Kurort Rathen Travel Guide

  • Kurort Rathen
    by AsturArcadia
  • Sports & Outdoors
    by german_eagle
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by german_eagle

Kurort Rathen Things to Do

  • Castle Neurathen

    Back in medieval times the sandstone cliffs were ideal places for safe residences - castles. Not much construction work was needed to build fortifications, it took much more effort to build bridges, stairs etc. for convenient access. One of the many castles in the region was right below the viewpoint Bastei, called "Neurathen" (opposed to...

  • Bastei

    Bastei is a sandstone rock, rising approx. 190 m above the Elbe river. The place is usually full with crowds, but for a good reason. The views are gorgeous (pic 1). You see the bend of the Elbe river below you, the flat-top mountains Lilienstein, Pfaffenstein, Königstein in the middle, the Czech mountains Ruzova hora and Snieznik in the background....

  • Eisenbahnwelten Rathen

    This is heaven for younger and older kids :-) On grounds of over 7,000 m2 they designed and built a fascinating model train (LGB) outdoor installation. The tracks have a length of 4,500 m, about 30 trains are permanently running on them. More than 200 historic buildings were copied in smaller scale and are to find all over the grounds.If you cannot...

  • Burg Altrathen

    The ruins of the former castle were bought by a guy from nearby Dresden in 1888 and used for the construction of a romantic Neo-"castle", finished 1893. After confiscation by the communists in 1945 it was sold to two guys from Dresden in 1995. The place was reconstructed and is now restaurant and B&B.A castle was first mentioned in 1261. 1467 - 69...

  • The famous Bastei above Kurort Rathen

    The famous Bastei with cliffs and a rock bridge with wonderful views in and over the valley of the Elbe river.See for a visuel impression my video The Bastei.

  • Rock formations

    Another distinct feature along the hiking trail between Rathen and Hohnstein are the interesting rock formations.

  • Hiking

    Hiking in winter has its pros and cons. The weather keeps you cool and there is hardly any crowd at all. The con, mushy grounds.The hiking trail can be easily located and if I remember correctly, it starts at the end of a shop lined street. Having a forest behind your store is pretty cool.

  • Lake Amselsee

    A short walk (about 15 minutes) from Rathen in the Amsel glen you find this little lake (600 m long). It is beautifully located, surrounded by fascinating sandstone rock formations and woods.Boat rowing is offered Apr - Oct.

  • Felsenbühne

    This "theater of nature" was erected in 1936. It is an ideal travel destination for families with kids. Theatric plays like stories of Karl May (Winnetou) or "Der Zauberer von Oz" (the Wizard of Oz) or even Ronja Räubertochter (Ronja, the daughter of the robber) are performed here.

  • Amselsee

    Behind the in the other tip mentioned dam is the Amselsee (Blackbird Lake). Here you should rent a rowing boat to explore the region. Of course, it is also possible to walk around the lake.

  • On the foot of the Bastei

    The Bastei is located in a vast forest region. If you walk down to the foot of the Bastei (this takes 40min) you come across a small river. If you walk downstream you will reach Rathen, in the other direction you will come across this small dam.

  • A nature preserve

    In order to preserve this region the Saxon government declared it as nature preserve. Please walk only on marked tracks and do not camp here unless it is permitted by signs.

  • Elbe Valley

    The Elbe meanders peacefully through the Saxon Switzerland. Along the river are on both sides cycle and hiking tracks. It is also possible to take the ferry from Dresden to Rathen.The photo in the top right corner shows the mount of Lilienstein. In this region you find several so shaped flat-topped mounts.

  • Bastei has always attracted artists

    The photographer Hermann Krone took Germanys first landscape photographs in Saxon Switzerland including the Bastei in October 1853. Also before this majestic region had attracted painters.

  • Bastei Bridge

    The famous Bastei Bridge was built of sandstone in 1850/51; before it was made of wood. Did you know that the Bastei Bridge was the first construction in Europe that was erected only as a tourist attraction?


Kurort Rathen Hotels

Kurort Rathen Restaurants

  • Mountain restaurant Rauenstein

    On top of Mt. Rauenstein (304 m), with beautiful panoramic views, is this restaurant. It is simple, rustic, family run; the prices are low and the food is good and plenty - what else does the hiker want? You can choose between the 'garden' under the pine trees (pic 1), the covered terrace (both self-service) and the two dining rooms, one with tiled...

  • Hotel Elbschlösschen

    We were on a hiking tour and had brought our picnic with us. However, when we walked by this hotel-restaurant right by the river in the outskirts of Rathen, we checked the menu and I found something that sounded very good. So, despite this being in general a pricey restaurant in a four-star hotel, we went up to their sunny terrace and had lunch...

  • Panoramarestaurant Bastei

    Ok, it's a touristy place. VERY touristy. The reason to go here is the view, not the food. It was overcast, not the best weather, and we needed a place for a rest. At Bastei viewpoint, if you don't want to go for self-service outside, then you have no other choice than this place. It belongs to the four-star hotel Bastei and the prices are...


