lake with yellow sunrise

2023 Holiday in Lake Constance – 13 Things to Do

Holiday in Lake Constance and you’ll be nestled between three countries. Lake Constance, Germany, staddles Austria and Switzerland and is a short drive to Liechtenstein. That’s why it’s known as the four-country region! Lake Constance holidays is the ideal destination for those that want to travel to as many countries as they can.

Lake Constance or Konstanz in German is often referred to as Bodensee by locals. But it really is just one place. To help plan your trip here are 13 unforgettable things to do in Lake Constance!

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Lake Constance Things to Do with these 13 Unforgettable Activities

Discover the beauty of Lake Constance, Germany, with these 13 unforgettable activities, including exploring charming lakeside towns, taking scenic boat tours, visiting lush garden islands, hiking or biking trails with stunning views, and enjoying water activities in the crystal-clear waters of the lake.

#1 Visit Lindau – a charming harbour town

port city with boats and colourful buildings on lake constance holidays

Lindau offers travellers a unique location of being completely lakeside. The impressive harbour entryway to this island features the iconic Bavarian lion on one side and the lighthouse on the other. 

The town’s lakeside promenade is bustling with activity. Locals and tourists alike enjoy walking, biking and sunbathing along the waterfront.

Climb the lighthouse and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding Alps. Not to miss is a visit to Lindenhof Park. This large park offers a lush green space with towering trees and beautiful gardens. It’s the perfect respite to the bustling harbourfront.

Lastly, visit the small old town with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings. Grab a bite to eat in one of the many cafes or restaurants.

#2 Explore Meersburg – a delightful castle town

yellow building with white wisteria flowers on side of hill in lake constance things to do

Meersburg, a name that literally translates to “Castle on the Sea”, is home to two old castles. The oldest of the two is a well-preserved medieval fortress, which can trace its roots back to the 7th century.  

When you first arrive in Meersburg, either by boat or car, you will be in the lower town. The lower town has a resort feel, with many hotels, pier-facing restaurants and touristy shops. The uptown is where you will find the charming historic old town. 

The old town is impressive. You could spend the entire day getting lost in the maze of cobblestoned streets, admiring the historic townhomes. All of these delightful buildings have been turned into boutiques, cafes, wine taverns, and restaurants. Of all the towns on Lake Constance, this is one that is most charming and quaint.

3. See Mainau – a pretty flower island

lush green gardens with stone staircase as one of the things to do in lake constance

Mainau is known as flower island as it features 110 acres and close to a million different flowers and plants. It’s considered the most popular attraction in the Lake Constance region.  

The Mainau Castle, built in 1746, makes a beautiful backdrop to all the flower gardens. Germany is well-known for creating beautiful parks and gardens, and this is said to be among the best in the country. 

#4 Tour Constance – a large vibrant city

lake with ancient tower with red roof in lake constance germany

Constance or Konstanz is the largest city on Lake Constance. It dates back to medieval times and features some great historical landmarks.

Some of those significant sites include the 14th-century Konstanz Minster Cathedral and 14th-century Kaufhaus (or can be known as Konzilsgebäude). The remaining medieval circular wall with 20 towers, of which only 3 stand today, protects the historic old town. Wander the quiet winding cobblestone streets and gaze upon the well-preserved half-timber houses.

Konstanz is a shopping city. There are numerous shops, cafes and restaurants lining the streets. Take a walk along the waterfront boulevard where elegant and elaborate townhomes look out onto the picturesque lake and the Swiss Alps. 

#5 Sail Around Bodensee

lake with sailboats and mountains in background in bodensee germany

Taking a scenic boat tour of Lake Konstanz Germany is an unforgettable experience! Sail around the largest lake in Germany which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, charming lakeside towns, and crystal-clear waters.

Lake Constance is a destination that’s best experienced from the water, making a boat tour an essential part of any visit to this picturesque region of southern Germany.

#6 Bike around Lake Constance

bikes on trail in lake constance

Biking around Lake Constance is a truly exhilarating experience offering stunning views!

The mostly flat bike trails take you along the scenic lakeside, through tranquil countryside and picturesque lakeside towns. With its unique blend of breathtaking scenery and outdoor adventure, Lake Constance is a paradise for cyclists of all levels, making it an unforgettable destination for anyone seeking an active and immersive travel experience.

#7 Visit St. Gallen – a historic pretty town

old timber frame buildings on cobblestone square near konstanz

Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, St. Gallen is a culturally vibrant city just across the border. It’s an easy bike ride along the Lake Constance Cycle path straight to the charming, traffic-free historic town.

Explore the historic Abbey of St. Gallen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to almost 170,000 written documents dating back over 1,000 years.

Take a one-hour walking tour through the charming old town with a local guide and discover the most wonderful sights. Check prices and book dates

#8 Discover Rhine Falls – a natural wonder

A popular day trip while visiting Lake Constance is to Rhine Falls in Switzerland.

Go on a day trip to Rhine Falls, less than 60 minutes from Konstanz in Switzerland, which is one of Europe’s most spectacular natural wonders. With its thunderous roar, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking views, Rhine Falls is a must-visit destination during your Lake Constance holidays.

Take a boat tour to the base of the falls, book your dates here, while listening to the audio letting you know about all the history and interesting facts about this wondrous place.

