Top 10 Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland Germany in Winter


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Saxon Switzerland has some of the best viewpoint in Winter! If you are planning a hike, these 10 viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland should be on your list!

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland: Whether you are touring or live around, you will definitely enjoy the view and a stop in one of the cozy mining towns in the region. Below are the 10 most beautiful viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland in winter.

1. Kuhstall

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

The cowshed is the largest rock gate in Saxon Switzerland. From the cave you have a breathtaking panoramic view of the Affenstein massif. If you then climb the “ladder to heaven”, this view is even enhanced. A unique rocky backdrop opens up from up here. The stop at the Kuhstall mountain restaurant is also unique.

Hiking suggestion: Fremdweg (Route 8)

From the Lichtenhain waterfall over the small winter mountain to Schmilka

Important note: parts of the route are currently impassable!

  • Public Transport: to the Lichtenhain waterfall: Kirnitzschtalbahn from Schmilka: S-Bahn S1, National Park Railway, Bus 252
  • Parking spot: Beuthenfall (Kirnitzschtal), Schmilka
  • Tip: Take the Kirnitzschtalbahn from Bad Schandau to the Lichtenhain waterfall

2. Papststein

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

The Papststein impresses with its breathtaking all-round view of Saxon Switzerland. After a ten-minute ascent, which by the way is illuminated in the dark, you have already climbed Table Mountain. A stop at the cozy mountain inn on the Papststein is also highly recommended !

Tip: Right next to the Papststein is the Gohrisch with similarly great views.

Hiking suggestion: Drei-Steine-Route (Route 6)

From Bad Schandau along the Kleinhennersdorfer Stein, the Papststein and the Gohrisch to Königstein

  • Course: Bad Schandau – Täppichtsteig – Hans-Förster-Weg – Balzweg – Heidepromenade – Heideweg – Potatschketal – Königstein – 
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Category: red (Detailed directions)
  • Winter stop open:
  • Public Transport: from / to Königstein and Bad Schandau: S-Bahn S1, Bus 244
  • Parking spot: “Elbkai” Bad Schandau, Königstein train station

Alternative route: over the Papststein and over the Gohrisch

  • Length: 9.5 km
  • Duration: 4.5 hours
  • Category: black
  • Winter stop open:

3. Götzinger Höhe

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

The Götzinger Höhe summit is crowned by a 25m high, iron tower, which guarantees a panoramic view of the table mountains of Saxon Switzerland and the first peaks of the Lusatian mountains. Sure – it takes a little courage to climb the numerous steps of the iron spiral staircase. But it is worthwhile in any case! A stop at the Berggasthof & Pension Götzinger Höhe is also recommended on the occasion!

Hiking suggestion: Götzinger Höhe (Route 29)

Easy winter walk with lovely viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

  • Course: Neustadthalle – Promenadenweg – Götzinger Höhe – Promenadenweg – Mittelweg – Hungerweg – Tännigtweg – Neustadt
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Category: blue (easy tour) Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open:
  • Public Transport: to / to Neustadt: RB 71, bus 261
  • Parking spot: Neustadthalle / Mariba
  • Tip:  in snow with a toboggan run!

4. Basteiaussicht(en)

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

Extremely busy in the summer, bus almost still and silent in the winter – a paradise! In the cold season only a few visitors come to the bastion. The chances are good that you have the most beautiful views to yourself. Here you can not only enjoy the panorama, but also the contagious peace of the winter-sleeping national park. The following vantage points should be seen in the Bastei area: Pavilion view, Wehlstein view, Ferdinandstein, Bastei bridge, Neurathen castle.

