Bastei Bridge - Elbe Sandstone Mountains
To enjoy this beautiful place without crowds, you should be there from spring to autumn either very early in the morning or late evening. It is the most popular place in Saxon Switzerland with around 1.5 million visitors each year. We visited this magic sandstone bridge several times in May. We enjoyed most our visit at 6.30 on a Sunday morning.
The reproduction of the castle is accessible 24/7. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the entrance fee of 2 € has to be paid at a cash desk and afterwards, you are asked to put the fee into a metal box. This is a marvelous opportunity to enjoy this magical place with a view people and photographers only.
Tip for Photographer
Early morning is the best light for a good shot of the Bastei bridge.
Information about the Bastei
The Bastei itself is a rock formation 305 meters above sea level. It was a part of a defensive ring around Neurathen Castle. First mentioned in 1592. The region was explored and developed for tourism at the end of the 18th century. Many hiking trails were also developed in both countries; Germany and the Czech Republic both part of this protected Bohemian Switzerland National Park. In the beginning, it was a wooden bridge which was later on displaced by sandstones. The bridge is 76.5 m long and with seven arches.
Several artists reached the Bastei on a trail which is now called the Painters Path or in German Malerweg. You might have seen a painting of the famous Casper David Friedrich from this magic place. The Bastei is 194 m above the river Elbe and a great lookout. In the background is the famous Lilienstein, a massive rock, and Königstein Fortress. If you arrive early or late, you can park your car nearby for a 3 € fee for three hours, whole day 5,50 € (2016). This parking place isn't huge. The next one is four kilometers away. You can either take a shuttle bus or do a boring walk close to the road,
Passionate hikers should combine the visit with a hike to the Schwedenlöcher (Sweden Holes). It's not a long walk but steep descent first and ascent back through narrow gorges. Attached are some pictures.
Where to Stay
Perfectly located within walking distance to the Bastei is the "Berghotel Bastei" excellent breakfast is included.