Day trips around Dresden: Bastei Saxony, Schloss Pillnitz, Pillnitz Palace

Transportation Route

Saxony Little Switzerland National Park is located in the southeast of Dresden, near the border of Germany and Czech Republic. We drove there from Dresden, which is about 50 minutes by car, or about the same time by S Bahn, but you need to take a boat to cross the river, so driving is a bit faster. We left early in the morning, walked the trails of Saxony's Little Switzerland National Park, and then went to the Pilnitz Palace, which took about half a day or so.


You can also enjoy the rural scenery of Dedong on the way, which makes it a very comfortable outdoor trip.

National Park of Saxony, Little Switzerland, Bastei, Pilnitz Palace 1

Saxony's Little Switzerland National Park


The Saxony Little Switzerland National Park is the only sandstone terrain in Central Europe, characterized by strange rocks, towering jagged boulders and idyllic landscapes on both sides of the Elbe River, forming a unique landscape. It is called Little Switzerland because two Swiss painters visited the park in the 18th century and were so moved by the beauty of the landscape that they named it Saxony Little Switzerland.

Saxon Little Switzerland National Park, Bastei, Pilnitz Palace 2
If you are as fast as we are, you can finish it in about 2 hours. When we were there, it looked like there were mostly European tourists, and most of them felt like locals, not many foreign tourists. From the parking lot, it was a gentle uphill walk, it was quite easy to walk. We came here with the expectation of the difficulty of hiking in the western US National Parks, we were a little bit over-equipped, and other tourists even wore slippers on their walks.
 

Bastei bridge

 
After a short walk, we soon came across the landmark bastei bridge, a stone bridge built in 1851, which has a history of 100 years. Before that, it was originally a wooden bridge. The observation deck on the bridge is very good, you can see the majestic rocky terrain.
Bastei bridge
Saxony's Little Switzerland National Park

Felsenburg Neurathen

 
As you walk, you come to a flat passageway called Felsenburg Neurathen, which requires a separate ticket to enter and visit, and is the site of a castle, as well as an excellent viewpoint.
National Park of Saxony, Little Switzerland, Bastei, Pilnitz Palace 3
National Park of Saxony, Little Switzerland, Bastei, Pilnitz Palace 4
 

Elbe

 
Further on, you will see the Elbe River. The Elbe and the Rhine are two important rivers in Germany, originating from the Czech Republic, passing through this mountainous region and then flowing to the sea in the direction of Hamburg.
National Park of Saxony, Little Switzerland, Bastei, Pilnitz Palace 5
On the other side of the river are towns and gardens, which are magnificent to see on the spot, and even in the midst of all the tourists there is a sense of tranquility.
National Park of Saxony, Little Switzerland, Bastei, Pilnitz Palace 6
 

Pilnitz Palace

 
On our way back to Dresden, we stopped by the Pilnitz Palace on the banks of the Elbe. The Pilnitz Palace was the summer residence of Frederick I, Elector of Saxony. It consists of three palaces, mainly baroque castles and gardens, among which the Water Palace on the banks of the river Elbe was built in 1723, which is a fusion of European and Chinese styles with references to Chinese architecture.
Pilnitz Palace
 
National Park of Saxony, Little Switzerland, Bastei, Pilnitz Palace 7
While the Saxon nobility used to travel from Dresden along the Elbe in luxury boats, today's visitors can also enjoy the Elbe on a cruise ship or sit on the lakeshore and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
Saxon Little Switzerland National Park, Bastei, Pilnitz Palace 8

 

Further reading



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