Lago di Braies also called Pragser Wildsee is arguably the most famous Italian lake and in the last few years, its popularity has increased dramatically especially due to its widely shared pictures on social media platforms. The reflection of surrounding mountains in its emerald green crystal clear waters is absolutely breathtaking sighting.
I have visited Lago di Braies in summer and also in Autumn which is my favourite time of the year to visit the lake. This blog has all the information that you should know before visiting Lago di Braies.
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Lago di Braies is near the Austrian border and the closest big Italian city is Bolzano and the nearest airport is in Venice. The best way to get to Lago di Braies is by car. There are a number of cheap car rental companies, especially at airports. I rented a small Fiat at Venice airport and paid only 60€ for a week which is pretty cheap.
From Bolzano or Lienz (Austria) take the train to Villabassa (Niederdorf) or Dobbiaco (Toblach). Bus number 442 runs between Dobbiaco, Villabassa and Lago di Braies. Bus timetables can be found here.
There is limited paid parking at Lago di Braies and it is advised to be here before 9 am. The parking costs 6€ for first 3 hours and for every hour afterwards you have to pay more. Another option for those who want to stay longer than 3 hours is to park at private parking just before the official Lago di Braies parking which costs 6€ flat for the whole day.
Lago di Braies is less than a 10 minutes walk from the parking right behind the hotel. Most people come here either to hike around the lake or rent a boat.
Renting a boat at Lago di Braies is very popular and super expensive. The opening hours are from 9 am to 7 pm and costs 18€ for ½ hour and 28€ for one hour. Even though the prices are insane people still pay and if you arrive after 11 am you might have to wait to rent a boat.
Hiking around Lago di Braies is the best way to see this beautiful place without spending anything. The trail is well-trodden and very busy with a few beautiful lookout points. It is better to start the trail in the anti-clockwise direction.
Sunrise is the best time to visit Lago di Braies when the peaks are lit with golden light and their reflection in the calm waters of the lake is breathtaking. It is a very popular photography location and you will meet many photographers from different parts of the world trying to take the best pictures. Unfortunately, during the day the lake becomes very crowded.
Autumn is arguably the best time of the year to visit with fewer tourists and the lake looks even more beautiful with all the autumn colours.
Hotel Lago di Braies is right next to the lake and is an ideal place to stay for those who can afford to pay a hefty price. I stayed in the small village of Valdoara which is only 30minutes drive from the Lago di Braies and I paid only 50€ for a night in a nice hotel with a beautiful view from the balcony.