A Comprehensive Guide to Visiting Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee)

wooden rowboats reflected in the still blue water of lago di braies
  • Save

Probably the most famous lake in the Dolomites, Lago di Braies / Pragser Wildsee deserves its status. If you’ve dreamed of standing on its shores then this guide will help you plan the perfect day in the area.

Lago di Braies, also known as Pragser Wildsee in German, has long been a star of computer screensavers and Instagram features. If you’re planning a trip to the Dolomites then I’m certain that this is a name and image you’ve seen appear time and again.

The question you’re probably asking yourself is this: is visiting Lago di Braies really worth it?

Well, if you’re after a day of solitude in the mountains then this is 100% not the place for you. If, however, you want to see one of the most beautiful views in Italy, then I rate this emerald lake with its impressive mountain backdrop pretty highly!

It’s worth taking a little time to plan your trip to Lago di Braies so that you can make the most out of your visit. Whilst the lake is beautiful all on its own, you can also enjoy it from the heights of Seekofel or the privacy of your own wooden rowboat. There are plenty of hikes nearby and some excellent food and accommodation options.

SUMMER ADVANCE BOOKING | An advance booking system is in place at Lago di Braies between July 10th and September 10th. You won’t be able to get to the lake without a pre-booked parking ticket or bus ticket unless you walk or cycle. All the details can be found here.

From how to avoid the crowds to the best hikes, accommodation, how to get here and how to navigate the advance booking system during high season, my comprehensive guide to Lago di Braies has everything you need to know.

lago di braies blue lake with wooden rowboats and a boathouse with mountains in the background
  • Save


LOCATION | Northern Dolomites [map]

HOW TO GET THERE | car, public transport, cycle or walk

BEST TIME TO VISIT | sunrise in June

BEST THINGS TO DO | hiking, boating and eating

WHERE TO STAY | Braies or Dobbiaco

FACILITIES | Toilets at the lake, car park and hotel (paid)

NAMES | Lago di Braies (Italian), Pragser Wildsee (German), Lake Braies


Where is Lago di Braies?

Part of the beautiful Fanes-Sennes-Braies nature park, the largest protected area in the UNESCO world heritage site, Lago di Braies sits in the northeastern Dolomites, near the Austrian border.

The Braies valley, where this stunning mountain lake is located, marks the start of the famous Alta Via 1 hiking trail that stretches 150km south to Belluno. The region has the characteristic appearance of the Dolomites with soaring mountains and high alpine pastures that seem to go on forever.

TIP | If you’re interested in hiking the entire Alta Via 1 then check out this comprehensive Alta Via 1 guide from Sabrina & Kati – I used their excellent blog to help me plan for my own trip to the Dolomites.

Lago di Braies is one of the easiest natural spectacles to visit in the Dolomites since it’s literally just at the end of the road. Don’t let the location put you off though. It’s well worth a visit to see the mirror-like emerald waters reflecting the forested shores and imposing peak of Croda del Becco (Seekofel).

small wooden rowing boats moored on the water of lago di braies
  • Save
a pale mountain peak with green and yellow trees at its base, reflected in the blue water of lago di braies in the italian dolomites
  • Save

Things to Do at Lago di Braies

You’re probably under the impression that there’s nothing much to do at Lago di Braies except turn up, take a couple of photos and then leave. Whilst you definitely could go for that option, there are actually some lovely hikes in the area that are well worth doing. You probably didn’t know that you can even stay in a mountain hut, Rifugio Biella / Seekofel Hütte just above the lake!

Whether it’s on the lake or around it, you could easily spend a day here just enjoying what the Braies valley has to offer. Here’s my pick of things to do when you visit.

Hire a boat at Lago di Braies

Those cute wooden rowboats are kind of irresistible, and definitely Instagram famous! Their main advantage is that they give you the ability to find a little spot of the lake all to yourself. And the views from the water are glorious.

You’ve probably spent a lot of time on your feet during this trip, so it’s about time that your arms got a bit of a workout. Claim your boat and head across the lake for your very own picture-perfect moment.

