Rathen is a spa town in Saxon Switzerland, Germany. It is close to the Bastei, the most famous rock formation and spectacular viewpoint in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.
By planeDresden airport (DRS) is about 45 km away. The local train connection (S2 from airport to Dresden-Neustadt, then S1 to Rathen) takes 1:15 hours.
By trainBy suburban train (S-Bahn line S1) from Dresden (33 minutes from main station) or Bad Schandau (9 minutes). The train station is on the opposite side of the Elbe River which you have to cross by ferry (Gierfähre). Don't worry, it has very long operating hours, however the ferry does not accept normal VVO transport tickets.
In total, the train ride from Prague takes 2½ hours, from Berlin just under three hours (change in Bad Schandau).
By busFor travelers heading directly to the Bastei, the OVPS public bus route 237 links the Bastei with Pirna and Sebnitz railway stations. Alternatively, the Frank Nuhn company operates tourist bus services linking the Bastei with Wehlen, Bad Schandau (old town), and Königstein under the Bastei-Kraxler brand name. Normal local transport tickets are not valid on the Frank Nuhn services. All these buses call at the main Bastei parking lot, about 500m away.
By boatThere is also a seasonal (touristic) steamer service from Dresden (prices and travel time are significantly higher than by train).
By bicycleThe town is a stop along the Elbe Radweg.
The village is absolutely walkable, and the stiff ascent up to the Bastei may only be done on foot.
Rathen Ferryfoot passenger cable ferry across the Elbe river, connects Niederrathen, on the east bank, to Oberrathen, on the west bank. Does not accept standard VVO transport tickets/passes.
The Basteia group of rock outcroppings that form a popular tourist destination in Saxon Switzerland. They offer spectacular views of the Elbe and you can see the remains of an old medieval stronghold.
There is no direct road route or public transport service from Rathen to the Bastei, although if you don't want to walk uphill you can take the bus routes from other towns mentioned above. The small access road to the Bastei branches off from the Lohmen- Rathewalde road. It is about 3 km from the main road. There is a parking lot about 500 m from the Bastei rock formation (parking fees apply). If that is overcrowded, as can easily happen in summer or any sunny weekend, there is another parking lot at the crossroads from the main road (parking fees). Walk or shuttle bus, 1,50 € pP.
Felsenburg NeurathenUsing the Bastei rock as a defensive position, the remains of this 13-century-castle are now an open-air-museum.
- Hiking: Many hiking trails start or pass through the area.
Felsenbühne RathenAn attractive open-air theatre in a beautiful natural surrounding. Stagings include Karl May's works (like "Winnetou") and the romantic opera Der Freischütz ("The Marksman") by Carl Maria von Weber, using elaborate stage effects like fireworks and horses.
Bastei BerghotelThe hotel runs several places to eat, from the Panoramarestaurat with great views and steep prices, a Hotel restaurant with open log fire to beer garden and snack places. Opening times vary, depending on the season. Contact see Hotel.
phone: +49 35021 68524address: Elbweg 2
phone: +49 35024 71066address: Waltersdorfer Berg 12
phone: +49 35024 70250address: Waltersdorfer Berg 17
phone: +49 35021 68302address: Laasensteig 1
phone: +49 35024 70205address: Zum Grünbach 3-4
Pension & Gaststube Panoramaphone: +49 35024 70669address: Zur Kleinen Bastei Nr. 4
phone: +49 35024 74333address: Mühlenweg 1
phone: +49 35024 7600address: Am Grünbach 10/11
phone: +49 35024 77 90address: 01847 Lohmen/Basteiin prominent position on the Bastei rock with splendid views. Pricey.
- Königstein, 16th-century mountain fortress, one of the biggest in Europe (7 km to the south)
- Bad Schandau, idyllic spa town (8 km to the southeast, 9 minutes by train)
- By suburban train or car to Dresden (40 km, half an hour by train)
- The Czech Republic is close by. Eurocity-trains connecting to Prague and Brno stop in Bad Schandau as well as in Dresden. Some regional trains also cross the border. The next city on the Czech side is Děčín (30 km, 45 minutes by train)