Tourist’s guide to Lake Constance, a picturesque holiday area in Germany

Lake Constance (formerly Lake Constance) is one of the corners on the map of Europe, where people live in harmony with nature. Do 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.

Lake Constance from above

Photo: Lake Constance

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General information

There is a natural attraction at the foot of the Alpine mountains and is truly a picturesque corner of Europe. The reservoir is considered the third largest lake in Central Europe, it is fed by the waters of the Rhine, and residents of three states at once rest on the banks – Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Moreover, each country benefits from tourism. For example, in Germany, the resorts of Konstanz, Lindau, Meersburg are popular, and Austrians invite travelers to the annual opera festival. In addition, the resorts offer ample opportunities for active, cultural and wellness holidays.

Important! There are 11 islands on the lake, the most attractive and picturesque is Reichenau.

It is noteworthy that in southern Germany, the lake is called the Swabian Sea. Its area is 536 square meters. m., the length of the coastline is 273 km, and the maximum depth reaches 251 m. A natural attraction is located at an altitude of 395 m.

Another fact about Lake Constance in Germany – it consists of two bodies of water – Upper and Lower. They are connected by the river Reyen.

Lake constance

In the area where the lake is located, a rather unusual climate – the water does not freeze all year round. The only exception is severe cold, but this is extremely rare. Instead of ice blocking the water, the lake is often shrouded in fog, and the surrounding nature is amazing with its riot of colors. On the banks of the reservoir there are nature reserves where you can meet the rarest specimens of plants.

A pond formed during the ice age as a result of the melting of the Rhine glacier. Even in antiquity, people settled on its shores.

Almost the entire coastline of Lake Constance belongs to Germany – 173 km, Austria owns 28 km, Switzerland – 72 km. There are no disputes with the division of the coast between the states, but the sights are not so simple with the waters. The Swiss authorities draw the border in the center of the reservoir, Austria is governed by international law, and the German authorities are in third position. Countries cannot find a single solution, therefore the international community perceives the lake as not belonging to any state.

Interesting fact! The ships of the White Fleet go around the lake, which unites the ships of Germany, Switzerland and Austria under a single flag.


Nature of Lake Constance

The flora of the lake plays with colorful colors. Coniferous and deciduous forests, meadows and fields of daisies with clover and forget-me-nots are in harmony on the banks of the reservoir. In early spring, daffodils and tulips are fragrant here, then azaleas and roses, marigolds and dahlias bloom. In the parks grow banana trees, various types of palm trees, exotic magnolias.

The fauna is no less diverse – the lake has become a comfortable habitat for swans, diving, herons, there are also chomga. The perch, grayling, pike, eel and pike perch live in the waters of the lake. However, if you want to go fishing on the shore, you will have to purchase a license.

Interesting fact! At the end of the last century, trout disappeared from the lake due to severe water pollution. The German authorities took the necessary measures to clean the reservoir, after some time the trout population has recovered.

Resorts on Lake Constance

Interesting sights of Lake Constance can be found on the entire coast, while you can enjoy nature from anywhere in the lake, just travel and watch.

Resort Konstanz

The port is conveniently located surrounded by mountains. It is called one of the most picturesque settlements on the map of Germany.

The best sights of Constanta:

  • Episcopal Cathedral;
  • Niederburg quarter;
  • Roman fort, or rather its ruins;
  • defensive tower;
  • quay.

Interesting fact! The resort is notable for its geographical location – some of the buildings are located in Germany, and the second part – in Switzerland.

Comfortable beaches are provided for guests, swimming in Lake Constance is available from June to September, spa hotels, as well as cozy private pensions host guests throughout the year.

More information about the city is presented here .

Lindau on Lake Constance
Lindau Resort

Many tourists call it the best holiday resort on Lake Constance. Not surprisingly, the resort’s second name is the Bavarian Riviera. Lindau is located on the east coast and borders with Austria. On sunny days you can enjoy the beauty of the Alps.

In the old part of the resort, historical architectural sights are preserved, reflecting the rich history of Lindau, which in the past was a rich and prosperous imperial city.