During the summer season, boat rental is possible from the La Palafitta boathouse. Be sure to get there early since there are only a limited number available. Otherwise, be prepared to get in line by lunchtime. Advance reservations are not possible unless you want to pay for exclusive early access.

wooden boats sit on a turquoise lake with a wooden boathouse in the foreground and mountains in the distance
  • Save
a small figure rows a wooden boat across a still blue lake
  • Save
wooden rowboats moored on an emerald green lake
  • Save


When | mid-May to late October or early November (weather dependent)

Hours | 10am – 5pm with extended hours of 8:30am – 6:30 pm July/August. Closed during bad weather.

Cost | €29/hour or €19 for 30 mins for a boat seating 4. The entire boathouse can be booked for a private shoot from 7am – 8am for €150. Otherwise, you can get shots at any time during opening hours, you just need to be patient.

Hike around Lago di Braies

Even if you don’t plan on doing anything else in the area, I really recommend this hike. If you need an easy option then stick to the west side of the lake (on the right as you approach) as this is almost completely flat. The path accessible with wheelchairs or pushchairs until almost the far end of the lake.

DISTANCE | 4km circular route
TIME | 1.5 hours
ELEVATION | +/- 50m
BEST TIME | June to early July and September to October (closed in winter)

When you arrive at Lago di Braies, you’re about 50m from the iconic boathouse, so it really couldn’t be easier to find. At sunrise then you’ll want to get photos here before hiking since the water won’t be lit up until around 8am. If you arrive in the afternoon I’d advise doing the hike before settling in near the hotel to take photos.

people stand on the shore of turquoise pragser wildsee
  • Save
the small chapel, capella di maria, on the shores of lake braies with wooden rowboats in the foreground
  • Save

I advise heading clockwise around the lake, since you’ll do the slightly more strenuous uphill on the first half of your hike, leaving the easy and flat route for you to rush back if you’re in danger of missing the sunset colours. Why yes, since you ask, I did run.

Some of the best views at Lago di Braies are looking back towards the boathouse and hotel from the far end of the lake. As an added bonus, many people don’t even bother doing the walk so it’s pretty quiet. You’ll come across some lovely little beaches and gorgeous photography spots along the way. Make sure you don’t miss the picturesque chapel, Capella di Maria, built in 1904.

Hike Croda del Becco / Seekofel to Rifugio Biella (Alta Via 1 Stage 1)

This is actually the start of Alta Via 1, one of the Dolomites’ incredibly popular multi-day treks. If you’re not able to do the whole 150km route then you can at least get a taste by completing this first stage from Lago di Braies up to Rifugio Biella. If you’re confident then you can add on a further hike to the summit of the mountain.

DISTANCE | 14.6 km return
TIME | 7 hours
ELEVATION | +/- 900m to Rifugio Biella
DIFFICULTY | moderate
BEST TIME | late June to early September

The hike starts at the parking area of Lago di Braies and from here you’ll walk to the far end of the lake. Here, at the south end, you’ll find signs for path 1, marked for Seekofel Hütte / Rifugio Biella. It’ll take you about 30 minutes to get to this point.

the pale stone face of croda del becco or seekofel towers over lago di brais emerald water
  • Save
a mountain reflected in the still water of a lake
  • Save

Now, it’s a steady climb up scree and switchbacks until you reach the chains to help you scramble over the rocks to a boulder field. From here there’s more uphill to the Forcella Sora Forno, where it’s then an easy descent to the rifugio.

TIP | During the opening season of Rifugio Biella, this is a great option for an overnight stay. Be sure to book in advance as the route is popular. Lunch is available (and recommended) without a booking.

If your legs still feel fresh, the hike up to the summit of Croda del Becco is a worthy challenge. It should only be attempted by experienced hikers. 1.5km of uphill scrambling up a steep scree slope with fixed chains to help you on your way. Not recommended for the faint of heart! The return to the top from the rifugio will add about 2h to your hike.

To return to Lago di Braies simply head back the way you came.

Have a picnic on the shores of Pragser Wildsee

If chilling out by a beautiful lake and getting tipsy in the sunshine is more your thing than hauling ass up a mountain, then this is the option for you. There is a multitude of benches and picnic tables around Lago di Braies, as well as some lovely little beaches.

Head to one of the many wonderful local produce shops on your way here and stock up on picnic supplies. Bring a blanket and you’ve got one of the best lunch spots in the Dolomites. The pebbled shoreline by the chapel is a great option.

