Getting a Bird’s-eye View of the Landwasser Viaduct in Filisur, Switzerland
Built in 1902, the Landwasser Viaduct is arguably one of Switzerland’s most iconic architectural wonders. Spanning a length of 136 metres and a height of 65 metres, the Landwasser Viaduct stretches across six arches, all of which rest on five towering pillars. Comprising any photographer’s dream, the Landwasser Viaduct is also the highlight of the Glacier Express, an 8-hour panoramic train journey from Zermatt to St Moritz.
There are a few ways you can experience the Landwasser Viaduct – you can pass over it on the Glacier Express but you can also see it from below or above in Filisur. Located just an hour’s train ride from St Moritz, I dropped by Filisur on my way to Zurich in a bid to see the Landwasser Viaduct for myself.
There’s not much to do in St Moritz, which is a luxury alpine town frequented for skiing. It’s easy to catch a train to Filisur from St Moritz, which is located just a short stretch from a tranquil lake.
If you’re travelling with your luggage, you can deposit it at a shop in the train station for free. This is a service kindly provided by the shop owner, so do express your gratitude accordingly!
There are 2 ways to reach the Landwasser Viaduct – you can either take a shortcut along a forested path (20 minutes) or along a curved downhill road (40 minutes). This will depend on what time your train reaches Filisur station; the train crosses the Landwasser Viaduct on the hour, so pick your route depending on how much time you have to kill.
I arrived at Filisur early into the hour and hence decided to take a leisurely stroll to enjoy the scenery along the way.
Should you choose to take this route, you’ll arrive at this road marked with a red stripe on a patch of white paint. Follow this road and you’ll come upon this yellow signboard.
To get to the aerial viewpoint, take the inclined path pictured behind the yellow signboard.
For better clarity, you can use the markers on the trees as a guide – these are depicted as a red stripe in the middle of a patch of white.
It’d take you about 10 to 15 minutes to get to the top. The way up is slightly inclined; do be careful, for the path tends to be rather uneven at times. It’s a one-way route, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost!
Once you’re at the top, all you have to do is to wait! Aim to reach the viewpoint 15 minutes to the hour; the Glacier Express trains arrive on the hour from Chur and immediately after, another train will go the reverse route, departing Filisur at a minute past the hour. If you miss this timing, you’d have to wait another entire hour for another train to pass by.
The scenery from the viewpoint is pretty stunning as well. You’ll also find a bench at the viewpoint, so feel free to bring your lunch or a book to occupy yourself while you wait.
Before you know it, you'll be able to hear the train approaching in the distance. It's truly a sight to behold!
Once you’re done, you can go back the same way you came. You can also choose to watch the trains go over the Landwasser viaduct from below – however, this will require you to wait another hour. It’s entirely up to you!
Once you’ve had your fill, take a 20-minute walk back to the station. Simply follow the signs pointing towards Filisur.
Whether you’re a train aficionado, architectural buff or just want to do some sightseeing, witnessing the trains in action on the Landwasser Viaduct is truly an off-the-beaten-path experience to have in Switzerland. All aboard!