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Where is Saxon Switzerland?
The Saxon Switzerland National Park is a low mountain range in the East of Germany in the county of Saxony. It is part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains that stretch to the Czech Republic. The closest bigger city is Dresden with about half a million inhabitants. The capital of Germany, Berlin, is only about 2.5 hours away.
Why pick Saxon Switzerland for your elopement?
The Saxon Switzerland National Park is famous for its unique rock formations and the river Elbe running through the whole region. It’s a great area for couples dreaming of a hiking elopement that doesn’t require them to be super sporty as there are lots of easy trails available.
How to get there
Coming from abroad, most couples fly into Germany via Munich, Dusseldorf, or Frankfurt (am Main). From these airports, you can catch flights to Dresden and travel the last bit to the Saxon Switzerland National Park via car or if you want to travel more sustainably within Germany, by train.
It takes about one hour by car to get to the Saxon Switzerland National Park from Dresden. At the Dresden airport, you’ll find rental car companies providing you with cars with an average cost of €350 for 5 days.
There are trains going directly from Dresden to the stations (Kurort) Rathen and Bad Schandau, which are starting points to a lot of hiking trails. From the village Rathen you’ll get to one of the most famous hiking trails leading to the Bastei Bridge, which is the most iconic sight in Saxon Switzerland. You can book train tickets for example via The Trainline
Where to stay in Saxon Switzerland
As Saxon Switzerland is a popular tourist destination, you’ll find lots of hotels, AirBnBs, and holiday apartments in this area. That being said, be aware that accommodations can be booked out far in advance, so especially during summer, make sure you book early. Alternatively, you can book accommodation in Dresden and just have your elopement at the Saxon Switzerland National Park.
What‘s The best time of year to elope in Saxon Switzerland?
Saxon Switzerland National Park is beautiful in every season, however, some seasons bring with them more challenges than others when it comes to outdoor safety and comfort. For couples who are not very experienced in hiking, it’s recommended to pick an ice-free season.
Spring: March, April, May
Average highest temperature: 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit)
Average lowest temperature: 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit)
Spring and Autumn are generally the wettest seasons for Saxon Switzerland, but the temperatures are much more pleasant than the cold winter months or the hottest summer months. In Spring, the plant life awakens after winter and is green and vibrant.
Summer: June, July, August
Average highest temperature: 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
Average lowest temperature: 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
Summer is a wonderful time to visit Saxon Switzerland, but it can get hot, especially during the midday hours when the sun is at its highest. For the best light and most comfortable hiking temperatures, consider a sunrise or sunset elopement.
Autumn/Fall: September, October, November
Average highest temperature: 12 degrees Celsius (53.6 degrees Fahrenheit)
Average lowest temperature: 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit)
Definitely the most beautiful time of year, even though rainfall isn’t uncommon during the fall months. However with the golden foliage and falling leaves, it can feel pretty magical.
Winter: December, January, February
Average highest temperature: 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
Average lowest temperature: -2 degrees Celsius (28.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
Winter in Saxon Switzerland can be cold, wet, and often icy, making hiking around the giant rock formations more hazardous. If you do come in the winter, make sure you pack and prepare accordingly for these conditions.
What To Wear for an elopement in Saxon Switzerland
Your exact outfit choices may depend on the time of year you’re planning to visit the Saxon Switzerland National Park. Despite a lot of the trails being quite easy, the smooth rock formations require good tread so proper hiking boots are a must-have for an elopement there (you are in nature after all). Also depending on the season, it’s recommended to bring waterproof jackets or rain ponchos.
Depending on your itinerary and hiking route, you may choose to hike in your wedding clothes, or to pack them and change once you get closer to your ceremony location.
Average costs of an elopement in Saxon Switzerland
Your costs obviously vary with what kind of activities you might include in your elopement and which vendors you hire. The exchange rate from USD to EURO (November 2023) is 1 $ is €0.94.
Here’s a little overview of the average costs to give you an idea and help you with your budget planning:
- International flights for two €1,800
- 5 nights of accommodation €800
- 5 days of rental car: €350
- Photographer: €3,900
- Celebrant: €1,500
- Hair and makeup €600
legal Marriage ceremonies in Germany
In Germany, you can’t just have your legal ceremony wherever you want but have to have it in a town hall. If you’re not a German citizen or live in Germany, you’ll have to get a lot of documents and paperwork done. Most couples therefore decide to do the legal wedding in their home country and have a symbolic ceremony in Germany instead. Either being conducted by a celebrant or just by saying the vows and/or doing some rituals.
Is the area around Saxon Switzerland LGBTQIA+ friendly?
Germany in general is quite open-minded, but the East of Germany has a reputation of not being super LGBTQIA+ friendly. That is mostly true for smaller places and older generations. Still, it can happen that there might be some people spending an extra glance on people who don’t match the “traditional old image of a couple”.
To most of my photographer colleagues and me love is love and it does not matter who you decide to be or who you love! The place in Germany with the biggest LGBTQIA+ community is probably Berlin or Cologne.
What activities can you do in Saxon Switzerland?
Let’s state the obvious first. Saxon Switzerland is a gorgeous area for hiking and climbing. You’ve got lots of trails to explore and you can choose between different intensity levels.
As the river Elbe runs through the Saxon Switzerland National Park, doing boat tours is a popular activity too. Some boats take you straight to Dresden and back, offering a stunning view of the bizarre-looking rocks.
Dresden is a city with a beautiful old town, so spending a day or two exploring it should definitely be on your schedule. Don’t forget to visit the famous Frauenkirche (church of women) which is a church that was almost completely destroyed during World War II and rebuilt using a combination of new and old stones for the walls.
Meet Your Local Expert
From Gina Walkowiak Photographie
I help couples create an intentional wedding day that lets them escape the hustle of everyday life, slow down, and feel at ease as they celebrate their love surrounded by the people they love and places they’ll fall in love with.
So take a deep breath, be present in every moment, and let me capture ALL THE FEELINGS…
A Fall Elopement Inspiration Shoot In Saxon Switzerland
Photography – Gina Walkowiak Photographie
Celebrant – Zauberhafte Zeremonien
Dress, earrings and necklace – Durch durch dick & dünn
Groom’s accessoires: Adam Bows
Stationary – March & May
Tableware – Dille Kamille