Lago Di braies

Last Updated on November 10, 2023

Lago di Braies from behind the hotel that bears the same name

Lago di Braies (bray-see) is an alpine lake in the Dolomites of South Tyrol, northern Italy.  What makes this lake special is that it is framed by gigantic mountains and the lake’s color reflects shades between green and blue, depending on the time of day and year.

Lago di Braies is a very popular destination for international and domestic tourists alike.  It can get busy around the lake but since there are limited parking areas, it does not get overly crowded.  The lake is behind the hotel that bears the same name.  You can go to the right or to the left of the hotel to access the lake and the trail that goes around it.

We visited Lago di Braies in late August 2023 and spent the entire day just walking around the lake, admiring the scenery and of course taking pictures.  There were some surprises that we want to share in this blog so that you can benefit from our experience.

Getting to Lago di Braies

Lago di Braies is about 18 kilometers west of the town of Dobbiaco (Toblach in German).  It will show up on Google Maps if you type its name.  You can drive to the lake or take a shuttle bus from the town of Dobbiaco. 

Driving to Lago di Braies

We had a rental car so we just decided to drive over to the lake from Dobbiaco where we were staying.  After exiting the Strada Statale 49 (SS49) using a roundabout, we were immediately met with parking control people on the road going to Lago di Braies.  The parking control people asked us if we had purchased the parking fee on-line.  

On-Line Parking Fee

If you have purchased the parking fee on-line, the parking control people will direct you to the right lane.  The right lane has an automatic gate similar to a railroad crossing gate (smaller version).  The gate would automatically lift up when you get near it because there is a camera that looks at the license plate.  It recognizes the car license plate that you entered during the purchase of the parking fee.

The fee was 38 Euros.  The actual parking fee is actually 23 Euros, but they add a 15 Euro voucher that can be used at the restaurants at the lake.  A QR code will be provided to you during the on-line purchase that can then be shown at the restaurants so you can be credited with the 15 Euros for any order.

Lago di Braies on-line parking voucher

We actually had an issue with one of the restaurants. When they scanned our QR code, they said it had zero funds left.  My wife just went to the Hotel reception desk to have our QR code checked.  The reception desk verified that we still had 15 Euros in our QR code so they printed it for us.  We then presented the printout to the restaurant to get the credit.

Without the On-Line parking Fee

If you have not purchased the parking fee on-line, the parking control people will direct you to the left lane.  The left lane will simply make you take a U-turn where you have to park at the holding parking lot that has the information on how to purchase the on-line parking fee.

There is an information board at the holding parking lot for those that did not purchase the on-line parking fee.  There is also a QR code to scan and free Wifi to make it easier to purchase the parking fee on-line.  It takes less than five minutes to make the on-line purchase.  The most important information is the car license plate and the credit card information.

Website information posted at the holding parking lot to purchase on-line the parking at Lago di Braies

You can then go back to where the parking control people are and take the right lane to continue driving to Lago di Braies.

Parking Areas

P4 is the closest parking area to the lake.  P4 has gates for getting in and getting out.  To get in, you have to steer towards the left before you get in front of the gate.  We think that this enables the car’s license plate to get into the camera’s viewing window.  The gate will automatically open once the camera detects the license plate and matches it with the information entered during the on-line purchase.  Same thing to get out of P4.  The exit gate will automatically open once it detects the license plate (we think).

P3 parking area is adjacent to P4 but does not have the automatic gates.

Observation:  We left Lago di Braies around 5 PM and the parking control people after the SS49 exit were no longer there.  The gate was also up.  So you may be able to save 38 Euros if you go to Lago di Braies late in the afternoon.  Since it does not get dark around 8 PM during the summer, this will give you about three hours to roam around the lake and save on the parking fee.  Head over to P3 or other parking areas that do not have the automatic gates.

By Shuttle

There is a public bus that shuttles visitors from Dobbiaco to Lago di Braies.  The bus number is 442.  It runs from July to September.  We do not have the cost information but you can look it up at  The ticket needs to be purchased online and in advance.

Shuttle bus information to Lago di Braies

The Trail Around the Lake

You can either go clockwise (take the trail to the left of the hotel) or counterclockwise (take the trail to the right of the hotel) to go around the lake.  The trail’s high point is located at the lake’s southeast quadrant. If you tackle the trail in a counterclockwise direction, the trail will have switchbacks and steps leading to the high point.  If you tackle the trail in a clockwise direction, the steps are more spread out so the ascent to the high point is less steep.  We think it is better to go around in a clockwise direction.

In our opinion, the best place to take photos is to the left of the boat rental dock.  The big mountain that frames the lake is more centered in the photo when taken at this location.  The only drawback at this location is the amount of people as it is near the entry point.

View from the left of the boat dock

Another good location is a few hundred feet behind the hotel.  Take the trail to the right of the hotel until you get to an open area. 


Lago di Braies is one of the top destinations in the Dolomites.  Its colorful water and the mountain backdrop is what draws hordes of people.

You can drive to the lake or take the shuttle bus.  Both require advanced online purchase.

There is a trail around the lake.  It is not terribly long nor difficult.  There are certainly many places around the lake to take that memorable photo.