Hiking suggestion: Große Bastei-Runde (Route 24)

From Rathen to the bastion

  • Course: Kurort Rathen – Bastei – Schwedenlöcher – Amselsee – Kurort Rathen
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Category: black (difficult tour) Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open: Mountain hotel and panorama restaurant Bastei
  • Public Transport: from / to Kurort Rathen: S-Bahn S1
  • Parking spot: Oberrathen
  • Tip: Pavilion view of the Bastei bridge

Hiking suggestion: Großer Nordic Walking Bastei-Trail (Route 25)

From the SteinReich parking lot in a wide arc to the bastion

  • Route: P + R parking lot Bastei / SteinReich – Bruno-Barthel-Weg – Rathewalde – Rathewalder footpath – Bastei view – Steinerner Tisch – Basteistrasse – P + R parking lot Bastei / SteinReich
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Category: blue (easy tour) Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open: Berghotel & Panorama Restaurant Bastei (daily from 11:00 a.m.)
  • Public Transport: Bus 237
  • Parking spot: Bastei P + R car park
  • Tip: Pavilion view, Wehlstein view, Ferdinandstein, Bastei bridge

5. Burg Hohnstein

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

Perched high above the city on a high cliff, Hohnstein Castle is a popular excursion destination. One has this spectacular view of the castle from the Hohnsteiner Kasperpfad .

Tip: If you’ve already been to Hohnstein, you definitely shouldn’t miss a hike to the Brand. The route from the castle town here is one of the most popular routes for winter hikers: easy to reach, well-developed and with a cozy hut with a crackling open fire. The spectacular 180-degree panorama on the Brand has earned the lookout point the nickname “Balcony of Saxon Switzerland”.

Hiking suggestion: Zur Brandaussicht (Route 26)

On the balcony of Saxon Switzerland

  • Course: Hohnstein – Brandstrasse – Brandaussicht – Brandstrasse – Hohnstein
  • Distance: 7 km
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Category: blue (easy tour) Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open: Fire shack
  • Cosis Laden Bistro (on the market in Hohnstein below the castle)
  • Public Transport: from / to Hohnstein: Bus 235, Bus 236, Bus 237, Bus 264
  • Parking spot: Hohnstein – Oak car park

Note: This is a barrier-free hiking route!

Hiking suggestion: Gautschgrottenroute (Route 28)

Hike under the walls “Weg unter den Wänden”

  • Course: Hohnstein – Gautsch grotto – Fire view – Brandstrasse – Hohnstein
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Category: red (medium tour) Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open: Fire shack / Saturday & Sunday 11 am-5pm
  • Cosis shop bistro: daily 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Public Transport: from / to Hohnstein: Bus 235, Bus 236, Bus 237, Bus 264
  • Parking spot: Hohnstein – Oak car park
  • Tip: Visit the Gautsch grotto!

6. Kaiserkrone

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

The Kaiserkrone (imperial crown) rises on the outskirts of Schöna. From the heavily jagged Table Mountain, of which only 3 peaks are left on closer inspection, you have many great views of the Schrammsteine, the Zirkelstein, the Great Winterberg, the Great and Small Zschirnstein and Bohemian Switzerland.

Tip: Detour to the Zirkelstein!

Hiking suggestion: Schönaer Rundweg (Route 10)

On the Kaiserkrone and the Zirkelstein

  • Course: Schmilka Hirschmühle stop – Aschersteig – Kaiserkrone – Zirkelstein – Schöna – Hirschgrund – Schmilka Hirschmühle stop
  • Distance: 7.5 km
  • Duration: 3 h
  • Category: red (medium tour) Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open:
  • Public Transport: from / to Schmilka: S-Bahn S1, Ferry F2, National Park Railway
  • Parking spot: Schmilka

7. Carolafelsen

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

A tour to Carolafelsen is perfect for those gray weather winter days. The starting point is in Schmilka. On the asphalted Winterbergstrasse it goes always uphill to the junction “Zwieselhütte”. The further way over the Heilige Stiege demands a lot of stamina and strength in the thighs, on the other hand you are rewarded with many small and larger views. A little later the great view from the Carolafelsen follows. From up here you can see almost the whole of what is in front of Saxon Switzerland. The cathedral, the Falkenstein, the Schrammsteine ​​and the Lilienstein are particularly noticeable. Then continue on a good path along the Reitsteig.