Top Attractions:

  • embankment with palm trees and boats;
  • A new lighthouse was built at the entrance to the harbor;
  • The old lighthouse is located in the north of the port;
  • St. Peter’s Church – the oldest in the city, as well as on the whole island (dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen, therefore it is called the Fisherman’s Church);
  • Maximilian Street – a pedestrian street where the houses of the local elite and artisans dating from the 15th and 16th centuries have been preserved;
  • the city museum occupies a baroque building, here are presented old paintings, weapons and furniture (address: Markplatz, 6);
  • the old Town Hall, built in the 15th century, is the main architectural landmark of Lindau;
  • Notre Dame Cathedral was built in 810, inside is decorated with ceiling paintings, gilding and carved decor;
  • Lindavia fountain opened in 1884.

Meersburg on Lake Constance
Resort Meersburg

This resort is called the pearl of Lake Constance, it is surrounded by vineyards, and half-timbered houses, a castle from the Middle Ages, and numerous wine taverns are preserved on the streets.

Meersburg is divided into two parts:

  • Lower Unterstadt;
  • Upper Oberstadt.

These are pedestrian streets connected by stairs.

Main Attractions:

  • an ancient castle with a lifting mechanism, a tower and complex passageways of dungeons;
  • an ancient fortress built in the 7th century by the monarch Meroving;
  • the new castle was built at the beginning of the 18th century, this building is dark pink in baroque style, inside there is access to some apartments richly decorated with stucco and frescoes, the area around the castle is decorated with gardens.
New castle

In addition, in Meersburg there is a spa complex with thermal springs. It offers scenic views of the Alps. Sauna and jacuzzi are decorated in the style of ancient dwellings made of stone. The water temperature in the sources is +34 degrees.

Admirers of literature and music can visit the house-museum of the writer and composer Annette von Droste-Hülsshoff. 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, there is an old wine press that has been operating since 1607. The history of winemaking on Lake Constance can be found in 15 thematic rooms.

What to do in Meersburg:

  • take a walk along the promenade;
  • take a boat trip (you can rent a catamaran);
  • climb the terrace of the New Castle and take picturesque photographs;
  • taste local wine (popular varieties – Pinot Noir, Muller-Türgau).

On a note! 55 km from Konstanz is the Swiss town of Schaffhausen , in which travelers come to watch the Rhine Falls. You will find a detailed description of natural attractions with photos and videos in this article .

Evening Friedrichshafen

This is an industrial village, admirers of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin are well aware of it (a cigar-shaped spacecraft was launched under his control). There are many tragic moments in the history of the city – during the Second World War it was bombed and also suffered during an uprising that happened in the middle of the last century.

Be sure to stroll along the flower promenade, go to the museum dedicated to conquering the sky.

What to see in Friedrichshafen:

  • climb to the observation deck, here you can take beautiful photographs and admire the surroundings, by the way, climbing to the platform 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;
  • the airship museum is located in the building of the port station, the building is decorated in the Bauhaus style, the main exhibit is the life-size airship compartment – 33 m;
  • the chapel is located just outside the city;
  • a baroque temple with two towers, 50 m high.

Of course, it is better to start exploring the resort from the promenade, the main street passes through Stadtgarten – a park famous for sculptures, here you can walk or rent a catamaran. There are numerous souvenir shops and shops on the promenade, it is also fashionable to relax in a cafe and try delicious pastries.

Good to know! In Friedrichshafen, you can take a fascinating catamaran ride.

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Attractions and entertainment

Water tourism
Boats on Lake Constance

The mild climate, combined with the picturesque mountain landscapes, have turned Lake Constance into a haven for those who appreciate active water activities. People come here not just to swim, but to go in for surfing and windsurfing, practice canoeing and a yacht.

Fishing is another attraction that attracts tourists. The lake is home to a huge amount of fish, among which there are delicious species. And this is not surprising, because the water in the lake is clean.

There is a water connection throughout the lake, so crossing it and getting to the opposite shore is not difficult. Tourists are transported by ferries and ships. Want to listen to a fascinating story – book a guided tour of the Alps and resorts located on Lake Constance.

Beach holidays are spread all along the coastline. In summer, the water temperature in Lake Constance is +25 degrees, the beaches are comfortable, well equipped and allow you to enjoy the beauties of the reservoir.

Hiking trails

Around the entire reservoir there is a walking route, thought out so that tourists can cross the borders of the three states. Prefer speed – rent a bike and take the bike route.

