I was having a travel conversation with a friend from Berlin, and he was intrigued at the number of cities that I had visited in his home country of Germany. At one point in the conversation he mentioned that I probably had seen more of Germany than most Germans, which I incredibly doubt. He did ask me another question though, “What city would you go back to?” My quick and confident response to his question was the Bodensee – Lake Constance!
Lake Constance, also referred to as Bodensee (German), was another of my favorites in Germany because it was unique to the towns and cities that I had been to. When I walked along the shorelines of this enormous lake, I was enthralled. The sparking waters, the fresh air, and the blue skies; I wanted to absorb myself into this beautiful picture, and explore it.
Lake Constance truly is a massive body of water, and covers three countries – Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The lake is a actually three connecting bodies of water – Upper Lake Constance, Lower Lake Constance, and Lake Rhine, which is a connecting stretch of the river Rhine. It is the largest lake in Germany, and the third in central Europe.
I had positioned myself in the popular University town of Konstanz, which is located a long the western edge of Lake Constance. It is walking distance to Switzerland as well, and there was one day I strolled into the country next door to have lunch. Not a big deal for Europeans, but for this American it more than thrilled me. I mean, Americans typically get excited when they cross into another state, another country can be mind-blowing!
I did get to explore Lake Constance, but once I was there I realized how much more of the area I wanted to see. There are three countries that surround this lake, and at the time of being there, I wanted nothing more than to see the lake from all three countries. Reason why I told my Berlin friend that I undoubtedly wanted to return to Lake Constance.
Besides visiting the enchanting town of Konstanz, I explored the Isle of Mainau, and hopped on a ferry to the colorful town of Meersburg. Every place that I had visited in Lake Constance was extraordinary, and very postcard picture worthy.
If you are looking to visit Lake Constance in Germany, I recommend staying in the town of Konstanz for starters. I found it to be relaxing and friendly, as well as accessible by train to the other cities of Western Germany. Plus, it’s right next to Switzerland where you can walk in for a meal, and enjoy a day trip.
If you do have a few days in Konstanz, I want to recommend a couple of fun and interesting things to do besides Switzerland. Take the ferry and visit one of the many cities along the lake shores, as well as taking a stroll through the Isle of Mainau. Most of all, enjoy everything the Bodensee has to offer!
This is one of the Bodensee’s charming medieval towns that I would love to come back to, and spend more time in. It is an attractive and vibrant pedestrian town, with both the lower and upper towns being reserved for only foot traffic. Both towns are connected by two stairways, and a steep street.
Meersburg has two castles, the Old Castle and the New Castle, which is now a museum. There are also plenty of half-timbered houses, two medieval town gates, and a picturesque promenade along the shoreline.
Isle of Mainau
The island of Mainau is an almost-tropical island, and a “flowering island”. The isle features a glorious garden and an ancient castle, which was the former residence of the Knights of the Teutonic Order.
The isle belongs to The Lennart Bernadotte Foundation, and is one of Lake Constance’s most popular attractions. The ground’s arboretum is stunning, as well as the views of the lake. The island contains 500 species of trees, many of which are valuable and exotic. There are also about 200 rhododendron and azalea varieties, as well as a greenhouse with a tropical climate, and thousands of butterflies.
For tourist information as well as online tickets, please visit – Isle of Mainau
Lake Constance Ferry Information
There are multiple options when it comes to taking a ferry on Lake Constance, depending how you are traveling, and where you want to go. The most frequent boat crossings are:
- Konstanz to Meersburg- the ferry runs a few times an hour from 06:00 to 24:00, and once every hour from 00:00 to 06:00.
- Friedrichshafen to Romanshorn- the Catamaran ferry runs once an hour from 06:00 to 19:00.
- Friedrichshafen and Romanshor- the regular ferry runs every hour from 05:30 to 22:30.
From April to October, you can also enjoy scenic crossings where you can relax with meal and drink, as well as basking in the sun from the top deck. All while admiring the beautiful views of the Alps.
Whether you are exploring Lake Constance by foot, bicycle, or car, you can access the ferries that cross the Bodensee. There are larger boats that will cross the lake with cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles, all with upper deck lounges that have concessions with beverages and snacks.
Photos of Konstanz
The world is a book and those who don’t travel only read one page…– St. Augustine
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre