Lake Constance: sights, recreation, tourist reviews, trips, restaurants
Lake Constance (Bodensee) is one of the largest freshwater reservoirs not only in Germany but also in the whole of Central Europe. The lake attracts tourists with its scenic beauty. Along its shores stretches emerald meadows, numerous vineyards, lush gardens, small islands and alpine foothills, the beauty of which is known throughout the world. It is worth noting that Lake Constance combines two reservoirs (Lake Superior and Lake Superior) and the Rhine River crossing them.
View of Lake Constance, Germany (Photo © Theo Crazzolara / flickr.com / License CC-BY-SA-3.0)
The lake has a unique location. It is located at the same time on the territory of 3 countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Most of the lake is in Germany (Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria). An interesting fact is that there are still disputes about the water border between the three friendly states. None of the countries wants to cede to its neighbors at least a meter of water surface of the picturesque body of water.
Despite the fresh waters of the lake, Europeans jokingly call it the Swabian Sea (Schwaebische Meer). But this is not surprising, since Lake Constance covers a huge area. It is 63.3 km long, 14 km wide and 251 m deep. This body of water is also known as Constance after the nearby city of the same name.
What to see: Top 7 attractions at Lake Constance
The hospitable shores of Lake Constance are home to many resorts, natural and cultural attractions, nature reserves, medieval castles and churches. Of the most interesting sites that are located on the shores of the body of water and in its vicinity is worth noting:
The port town of Konstanz, nestled on the shores of Lake Constance surrounded by the majestic Alps. This is one of the most picturesque cities in Germany, attracting tourists with its natural beauty and architectural sights (among the most famous – the Episcopal Cathedral, the ruins of the Roman fortress Roemersiedlung, the quarter Niederburg with cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses, the old defense tower Reintorturm and the waterfront). The main highlight of Constance is its location on the border. Half the houses in the city are on the German side and half on the Swiss side.
Reichenau (Reichenau) – the largest and most popular island of Lake Constance (located in the Lower Lake). The island is known for its ancient monasteries and orchards. In addition to Reichenau there are 10 islands of varying size and several peninsulas (the largest peninsula Bodanrück).
Island of Lake Constance Reichenau, Germany (Top photo© HELFTOM / commons.wikimedia.org / License CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Mainau is a romantic island formerly owned by the royal Bernadotte family. The most beautiful structure of Mainau is the castle of the same name. At the end of spring and first half of summer, the island is covered in a carpet of colorful flowers. While there, be sure to visit the butterfly pavilion and botanical garden, where in spring more than 400 species of tulips bloom.
Rhine Falls (Rheinfelden) – this is the most romantic part of Lake Constance and the largest waterfall in Europe by volume of water. Tourists are brought to the center of the falls by a small boat for a modest fee.
Rhine Falls in Germany (Photo above© pxhere.com / License CC0 Public Domain)
The magnificent palaces of Baden-Würtenburg along the shore of the Lake Constance. The most famous are Kirchberg Palace, Hersberg, Salem, Meersburg and Friedrichshafen, also known as the Hafen Monastery.
Prehistoric area in Unteruhldingen.
Prehistoric area in Unteruhldingen near Lake Constance, Germany (Photo above© Heribert Pohl / commons.wikimedia.org / License CC-BY-SA-2.0)
Famous museums: the Kreuzlingen Maritime Museum, the Zeppelin Airship Museum in Friedrichshafen, the Dornier Museum of Technology, and the Hohenems Jewish Museum.
Lake Constance is attractive at any time of year. Colorful and fragrant flowers cover the lake’s shores in the spring, sandy beaches keep you cool in the summer, numerous taverns tempt you to sample the young wine in the fall, and the lake becomes a veritable winter wonderland in winter.
What to do: Top 7 things to do at Lake Constance
- Take pictures against the lake and the picturesque alpine peaks.
- Take a ferry ride on the lake (the maximum cost is 5 euros).
- Go to one of the biggest islands of the lake: Reichenau, Lindau or Mainau. There is a regular ferry service between the islands.
- Visit one of the many festivals, held on the lake throughout the year. Highlights include the Bodenseefestival and the Zeltfestival Kulturufer in Friedrichshafen, the Bregenzer Festspiele in Bregenz, the Rock am See and the Zeltfestival in Konstanz.
- Visit the largest nature reserve Eriskirche Ried, located along the shore of Lake Constance. It is an ideal place for colorful and memorable photo shoots.
- To visit the city of Konstanz, which is located at the same time in the territory of two states.
- Rent a bike and ride one of the scenic bike trails along the coastline.
Where and what to eat and drink?
The most popular resort of Lake Constance is Konstanz. Here you can not only have a good rest and see the interesting sights, but also good food. Numerous restaurants and cafes offer their guests the best dishes of German and European cuisine.