There are varying reports on whether swimming is permitted in Pragser Wildsee, but at a chilly 14°C you may not care! If you’re really keen I recommend asking in the hotel or checking signs around the lake.

wooden picnic bench on the shores of a blue lake with mountains in the distance
  • Save
the wooden boathouse and wooden rowboats of lago di braies
  • Save

Get on your bike

For the keen cyclists amongst you, a great way to explore the Braies valley is by bike. There are loads of cycling routes from easy all the way up to challenging. If you don’t want to bring your own bike then hire one in the area. Organised tours are possible from several companies.

One of the best ways to reach Pragser Wildsee from Dobbiaco is by bike. The trail winds through the forest before opening out into the valley. The route is a moderate 27km with a 250m elevation gain.


Where | hire bikes at Funactive in Dobbiaco. They have a wide selection of bikes, including e-bikes, and tours are also available

Hours | early April to late October 8:30am – 12:30pm and 2pm – 6:30pm every day

Cost | from €17/day

Hunt for the magical gateway to an ancient realm

Ok, you caught me, I’m being glib. But the mythology surrounding Lago di Braies is really cool.

The Croda del Becco is known as the Sass dla Porta in the local Ladin laguage, meaning the Gate Mountain. Ladin legend has it that the Ancient Realm of the Fanes is hidden away beneath this part of the Dolomites.

A warrior princess falls in love with an enemy prince, only to be betrayed by the king. A people retreat below the earth. Once every hundred years, under the well of a full moon, a gateway beneath the Sass dla Porta opens. The princess emerges and rows across the lake under a full moon. She listens for the sound of trumpets ringing out across these mountain peaks, signifying the return of her stolen arrows and the resurrection of the glorious Kingdom of Fanes.

In the chill of an October night, ghostly peaks illuminated by the light of a thousand stars, it’s easy to believe that the soft sounds breaking the silence are those phantom oars.

the wooden boathouse sits over blue water with small wooden rowing boats secured to it
  • Save
crystal clear lake water reflects mountains and orange and green larch trees
  • Save

How to Get to Lago di Braies

Although Lago di Braies is technically easy to get to, its popularity means that there are quite a lot of rules involved, notably in the summer. How you get there will depend in large part on the type of experience you want to have. Sunrise visits mean you’ll need your own transport, but a daytime visit is easily achieved by local bus.

And then there’s the true Dolomites option – the power of your own two feet!

TIP | In summer, you will need to book parking and bus tickets in advance for visits from 9:30am – 4pm between July 10th and September 10th. All booking details are outlined below.

Lago di Braies by car

This is definitely the easiest way to get to Lago di Braies and, indeed, generally travel in the Dolomites. If you’re planning to hire a car here then you’ll want to read this post (Hiring a car in the Dolomites – coming soon). The main benefit of driving to the lake is that you can be there for sunrise or sunset, generally avoiding the worst of the crowds.

I stayed at the wonderful Gasthof Huber which is in Segheria, just 10 minutes drive from the lake, and this is definitely my recommendation for a sunrise visit. Lago di Braies can also be easily reached for sunrise from either Dobbiaco (Toblach), Villabassa (Niederdorf) or San Candido (Innichen).

Once you leave the SS49, Lago di Braies is well signposted so it’s basically impossible to get lost. Some of the signs say Pragser Wildsee so don’t forget it’s the same place!


From San Candido, Villabassa & Dobbiaco | 20-25 minutes along the SS49

From Brunico | 30 minutes along the SS49

From Cortina | 55 minutes via the SS51 and SS49

Parking at Lago di Braies

There’s actually quite a lot of parking available at Lago di Braies but it fills up early, especially during the peak summer months. It can be rather confusing since the car parks are operated by different companies with tiered pricing arrangements and different costs depending on the time of day.

In essence, there are two main parking areas: at the lake and in Segheria, about 5.5km away. All require payment and you need to book in advance from July 10th to September 10th.

Beside Lago di Braies there are 3 car parks. P4 is closest to the lake and therefore the busiest spot during the day, but the best place to park if you’re arriving for sunrise. P3 is set a couple of hundred metres further back, but still extremely convenient for the lake and allows overnight stays in campervans and motorhomes. P2 is furthest away but might be your only option if you arrive later in the day.

