© 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.


Learn more about the National Park

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

Rules of Conduct in the National Park

National Parks command mindfulness. The “Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz” sign (Saxon Switzerland National Park) indicates that you are now entering an area with particularly sensitive natural spaces. Some of the boards in Saxon Switzerland National Park have „Kernzone“(core zone). They help visitors recognize particularly sensitive natural spaces. One quarter of the National Park is marked as a core zone. Rules of conduct in the National Park:

  • Don’t leave the paths

  • Use only signposted trails in the National Park

  • Respect closures of trails for nature protection

  • Don’t smoke and light fires only at designated fire spots

  • Don’t collect plants or animals in the National Park

  • Park only on car parks

  • Don’t fly drones

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
We have also been National Park Partners since 2020.

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.

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"