Holiday in Lake Constance (Bodensee), Germany
Lake Constance (called Bodensee in German) is a huge lake in the south of Germany, bordering Austria and Switzerland. The lake is ringed with many lovely cities and towns, many of which are popular tourist destinations.
Recently, during the autumn holidays, we, as a family, made a short road trip in which we started from our city, Darmstadt and drove to Triberg-the, the lovely town most famous for its waterfalls and cuckoo clocks. After staying one night in Triberg, we headed to the famous university town of Freiburg. After a night in Freiburg, we headed towards Lake Constance and visited three cities: Konstanz, Meersburg and Lindau. After visiting the cities and towns around Lake Constance, we drove back to Darmstadt via Ulm.
Our Road Trip looked like this:
If you wish to read about the first two legs of our journey to Triberg and Freiburg, please read my articles:
In this article, I shall take you through the third leg of our road trip.
Two days in Lake Constance:
Day 1: Freiburg to Konstanz; Sighseeing in Konstanz; Konstanz to Meersburg; Sightseeing in Meersburg; Meersburg to Lindau; Stay at Lindau
Konstanz is about 125 km southeast of Freiburg. On Day 1, we first drove from Freiburg to Konstanz. We spent a few hours in Konstanz and then took a ferry to cross Lake Constance and reach Meersburg. We spent a couple of hours in Meersburg and then headed to Lindau. We stayed at Lindau at night.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Lindau; Lindau to Darmstadt via Ulm
On Day 2, we went sightseeing in Lindau. By afternoon, we left Lindua and reached Darmstadt via Ulm.
Now, let me take you through the details of our trip.
We had breakfast at Freiburg and started for Konstanz. We were in Konstanz around 11 am. We spent about 2-3 hours in Konstanz, exploring the city and having lunch.
Konstanz is a city on the western bank of Lake Constance in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. It is also the largest city along the lake. This city is famous for its university, but for tourists, the places of interest are the historic city centre and Konstanz Cathedral. Of course, there are many other places to visit in Konstanz, but if you are in Konstanz for a shorter time duration, make sure you add at least these two places to your itinerary.
We reached Konstanz by car, which was the fastest way to reach it. However, you can also reach Konstanz by train using Deutsche Bahn. You can book your tickets on their this Parkhaus, and its location worked out perfectly for us.
Accommodation in Konstanz
We didn’t stay in Konstanz. But if you plan to stay in Konstanz, I would suggest staying somewhere close to the city centre. Also, try to look for accommodation that includes car parking (i.e. if you have arrived there by car).
Things to do in Konstanz:
As mentioned before, the two main sites in Konstanz are the city centre and the Cathedral.
Konstanz City Center:
The city center is an active place with many shops, restaurants and cafes. Stop by the Emperor’s fountain, admire the sculptures of historical figures and take a walk to ‘get a feel’ of the city.
This lovely cathedral is very close to the city centre and is a must-visit when in Konstanz. This 7th-century cathedral has a rich history and is the most famous landmark of Konstanz. You can check out its website for more information.
After spending time sightseeing in Konstanz, we had lunch and headed to the ferry station to cross the lake and reach Meersburg, which lies on the other side of Lake Constance.
Travel from Konstanz to Meersburg:
The best and fastest way to go from Konstanz to Meersburg is through a ferry.
You can even take your car on the ferry. Tickets can be bought before entering the ferry. The journey takes about 15 minutes. On board, there is plenty of seating area, food and drinks etc.
Around 3 pm, we reach Meersburg. After parking our car, we explored the town on foot.
Meersburg is a town on the eastern bank of Lake Constance. Like Konstanz, it is also located in the state of Baden-Württemberg. This lovely little town is famous for its vineyards and a medieval castle. The castle overlooks the lake and showcases life in the medieval times.
As mentioned before, if you are arriving from the other side of Lake Constance, take a ferry and reach Meersburg. You can even take your car on the ferry. If you are reaching from the same side of the lake, reaching by car is the fastest and easiest way. However, you can also reach Meersburg by train. Tickets can be booked on Deutsche Bahn’s official website.
Accomodation in Meersburg:
Places to see and things to do in Meersburg
There are three things you must not miss when in Meersburg: Visiting the old city, visiting the castle, visiting the palace and getting lovely views of the lake from its terrace.
Visit the Old City
The old city area of Meersburg takes you to the Middle Ages. Beautiful houses along narrow cobbled streets look lovely and inviting. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes too. You can take a stroll and enjoy the sites and sounds of the old town.