In Segheria there is a single car park, now P1, and you can catch a shuttle bus or walk to the lake from here.

Click on the links to see each of the parking areas marked on a map of Lago di Braies.


These prices are as accurate as I can make them, but there’s a tendency for them to be outrageously increased each season with increasingly wild restrictions. Please let me know if you have more up-to-date info as I’ve not visited since early 2023!

P4 [map] | Closest to the lake, this used to be the P3 carpark. Payment is taken on exit at a machine that often seems to be broken, or in the hotel. Have cash available for payment just in case. You get 15 minutes of parking free.
Cars | €10 for the first 3h if arriving between 6am and 5pm then €6 for the first 3h from 5pm – 8pm, €3 total for arrivals from 8pm – 6am. After the first 3h you’ll pay €0.80 for every additional 30 mins to a maximum of €15/day. They’re now trying to promote the “Day Pass” at €38 for a guaranteed space and €15 meal voucher which you can book in advance here.
Campervans | Now only available for a full day period at €35/24h

P3 [map] | In my opinion, this is the best option (previously P2). When you arrive, somebody will come to take payment from you and this is cash only. In high season you can book online.
Cars | €7/day
Campervans | €12/day and €8 overnight. Arrival after the attendant has left for the evening and an early departure means an €8 charge, but if you arrive earlier in the day or leave later you’ll pay €20/24h

P2 [map] | Also referred to as the kiosk parking, located 800m from the lake, the bonus of this car park is the cafe with toilet facilities during opening hours. Be aware that the parking machine is rather tempramental.
Cars | €6/day
Campers | €9/day

P1 [map] | This is the only parking lot available in peak season if the lake car parking is full. At 5.5km from the Lago di Braies, you’ll either have to walk from here or take the shuttle bus.
Cost | €6/day
Shuttle | €5/trip so €10 if you make a return trip, runs every 30 minutes

ADVANCE BOOKING | From July 10th to September 10th when the road is closed from 9:30am – 4pm, advance booking of parking spaces at lakeside car parks is compulsory. Book your ticket here.

hotel lage di braies with mountains in the background and orange larch forests in the distance
  • Save

Lago di Braies by Public Transport

As with most public transport in the area, there are more options in the peak summer season than at other times of the year. Having said that, this is one of the easier locations to reach if you’re depending on public transport to get around the Dolomites.

Most bus routes and other public transport options in the region are included in the South Tyrol Mobilcard which can be purchsed for 1, 3 or 7 consecutive days (€15, €23 and €28/adult respectively). You can buy it at transport hubs and some hotels.


From Dobbiaco | Bus 442 runs every 30 minutes from 8am – 7:30pm year round and the timetable is here. €3/adult one way with tickets available on the bus outside the advance booking period. From July 10th – September 10th €5/adult with advance booking and no transport cards valid.

From Monguelfo | Shuttle bus 439 runs during the peak season from 9am – 6pm. Cost and restrictions are the same as route 442. Find the timetable here.

ADVANCE BOOKING | From July 10th to September 10th, advance booking of bus and shuttle tickets is compulsory, and the Mobilcard is not valid during this time period. Book your ticket here.

Lago di Braies on foot

If you’re visiting during the summer and have missed out on booking lakeside parking or your shuttle bus, then it’s a pleasant 1-1.5h stroll to the lake. The path does wind uphill, passing the pretty San Vito church, but is a mostly flat and easy walk along the Alta Via path #1.

Guided Tours to Lago di Braies

If you prefer to get someone else to do the hard work and you’ve got limited time, then this private day trip from Bolzano might be for you. It includes visits to Lago di Braies along with Lago di Carezza, Misurina and Tre Cime and several other iconic Dolomites locations.

The Best Time to Visit Lago di Braies

The Best Time of Year to visit Lago di Braies

This is definitely one to avoid during the peak summer season if you possibly can. Not only are the crowds at their worst, but everything becomes considerably more expensive and advance booking is needed.

Your best options are in the shoulder seasons of June and early July or mid-September to late October. Having visited myself in the autumn, the colours are stunning but the water level of the lake, like many in the Dolomites, is much lower than in the spring.

