From Dresden we took the train to the Bad Schandau area, crossed the ferry and entered the little town of Rathen.
We stopped for refreshments at a little shack, then followed the path from Rathen to Amsel Falls. Climbing the stairs above the falls and the nature station we followed the Rathewalder Fußweg to the Bastei Bridge (Basteibrücke).
Right before you cross the bridge there is the Berghotel and a scenic place to grab refreshments and souvenirs. Also make this your restroom break, it’s the best opportunity to take care of things for awhile.
Crossing the bridge and on the way back down to Rathen you will have an opportunity to wander in the open air museum of an old settlement.
The rest of the way was a steady decline. Originally this was pointed out to us as the shortest path to the bridge but it was possibly the second steepest way to get there. There was a steeper stone staircase before the Amsel Falls area that we decided was a bit much for us with kids in tow.
To help us stay motivated and reach the bottom I made them a promise that if they finish the hike, there would be a prize waiting for them. Hiking pins for the kids, a metal badge for our walking stick, and ice cream for everyone!
We calculated that our route was about 8 miles. Between this hike and our adventures in Dresden the day before, we were experiencing muscle failure. It is safe to say we spent the next couple of days recovering before heading back home!
Do you want to skip the hike and still take in the view?
The Berghotel offers a great set of instructions to get directly to the top with your own vehicle or by public transportation.
Looking for more things in the area?
- 23 minutes away you can find Königstein Fortress and the other castles in the area.
- Visit the National Park Center in Bad Schandau.
- Reflecting on the order of things, if we were to do this again, we probably should have done this hike first and then traveled to Dresden or Prague.