Last updated: September 29, 2018
Lago di Braies (“Pragser Wildsee” in German), also known as Lake Braies is a famous and beautiful lake in the Dolomites in Northern Italy.
I have been to this amazing place, and to make things easier for you, I’ve made this guide on how to get to Lago di Braies + my best tips and more information.
It is known as the Pearl among Dolomite lakes, and also for being the backdrop of a popular Italian TV-show – Un passo dal cielo.
In recent years, it has also gained a lot of attention in social media, such as Instagram where many of the biggest Instagrammers go here to take some iconic photos that often gets widely shared on Instagram.
And no wonder why Lago di Braies has become so popular. The picturesque mountain backdrop is absolutely gorgeous, and the reflections of the mountain in the lake is magical to witness.
How to get to get to Lake Braies
The most common way to go here is by car, but it’s also possible with public transport or guided tours. I recommend renting a car and go there by yourself to
How to get to Lago di Braies by car
The national road SS49 that leads to the lake is connected to several motorways. For example, it’s easy to drive from Milano, Venice or Innsbruck or from closer destinations such as Brunico, Trento, and Garda Lake.
- From Milano: 4,5 hours drive
- From Venice: 3 hours drive
- From Innsbruck: 2 hours drive
- From Brunico: 35 minutes drive
How to get to Lago di Braies by Public transport
The nearest railway station is Niederdorf (Villabassa) and between the 20th of June until 20th September, there’s a bus connection from the train station to Lake Braies. Look out for bus number 442, and make sure to be on time since the departures are quite infrequent.
There is no international airport near Lago di Braies, but you can fly to Venice or Verona and get a transfer from there. You could also fly into Munich, Innsbruck or Milano.
Parking at Lake Braies
If you come here by car, there’s a parking space just next to the hotel for 8 Euro per day.
Recommended hotels near Lago di Braies
Hotel Lago di Braies
If you want to stay as close as possible to the lake, the Hotel Lago di Braies is your best choice, as it’s located right next to Lago di Braies.
Majestic Hotel & Spa
About 35 minutes from Lago di Braies, you can stay at this fabulous spa hotel. This is where me and Christine stayed when we visited, and it’s one of the best value for money hotels we’ve ever stayed at. Everything is great about the Majestic Hotel & Spa.
My Best Tips
Go here in the early morning at sunrise. Then you’ll have most of the lake all to yourself and there’s more likely to be reflections from the mountains as well. It’s truly a magical time of the day to visit a place like this.
Other than that, bring some snacks and good walking shoes + refillable water bottle with a filter.
Rent a boat
This makes for a great experience and gives you a different point of view. It’s quite expensive but well worth the money.
More information about Lago di Braies
Lago di Braies is often referred to as the most beautiful lake in the South Tyrol. It’s located in the Valley di Braies and became famous all over Italy in recent years, due to TV-show – “Un Passo Dal Cielo” where the emerald green lake is featured as the backdrop.
However, in the TV-show, the lake is called “Lago di San Candido”.
This Alpine lake is located at a height of 1469 meters above sea level. It’s the largest natural lake in the Dolomites and the maximum depth of Lago di Braies is 36 meters. The walk around the lake is about 4 kilometers and takes about 2 hours depending on how fast you walk.
The maximum surface temperature recorded was 14 degrees Celsius, so no matter if you come here during winter or summer, it will be cold in the water. In the majority of the wintertime, the water surface will be covered by ice and snow.
Lago di Braies is a popular stop and starting point for several hikers in the nearby area. The lake is also a part of the UNESCO heritage list.
Short facts about Pragser Wildsee/Lago di Braies
|Surface area||31 ha (77 acres)|
|Average depth||17 m (56 ft)|
|Max. depth||36 m (118 ft)|
|Water volume||5,300,000 m3 (0.0013 cubic mile)|
|Shore length1||3.05 km (2 mi)|
|Surface elevation||1,496 m (4,908 ft)|
Should you visit Lago di Braies during summer or winter?
No matter if you go here during spring, summer, autumn or winter, you’ll be met by stunning scenery. However, for activities, it’s recommended to go here during the summer to enjoy the most.
During summer, you can easily hike around the lake or go for a boat ride. But as you can see in the photo below, it’s beautiful here in the wintertime as well.
Where is Lago di Braies?
It’s located in the municipality of Braies/Prags in the Dolomites, in Northern Italy. By car, it’s about 4,5 hours driving from Milano and 3 hours drive from Venice.
And it’s just 33 minutes from the Austrian border.
Why is it called Pragser Wildsee?
This is the German name, and it’s commonly referred to it since a lot of people speak German in the South Tyrol region. This is due to the fact that it used to belong to Austria for a long time.
So, Pragser Wildsee is simply the German name for Lago di Braies. The lake is also known as Lake Prags and Lake Braies.
The legend of Lago di Braies
Have you heard about the legend from here? The Ladin people have a legend about a kingdom from the past and an underworld of the Fanes empire. The gate to the underworld empire is supposed to be somewhere at the southern end of the lake.
This is why a specific part of the lake is known as Torberg, or “Sass dia Porta” in the Ladin language. The Ladin people are an ethnic folk group in the Dolomites.
A lot of the visitors come here to hike around the lake, which is recommended. It’s a beautiful walk that takes about 1,5 – 2 hours to finish. It’s suitable for most ages as long as you have a decent level of fitness.
While hiking, you can enjoy some of the best views. And if you feel adventurous it’s also possible to hike up to the mountain above the lake – Croda del Becco (Seekofel).
Rent a boat
One of the most popular activities at Lago di Braies is to rent a rowboat. These are available for hire at the famous boathouse next to the entrance to the lake Braies.
- Season: June to September
- Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm
- Price: 1/2 hour €15.00, 1-hour € 25.00
It’s allowed to swim at Lago di Braies. However, it’s very cold in the water, even during the summer. So, you won’t see many people go for a swim here.
Visit the chapel
The little church a few minutes walk from the hotel is an iconic spot. The chapel was built in 1904 and had a major event during world war II where an SS commander brought 137 prisoners here to make an exchange for his safety.
Restaurants and camping area
- The restaurant at Hotel Lago di Braies
- Osteria Mösslhof
Camping near Lago di Braies
If you want to go here with a Camper or RV, there are two camping areas within driving distance to the lake. These two are Camping Olympia and Camping Al Plan.
It’s possible to park your Camper or RV by the lake, but it’s not allowed to overnight at the parking lot.
More photos from Lake Braies
Video from Lago di Braies
If you’re curious to see more what it looks like at the Braies Lake, check out the video below to follow the walking trail.
Other nearby lakes
- Lake Misurina
- Lake Antorno
- Lago di Carezza
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Do you have more questions before your visit? Leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer from my own experience!