TIP | Sunrise in June is likely to bring the best light, fewest crowds and highest volume of water in the lake for perfect photographs at Lago di Braies.

In general, I recommend visiting Lago di Braies earlier in the season (June to early July) for the highest water levels, snow-capped mountains and fewer people. As an added bonus, the rest of the region will be under a carpet of wildflowers.

pink sunset skies reflected in the still water at lago di braies
  • Save
orange larch trees reflected in the still waters of lago di braies
  • Save

Some of the activies, such as boat hire at the lake, are only available during the main Dolomites season of late May to October. Higher hiking trails won’t be accessible until the snow has melted, which may not happen until mid-June. They’ll close again once the winter snow arrives. You should take this into account when deciding on the timing of your visit.

During the winter, Lago di Braies freezes over and the hike around the lake gets shut after the first significant snowfall. If you visit from mid-November to April it’s highly likely that you’ll find the lake under a blanket of ice and snow.

The Best Time of Day to visit Lago di Braies

Honestly, you’re unlikely to get the lake to yourself no matter how early you arrive, but sunrise is your best bet. Lago di Braies is nestled between high mountains, so the light doesn’t hit the water in the summer until about an hour after sunrise. Watching the mountains slowly come to life in the golden morning light is magical.

Photographers will want to be here at sunrise during the summer to get a good spot. Otherwise 7-8am is a good time to aim for. In autumn, sunset is beautiful and there are very few people still hanging around at the lake late in the day. You should be able to get parking if you arrive after 4pm, especially outside the peak season.

the white shore of the lake contrasts with emerald green water and the colours of autumn trees
  • Save
a wooden boathouse sits over the blue water of lago di braies
  • Save
autumn colours reflected in the still water of lago di braies
  • Save

It’s worth being aware that 9am tends to see the highest volume of traffic arriving no matter the time of year. I highly recommend arriving before then no matter when you’re visiting.

There’s something of a strange phenomenon in the mountains where the wind often dies down at sunrise and sunset. For the best chance of seeing Lago di Braies like a mirror, plan your visit for either end of the day. I arrived at 5pm, an hour before sunset, to find the lake rippling under a stiff breeze. Within an hour, it was like glass.

Responsible Photography at Lago di Braies

Ok, this is where things get a bit real. I saw some pretty bad behaviour at Lago di Braies in the name of getting the banger shot. It might be tempting to think that it’s only you, so what does it matter? But if there are 100 people all doing that, pretty soon it’s just unpleasant for everyone.

No drones | There are multiple signs stating droning is forbidden at Lago di Braies. I’ve seen plenty of drone shots from the lake and I’m sure you have too. Maybe they were taken in years past. Maybe not. The 4 people I personally saw launching drones there were very much ignoring the signs. I know this because they shrugged and asked “yes, so what?” when I asked. The more people flaunt the rules, the more rules get imposed.

No breaking and entering | If the boathouse is closed you’re out of luck for a shot there unless you want to pay the (rather exorbitant) €150 hourly fee. It’s private property and climbing over the railings is basically breaking in. Get there as the boathouse opens or just before closing and you’ll still be able to get your shot.

Share | This is generally just some life advice, but it’s also very relevant when taking photos at popular spots. If you see someone standing taking photos then it’s a bit of a dick move to just go and park yourself in front of them with a tripod and start doing a timelapse. Ask people if you can take a quick shot if they’re there before you. Move out of the way for a few minutes if you’re planning an hour-long photo session. Offer to take photos for other people. You might even make some cool new friends!

Essentials – what to take to Lago di Braies

This really depends on what activities you’re planning on doing, but there are a few items I think are essential when you’re visiting anywhere in the Dolomites. Hiking requires good boots, hiking poles and a water bottle. A camera is obviously a must no matter what! I would also take a jacket and a waterproof outer layer since mountain weather can be unpredictable.

Tips for visiting Pragser Wildsee

There are a few questions that seem to crop up a lot, so here are some useful tips and things to know before you visit Lago di Braies.

Why does the lake have more than one name?

It’s a bit confusing, but it’s due to the fact that this area of Italy has changed hands many times over the years. The entire area of South Tyrol was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until after World War I, at which point it was annexed to Italy. Through the years there have been significant rifts created over the duality of the region, but the end result is that almost everywhere in the Dolomites has 2 names – the newer Italian version and the German version it had prior to 1919.