Where to eat tasty and inexpensive in Constance:
- Bistro Muensterhof (Muensterhof) on Munsterplatz. It has a magnificent view of the Cathedral. The bistro serves hearty and large German dishes. We recommend ordering the Maultaschen with asparagus and creamy onion sauce. On average, a two-course lunch will cost about 10 euros.
- Meat restaurant Hexenkuche. It serves delicious and hearty dishes of rustic cuisine. On average, lunch here costs 15 euros.
- The restaurant “Cool Potato” (Tolle Knolle). It serves potatoes in different preparations. We recommend ordering potatoes with fish in beer batter and potatoes with Vienna schnitzel. On average, lunch will cost 7-8 euros.
Tips and reviews of tourists
- Fans of cultural activities should definitely visit the Bregenz Opera Festival, which is held in the summer months on a specially installed platform directly on the water surface of the lake. This is one of the largest festivals of Lake Constance, attracting an international audience.
- In the winter, in the direction of the bay Markelfinger-Winkel on the lake is a huge skating rink. Nearby is a skate rental shop.
- When traveling around Lake Constance with children should visit the zoo Affenberg Salem. Here you can see real Berber monkeys, which will delight children with their cheerful and playful disposition. At the entrance to the zoo you can take a handful of popcorn to feed the monkeys. When visiting the zoo with children, it is best to buy a special family ticket at the ticket office, which costs 22 euros.
- The best view of Lake Constance is from the cathedral observation tower.
See a video about Lake Constance at the link below:
(Photo above© Edda Praefcke / commons.wikimedia.org / CC BY 2.0 license)
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Lake Constance – a picturesque place on the map of Germany
Lake Constance (formerly Lake Constance) – one of the places on the map of Europe, where people live in harmony with nature. And did you know that it washes the shores of three countries? From the article you will learn the most interesting facts about the lake, as well as useful tourist information.
Photo: Lake Constance
Located at the foot of the Alpine Mountains, this natural landmark is a truly picturesque corner of Europe. The lake is considered the third largest lake in Central Europe, it is fed by the Rhine, and on its shores rests people of three countries – Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Each country benefits from tourism. For example, in Germany, popular resorts of Konstanz, Lindau, Meersburg, and residents of Austria invite travelers to the annual opera festival. In addition, the resorts offer a wide range of opportunities for active, cultural, and recreational activities.
Note: There are 11 islands on the lake, the most attractive and picturesque is the Reichenau.
It is noteworthy that in the south of Germany, the lake is called the Swabian Sea. Its area is 536 square meters, the length of the shoreline – 273 km, and the maximum depth reaches 251 m. The natural landmark is located at an altitude of 395 m.
Another fact about Lake Constance in Germany – it consists of two reservoirs – the Upper and Lower. They are connected by the Reyen River.
In the area where the lake is located, rather unusual climate – the water does not freeze all year round. The only exception – severe cold, but it happens very rarely. Instead of ice shackling the water, the lake is often shrouded in fog, and the surrounding nature strikes the imagination with a riot of colors. On the shores of the reservoir there are nature reserves, where you can find the rarest specimens of plants.
The reservoir was formed during the glacial age as a result of the melting of the Rhine glacier. In ancient times, people settled on its shores.
Almost the entire shoreline of Lake Constance belongs to Germany – 173 km, Austria owns 28 km, Switzerland – 72 km. There is no dispute with the division of the shoreline between the states, but the waters of the attraction are not so unambiguous. The Swiss authorities draw the border in the center of the reservoir, Austria is guided by international law, and the German authorities hold a third position. The countries can not find a unified solution, so the international community perceives the lake as not belonging to any state.
An interesting fact! The ships of the White Fleet, which unites the ships of Germany, Switzerland and Austria under one flag, sail on the lake.
The flora of the lake plays with variegated colors. Coniferous and deciduous forests, meadows and camomile fields with clover and forget-me-nots coexist on the shores of the lake in harmony. In early spring, daffodils and tulips bloom, then azaleas and roses, marigolds and dahlias bloom. In the parks grow banana trees, different types of palms and exotic magnolias.
Fauna is no less diverse – the lake has become a comfortable habitat for swans, ducks, herons, there are also chongs. Perch, grayling, pike, eels and pikeperch live in the waters of the lake. However, if you want to fish from the shore, you have to buy a license.
An interesting fact! At the end of the last century the trout disappeared from the lake because of severe water pollution. The German authorities have taken the necessary measures to clean the pond, after some time the trout population has recovered.
Resorts at Lake Constance
The interesting sights of Lake Constance can be found along the entire coast, and you can enjoy nature from anywhere on the lake, just travel and observe.
The port, nestled amidst the mountains. It is called one of the most picturesque settlements on the map in Germany.
