The San Bernardino Tunnel

The San Bernardino Tunnel, a remarkable feat of Swiss engineering, was constructed in 1967 to connect Thusis in the canton of Graubünden with Bellinzona in the canton of Ticino, providing a reliable year-round route through the Swiss Alps and enhancing regional connectivity.

If you would like to learn more about the tunnel, which forms part of the A13, read on. This article explains its location, how it benefits road users, and includes other useful information to simplify your journey.

Inside the San Bernardino Tunnel

The San Bernardino Tunnel was completed in 1967 by boring a single-carriageway freeway under the San Bernardino massif. In doing so, it connected, all year round, Thusis in the canton of Graubünden with Bellinzona in the canton of Ticino. It is a vital section of the A13 Motorway. It provides safe and efficient transit between the northern part of the A13, southeastern Switzerland, and beyond into Germany and Austria. As an alternative to its namesake mountain pass, it highlights Switzerland's commitment to fostering seamless connectivity for tourism and commerce across regional boundaries. Motorists can obtain up-to-date information, live news, and view webcams online.

Image (Map) to be created! Exact location and roads to/from

Image File name: Map San Bernardino Tunnel

Image Title: Map San Bernardino Tunnel

San Bernardino Tunnel - Toll Free?

Depending on the route taken to and from the tunnel, motorists may be required to be in possession of a Swiss Motorway Vignette. These can be easily purchased on this page. Having purchased a vignette, there are no additional fees for using the tunnel.

"The San Bernardino Road Tunnel is a fantastic example of Swiss engineering and ingenuity. It carries motorists safely and efficiently between its namesake town - San Bernadino - and the tiny village of Hinterrhein, high up in the Swiss Alps."

Elevation and Length of the San Bernardino Tunnel

Extensively refurbished in 2006, the tunnel meets all standards in engineering and safety. Here is some interesting information and statistics about the tunnel:

Location Mesocco, Grisons, to Hinterrhein, Grisons, Switzerland
Coordinates 46°31'26.66"N9°11'12.02" E to 46° 27' 52.45" N9°11'8.54"E
Duration of Construction July 1961 to December 1967
Part of A13 Motorway
Length 6 596 m
Number of Tubes 1
Number of Lanes 2 (bi-directional)

*Please note that this estimate is based on ideal weather and traffic conditions. While the tunnel is less prone to traffic jams than others, motorists are nevertheless advised to check prevailing weather and traffic conditions prior to travel.

Terms of Use & Restrictions

Road users planning on passing through the tunnel should be aware of the following:

  • Hold a valid driver's licence.
  • Obey the laws of the Swiss road network.
  • Adhere to any special regulations related to the class of vehicle driven and load carried.
  • There are specific conditions that allow the transportation of dangerous goods through the tunnel. Ensure you have the necessary permission.
  • Be aware of the risks of driving in tunnels and mountainous terrain. During winter, winter tyres are a definite requirement.
  • Observe the 80 km/h speed limit. It is continuously monitored by speed check cameras.


  • Ambulance: 144
  • Police: 117
  • Firefighters: 118
  • Universal European emergency number: 112
  • Swiss traffic information service (TCS) - +41 800 140 140

You can request Roadside Assistance in Switzerland using the following numbers:

  • Emergency Call / Vehicle Breakdown Services: 140
  • TCS Touring Club Switzerland - Toll free number: 0800 808 114
  • TCS Touring Club Switzerland - International number: +41 58 8276316

San Bernardino Tunnel Current & Live Webcam

Provided there is no maintenance underway, the tunnel is open all day and night throughout the year. Due to the alpine location, motorists are advised to check both the San Bernardino tunnel weather. You can also view weather and traffic conditions by viewing the San Bernardino Tunnel webcam.

Are there alternative routes to the San Bernardino Tunnel?

The most immediate alternative is the San Bernardino Pass which rises to 2066 meters above sea level to cross over the Alps. It is considered a technically challenging drive, particularly at night. A much longer detour south is possible via the Gotthard Tunnel.

San Bernardino Tunnel FAQ:

  • 46°31'26.66"N9°11'12.02" E
  • 46° 27' 52.45" N9°11'8.54"E
It was completed in 1967 and is 6,596 metres (21,640 ft) long.
No over-taking is permitted as there is no central physical structure and only one lane in either direction. A strict speed limit of 80 km/h is enforced.
So that maintenance and refurbishment can be undertaken.
Maintenance and refurbishment of the tunnel will necessitate the temporary overnight closure of the tunnel in late October/November, 2023. The tunnel closure runs from 22h00 to 05h00 the following day. Friday and Saturday nights are excluded. Here are the affected dates:
  • October 29th to 31st, 2023
  • November 2nd to 3rd
  • November 5th to 10th
  • November 12th to 17th
During this time, motorists will be asked to route in the direction of the San Bernardino Pass. However, the route requires mountain driving experience and is unsuited to vehicles with trailers. The maximum permitted vehicle width is 2.30 metres. A longer alternative route is via the Gotthard Tunnel.