Lake Braies is therefore officially both Lago di Braies in Italian and Pragser Wildsee in German.

Are there toilets at Lago di Braies?

Given the number of visitors, it’s fortunate that there are several! You’ll find the nicest toilets (paid if you’re not eating or staying here) at the Hotel Lago di Braies. There are also facilities at the car park and the far end of the lake.

Is the food really expensive?

In a word, no. It’s very much comparable to elsewhere in the region. I just wouldn’t say that it’s anything particularly special, and there are definitely better places to eat than at the lakeside options. I recommend the restaurant at Gasthof Huber (booking strongly advised for dinner and possible online) or the Michelin starred Tilia (booking essential) in Dobbiaco for something really special.

If you want to eat at the lake then you should try out the Mons picnic. Created by Tilia, you get a backpack or basket full of locally produced goodies in reusable containers. It’s a really wonderful way to try out the best of what’s local and seasonal. Remember to be a responsible traveller and take your litter with you!

Do I have to pay to visit Lago di Braies?

This is a tricky one. Whilst the lake is free to visit, the parking is definitely not! The only way to truly visit without paying is to walk or cycle here.

Where to Stay to Visit Lago di Braies

The Braies valley itself is the best location if you want to be at the lake for sunrise. Otherwise, Dobbiaco and Brunico are both within a 30 minutes drive. If you’re depending on public transport, Dobbicao is the most convenient place to stay to visit Lago di Braies.

BOOKING YOUR TRIP | If you book your trip via my links I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps keep me on the road. Thanks for your support – Cat.


Gasthof Huber | For the price and location 10 mins drive from the lake you really can’t get much better than this. I absolutely loved it. They serve traditional South Tyrolean food in the restaurant – the portions are huge and it’s delicious. There’s a great buffet breakfast and excellent coffee. Rooms are basic but clean and comfortable, and I would absolutely stay here again. From €60/night. Check availability here.


Rifugio Biella / Seekofel Hütte | Open from mid-June to the end of September. It’s very basic with cold showers and pit toilets, but the food is excellent and the prices really reasonable. Bring cash, as the landline is temperamental. Lunch from €10 and beds from €40. Booking essential.


Hotel Lago di Braies | The ultimate accommodation at the lake with rooms overlooking the incredible views. Free fishing permits and gear rental is available. From €190/night. Check availability here.

Romantik Hotel Santer | The spa here is incredible and this family-run hotel is great value for what you get. My pick of the luxury hotels in the area and only 20 minutes drive to the lake. From €210/night. Check availability here.

Natura Boutique Chalet Wellness SPA | With an onsite spa, beautiful light and modern rooms and an amazing breakfast, this lovely hotel in the woods is hard to beat. Private parking is available onsite. From €210/night. Check availability here.


Hotel Rosengarten | The rooms are beautiful here and the food is fantastic. You can get a free shuttle bus from the train station if you’re arriving without a car. It’s family-run and you actually do get to feel like part of the family when you stay here. From €110/night. Check availability here.

Hotel Restaurant Langgenhof | The indoor swimming pool is stunning and the food is great, expecially the breakfast. Bikes are available to guests for free so it’s a great option if you’re keen to avoid using the car. From €140/night. Check availability here.


Camping Toblacher See | Right on the shores of Lago di Dobbiaco (NOT Braies), 20 minutes drive from Pragser Wildsee. This campsite has wonderful modern facilities and is a fantastic option if you’re in a van. I stayed here for a night and honestly wished I’d planned longer. The sites are flat and all located a stone’s throw from the lake. The onsite restaurant serves great food and pizza. If you want to splash out you can also check out their Skyview Chalets. From €20/night. Check availability here.

Camping Olympia | Located about 20 mins drive from the lake you’ll find campsites, lodges and apartments here. From €37/night for 2 people. Check availability here.

If you’re in a campervan then you can stay at the carparks by the lake for €20-25 depending on which area you choose. Be aware that there are no services or toilets overnight. Wild camping is not allowed in the Dolomites region.


