How to reach Heidi’s house with the Bernina Red Train

How to reach Heidi’s house with the Bernina Red Train

By climbing on the famous Bernina Red Train, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is possible to reach the home of Heidi, the Swiss heroine most loved by adults and children.

Heidi’s house in Heididorf village in Switzerland.

“Heidi’s story begins with a picturesque Swiss village nestled amidst rugged mountains that overlook the Upper Rhine Valley. The train conductor’s call of “Maienfeld!” invites readers into the enchanting world of Heidi, a cherished character created by Johanna Spyri (1827-1901). For those seeking an immersive experience, the Bernina Red Train offers a stop at Heidi’s home, providing a glimpse into the author’s inspiration.”

“This is not just any train ride; it’s an experience to be cherished at least once in a lifetime, especially with your children. The railway line, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, starts in Tirano, Valtellina, and winds its way to St. Moritz through breathtaking landscapes, crossing 196 bridges and viaducts and passing through 55 tunnels and galleries. To reach Heidi’s house, however, you need to go further. Once you arrive in St. Moritz, continue towards Maienfeld in the canton of Grisons and reach Heididorf, the village where the writer spent time in her grandparents’ vacation home, which has now become the Heidi Museum.

Bernina Train. Photo by Sara Groblechner

“Embark on an unforgettable journey aboard the Bernina Red Train, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Traverse breathtaking landscapes, crossing numerous bridges and viaducts, and witness the changing colors of the seasons. Extend your adventure to Heididorf, the village where the beloved character Heidi resided, and immerse yourself in the world of Johanna Spyri’s creation.
Plan your family weekend getaway during the summer or autumn months to explore the dedicated attractions.”

Bernina train – Photo by Robin Ulrich

A Short History of the Bernina Red Train

The allure of train travel isn’t lost on anyone, young or old. But the Bernina Red Train wasn’t always about creating a magical experience for tourists.
Back in 1910, its purpose was much more practical: to connect Italy and Switzerland in a region that served as a vital crossroads for European trade.
That year, the railway line was inaugurated, along with its bright yellow train made up of nine carriages.

A Tale of Two Colors: The Bernina Red Train’s Transformation
While we know it as the iconic “Trenino Rosso” or Red Train today, the Bernina Express wasn’t always adorned in this vibrant hue. Its original color was a sunny yellow, which later transitioned to green before finally settling on the striking red we’re familiar with. This change was driven by the desire to make the train stand out against the breathtaking natural landscapes it traversed.

Two Trains, Two Experiences: Regional and Express
The classic route connecting Tirano to St. Moritz takes approximately five hours to complete. Passengers have the choice between two types of trains: regional and Express (also known as panoramic). Both offer first and second-class seating, but only Express trains require advance booking for seats. These panoramic trains boast expansive windows that, while not operable, provide stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding scenery.

Bernina train – Photo by Peter Wormstetter

Reaching Heidi’s House: A Scenic Journey

As you gaze out the train window, the captivating landscapes of Northern Italy and Switzerland unfold before your eyes. Your 60-kilometer journey winds through forests and villages, culminating in the charming town of Heididorf. To reach this idyllic destination nestled in the canton of Graubünden, embark on the Albula Railway, a mountain railway that traverses picture-perfect landscapes and showcases remarkable engineering feats, including the iconic Landwasser Viaduct.

Disembark at Maienfeld, the last town in Graubünden, where you’ll find yourself on the doorstep of the Principality of Liechtenstein and neighboring Austria, two destinations brimming with castles reminiscent of a Disney fairytale.

From Maienfeld, a short and leisurely walk awaits you to reach the village that holds Heidi’s beloved home. Follow the well-marked path that begins right at the station and winds through the town center, leading you to the heart of Heididorf. This accessible trail is perfect for everyone, including families with strollers.

Welcome sign Heididorf –

Exploring the Charms of Heididorf

Heididorf offers a captivating blend of attractions, immersing visitors in the world of Heidi, the beloved Swiss shepherd girl.

Heidi’s House Museum: Step into the enchanting Heidi House Museum, a miniature chalet dating back to 1880. Stroll through Heidi’s living room, where life-sized figures of Heidi and Peter bring the story to life. Discover Heidi’s bedroom, adorned with period objects, and don’t miss the opportunity to interact with the resident goats in their enclosure.

Thematic Post Office and Souvenir Shop: Send Heidi-themed postcards worldwide at the unique post office. Browse the charming souvenir shop for Heidi-inspired mementos and purchase the beloved story translated into over 40 languages. Savor traditional Alpine cuisine at the local restaurant.

Heidi’s Trail and Ochsenberg Refuge: Embark on a scenic 1.5-hour hike from the village along the Heidi Trail, leading to the Ochsenberg mountain. Discover Heidi’s summer alp hut, where she resided with her grandfather, and revel in the breathtaking panoramic views. Delightful illustrations along the trail narrate Heidi’s adventures, making it a captivating experience for all ages.

Maienfeld’s Historic Charm: Venture beyond Heididorf and explore the historic center of Maienfeld, adorned with cobblestone streets and elegant 19th-century buildings. Discover the enchanting castles of Brandis and Salenegg, adding a touch of medieval flair to your journey.

Heidi’s Alp Cottage –

Other Articles

  • Spooky experiences on the Green Island: who’s afraid of ghosts?
  • Tour of Southern France: Côte d’Azur, Provence and Camargue