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Day trip to Saxon Switzerland

Tampa, Florida
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Day trip to Saxon Switzerland

If I plan a day trip to Saxon Switzerland during a 3 nights stay in Dresden, what would be the best option for getting there and touring the area? I will be arriving in Dresden by train, so will not have a car. Is there a recommended tour leaving from Dresden to Saxon Switzerland?

Thanks for your help!

Amsterdam, The...
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for Munich, Amsterdam, The Ardennes
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1. Re: Day trip to Saxon Switzerland

do you want to see the towns or the nature?

for the latter it would be best to rent a car

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2. Re: Day trip to Saxon Switzerland

I don't know of any tours, and I think you can easily do this on your own and by public transportation.

First off, you cannot see everything in one day. Pick what is most interesting for you. Do you want to do a real hike of a couple of hours or mostly enjoy different views from easily accessible places?

Highlights are IMO:

- Fortress Königstein

- Bastei viewpoint

- Kuhstall viewpoint, accessible from Kirnitzsch valley and includes a hike of 2 hours round trip

- Schrammsteine main crest hiking trail - serious hiking, full day, not for people with fear of heights.

- The so called "Stones", flat-top sandstone mountains mostly with a plateau on top (Fortress Königstein is one of them e.g., others are Lilienstein, Papststein, Pfaffenstein)

From Dresden take the suburban train S1 in direction Bad Schandau/Schöna. It runs twice an hour, takes 40 minutes to Bad Schandau. The town Pirna is sort of "gateway" to Saxon Switzerland and a you can change to buses there if you want to go to Bastei (#237) or Fortress Königstein (#241). Farther along the railroute in the Elbe valley are several stops in towns like Wehlen, Rathen, Königstein, Bad Schandau, all of them good starting points for hikes.

Bad Schandau is the hub for the "rear" Saxon Switzerland, meaning the most spectacular sandstone rock formations, views, canyons. The town is on the opposite bank of the river from the train station, buses and a ferry take you there. More buses run to nearby villages and starting places of hikes. One special way of transportation is the tram "Kirnitzschtalbahn" that starts in Bad Schandau at the public park/garden and takes you into the Kirnitzsch valley, passing restaurants, former mills, and many trail heads. The tram ends at a hotel with a small waterfall next to it (Lichtenhainer Wasserfall), from there starts the hiking trail to Kuhstall (a sandstone arch/gateway with gorgeous views).

As for tickets, buy a day ticket for the VVO network (12.50 Euro) or a family day ticket which is good for 2 adults and up to 4 kids not older than 14 years for 16 Euro. Or a group ticket if you're more adults for 24 Euro (up to 5 adults).

Please see also my pages on Virtualtourist.com:

Bad Schandau: members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/12ca7/

(Fortress) Königstein: members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/b0ff/

Rathen: members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/ab24/

Pirna: members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/6ed7/

Dresden: members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/1091e/

Schloss Pillnitz: members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/6f2e/

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: Day trip to Saxon Switzerland

Thanks eagle2002 for your very helpful information!

4. Re: Day trip to Saxon Switzerland

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