The tri-country-region surrounding Lake Constance is popular for its unique and diverse nature, Mediterranean micro-climate and charming cities. Lake Constance is the largest lake in Germany, bordering both Austria and Switzerland. Numerous old towns and villages surround the lake and offer both inhabitants and visitors incredible views of the astonishingly beautiful and peaceful landscape of the Swiss Alps.
Things to see and do
Constance — the largest city on Lake Constance
With a population of around 82,000 Constance is the largest city on Lake Constance and located directly on the shore of the lake. The city is close to Switzerland and contributes as an important cultural centre as well as a lively university town. Accordingly, the city offers multiple possibilities for tourists of all ages and is an ideal holiday destination.
Friedrichshafen, the second largest town after Constance, with approximately 58,000 inhabitants, was named after King Frederick I of Württemberg, who established it as a Free City. It enjoyed commercial privileges and is best known for its aviation background, starting with Zeppelin, Maybach and Dornier who were followed by Airbus and Rolls-Royce. Tourists should visit the old harbour railway station, now the Zeppelin Museum, and immerse themselves in the world’s largest aviation collection. The museum’s concept is “Technology and Art” with a focus on the role of man in technology, nature and faith.
Lindau and its island lie now on the Bavarian shores of Lake Constance after having belonged in turns to Austria and Baden-Württemberg. It has also enjoyed the Free City status until 1802 which allowed it to thrive. The old harbour and medieval town, reflecting varied Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architecture are popular with the visitors. But maybe even more interesting, Lindau is since 1951 the meeting place of the Nobel Prize Laureates.
The islands of Mainau and Reichenau
The “flower island” of Mainau is considered one of the most popular tourist attractions of Lake Constance. The island is named after its beautiful parks and gardens, semitropical vegetation and the spectacular palace and adjacent church. The island of Reichenau, which is home to 9–12th century abbeys that house surviving manuscripts, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Today the buildings serve as the town hall of Reichenau.
The Birnau Basilica
One of the most visited churches, a real landmark on the shores of Lake Constance. It was built in the 18th century in an elaborate Baroque style but displaying a light and airy pastel chromatic especially in tone with the lake and mountains panorama on a warm summer day.
The Lake Dwellings Museum
Another cultural highlight of Lake Constance and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011, is the Lake Dwellings open-air museum that reconstructs the Stone and Bronze Age homes and provides a window to the original living conditions and daily life of the people.
Winetasting and Boat Tours
Many wine-growing estates offer winetasting events where a broad insight into the local vine variety and its cultivation can be gained. From mid-April to mid-October more than 40 tours and cruises can be booked, many with en-route stops that provide a new view of the lake.
Allgäu — lakes, mountains, winter and summer sports
The favourable geographical position of Lake Constance allows the traveller to reach the mountains within 30 minutes. This closeness encourages visitors and locals to ski or to hike depending on the season. The Pfänder, the local mountain of Lake Constance, easily accessible via Lindau, is the preferred spot to enjoy the unique panorama of Lake Constance as well as the numerous Swiss, Austrian and German Alpine peaks. Last but by no means the least, swimming, sailing and cycling enthusiasts can explore the lake at closer view and at a slower pace.
How to get here
At Friedrichshafen Airport, 10 airlines offer flights to 20 European destinations, including London Gatwick and Manchester.