Visit Burg Meersburg
Burg Meersburg is a 7th-century castle, considered the oldest inhabited castle in Germany. It sits atop a rocky outcropping and offers lovely views of the lake below. A visit to the castle immerses you into life in the medieval ages. Various rooms showcase life in the era gone by, with displays of swords, shields, medieval kitchens, wells and many more things. More information about the castle can be found here. Tickets to visit the castle can be bought at the shop close to the entrance of the castle.
Visit Neues Schloss Meersburg
The Neues Schloss is located right next to the Meersburg Castle. This 18th-century palace was the seat of the Prince Bishop of Constance. You can visit it from the inside or explore it from the outside. A flight of steps takes you to a small garden in front of the palace, from where you can get lovely views of Lake Constance as well as Burg Meersburg (the castle described above). You can visit the official website of Neues Schloss to get more information about it. Click here to see the prices, opening times, etc.
After sightseeing in Meersburg, we headed to our final destination for the day, i,e Lindau. Lindau is about 43 km south of Meersburg. We reached in about 45 minutes. We checked into our accommodation.
On our second day at Lake Constance, we did sightseeing in Lindau. After spending half a day at Lindau, we headed back home to Darmstadt via Ulm.
Lindau is a town in Bavaria along Lake Constance. This lovely town is most famous for its old city on Lindau Island and its harbour. The island of Lindau is connected to the mainland through a bridge.
The fastest way to reach Lindau Island is by car. However, you can also get there by train. You can book your tickets through Deutsche Bahn’s official website.
Parking in Lindau:
It is almost impossible to find parking in the old town as almost all the parking spots are reserved for residents. Other areas in the city are also quite packed, so it is best to find a Parkhaus to park your car. Park your car at a place which is close to both the harbour and the old town. We found P4 Parkplatz quite suitable from the perspective of stay and sightseeing. You can see its location here. It is within walking distance from the old town and the harbour area. It is spacious and good for big cars. Lift and paid toilettes are also available.
Accommodation in Lindau
In Lindau, we stayed in the old town on Lindau Island. It was a lovely experience and quite a different one at that. You can check out accommodations in Lindau either on the city website or Booking.com.
Places to see in Lindau
Lindau offers plenty to its visitors. In Lindau, you have two main areas to explore: the old town and the harbour area with its beautiful promenade and many important structures.
Lindau Harbour and Promenade
You can start by exploring the pier near Inselhalle, which was made to honour all the Nobel Prize laureates.
After spending some time there, walk along the lake, cross the park and Speilbank and reach the promenade.
Walk on the bank or spend time at the small beach areas.
Walk further to the Bayerischer Löwe. This 6-meter-high sandstone structure was built in 1856 and is a symbol of Bayern. You can climb it to get an excellent 360-degree view of the entire area.
Walk back and reach Mangturm. This erstwhile watchtower was a part of the city walls. After the new lighthouse was built, it lost its significance as a watch tower. However, this 35 mt high structure looks lovely and adds charm to the area. It has a long braid of Rupeunzel hair hanging from one of its embrasures, which is sure to fascinate kids. Today, this tower is used for small events. You can find more information about Mangturm here.
From Mangturm, continue your walk towards Neuer Lindauer Leuchtturm. This is the second part of the impressive Lindau harbour entrance. Its facade has a clock, which only a few buildings of its kind have. It is also the southernmost lighthouse in Germany. More information can be found here.
From here, continue your walk along the bank. You will come across many viewing platforms, parks, etc.
You can easily spend half a day at Lindau Harbour if you explore the entire area and stop by for lunch. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area. If you have more time, you can even book a cruise on the lake. The office of BSB (Bodensee Schifffahrt) is near Mangturm.
You can buy tickets from there. Check out their website for the timetable.
Lindau Old Town:
Lindau’s old town is very beautiful. Lovely cobbled streets and historical structures such as the Diebsturm, Notre Dam Cathedral and Altes Rathaus are worth a visit. The old town also has plenty of cafes, restaurants and speciality shops. So, spend time here, walking and exploring the town.
After spending about half a day at Lindau, we started our drive back to Darmstadt. On the way, we stopped at Ulm to have lunch.
Ulm is a city in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. It is about 112 km north of Lindau. It took us about 1.5 hours to reach Ulm.
After lunch, we visited Ulm Minster, which is a Lutheran church located in Ulm and is currently the tallest church in the world.
After the visit, we headed to Darmstadt, which is about 250 km north of Ulm. We reached in about 3 hours.
This brought us to the end of yet another wonderful holiday.
I hope my readers will find this article useful in planning their holiday. If you wish to read about other holiday destinations, please check out my Travel and Holidays Page.
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