Weekend ideas #11 – Sächsische Schweiz

posted in: Explore Germany | 0
Ekaterina Izosimova ©

If you are interested in any hiking activity and just tired from the noise of a big city, the place that you should visit on a weekend is Sächsische Schweiz or Saxon Switzerland.

As for me, this was one of the best trips, as my heart was yearning for Carpathian Mountains, and here, near Dresden you can find a perfect opportunity to admire beautiful landscapes.

The name of the mountain area was introduced by two Swiss artists, Adrian Zingg and Anton Graff who felt the landscape was reminiscent of their homeland, the Swiss Jura, and reported in their exchange of letters on the difference between their homeland and “Saxon Switzerland”. Together with the Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic it forms the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

Your journey will start at the train station at Rathen – about 40 minutes from Dresden by regional train. Following the road you will approach the river and a ferry for 80 cents will take you to the other side when your hiking adventure starts.

The other part of this city lies beyond the river and offers to tourists a lot of cafes and restaurants, as well as souvenir shops.


There are dozens of routes you can choose or just simply go into forest as we did in the first place. You can also rent a boat and cut the water surface while admiring surrounding beauty.

Some of the routes lead to the forest, but everything is marked and extremely adjusted to the comfort of the tourists, including concrete road in some places which leads uphill.

A waterfall which erupts a mass of water, it happens every 5 min. The rest of the time the stream of water is weak. Above is a levee that holds excessive water and releases it periodically and you can even pay 30 cents to the owners for them to pull the rope.


Saxony and Swiss style buildings with these specific wooden planks crossing the facade

The passage amid rock walls, which leads to one of the viewing point uphill.
The Bastei bridge
The Bastei is a rock formation towering 194 metres above the Elbe River in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains of Germany. Reaching a height of 305 metres above sea level, the jagged rocks of the Bastei were formed by water erosion over one million years ago.
“Here, from where you see right down to the Elbe from the most rugged rocks, where a short distance away the crags of the Lilienstein, Königstein and Pffafenstein stand scenically together and the eye takes in a sweeping view that can never be described in words.” – August von Goethe 

This point was serving starting from 18th centure as a tourist destination and place for numerous artists to paint these great landscapes.

The first bridge, called Bastei Bridge (Basteibrücke), was built of wood over the deep clefts of the Mardertelle, linking the outer rock shelf of the Bastei with the Steinschleuder and Neurathener Felsentor rocks. In 1851, the wooden bridge was replaced by a sandstone bridge, due to the steady increase in visitors, that is still standing today. It is 76.5 m long and its seven arches span a ravine 40 m deep. – {Wiki}

The area is really big, so enthusiastic wanderers can plan a lot of routes and activities here. You can also visit the official web site of Sächsische Schweiz, and plan your trip.

Some points of interest according to Wiki that you can cover.
Bastei and Neurathen Castle
Bärensteine and Rauenstein near Weißig
Stolpen Castle
Ruins of Wehlen Castle
Rock arch near Wehlen
Mount Gohrisch with its refuge hut
Kaiserkrone and Zirkelstein
Kirnitzschtal Tramway, an historic interurban in the Kirnitzsch valley
Little Saxon Switzerland, a miniature park layout in the village of Wehlen
Königstein Fortress, the largest hill fortress in Europe
Kuhstall on the New Wildenstein
Lilienstein, Schrammsteine
Obere Schleuse, boat trip near Hinterhermsdorf
Papststein with observation tower and restaurant
Bad Schandau Botanical Gardens, a regional botanical garden

After contemplation of these picturesque views on coming back you can take a refreshing sip of cold Radler and head back home to plan your next great trips and dreaming to come back to this magnificent and charming place. 








Raw calculations

Getting to Dresden from Berlin
and back
1 EUR (special
offer ticket) + 6 EUR = 7 EUR
Group ticket
to Rathen (5 persons) – 29 EUR total
Eating out in


However this list of expenses does not include staying and partying in Dresden. Mind that trip to different remoted locations might take a whole day, so it is preferable to stay overnight.