Bastei Bridge Hike: A Complete Guide

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The Bastei Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, a stunning natural area near Dresden, Germany. The bridge is a 76.5-meter-long stone structure that connects several towering rock formations, offering breathtaking views of the Elbe River and the surrounding landscape. The bridge is also a historical monument, as it was built in 1851 on the site of a former wooden bridge from 1824, which was part of the medieval fortification of the Neurathen Castle. The castle was a defensive fortress that was used until the 15th century, and you can still see some of the ruins of the walls, the gate, and the chambers on the rocks next to the bridge.

The remains of the castle, together with the bridge, make the Bastei area a highly attractive and sought-after tourist destination. The Bastei Bridge and the Neurathen Castle have inspired many painters, writers, and musicians over the centuries, such as Caspar David Friedrich, Ludwig Richter, and Richard Wagner.

Top 3 Gems of Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland

How to get to the Bastei Bridge

The Bastei Bridge is located about 40 kilometers southeast of Dresden, the capital of Saxony, and about 200 kilometers north of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. There are several options for reaching the Bastei Bridge, depending on your preference and budget.

By car:

If you have your own car or rent one, you can drive to the Bastei Bridge from Dresden in about an hour or Prague in two. There is a large parking lot near the bridge, but it can get crowded during peak season, so you may have to park further away and walk for about 15 minutes. The parking fee is 7 euros per day.

By public transportation:

If you prefer to use public transportation, you can take a train from Dresden or Prague to the town of Rathen, which is the closest station to the Bastei Bridge. The train ride takes about 40 minutes from Dresden and about 2 hours from Prague. From Rathen, you can take a ferry across the Elbe River and then walk for about 30 minutes to the bridge. The ferry runs every 15 minutes and costs 2 euros per person.

With Saxon Tours:

If you want to have a hassle-free and memorable journey to the Bastei Bridge, you can book a tour with us, the best way to experience this amazing destination. With our tour, you can enjoy the comfort and convenience of being picked up from your hotel in Dresden or Prague, and taken to the Bastei Bridge in a comfortable and air-conditioned minibus. You don’t have to worry about parking, traffic, or public transportation. You will explore the bridge and the castle with an expert and knowledgeable guide, who will tell you interesting facts and stories about the Bastei Bridge and the Neurathen Castle. You will have enough time and flexibility to enjoy the view and take as many photos and videos as you want. You can savor a delicious lunch at a local restaurant and enjoy the view. To book your trip to the Bastei Bridge with us you can choose from those trips:

Our tours to Bastei Bridge

Pravcicka gate

The Best of Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland

Bastei bridge - Pravcicka gate - Boat ride in Kamenice gorges

10 h - 11 km (7 mi)

5 ( 11 review)

From €149 per person


Hrensko Boat Trip in Kamenice Gorges

Scenic Bastei Bridge with Boat Trip and Lunch

Family friendly tour for hiking beginners and children

9 h - 6 km (4 mi)

5 ( 27 reviews)

From €149 per person


Tisa walls

Bastei Bridge & Tisa Rocks Easy All inclusive Tour

A relaxing guided tour to unspoiled nature with wonderful views

8 h - 5 km (3 mi)

5 ( 17 reviews)

From €149 per person


How long is the Bastei Bridge hike

The Bastei Bridge hike can take from one to four hours, depending on the route you choose and the pace you walk. There are several hiking trails that lead to and from the Bastei Bridge, such as the Malerweg, the Painter’s Path, and the staircase from Rathen. The Malerweg is a 112-kilometer-long circular route that passes through the Bastei Bridge. The Malerweg is divided into eight stages, each taking about 4 to 6 hours to complete. You can start from any stage and hike as much as you want. The Painter’s Path is a shorter and easier route that follows the footsteps of the famous painters who were inspired by the Bastei Bridge. The Painter’s Path takes about an hour to finish. The staircase from Rathen is another option that leads directly to the Bastei Bridge from the town of Rathen. The staircase is a bit steep and narrow, but it offers a great view of the Elbe River and the Saxon Switzerland National Park. The staircase takes about 30 minutes to climb.

Bastei viewpoint

What to see and do on the Bastei Bridge

The Bastei Bridge hike is not only a scenic and relaxing activity, but also a cultural and historical one. There are many things to see and do on the Bastei Bridge hike:

Footbridges in Neurathen Castle

Bastei Bridge opening hours

The Bastei Bridge is open to the public all year round, from sunrise to sunset. However, the opening hours to Neurathen Castle may vary depending on the season and the weather conditions. The best time to visit the Bastei Bridge is in the spring or autumn, when the weather is mild and the colors are vibrant. The summer can be very hot and crowded, while the winter can be very cold and snowy.

Entrance fees

The Bastei Bridge is free of charge

The Neurathen Castle costs 2.50 euros per person

View from Bastei Bridge to Elbe Canyon


The Bastei Bridge is a must-see destination for anyone who loves nature, history, and culture. It is a place where you can marvel at the beauty and diversity of the landscape, learn about the past and present of the region, and feel the inspiration and creativity of the artists. If you want to experience the Bastei Bridge in the best way possible, you should book a trip with us, the best way to explore this amazing destination. With, you will have a hassle-free and memorable journey to the Bastei Bridge, and you will also get to see other attractions in the area, such as the Pravcicka Gate in Bohemian Switzerland, Tisa Walls labyrinth or enjoy a boat ride in gorges of Kamenice River. Don’t wait any longer, and book your trip to the Bastei Bridge today. You won’t regret it.

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