The best sights of Constance:
- The bishop’s cathedral;
- Niederburg quarter;
- Roman fort, or rather its ruins;
- defensive tower;
- the waterfront.
Interesting fact! The resort is notable for its geographical location – some of the buildings are in Germany, and the other part – on the territory of Switzerland.
Guests comfortable beaches are equipped, swimming in Lake Constance is available from June to September, spa hotels and comfortable private pensions accept guests throughout the year.
More information about the city can be found here.
Many tourists call it the best resort for a vacation on Lake Constance. Not surprisingly, the second name of the resort is the Bavarian Riviera. Lindau is located on the east coast and borders Austria. On sunny days you can admire the beauty of the Alps.
Historic architectural sights have been preserved in the old part of the resort, reflecting the rich history of Lindau, which was once a wealthy and prosperous imperial city.
- promenade with palm trees and boats;
- The new lighthouse is built at the entrance to the harbor;
- The old lighthouse is on the north side of the harbor;
- St. Peter’s Church – the oldest in the city, as well as on the entire island (dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen, so it is called the Fisherman’s Church);
- Maximilian Street, a pedestrian street where the houses of the local nobility and artisans dating from the 15th and 16th centuries have been preserved;
- the city museum occupies a baroque building with antique paintings, weapons and furniture (address: Markplatz, 6);
- The old town hall, built in the 15th century, is the main architectural attraction of Lindau;
- Notre Dame Cathedral built in 810, inside decorated with ceiling paintings, gilding and carved decoration;
- the Lindavia Fountain opened in 1884.
This resort is called the pearl of Lake Constance, it is surrounded by vineyards, and its streets have preserved half-timbered houses, a medieval castle, and numerous wine taverns.
Meersburg is divided into two parts:
- Lower Unterstadt;
- Upper Oberstadt.
These are pedestrian streets connected by stairs.
- An ancient castle with a lift, tower, and intricate passages of the dungeons;
- An ancient fortress built in the 7th century by the Merovingian monarch;
- the new castle was built in the early 18th century, it is a dark pink building in the Baroque style, inside there is access to some apartments, richly decorated with stucco and frescoes, the area around the castle is decorated with gardens.
In addition, Meersburg has a spa complex with thermal springs. A picturesque view of the Alps opens up from there. Sauna and Jacuzzi are decorated in the style of ancient dwellings made of stone. The water temperature in the springs is +34 degrees.
Lovers of literature and music can visit the house-museum of the writer and composer Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. The building is located in the Upper Town and is surrounded by vineyards.
The winemaking museum was opened in the middle of the last century and there is an old winery which has been operating since 1607. You can discover the history of winemaking on the lakes of Constance in 15 themed halls.
What to do in Meersburg:
- Take a stroll along the promenade;
- Take a boat trip (catamaran rentals available);
- Climb up to the terrace of the New Castle and take picturesque pictures;
- taste local wine (popular wines are Pinot Noir and Muller-Thurgau).
A side note! The Swiss town of Schaffhausen is 55 kilometers away from Constance and offers travelers a great view of the Rhine Falls. A detailed description of the natural attraction with photos and videos can be found in this article.
This is an industrial settlement, it is well known to admirers of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (under his control a cigar-shaped spacecraft was launched). The history of the city has many tragic moments – during the Second World War it was bombed and also suffered during the uprising that occurred in the middle of the last century.
Be sure to take a stroll along the flower promenade and visit the museum dedicated to the conquest of the sky.
What to see in Friedrichshafen:
- go up to the observation deck, here you can take beautiful pictures and admire the surroundings, by the way, the climb to the site is not difficult, so feel free to take your children with you, according to one legend, if lovers leave the castle here, their feelings will never fade away;
- The airship museum is located in the building of the port station, the building is decorated in the Bauhaus style, the main exhibit is a life-size section of an airship – 33 m;
- Chapel Chapel is located just outside the city;
- Baroque church with two towers, 50 m high.
Of course, the introduction to the resort is better to start with the promenade, the main street passes through Stadtgarten – Park, famous for its sculptures, you can walk here or rent a catamaran. There are numerous souvenir shops and stores on the waterfront, also here it is fashionable to relax in a cafe and taste delicious pastries.
Useful information! In Friedrichshafen you can take a fascinating trip on a catamaran.
Attractions and attractions
The mild climate combined with picturesque mountain scenery has turned Lake Constance into a paradise for lovers of active entertainment on the water. People come here not just to swim, but to surf, windsurf, practice canoeing and yachting.
Fishing is another entertainment that attracts tourists. The lake is home to a huge number of fish, among which there are delicacies. And this is not surprising, because the water in the lake is the cleanest.
