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This article is a travel guide to Bastei Bridge in Germany and how to take a day trip to Bastei from Dresden.
The Bastei Bridge is a unique bridge located in the midst of magical looking rock formations and lush greenery. In fact it is the most visited tourist destination in the Saxon Switzerland National Park in Germany. Its convenient location close to both Dresden and Prague make it the perfect day trip and a truly worthwhile visit. In this travel guide to the Bastei Bridge, you’ll get all the important information needed to plan the perfect day trip to Bastei Bridge in Saxony, Germany.
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Bastei Bridge History and Facts – What is the Bastei Brucke?
The Bastei Bridge or Bastei Brücke is a bridge made out of sandstone that connects the Bastei rock formations. What’s interesting is that back in 1824, there was a wooden bridge in its place for visitors to traverse and visit the Bastei. However, this wooden bridge was replaced by a more permanent sandstone bridge in 1851, which is the present-day Basteibrücke.
The length of the Bastei Bridge is 76.5 m and it has a total of 7 arches which can be seen by various lookout points.
Bastei Bridge Location
The Bastei Bridge is located in the Saxon Switzerland National Park in the state of Saxony in Germany. It lies around 50 km southeast of Dresden, the closest city to Basteibrücke and 230 km from Berlin, the capital city of Germany.
Now don’t be confused when you hear Saxon Switzerland as this is not related or even close to the country Switzerland. This national park was coined the name ‘Saxon Switzerland’ by the Swiss artists Adrian Zingg and Anton Graff who were reminded of their country, Switzerland, when they saw this place.
How to Get to Bastei Bridge or Bastei Brücke
It is ideal to take a day trip to Bastei Bridge from Dresden, which is the closest city to the bridge. Most visitors who come here are either visiting from Dresden, Berlin or from the Czech Republic. So take a look at the various options to reach the Bastei Brücke.
How to Reach Bastei Brücke By Car
The best way to visit Bastei Bridge is by car. They have a nice big parking lot very close to the bridge so you don’t have to worry about driving here. Moreover, the ride to the bridge is pleasant and picturesque. You can rent a car at Dresden and drive to the bridge in under an hour.
How to Reach Bastei Bridge by Bus
Unfortunately there are no direct buses from Dresden to Bastei. That being said, to get here by bus, you will need to take a train to Pirna. From there, walk over to the bus station and take bus number 237 towards Sebnitz. The bus runs once in every hour and it takes you right to Bastei, only a few meters from the Bridge.
How to Reach Bastei Bridge by Train
If you’re trying to reach the Bastei Bridge by train, you will need to take the S-Bahn from Dresden Hauptbahnhof to Rathen, a small town closest to the bridge. Next take a ferry to cross the Elbe river that costs €2 for a round trip ride across the river. From here, it is a roughly 45 minute grueling hike up to the Bastei Bridge. This option to reach Bastei is not the easiest and is also quite time-consuming so make the choice accordingly.
Day Trip from Dresden to Bastei Bridge
Dresden to Bastei Bridge is the most common route that people take and one that makes sense. Because this way you get to see 2 epic places in Germany at the same time. To get to Bastei from Dresden, you can take the train to Rathen and hike from there or take the train to Pirna and then the bus 237 to Bastei from there. However, the best way to reach Bastei Bridge from Dresden is to take a car and drive. The route is particularly noteworthy during the fall season. If you’re coming to Bastei from Dresden, then you can make a day trip as the whole journey and a visit to Bastei Bridge will not take more than a 6-7 hours.
Day Trip from Berlin to Bastei Bridge
The best way to go from Berlin to Basteibrücke is to drive there. The drive from Berlin to Bastei Brucke will take under 3 hours to cover a distance of 238 km. That being said, you can also take a train from Berlin to Pirna, with a change at Bad Schandau, then the bus from Pirna to Bastei Bridge. Once again, although the journey from Berlin to Bastei is longer than the one from Dresden, it is still possible to take a day trip from Berlin to Bastei Bridge.
Parking at the Bastei Bridge
There is a parking lot right near the entrance of the Bastei Bridge. You’ll find it by looking up ‘Parkplatz Bastei’ in online maps. From here, it’s a short 10 minute walk to the bridge. Notably, if you’re here for upto 3 hours, it costs €3 to park and the cost increases depending on how much time you’re parked here.