Walking trail

How else to spend time on Lake Constance

  1. Of course, take a picture on the foundation of mountains and lakes.
  2. Take a ride on the lake on a pleasure boat or catamaran.
  3. Visit the islands located on the lake – Lindau, Mainau and Reichenau.
  4. To 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.
  5. Take a stroll in the Eriskirche Ried Nature Reserve.

And on Lake Constance you can take a walk in a balloon, the children will be delighted with water parks and dolphinarium.

Good to know! If you do not want to spend extra money on hotel accommodation, rent a tent and camp in one of the campsites.

Mainau Island
Mainau Island

Locals call Mainau – the island of flowers on Lake Constance in Germany. It is located near the city of Konstanz. There are several ways to get to Mainau:

  • take a walk along the bridge;
  • take a trip by ferry.

The main attraction and feature of Mainau – it is literally all surrounded by greenery. The age of some plants is more than two hundred years. Take a walk around the island, admire the powerful oaks, cedars. Thanks to the mild and comfortable climate for plants, citrus fruits and rare Mediterranean representatives of the flora feel great here.

Tourists are interested in local gardens. Here they grow more than a thousand varieties of orchids, the peak of flowering occurs in the first half of spring. Hundreds of tulips are replacing exotic orchids. And on the island, thousands of rose bushes bloom.

In addition to the bright colors on Mainau, with an area of ​​only 45 hectares, there are also architectural sights, for example, the Baroque castle, where the knights of the Teutonic Order were previously located.

Interesting fact! The island uses exclusively environmentally friendly technologies and safe energy. The authorities made this decision consciously in order to preserve the flora.

Top view on Reichenau

This 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 coastline is 4.5 km, and the maximum width is 1.5 km.

It is noteworthy that almost the entire Reichenau square is covered with orchards and vineyards, among which there are hiking trails, as well as bicycle paths. Transport can be hired directly on the island.

A panoramic tourist route runs through the entire island right along the coast. The island is especially beautiful in spring, when it is buried in flowers, fresh greenery, and in autumn thousands of tourists have a rich harvest.

Interesting fact! There are no lawns on Reichenau, instead of them there are many lawns, and the houses of local residents more like fabulous housing. By the way, the resort population is only 3.5 thousand people.

And here you can see medieval buildings, visit churches. Accommodation is available at hotels or campsites.

It is noteworthy that until the 8th century no one lived on the island, but today it is a densely populated locality founded by Bishop Pirmin. Here they began to plant vineyards, grow vegetables and fruits. During the Middle Ages, the monastery built on the island became the largest cultural, political and scientific center. All the abbots of the monastery were close to the emperor. There was an art school at the monastery, the students’ works were famous for illustrations for books and frescoes, and there was also a unique library.

Reichenau Church

In the middle of the 19th century, through the bulk dam, the island became publicly available; until now, separate fragments of medieval buildings from the Middle Ages have been preserved near the dam.

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Communication between 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 accept all flights, so in some cases it will be more convenient to use a bus or train.

    S-Bahn Train
  1. From Munich you can get to the lake by train – go with transfers to Konstanz or Meersburg, there are also direct flights to Lindau. The road takes from 3 to 5 hours.
  2. It is most convenient to get from Stuttgart by bus – there is a direct flight to Konstanz, the route is designed for 2.5 hours. Also, trains run from the city to the island – to Lindau, Meersburg or Konstanz, the route is direct, the tourist spends 3.5 hours on the way.
  3. It is best to travel from Zurich to Switzerland by train – a direct flight to Lindau (1.5 hours), a bus follows to Constance (1 hour on the way).

Important! Tickets are best booked in advance, as there are always a lot of people who want to get to the lake.

There is a single visa regime between Germany, Switzerland and Austria, respectively, tourists can easily travel from city to city. There is a ferry service on the lake. The ferry can sail from Meersburg to Konstanz (flights depart twice an hour, and from midnight to 6-00 – once an hour). Between Constance and Friedrichshavn catamarans ply.

The length of bicycle paths equipped along the coast is 200 km. You can easily go around them around the lake.

Lake Constance is an extremely interesting and attractive tourist destination that even experienced travelers will appreciate.

Walk along the embankment of Lake Constance:

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