National Park

National Park Saxon Switzerland Experience

Elbsandsteingebirge Morgen

The National Park of Saxon Switzerland in eastern Germany, south-east of Dresden offers endless ways to spend your holiday. The 93 km region between Pirna and the Czech border is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe. More than 700 summits are available to rock climbers, while for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, there are 400 km² of marked hiking-trails, steep treks, paths and some cycle routes through the National Park.

Aussicht von den Affensteinen nach Osten

Nearby resorts and spas serve as oases for those who seek a cure or simply want to be pampered. Travellers, from families to adventure-seekers are transported to a quirky and wildly romantic world. The crystal clear waters of the Elbe’s tributaries flow quietly through valleys forged between mighty table mountains. Salmon, otters and kingfishers are at home here. Lynx prowl woods that retain the feel of primeval forest, while hawks, black storks and eagle owls soar and hover high above steep canyons ..

Zirkelstein Elbsandsteingebirge

Admission to the National Park is and the famous Bastei Bridge is free. There is no official entry point, you can access the area on all paths (outside the core zone). In the core zone, you must stay on the sign-posted hiking and climbing paths as well as access paths to the rocks for climbing. Cycle on the cycle routes marked out for the purpose.

Blick zum Wolfsberg und zum Lilienstein / Elbsandsteingebirge

You are well-advised to park outside the National Park and travel in by public transport if possible. Entering the park’s narrow gorges in a car spoils the experience of being in a spectacular natural environment. Even the yellow streetcar in the National Park (also called the "Electronical") is ecologically friendly: it runs partly on solar energy (40 %).The National Park itself covers an area of 92 square kilometres and is the most precious assett of a Nature Conservation Area that stretches to more than 368 square kilometres around the park on both sides of the river Elbe.


The area's strangely eroded rock formations, which date from the Cretaceous period, are an unforgettable experience for visitors. With its chalky sandstone cliffs, deeply carved valleys, table mountains and gorges, this fascinating landscape is the only one of its kind in central Europe. The national park's flora and fauna reflect the diversity of this unique habitat. It is still possible to catch a glimpse of rare species like the eagle owl, the otter and the fat dormouse. Ferns, lichens and mosses thrive in this confined eco-system.

National Park House and Information Centres

Nationalparkzentrum Bad Schandau

A visitor centre and meeting place opposite the council hall in central Bad Schandau. Extensive exhibition floors serving the special interests of the National Park as well as information on the national park region. Multivision, interactive models and 3D presentations in three languages – German, Czech and English. Varied event programme. One point of emphasis is the crossborder partnership with the Czech Republic. The in-house café and restaurant offers regional specialities.

Information Centre

Public fire pits and grill areas in the National Park

Since there is a general prohibition for open fire at open-air roosts (so-called “Booves”), alternatives are much asked for. They should provide the comfortable ambience of a fire in the open air. Nine public fire pits were constructed in the National Park. The places had been chosen carefully and according to safety criteria. Since they are easily accessible for visitors, the National Park Watch and the fire brigade, they are extensively safe. Guests in these grill areas consent to obey the following conditions of use:

  1. No fire when there is a high risk of forest fires!
  2. Only use wood you have brought with you – no wood from the National Park!
  3. No overnight stays!

Vantage points with panoramic views


Bastei / Lilienstein / Brand & Waitzdorf Mountain
Schrammsteine rocks / Kipphorn / Kuhstall
Hinteres Raubschloss / Goldstein