The Bernina Express offers one of the most impressive railways routes in Switzerland, rolling over the 65m / 213fr high Landwasser Viaduct – an iconic symbol of Swiss railways and a popular attraction for train enthusiasts and tourists. The Bernina Express continues to be the favorite choice for travelers seeking a memorable train journey through the stunning Swiss Alps, showcasing the beauty of the region's natural landscapes and engineering marvels.
This legendary train started operating as a scenic journey in 1910. Its route takes passengers through breathtaking landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, deep gorges, alpine meadows, and several viaducts and charming villages in the Engadin area. Undeniably, the Bernina Express journey became popular among tourists for its natural beauty and engineering achievements.
The most famous bridge is the Landwasser Viaduct which opened in 1902 - a single-track, curved viaduct with six arches. The total length of the viaduct is approximately 136m / 446ft, and its height reaches 65m / 213ft. The arches and pillars give the viaduct an elegant and imposing appearance, making it an architectural marvel.
When you purchase your Switzerland train ticket for the Bernina Express, you also venture from the world-class resort of St. Moritz, heading south where you will first reach Pontresina, an authentic Engadin Village. On the way to the Bernina Hospice, the Bernina Express train passes through romantic forests – you will see the Morteratsch Glacier on your right until Lago Bianco comes into sight. It's not long now until you reach the highest point (2,253m / 7,390ft) of this formidable train journey: the Bernina Hospice, where you will see eternal snow. After a short stop, the line downwards into the Poschiavo Valley, passing along the Poschiavo Lake at an altitude of 965m / 3,166ft. At this point, you will reach the last highlight of the Bernina Express – the Brusio spiral viaduct, an elegant work of engineering, which serves to adjust the altitude of the line.
And finally you have reached Tirano, Italy. The next leg of the Bernina Express journey is by bus to Lugano. Most of this route runs through Italian territory, bordering the hills that surround Lake Como before you eventually reach Porlezza on Lake Lugano. You will soon notice the difference of the scenery! Sunnier and warmer, this region enjoys a very special micro climate that sets it apart from the rest of the country.
The Bernina Express operates year-round, offering daily departures during the peak season (usually from May to October) and reduced frequency during the winter months. The entire route treats passengers with impressive vistas of the Swiss Alps, combined with the Mediterranean flair of Italy. The complete route (train and bus) takes around 7 hours and it is an unforgettable journey that guarantees you a unique experience!