Lago di Braies – How to get there + My Best Tips and Info

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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.

lago di braies

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

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.

Nearest Airport

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.

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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.

parking at lago di braies

cash machine parking lot lago di braies

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.

Click here to see photos, prices per night and availability

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.

Click here to see photos, prices per night and availability

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.

boat at lago di braies

Photo: Shutterstock

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.

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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.

lago di braies

Short facts about Pragser Wildsee/Lago di Braies

Surface area31 ha (77 acres)
Average depth17 m (56 ft)
Max. depth36 m (118 ft)
Water volume5,300,000 m3 (0.0013 cubic mile)
Shore length13.05 km (2 mi)
Surface elevation1,496 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.

Lake Braies winter

Lake Braies during winter – Photo: Shutterstock

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.

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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).

hiking around Lago di Braies

Photo: Shutterstock

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.

Braies Chapel

Photo: Shutterstock

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

pragser wildsee


hotel lago di braies

Hotel Lago di 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

Book your trip

As a reader of this blog, you can enjoy these discounts

Do you have more questions before your visit? Leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer from my own experience!

July 23rd, 2018|


Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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  1. Tatiana 09/02/2018 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    Hi Alex! Really enjoyed your article. Do you know, by any chance, how the drive is from Innsbruck to the Lake? I might be going there next year and since I’m from the States (Miami, FL.) I know driving is a bit different over there and Ireland and Santorini really terrified me with cliffs and such. Any info on how the drive is would be very helpful :)

    • Alexander Waltner 09/06/2018 at 10:12 am - Reply

      Hi Tatiana, thank you :)

      It’s easy to drive there from Innsbruck, mostly highway all the way. Roads are good, and no cliffs and such as you can find in Santorini :) It’s very easy, and the last 10 minutes down to the lake is also a paved road with 1 file on each side.

  2. Sheila 11/09/2018 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Alex, thank you for the info. Me and my friend are planing to get there and this article will help us a lot. More power to you!

  3. Jodie Hia 12/05/2018 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Alex! Thanks for the useful information! Helps me on planning my trip a lot! :))

  4. Rosemary 02/18/2019 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Alex, thank you for the information. Do you know if we can leave our car for multiple nights at the parking lots? We will be doing a long distance trek and wonder about the best place to leave our car.

    • Alexander Waltner 02/18/2019 at 11:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Rosemary, I guess that wouldn’t be an issue as long as you pay for parking. I’m not 100% sure, so can’t promise anything. But as the price is quite steep for parking, I guess they wouldn’t mind as long as you’re paying for each day. It would probably be a good idea to contact the hotel next to the parking, as I’m sure they would be able to give a finite answer.

  5. Jennifer 03/02/2019 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I’ll only be in Venice for two days, do you think it would be a good trip still if I was able to make there in the morning and stay for a few hours? Or should we plan to spend the night there?

    • Alexander Waltner 03/02/2019 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      Hello Jennifer, I think if you stay overnight, you will enjoy it a lot more. It’s very beautiful, and if you want to make the loop trail around the lake, that takes some time as well. It really depends on what kind of a traveler you are. Some people are fine traveling to a place and just stay for 1-2 hours.

      I do want to point out that the drive is at least 2 hours and 49 minutes from Venice, so that’s about 6 hours just in driving time.

      • Jennifer 03/12/2019 at 8:22 pm - Reply

        Hi Alex! Thanks for your reply. Do you think the lake will be frozen still in late April?

        • Alexander Waltner 03/12/2019 at 8:40 pm - Reply

          Hey Jennifer, you’re welcome. It might be, I’m not quite sure actually. It was not warm when we visited in May last year, but it wasn’t frozen.

  6. Louise 03/07/2019 at 9:32 am - Reply

    We are planning to go for a day trip in May when we are staying in Bardolino. Any idea if the driving time?

    Is the car park far from the lake?

    Great page and information, thank you!

    • Alexander Waltner 03/12/2019 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      Hey Louise, driving time is about 3 hours from Bardolino. I would suggest that you stay overnight, or start your day really early from Bardolino. The car park is next to the lake, like 1-2 minutes walking. Let me know if you have some other questions :)

  7. James 03/17/2019 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Alexander, are there many restaurants and shops around Lago di Braies? I’m considering whether to go half board or just bed and breakfast in the Hotel. Thanks

    • Alexander Waltner 03/17/2019 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Hey James, besides the hotel, there aren’t too many restaurant options around the lake. But if you stay, let’s say in Brunico, you have plenty of restaurants there.

  8. tarek 04/13/2019 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Alex,i will be travelling at mid of may with my wife and daughter(1 year old),for 5 days.what do you advice me to do in these days around bolzano and dolmites..we love nature but considering that my daughter will be with me regarding the weather. Thank you

    • Alexander Waltner 04/13/2019 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Hello Tarek, it depends on what you like to do, but there are some lighter hiking available. And if you have a car to get around, even better. I think the weather should be fine as long as you don’t venture up high into the Dolomites, but the places accessible by car should be fine.

      I suggest Lake Carezza as well, very beautiful, and Val di Funes.

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