Chur: 24 Hours in the Oldest Town in Switzerland

Sometimes I like to pretend NYC is an old city. I mean, come on, people started living here IN THE 1600s!! Yeah, I know, Europeans have bread older than that. And Switzerland is no exception. We got up close and personal with Switzerland’s oldest city, Chur, for 24 hours on our trip throughout the country. Chur’s history can be traced back to 3900-3500BC. It was worth stopping for!

Getting there

We got to Chur (pronounced “kur”) by taking the Glacier Express from Zermatt. It’s a 6+ hour train and the scenery is okay. You go through the countryside, with glimpses of mountaintops here and there. They serve food and drink as well, if you’re looking to buy on board.

I have to say I think if we did it again knowing what we know now, we would likely just take a regular train for this leg (the Glacier Express is expensive!).

Old Town Chur

When we got to Chur, we immediately began adventuring. We knew we didn’t have a lot of time, so we wanted to explore as much as we could. Chur is sort of a classic old town. It has very narrow, cobbled streets. The restaurants all put chairs out on the cobbled streets for patrons to eat outside.

It also has a lot of archways that connect the buildings.

At one end of Old Town, there’s also a lovely garden. We sat and decompressed a little here among flowers and towering trees.

It has lots of churches, which we went in and explored.

St. Martin’s Church is essentially in the center of Old Town. It feels like it brings the whole town together. It’s beautiful inside, but not overly decadent.

St. Maria’s church is just steps behind St. Martin’s. It was a dark church with some interesting grave markers.

Behind St. Maria’s, there’s a beautiful vineyard as well.

We walked out of St. Maria’s and old town to go up a small hill to another church, St. Luzi. There’s a cemetery behind St. Maria’s, then the road, then this impressive church. It’s very picturesque with the mountainside all around.

Chur’s such a special place, we were so happy we stayed here. When we came back down the hill and stairways into Old Town, we saw a beautiful, picturesque building and then noticed it had barbed wire all around it. We were so confused! It turns out in the middle of Old Town is a prison! And a gorgeous one at that.

Street Art

I will never not look for street art everywhere we go 🙂 As it turns out, Old Town Chur has some interesting pieces!

I liked this little dog. No indication of who the artist is on these pieces, but I hope s/he knows seeing these images as we rounded whatever tight corner in Old Town Chur brought a smile to my face! We even saw this lovely piece leaving Chur!

Where we stayed

We decided to stay in a hotel in Old Town for our stay in Chur. So we ended up at Romantik Hotel Stern. The hotel is small and adorable. We had a balcony looking out on the street.

The hotel is on the edge of Old Town, so it is a short walk to the narrow streets, churches and shops. I think the best thing about this hotel was the breakfast. It was so good!

Below our hotel was a restaurant called Veltliner and Bundner Stuben. We had a really nice dinner and the staff was so sweet!

We also had a lot of gelato in Chur because it was hot and there was so much of it! Chocolate shops and bakeries also line the cobbled streets. Along the edge of Old Town there is a Fine Arts museum we almost ducked into, but didn’t want to lose the precious daylight in Chur. There is so much to see and do there!

We had a great time in our short stay in Chur! I am so glad we broke up our trip from Zermatt to St. Gallen with this stay.

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3 thoughts on “Chur: 24 Hours in the Oldest Town in Switzerland

  1. I love visiting and exploring old towns. I just love the vibe and atmosphere. I hope I can visit Switzerland someday. It’s one of my travel bucketlist


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