The Bernina Express: what you need to know

Timetable, tickets, special offers and all the details you need to arrange your unforgettable trip on board one of the world’s most iconic railways

Do I need any specific documents to enter Switzerland?
You need to have a valid ID card (ones with a stamp to extend the validity are also accepted) or your passport; driving licenses are not valid for crossing borders.

Is the Rhaetian Railway ticket office in Tirano open daily?
Yes, the ticket office is open every day between 07.00 and 19.30. For more information, you can telephone +41 81 2885441, email or consult

What are the payment options – can I pay in euros, by credit card, or with bancomat?
Yes, all of the above payment methods are accepted.

What is the difference between regional trains and the Bernina Express?
Regional trains don’t allow you the option to book a seat in advance, which means there is no guarantee of being seated. As such, we recommend arriving in good time to find a seat before the train departs. Standard carriages are fitted with windows that can be lowered; these are popular with keen and aspiring photographers. These trains allow you the possibility to get off at every station for a walk, a break or some fresh air before getting onto the next train.
The Bernina Express has panoramic carriages with large windows that reach up to the roof, granting passengers unobstructed views. Seats are numbered in these carriages and need to be booked in advance – depending on the season, an additional fee may be required. The Bernina Express does not stop at all the stations. As you will have booked a specific ticket, we do not advise getting off and therefore relinquishing your seat. One option could be to travel on a regional train in one direction so that you can get on and off once or twice, and then enjoy the Bernina Express in the other direction.

Can I travel with my bicycle on the train?
Provided you have purchased a bicycle ticket, the Rhaetian Railway is delighted to transport cyclists and their bicycles. All regional trains have a dedicated carriage for luggage and bicycles. Please note that only one bicycle is permitted per person.

Can I bring my dog on the train?
Dogs with a pet passport and microchip may travel on the Bernina Express alongside their owner. As you are crossing an international border, your dog is required to have been vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days prior to entry. Small dogs – up to 30 cm – that can travel in a bag do not need a ticket. For medium to large-sized dogs, you will need to purchase an additional ticket.

Does the train also run in winter?
Since 1913, the Bernina Express has been running all year round, even in winter, thanks to a series of measures that were put in place to ensure safe, all-season travel.

What’s the best time of year to travel on the Bernina Express?
That’s a hard question. Each season is beautiful in its own way: winter is magical as the pillar-box red train winds through a snowy wonderland, then as spring arrives and the snow begins to melt, you’ll spot Alpine flowers popping up all over the meadows; summer is naturally glorious with colourful, bright rhododendrons up high on the mountainsides; while in autumn the larch trees are dressed in vibrant gold hues to put on an unforgettable show.

How can I book an open-top train ride and when do they run?
On sunny days between 26 June and 3 September, certain departures will have open-top panoramic carriages, which do not require pre-booking. Sensible, warm clothing is recommended – even though it is summer, the train passes through an alpine landscape above 2,000 metres. Should the weather change while on board, or if you are suffering from the cold, you can move into a covered carriage.


Info and details

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