Day Trip to Bastei Bridge – Is it Possible?
Yes!! You can take a fun and adventurous day trip to Bastei Bridge from a number of nearby cities like Dresden, Berlin or Prague. As a matter of fact, since you need just a couple of hours to explore Bastei, give or take, it’s worth driving here, visiting the bridge and then driving back. You can easily cover visiting the Bastei bridge and the hikes to the surrounding Bastei Bridge viewpoints comfortably within 2-3 hours.
Best Time to Visit Bastei Bridge, Germany
To be honest, there is no best time to visit the Bastei Bridge because it looks unique and just as great in every season. While Summer is the obvious season to visit Bastei because of the clear skies and the lush greenery, you can visit the Bastei Brucke in any season. We went there at the end of Fall season when the trees were colored in hues of gold, orange and red and everything looked just mystical. Furthermore, you can visit Bastei Bridge in Winter when the countless trees there get covered in ice and there’s ice and snow as far as the eyes can see.If you’re visiting the Bastei Brucke in Summer, then it’s important to note that Summer is the most popular time to visit the bridge so it can get a little too crowded for comfort. Most visitors arrive here around the afternoon so if you want to avoid the crowds, come here early in the morning or later in the evening.
How Much Time to Spend at the Bastei Brücke?
You’ll ideally need 2 – 3 hours to visit Bastei Bridge properly. While it takes just 10 mins to walk here from the parking lot and another few minutes to see the bridge, you should spend some time hiking to the various viewpoints near the Bastei Bridge to get nice views of the bridge and some pictures too! Not to mention the time you can spend at the restaurant of the Bastei hostel. You’ll find more information about that in another section below.
Bastei Bridge Hike
There are a number of ways that you can hike to and around the Bastei Bridge. Firstly, if you;re coming to Bastie by train, get down at Rathen and then hike up to the bridge. It takes approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour to do that. You’ll need steady hiking shoes for this hike, especially if it rains and in winter. Secondly, there are trails near the bridge for you to hike up to the Bastei Bridge viewpoints. It’s not really a hike to these viewpoints, but rather a walk on narrow platforms and stairs. So while you don’t need to wear hiking shoes, you do need to wear good footwear like sports shoes or sneakers.
How Difficult are the Bastei Brücke Hikes?
As mentioned in the previous section, there aren’t any traditional “hikes” at Bastei. In reality, there are narrow platforms with hand rests built to get better views of the Bastei bridge. It’s not difficult to walk on them, although you need to wear shoes that provide steady footing as there’s a steep drop on either side of the pathway. It’s worth mentioning that there are stairs at various places so it’s not wheelchair friendly.
Bastei Brücke Viewpoints
There’s no one particular or popular Bastei Bridge viewpoint. Rather, there are dirt trails and narrow platforms starting from both sides of the bridge. You’ll get the best view of Bastei Bridge from here. Quite naturally, the farther you get, the better the views of Bastei Bridge will be.
Cost of Visiting the Bastei Bridge
Surprisingly, there are no entrance fees to visit the Bastei Bridge. One thing to note, though, is that you will need to pay to visit the viewpoint of the bridge in the Summer months. When we visited the bridge in November, we did not have to pay to hike around the bridge. However, this fee is very less (€1.5 if I’m not mistaken).
Bastei Bridge Hotel – Berghotel Bastei
The Bastei Bridge hotel aka Berghotel bastei is a large, sprawling hotel with epic views just a few steps away from the bridge that is located in the midst of incredible natural beauty. To make the most of your trip to Bastei and to really get the feel of the place, you can arrive in the afternoon, check into the hotel and then visit the bridge in the evening once the other visitors are leaving. This way you can get the bridge all to yourself. The next morning, you can see the bridge again and walk around before the other visitors start arriving.
Where to Eat near the Bastei Bridge
The Berghotel Bastei has a wonderful restaurant with a panoramic view of the Bastei Bridge. Although you will need to reserve a table in advance during the popular Summer months. That being said, they even have a decently-priced breakfast buffet so you can enjoy the views, the food and the location without the midday crowds.
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