Throughout the lake is established water traffic, so to cross it and get to the opposite shore is not difficult. Tourists are carried by ferries and ships. If you want to hear a fascinating story – book a guided tour of the Alps and resorts located on Lake Constance.
Beach recreation is common along the entire coastline. In summer the water temperature in Lake Constance is +25 degrees, the beaches are comfortable, well equipped and allow you to enjoy the beauty of the reservoir.
Around the whole lake is a hiking route, designed so that tourists can cross the borders of the three countries. Prefer speed – rent a bike and take advantage of the bicycle route.
What else to do at Lake Constance
- Of course, take pictures of the mountains and the lake.
- Ride around the lake in a pleasure boat or catamaran.
- Visit the islands located on the lake – Lindau, Mainau and Reichenau.
- Take part in one of the festivals, the most popular are the opera festival in Bregenz, the rock festival in Konstanz and the annual festival in Friedrichshafen.
- Take a walk in the Eriskirche Ried nature reserve.
You can also take a balloon ride on Lake Constance, and children will love the water parks and dolphinarium.
Good to know! If you do not want to spend extra money on hotel accommodation, rent a tent and stay in one of the campsites.
The locals call Mainau an island of flowers on Lake Constance in Germany. It is located near the town of Konstanz. You can get to Mainau in several ways:
- walk across the bridge;
- Take a ferry.
The main attraction and the main feature of Mainau – it is literally buried in verdure. Some plants are more than two hundred years old. Walk around the island, admire the powerful oaks, cedars. Due to the mild and comfortable climate for plants here are perfectly happy citrus trees and rare representatives of the Mediterranean flora.
Tourists are attracted by the local gardens. There are over a thousand varieties of orchids that reach their peak blooming time in the first half of spring. Exotic orchids are replaced by hundreds of tulips. And thousands of rose bushes bloom on the island.
In addition to colorful flowers on Mainau, an area of only 45 hectares, you can also find architectural attractions, such as a baroque castle, which formerly housed the Teutonic Knights.
An interesting fact! The island uses only environmentally friendly technologies and safe energy. This decision was made consciously by the authorities in order to preserve the flora.
It is the largest settlement on the map of Germany, which is under the protection of UNESCO. Located in the west of the lake, near Constance, its area is 430 hectares, the length of the shoreline is 4.5 km and a maximum width of 1.5 km.
It is noteworthy that almost the entire area of Reichenau is covered with gardens and vineyards, among which there are hiking trails as well as bike paths. Transport can be rented directly on the island.
A panoramic tourist route runs through the entire island right along the coast. The island is especially beautiful in the spring, when it is drowned in flowers, fresh greenery, and in the fall thousands of tourists with a rich harvest.
An interesting fact! In Reichenau there are no lawns, instead there are many lawns, and houses of local residents more like a fairy tale dwelling. By the way, the population of the resort is only 3.5 thousand people.
And here you can see the medieval buildings, visit churches. Accommodation is available in hotels or campsites.
It is noteworthy that no one lived on the island until the 8th century, but today it is a densely populated settlement, founded by Bishop Pirmin. Here began to plant vineyards, grow vegetables and fruits. During the Middle Ages, the monastery built on the island became a major cultural, political and scientific center. All the abbots of the monastery were close to the emperor. At the monastery there was an art school, the work of the students became famous for book illustrations and frescoes, and there was also a unique library.
In the middle of the 19th century through the embankment dam the island became accessible to the public, even today there are some fragments of medieval buildings from the Middle Ages near the dam.
Travel between the cities
Of course the most comfortable way to get to Lake Constance is by plane. The nearest airport is in Friedrichshafen, but it does not take all flights, so in some cases it will be more convenient to take a bus or train.
- From Munich to the lake you can get by train – go to Constance or Meersburg, also there are direct flights to Lindau. The trip takes from 3 to 5 hours.
- From Stuttgart, the most convenient way to get by bus – there is a direct flight to Konstanz, the route takes 2.5 hours. Also from the city to the island ply trains – to Lindau, Meersburg or Konstanz, the route is direct, the tourist spends 3.5 hours.
- From Swiss Zurich is better to go by train – direct flight to Lindau (1.5 hours), to Konstanz follows a bus (1 hour journey).
Important: It is better to book tickets in advance, because there are always many people who want to get to the lake.
There is a single visa regime between Germany, Switzerland and Austria, so tourists can easily travel from city to city. On the lake is widespread ferry service. You can take a ferry from Meersburg to Konstanz (trips leave twice an hour, and from midnight to 6:00 am – once an hour). Between Konstanz and Friedrichshavn there are catamarans.
The length of bike paths, equipped along the coast, is 200 km. It is easy to get around the lake.
Lake Constance is a very interesting and attractive tourist destination, which will appreciate even the experienced travelers.
Walking along the promenade of Lake Constance:
Author: Julia Matyukhina
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