#9 Join a Night Watchman City Tour

Join a medieval night watchman dressed in traditional garb as they patrol the picturesque alleys located in the oldest part of Constance. This unique and unforgettable experience offers you a glimpse into the city’s rich history and folklore.

This 1.5-hour small guided tour starts as dusk settles in creating a mystical atmosphere as you walk through the dark ancient streets. Check prices and book your dates here.

#10 Sip on some local wine

green grass, winery with view of lake on places to visit in lake constance

Visit a local winery and sample some of the delicious wines produced in this region.

One such winery is Winzerverein Meersburg which is one of the oldest wineries in the region. Tour the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and taste some of the award-winning wines produced on-site.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply looking for an immersive cultural experience, a visit to Winzerverein Meersburg is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Lake Constance.

#11 Visit Zurich – Switzerland’s largest city

river, view of church steeples and city of Zurich on day trip from Lake Constance things to do

An easy day trip from Lake Constance is to Switzerland’s largest city. Konstanz to Zurich is only an hour’s drive. It’s just enough time to explore the old town and enjoy a meal. 

A nearby destination is the NABU Nature Reserve. The Wollmatinger Marsh is near the city of Constance where the Upper Lake merges into the Lower Lake. This area is known for birdwatching as hundreds of species migrate here to these nature reserves. 

#12 Vist the Zeppelin Museum

model of a zeppelin in museum when on holiday in Lake Constance

Visiting the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen is a truly captivating experience that takes you on a journey through the fascinating history of aviation.

Set in a beautifully restored Art Nouveau building on the shores of Lake Constance, the museum houses an impressive collection of airships, engines, and historical artifacts that showcase the pioneering spirit of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and his team.

Marvel at the sheer size and elegance of the original Zeppelin airship, explore the various exhibits and even take a ride in a Zeppelin simulator. With its engaging displays and interactive exhibits, the Zeppelin Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history of flight and the innovative spirit of human ingenuity.

#13 Dine at a Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Dining at Michelin-star restaurants is a captivating experience that tantalizes all of your senses. Each of these restaurants is a culinary masterpiece, delivering an unforgettable dining experience that is truly worth savouring. I can’t think of a better way to end your time in Lake Constance!

  • Brasserie Colette Tim Raue, the atmosphere is chic and sophisticated, with a menu that features contemporary takes on classic French cuisine
  • San Martino, set within a small stone townhouse offers traditional dishes with a modern twist that burst with vibrant flavours and fresh ingredients
  • Ophelia, located in the Riva boutique hotel with a beautiful view of Lake Constance is inspired by classic French cuisine
  • Casala, guests are transported to a world of refined elegance and artistic gastronomy, with beautifully presented dishes that showcase the best of Italian cuisine

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Is Lake Constance Worth Visiting?

As the southern tip of Germany, it tends to be a popular holiday for Germans all year round. Many are attracted to this area because of its mild climate and abundance of nature. Lake Constance is worth visiting for both its winter sports and water sports. The area offers the perfect combination of a beautiful lake, picturesque towns and the majestic Alps. Culture, castles, history, elaborate gardens – there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

How to Get to Lake Constance

Nestled in the heart of Europe, Lake Constance is accessible by multiple modes of transportation.

  • By air: visitors can fly into Zurich International Airport or Friedrichshafen Airport, both of which are conveniently located within an hour’s drive of the lake.
  • By train: direct connections to major cities such as Zurich, Munich, and Vienna.
  • By car: arrive via well-maintained highways and roads with ample parking available at various points around the lake.

Lake Constance Germany is either the starting or ending point on the 450km German Alpine route through the Alps. This trip of a lifetime is not to be missed! Taking your Berchtesgaden to Garmisch to Lake Constance with side trips to Salzburg and Innsbruck.

Where to Stay in Lake Constance

White hotel on waterfront with gardens in Lake Constance holidays

The best town to stay on Lake Constance is the town of Konstanz. It’s centrally located to all of the Lake Constance towns featured in the things to do, plus it offers great dining and accommodation options. 

A recommended stay is at the RIVA boutique hotel just steps from the waterfront and with beautiful views of Lake Konstanz. This lux property offers 5-star dining, a spa, a wellness center and a gorgeous rooftop pool. Not to mention the gorgeous interior and spacious rooms. The staff at Riva Hotel goes out of their way to make sure you have a great stay.

If you want to do your own search, check prices and book dates here.

FAQ: Holiday in Lake Constance

Why is Lake Constance so popular?

Lake Constance’s popularity stems from its breathtaking beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse range of activities, including watersports, hiking, and cycling.

How many days do you need in Lake Constance?

To fully experience the wonders of Lake Constance, a minimum of 3 to 5 days is recommended to visit the region’s charming towns, enjoy outdoor activities, and savour the local cuisine and wine.

Which town to stay in Lake Constance?

Constance is the ideal town to stay in at Lake Constance, with its charming medieval streets, stunning lake views, and a plethora of cultural and culinary delights.

Why is Lake Constance famous?

Lake Constance is famous for its breathtaking beauty as the largest lake in Germany is framed by snow-capped mountains and picturesque towns.

As a holidaymaker

Lake Constance region is a wonderfully laid-back and relaxing destination. There is something so calming to see those lake and mountain views. Not to mention the certain novelty in the fact that you could wake up in Germany, cycle into Switzerland for the lunch and then go to Austria later that afternoon for coffee and a strudel.

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