Saxon Switzerland National Park spans 93 square kilometres, and is located in Saxony's east. It consists of two geographically seperated areas that are characterised by their unique landscapes and high biodiversity. Furthermore, the only rock national park in Germany can be found here. Owls, hawks, lynxes, bats, adders and fire salamanders are among the many species at home in the park's woodlands. On your way through Saxon Switzerland, you will also come across deep, pristine gorges, wild streams, and panoramic views.
You can explore the national park hiking on your own, or with a guided tour or themed excursion. Those who want to discover the area by bicycle have 50km/31mi of bike trails at their disposal. Top attractions at Saxon Switzerland National Park include the bastion with bastion bridge, table mountain Lilienstein, Schramm- and Affenstein rocks, and the rock gate Kuhstall. The rock stage in Rathen and Königstein Fort are among the cultural highlights. The Herkules pillars at Bielatal valley as well as the Zirschsteine rocks are also very popular.
Listed as a national park in 1990, Saxon Switzerland has long been a popular destination, and inspire artists such as Caspar David Friedrich. The name 'Saxon Switzerland' probably goes back to the Swiss landscape drawers Adrian Zingg and Anton Graf, who traveled to the area in the late 18th century, and found it remeniscent of the Swiss mountains.
The park has served as a film location for movies like Cloud Atlas, Inglorious Basterds, The Reader, or The Chronicles of Narnia. Sanstein Foto Festival takes place here, and includes foto hikes and workshops.
How to get there
Saxon Switzerland National Park is located approximately 40km/25mi south of Dresden, and is easily accessible by car as well as on public transport.
From Dresden, follow motorway A17 towards Prague. Leave the road at exit Pirna, and continue towards Bad Schandau or Lohmen. Turn right to cross Elbe river, and follow B172 to Bad Schandau. The national park centre is located at the village centre, at the north bank of Elbe.
Coaches as well as trains call in Dresden. From there, S-Bahn trails as well as regional bus lines go to Saxon Switzerland every half hour. An ICE train takes you to the national park centre in Bad Schandau within 30 minutes.