© Kenny Scholz

National Park

What would the world be without National Parks? These spaces are where our most precious natural landscapes are preserved for future generations. “Let nature be nature” is the maxim of the world-wide National Park movement. It means: humans should restrict themselves to their role as admiring and inquisitive observers. National Parks are not only fascinating refuges for rare species of animals and plants. They are also idyllic recreational spaces for their visitors.

Saxon Switzerland National Park

© Kenny Scholz

Saxon Switzerland National Park is the only non-alpine rock National Park in Germany and one of the smallest with a size of 94 square kilometres. The protected area consists of two parts on the right bank of the River Elbe. The smaller part is situated in the surroundings of Kurort Rathen. The main part stretches from Bad Schandau eastward to the Czech border where Bohemian Switzerland National Park continues. National Parks command mindfulness. When you see the “Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz” sign (Saxon Switzerland National Park) you should be aware that you are now entering an area with particularly sensitive natural spaces.

Hiking in the National Park region

© Florian Trykowski

Saxon Switzerland is a paradise for walkers and hikers. An elaborate network of trails leads to breathtaking viewing points and through deep gorges. The trails are marked with different colours and are well signposted, so that nobody gets lost.

Hiking in the National Park

Behaviour during hiking and cycling tours in the national park

Entering Saxon Switzerland National Park opens up a world of natural wonder and beauty. Please bear in mind that this is a sensitive nature reserve in Germany that deserves our respect and care. Some areas, labelled as "Kernzone" ("core zones"), require special attention. These make up a quarter of the total area of the Nationalpark.

We ask you to observe the following instructions in order to protect and preserve the natural heritage of the Saxon Bohemian Switzerland National Park:

  • Please stay on the marked paths. In the "Kernzone" ("core zones"), please only use these paths (mandatory use of paths).

  • If paths are closed to protect nature, we thank you for your understanding and co-operation.

  • Fire and smoking are not permitted in order to protect our beloved nature from damage.

  • Please leave everything as you found it - plants, animals and stones belong here. The national park is not a berry and mushroom picking area.

  • Please only park in the designated car parks.

  • Drones are not permitted in this area.

  • Camping and free overnight stays are generally not permitted. An exception to this are the Boofen, which are reserved exclusively for climbers. An annual temporary ban on bouldering applies from 1 February to 15 June for nature conservation reasons.

  • Please take your rubbish with you and help to keep nature clean.

  • Dogs are welcome, but should always be kept on a lead. This is to protect the animals and plants and to show consideration for other visitors.

  • Is the nearest toilet too far away? If you have to do your business in the woods, you should bury it afterwards because of the pathogens that can harm nature. The use of toilet paper is to be welcomed, as tissues decompose very poorly.

National Park Partners

© Florian Trykowski

This logo is awarded to institutions that identify strongly with the National Park and its goal to protect this unique landscape. National Park Partners are the ambassadors of the National Park idea and share it with their guests. The Saxon Switzerland hosts list also mark National Park Partners with this logo.


List of National Park Partners

National Park Centre

© Achim Meurer

The Bad Schandau National Park Centre is the visitor centre for the protected area. How was this mysterious rocky world formed? Which rare animals live here? How does the forest fulfil its function as a natural habitat? The museum provides answers with numerous models in an illustrative and family-friendly manner. One of its highlights is a multivision show in the cinema hall with fabulous images of the National Park region.

National Parc Centre

Information Points in the National Park

Nationalparkinfostelle in Schmilka© Yvonne Brückner

A total of 14 information points on German and Czech territory provide facts about diverse subjects related to the National Park, ranging from hiking options over cultural themes to nature protection. These information points are found in central locations along the hiking routes and have each of them a particular style of enchanting their visitors.

For a first overview of the area, a visit in the Bad Schandau National Park visitor Centre is recommendable. In addition, numerous smaller information points in the National Park focus on special themes and provide answers to all questions that can arise during a hiking tour in nature. The information points are not only instructive but also invite to pause for a few relaxed minutes or provide experimental equipment to discover. The “Waldhusche” grounds in the village of Hinterhermsdorf with their activity options are great for children in this context in particular.

But also in the Bohemian National Park  and in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains Landscape Protection Area, the National Park Authority operates several information centres located at popular touristic destinations, such as for example in the towns of Krásna Lípa (Schönlinde) or Dečin (Tetschen).

National Park Authority Monthly Magazine "SandsteinSchweizer"

Learn more about the National Park

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