Kurort Rathen Transportation

  • Bus

    For getting to Bastei viewpoint you can take the bus. It's actually most convenient: From Pirna ZOB/railway station bus #237 (runs about every hour, at least in hiking season, direction Sebnitz) goes via Lohmen to Bastei parking lot, where you change to a shuttle bus (runs twice per hour) which takes you in less than five minutes to the Bastei...

  • Car

    Driving to Rathen is IMHO the least attractive option to get there. Not only is it an ecologic problem. The part of town where the tourist sights are - Niederrathen on the right bank of the Elbe river - is sort of car-free. Only locals, delivery cars and guests who stay overnight are allowed to drive into Niederrathen and park their car there (pic...

  • Cycling

    Grab your bicycle or rent one and cycle to Rathen! The place is down by the river so it's no sweat to get there by bicycle. The Elbe cycling path runs to both sides of the river between Rathen and Dresden (and beyond), it's your choice which you chose - I personally prefer the left bank, the view of the sandstone formations is more impressive from...


Kurort Rathen What to Pack

  • Leipzig's Profile Photo

    Climate in Rathen

    by Leipzig Written Jun 29, 2003

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: As you have to climb a mount you need good walking shoes.

    Miscellaneous: There is no special rainy season

    Avg. Temp. in Spring: max.: 7 – 18°C ( 45 - 64°F ); min: 1 - 8°C ( 34 - 46°F )
    Avg. Temp. in Summer: max.: 20 – 23°C ( 68 - 73°F ); min: 11 - 12°C ( 51 - 53°F )
    Avg. Temp. in Autumn: max.: 5 – 18°C ( 41 - 64°F); min: 1 - 10°C ( 34 – 50°F )
    Avg. Temp. in Winter: max.: 2 – 5°C ( 36 - 41°F); min: -2 - 0°C ( 28 - 32°F )

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Kurort Rathen Off The Beaten Path

  • Promenade Oberrathen

    I was quite surprised when I re-visited Oberrathen after a couple of years (usually only am in Niederrathen, the Bastei side) and found the beautifully designed promenade along the Elbe river. Coming from the train station (or Elbe cycling trail from Wehlen) t starts with the "fountain of lights" (pic 1), which is by day a simple fountain (although...

  • Rock formations fountain

    Right on the main walk in Niederrathen is a fountain that has pillars with figures on top. I wondered what these figures depict so I had a closer look. A plaque by the fountain explains that many of the sandstone rock formations around Rathen have names, often related to a legend, and the figures of the fountain depict these names of the rocks.So...

  • Kleine Bastei

    Sure, the views from Kleine Bastei are not as spectacular as those from the Bastei. However, the views *are* beautiful and on a holiday or weekend with beautiful weather - when Bastei is crowded - I prefer to go to Kleine Bastei.You can see the Elbe river, Rathen, the other *real* Bastei as well as the impressive Mt. Lilienstein and the Rauenstein...


Kurort Rathen Sports & Outdoors

  • Hiking: Rauenstein

    Most visitors of Kurort Rathen concentrate on Bastei rock, *the* famous viewpoint. Across the river, however, is a number of smaller sandstone mountains which offer fascinating panoramic views, too - and are less croweded. All of them are only accessible by hiking, though. Very popular is Mt. Rauenstein, with only 304 m (1'000 ft.) not exactly a...

  • Hiking: Mt. Lilienstein

    Mt. Lilienstein (415 m/1360 ft) is probably the most fascinating of the plateau mountains in the region. As it rises about 200 m /650 ft above the surrounding plain and even more above the Elbe river valley it is visible from most of the viewing points in the Saxon Switzerland region, even from Dresden's towers (weather co-operating, of course)! It...

  • Hiking: Amselgrund glen

    One of the most beautiful glens around Kurort Rathen is Amselgrund glen. It was shaped by the little creek Grünbach, which originates above the village Rathewalde and flows into the Elbe river in Rathen. Last time I visited this glen I walked from the upper end (Rathewalde, pic 1) down. You soon pass the former mill of Rathewalde (pic 2), which has...


Kurort Rathen Favorites

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    A lovely place!

    by german_eagle Updated Mar 17, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Rathen attracts visitors especially with its lovely setting by the Elbe river, at the foot of the massive sandstone formations. The Niederrathen section (right bank) is spread all over the hillsides of a lovely side valley. Real architectural highlights are not to find, but the overall impression is that of a picturesque, almost unspoilt village with timber-framed and other houses, not overly decorated but well proportioned that fit right into the landscape. A negative exception IMO is the hotel at the riverfront that replaced the former, some hundred years old inn "Erbgericht" a couple of years ago. But it's still not *too* bad.

    Very nice is the riverside promenade with benches, flower boxes, small shops and cafes. It is fun to walk or rest there, do some people watching or gaze at the landscape, see paddle steamers arriving and departing. It helps that the section of Niederrathen is car-free.

    Unfortunately Rathen tends to be crowded on holidays and sunny weekends in summer. I try to avoid the place then.

    Rathen and the sandstone formation from the boat View of Niederrathen, spread over the side valley Niederrathen, in the side valley Niederrathen seen from Rhododendron park Riverside promenade in Niederrathen
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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