
The Bernina-ekspress is operated by Rhaetian Railway and was designed keeping sightseeing in mind.
The iconic train runs from the Old Town of Chur all the way to the Italian peninsula. So go ahead and book your tickets! It is definitely one of the most picturesque train rides you can take.
1. Old Town of Chur
Are you tired of cars causing all that pollution and ruckus? If that’s the case, then head over to Chur’s Old Town. This wonderfully preserved center of history has much beauty to offer and is almost car-free! That’s right, with near-zero pollution levels, Chur’s Old Town is a vibrant and charming delight.
The many viewpoints allow for unique sceneries that will take your breathe away.
But that’s not all. Old Town offers a range of activities and treats, such as the Alien-themed bar. Yup! You heard that right. This bizarre establishment is a shout-out to H.R. Giger, the visual artist whose work can be seen in the movie ‘Alien.’