Hiking suggestion: Schmilkaer Kessel (Route 9)

From Schmilka all the way to the top of the Carolafelsen

  • Course: Schmilka- Heringsgrund – Heilige Stiege – Carolafelsen – Reitsteig – Wurzelweg – Schmilka
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Category: black (difficult tour) Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open:
  • Public Transport: from / to Schmilka: S-Bahn S1, Bus 252
  • Parking spot: Schmilka

8. Pirna

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

Saxon Switzerland not only has great landscape motifs to offer, but also historical old town backdrops. Canaletto already appreciated that about Pirna. The best way to get to this vantage point is to start at the market square in Pirna and take an entertaining hike that is more like a winter walk. Past the Marienkirche, the path leads on historical pavement up to the Schlossberg, where the Sonnenstein Castle stands high above the city. From up here you have this wonderful view of Pirna and in good weather you can even see as far as Dresden. For the rest of the way, follow the red “C” on a yellow background, always below the old fortress walls.

Hiking suggestion: Canalettoweg (Route 19)

A walk along Malerweg

  • Course: Schloßstraße – Obere Burgstraße – Am Schloßberg – Canalettoweg – descent to the Elberadweg – Elberadweg – Schloßstraße
  • Distance: 3 km
  • Duration: 1h
  • Category: blue Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open:
  • Public Transport: from / to Pirna: S-Bahn S1, city and regional buses H / S, bus 241, Bergstraße stop
  • Parking lot: Pirna

9. Bad Schandau

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

This vantage point is particularly suitable for everyone who just wants to do a little lap and still want to see a lot. From the center of Bad Schandau you can take the historical elevator directly up the mountain. Here you have a wonderful view over the city into the Elbe valley and to the Lilienstein, which seems to be enthroned above all of this. Just a few steps further you pass the lynx enclosure. If you are lucky, the animals are agile and roam around. And if you want it to take a little longer, you can take a lap from here to Ostrau or even to the Schrammstein area.

Hiking suggestion: Ostrauer Rundweg (Route 2)

On the balcony of Bad Schandau

  • Route: Bad Schandau elevator – Ostrauer Ring – Bad Schandau elevator
  • Distance: 2 km
  • Duration: 1h
  • Category: blue (easy tour) Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open:
  • Public Transport: from / to Bad Schandau: S-Bahn S1, National Park Railway, Bus 241, Bus 252, Bus 260
  • Parking lot: “Elbkai” Bad Schandau

10. Herkulessäulen

Viewpoints in Saxon Switzerland

Two mighty rock pillars rise into the sky like weathered statues, slightly crooked and with heads that are much too heavy. This makes them appear strong and fragile at the same time. The “Hercules Columns” are among the most spectacular rocks in Saxon Switzerland. They are not only popular climbing peaks, but also the landmarks of a hiking paradise that is still an insider tip: Rosenthal-Bielatal. The community is a little off the beaten track. If you are looking for silence, you will find it here. The landscape is more diverse than anywhere else in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. There are also adventurous paths with stairs and ladders leading up to breathtaking views.

Tip: Kaiser Wilhelm Feste and the Joahnniswacht view

Hiking suggestion: Herkulessäulen-Johanniswacht-Runde (Route 16)

Impressive rock world to the left and right of the Biela

Course: Schweizermühle car park – Kaiser Wilhelm-Feste – Herkulessäulen – Felsengasse – Ottomühle – Johanniswacht – Sachsenstein – Schweizermühle car park

  • Tip: Detour to the Kanzelstein view (above the Biela, yellow marking)!
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Category: red (medium tour) Detailed directions
  • Winter stop open: Traditional restaurant Ottomühle updated daily on the website
  • Public Transport: Bus 242/245 (from Königstein)
  • Parking spot: Swiss mill


Tim Gumbert
Tim Gumbert
Tim is the go-to guy when it comes to finding all the gems regarding life as an Expat in Germany. His whole motto is discover Germany on your own and without a roadmap, explore new routes while climbing or mountain biking.


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