An iconic place to visit in Switzerland is the authentic Heidi Village in the eastern part of the country, very close to the border of Liechtenstein, Germany, and Austria.
If you are aware of the world-famous Heidi Story, then you will already know what I am referring to. But, if not, the next question will answer your questions about Heidi’s story, after which I’m sure it will ring a bell or two in your mind.
Join me as I run through everything about Heidi, visiting the Heidi Village, where it is, how to get there, and great things to see in the area too.
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The world-famous Heidi story was written by the famous Swiss author, Johanna Spyri. It tells a story about a young orphaned girl character, Heidi, who is sent to live with her grandfather in the alps.
Heidi is fascinated by her grandfather but the rest of the village is scared by his long beard. Johanna Spyri’s Heidi loves living in the Swiss Alps, interacting with nature, and exploring the mountains.
One day, Johanna Spyri’s Heidi is sent to live with her aunt in town with a new family. Heidi doesn’t enjoy her life there and misses her grandfather far too much. She belongs with him in the mountains, but can she make it back? This is the story of Heidi’s life.
Where is Heidi Village (Heididorf) located?
Heididorf sits in Eastern Switzerland amongst the Alps and above the Rhine Valley in a region called Heidiland.
You could not find a more iconic part of Switzerland and it is home to mountain peaks, stunning alpine lakes, and traditional Swiss villages, and it is teaming with nature also.
Johanna Spyri couldn’t have chosen a better location for Heidi’s Village if she had tried. Even though the story of Heidi is fictional, of course, you can easily imagine it being set in the stunning area surrounding Heididorf.
How To Get To Heididorf
Getting to Heidi’s village is very easy as Switzerland has such excellent public transportation systems.
If you are flying to Switzerland, the best place to land is Zurich, from which you can get public transport. The journey takes less than 2.5 hours and requires a direct train or two trains to Maienfeld after which you can walk up to Heidi Village.
The quickest option from Zurich is to drive and this takes just over 1 hour.
Both of these journeys are stunning as they follow Lake Zurich and Walensee before entering the valley into the alps.
Things to do in Heididorf
Walk To Heidi Village To Set The Scene
The first part of experiencing Heidi Village is the short hike there. You will walk along a path that will take you past fields of Swiss cows, and goats, with views of the alps and the Rhine Valley below.
There is no better way of getting your mind into the story of Heidi before you get to the Heidi Village.
Explore The Village
The entrance to the village gives you access to seeing 4 sites after you have completed the walk. For around 15 euros you can see Heidi’s house, Heidi’s alpine hut, Johanna Spyri’s “World of Heidi” exhibition, and a replica of the home of Alpöhi.
You can also stop at the Hotel Restaurant Heidihof for lunch and hike up to the Heidi Alp too.
From the gift shop (where you buy your ticket), which is also the smallest post office in the country, you can enter the exhibition/museum. Buy some souvenirs here too if you like, and their stamp is a special one as well.
The Heidi Museum
The museum showcases the complete collection of Heidi books from across the world which includes books in 55 different languages.
You will also see scenes from the 18 different films made about the story and find props/costumes from the most recent version of Heidi.
There is also a dedicated exhibition to the famous Swiss writer Johanna Spyri who used to visit the area and got her inspiration from her visits.
Seeing Heidi’s House
A trip to the Heidi House should be next and it feels like stepping back in time. They have done an amazing job of ensuring the Heidi House is as accurate as it would have been in the 1880s.
You will find an old cellar where they would have kept food cold, the kitchen, plus Heidi’s bedroom. All the furniture and artifacts in the original Heidi House are as they would have been back then, and are a fascinating insight into it all.
Check Out The Alpine Hut
You can’t leave without walking up to the alpine hut after the Heidi House. Everything is as it would have been and you can imagine how Heidi’s time would have been spent.
The kitchen is a great example of how food would have been made in the novel Heidi, as a lot did not come from the village shop back then.
Upstairs will give you a lovely view, and you can easily imagine Heidi reflecting on her days while gazing out of the window.
Feed The Animals
Next up, you should go and feed the animals just like Heidi did as they are all waiting for you in the village.
Things to do in Heideland
Hike The Heidi Trail
Located in Pizol and designed for a fun family day out, the Heidi Trail begins at the Pardiel mountain station and does a loop to the Alp Schwarzbüel and back.
It is only 4 km long and takes around 2-3 hours. The views along the way are stunning, plus kids can enjoy a sensory barefoot path, a hammock forest, a goat jump, and the Kneipp pool too!
Join Heidi And Peter On The Legendary Adventure Trail
Another fun hike for the whole family, this trail has you hiking with Peter and Heidi. It is a short 2-hour hike over 3 km where kids try to help Heidi and Peter to free the wild man banished to the mountains.
Visit The Tectonic Arena Sardona
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Sardona is a mesmerizing area where you can feel the tectonic plates pushing against each other.
It is in this place where you can learn about how the alps were made, how they are still forming, and see some of it up close. It is a very special place to visit!
Enjoy The Bad Ragaz Springs
The town of Bad Ragaz is home to the Bad Ragaz springs which flow with mineral-rich water. If you want to be pampered for a day, head to Bad Ragaz where they use special spring water in their spa treatments.
Things To Do In Maienfeld
Maienfeld, Switzerland sits just below Heididorf along the banks of the Rhone and across from Bad Ragaz. It is home to vineyards, stunning houses, views of the alps, and lots more. Visiting is a must while you are in the area and here are the great things to do.
Have Lunch In Brandis Castle
Brandis Castle, originally known as Maienfeld Castle, dates back to the 13th century and was built under the orders of the Freiherr von Aspermont. The town of Maienfeld actually grew around the castle and a visit there is very much recommended.
The architecture is excellent, there is a restaurant inside, and you will find some 14th-century paintings by an artist called the Waltensburg master, which are his only known works. You will see scenes from the time such as taverns or inns, and more.
Hike Up To Glegghorn Or Vilan
Overlooking the town of Maienfeld are the stunning mountains of Glegghorn and Vilan. Hiking up to the mountains is quite tough but there are numerous trails to follow, some harder than others.
The views from the top are hard to beat so be sure to go up as far as you can handle. Getting to the summit will not be easy for everyone though and should only be attempted if you are fit enough.
Have Wine Tour At Salenegg Castle
The Salenegg Castle is another Swiss heritage site of national significance in the town. Its location could not be more beautiful as it integrates with the vineyards around the town.
The castle is a functioning winery so while seeing a slice of history you can also taste some great wine, do a vineyard tour, and learn about the varieties of grapes and wines too!
Where to Stay in MaienfeldBooking.com
There are lots of different types of accommodation available in Maienfeld ranging from more basic and affordable all the way up to mega luxury.
If you want to be pampered to the max, stay at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz just across the river where two five-star hotels join forces to give you an experience of a lifetime.
For more affordable options, look to booking.com for the best deals as they have a great selection and great prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Heidi Village Worth Visiting?
Whether you are interested in the story of Heidi or not, a visit to the Heidi Village and the surrounding area is very much recommended. Between the stunning landscapes, the quaint story, the insights into past living practices, and more, spending some time in this part of the world can only be a good thing.
Where is the village of Heidi?
Heidi Village is in Maienfeld, Switzerland approximately 1 hours drive east of Zurich.
Is Heidi Based on a true story?
No, Heidi is a work of fiction written by the Swiss author Spyri for children. It was originally published in 1881 and was written in two parts.
Is Heidi Swiss or Austrian?
Heidi is the stereotypical Swiss girl living in the mountains with her grandfather. It is actually a story written by a Swiss author back in 1881.