The Dolomites are located in northeastern Italy, but there’s no “Dolomites” airport or station. There are, however, plenty of good options for reaching the area from various nearby hubs. Lago di Braies is located in the northeastern part of the Dolomites.

The closest transport hubs to Lago di Braies are Cortina or Dobbiaco.


ITALY | Venice Marco Polo
170km | 2h 30min

ITALY | Milan Malpensa
440km | 4h 30min

ITALY | Verona
275km | 3h

GERMANY | Munich
350km | 4h

AUSTRIA | Innsbruck
160km | 2h 20min


Undoubtedly the easiest way to get from the airport to the Dolomites is by hiring a car. Since the Dolomites is technically an autonomous region in Italy, there’s less hassle if you hire a car in Italy as you don’t have to worry about crossing borders. I recommend checking out AutoEurope for the best car deals and Insurance4carhire to cover excess insurance.


From the airports you can take either the AltoAdigeBus which has thousands of destinations throughout South Tyrol or the Flixbus to Cortina or Dobbiaco where you can transfer to a local bus service.


Honestly, with the number of train changes and cost, this is unlikely to be a convenient way to get to your destination. There are, however, stations in both Cortina and Dobbiaco if you want to investigate further. I recommend using Omio to check your options.

Hopefully, you’ve now got all the information you need to plan your own visit to the beautiful emerald Lago di Braies. Let me know if you have any questions or tips for your fellow readers in the comments!

Planning A Trip To the Dolomites?

With world-class hiking in summer, incredible skiing in winter, and a perfect blend of Italian and Austrian culture, the Dolomites is one of my favourite European destinations. Here are more posts to help you plan your own trip to this wonderful part of the Alps.









TRAVEL INSURANCE | Don’t go anywhere without it! I use and recommend Safety Wing.

THOUGHTFUL TRAVEL | No matter where you go, try to always be aware of the fact that travel impacts the place and people that live there. Being a thoughtful traveller is more important than ever. Here are my top tips to make your trip a mindful one.

PHOTOGRAPHY | Love my photos and want to know how to take better shots on your own trips? Then my photography guide is for you. Here’s all the photography gear I use too. Want to buy one of my images? Head to the Print Store.

ESSENTIAL GEAR | You’ll find my travel essentials here, and a complete guide to all my hiking gear here.


If you found this guide useful, follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with my travels.


I’d also love it if you would follow me on Pinterest and share this guide on your social media.

a blue lake with wooden rowboats and a boathouse with mountains in the background
  • Save

  • Save

12 Comments on “A Comprehensive Guide to Visiting Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee)”

  1. I haven’t done any research about visiting Lago di Braies. However, your detailed post is all I need to decide where to stay, what to do, me how to plan my trip.

  2. your photos are stunning and this is a very thorough guide. I would really love to go to the Dolomites one day

  3. The Dolomites & Lago de Braies look absolutely stunning & you’ve provided so much helpful information for a visit. I’m saving this for later!

  4. Great explanation and very helpful and detail. Hi Cat, My name is Mrs. Henly from Jakarta, Indonesia. I would like to ask your advise if i am planning to visit Lake Misurina, Braies, Landro, and Carezza. Could you please advise the best route. I will note hike difficult one. just easy one and take a picture and relax. I am travelling with husband, and son 17 years old, daughter 15 years old. I am coming from Venice. Do u think buy a mobile card will be better option if i want to go to all the lakes i mentioned above. Please advise. Thank you very much.

    1. Hello! I think you’d be best off hiring a car for this trip. The Dolomites requires a lot of planning if you want to only use Public Transport. You won’t need a Mobile card unless you plan to use the bus all the time. This post with suggested itineraries for the Dolomites might help you to plan.

  5. Hi, seems like a lot of the prices are much higher now for parking at Lago di Braies (at least according to Google reviews).
    Just saying…

    1. Hi Britta! Yeah, it definitely seems that the price has gone up for the lakeside parking, with a crazy increase from €6 to €10 for 3 hours for the closest parking to the lake. Having said that, P3 (which used to be P2) is still pretty reasonable and is only about 200m further down the road. I’m honestly not much of an advocate for Braies in peak season anyway. Thanks so much for the update though – it’s tough to keep everything as accurate as possible when you’re a one woman show!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *