Visiting the Bastei Bridge
The Bastei Bridge is a very famous landmark in Germany, if you like Pinterest you probably have seen a picture of it somewhere. The bridge is located in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Saxon Switzerland National Park, around 42 Km away from Dresden.
The bridge has been on my list of places to visit in Germany for a while, and on my recent trip to Dresden, I got the chance to stop by and check it out with my own eyes. Bastei is a rock formation at 194m above the Elbe River, it was formed a million years ago in result of water erosion. When built in 1824, the bridge was made of wood, but was replaced in 1851 by the actual Bastei Bridge, which is made of sandstone.
The rock formation is amazing, something I’ve never seen before, and the view from the bridge is incredible. It is a beloved place by hikers and climbers and has inspired many famous artists, such as Caspar David Friedrich, Ludwig Richter and Goethe.
While planning our visit to the Bastei Bridge, I found it strange that there wasn’t much information on getting there or what to expect once you arrive. It all sounded a bit mysterious to me. So based on my visit, I decided to compile a few tips for all of you planning on visiting the Bastei Bridge someday:
The best way to get there
Honestly, by car. It is also possible to take the S-bahn from Dresden, then cross the river with a boat, or you can take a boat directly from Dresden. It will arrive nearby, but in this case you need to find your way up, which would be either hiking or climbing, and boy it’s a long way up (around 40min)! I haven’t found a company offering day tours or packages there so far.
If you go by car like we did, there is a parking space around 4km from the park. From there you can either walk or take a shuttle bus that drops you off right in front of the park entrance. If you have a GPS, you should add:
Soon enough you will see the parking lot and the bus stop in front of it.
We also spotted a parking lot right in front of the park entrance, but apparently it’s only for the guests of the hotel found there.
What to expect
This place is way more popular than I thought, so if you want to avoid lines to get a picture, or take some photos with less people in it, arrive early. Otherwise, you will need a little bit of patience to get that photo you want, and maybe not even so.
There is a hotel up there with a restaurant, places to sit outside and bathrooms, which you can use. Many people bring their own food and drinks and enjoy them sitting on the rocks.
Dogs are of course allowed, but unfortunately we didn’t take Enzzo with us. He has back pains because of his herniated disk, and it’s best to avoid stairs.
There is no closing time for the park, so you can go at any time. Of course, unless you are camping, I don’t recommend going up there when it’s dark.
There is no entrance fee to the park, however, expect to pay for parking and the shuttle bus. Also, there is a reserved place at the other end of the bridge, which you should pay to get access to, the only difference is that there you find another view over the park. It’s up to you.
What I thought
The place is indeed amazing and breathtaking; to be honest the only problem that really bothered me was the crowd. It was pretty stressful to get pictures of the bridge, and as you may imagine, selfie sticks were everywhere!
I’d say this place is even more enjoyable for hike lovers and those who plan to camp around the park.
You don’t need a whole day to visit the park, so I’d say the early morning is the best time, and it won’t take you more than 3 hours of driving and exploring the bridge surroundings altogether.
Have you ever been to the Bastei Bridge? Any tips?