13 Things to Do on Your Lake Constance Holiday, Germany

If you take a Lake Constance holiday, you’ll be nestled between three countries.

Lake Constance, Germany straddles Austria and Switzerland and is a short drive to Liechtenstein. That’s why it’s known as the four-country region!

Lake Constance or Lake Konstanz in German is often referred to as Bodensee by locals. But it really is just one place.

Holidays in Lake Constance are ideal for those who want to travel to as many countries as they can. Or, for those who are craving a resort-like holiday in the heart of Europe.

To help plan your holiday here, I will share 13 amazing things to do in Lake Constance. Consider this your ultimate Lake Constance travel guide.

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13 Lake Constance Things to Do

1. Visit Lindau Germany – a charming harbour town

port city with boats and colourful buildings on lake constance holiday
Lindau, one of the best towns on Lake Constance

I really like Lindau because it’s right by the lake. When you enter the harbour, you’ll see a big Bavarian lion and a lighthouse, which is iconic and the symbol of this town.

The town’s promenade by the lake is always busy with people walking, biking, and chilling in the sun.

I climbed the lighthouse, and the view of the Alps was amazing. You should also check out Lindenhof Park – it’s this huge green space with tall trees and nice gardens. It’s a great break from the busy harbour.

Don’t forget to explore the small old town with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings. There are lots of cafes and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat.

You’re definitely going to want to add visiting Lindau to your “what to do in Lake Constance itinerary” list.

2. Explore Meersburg – a delightful castle town

yellow building with white wisteria flowers on side of hill in lake constance things to do
Meersburg, one of the best places to visit in Lake Konstanz

I really love Meersburg, which means “Castle on the Sea.” It’s got two old castles, and the oldest one is a super well-preserved medieval fortress dating back to the 7th century.

When I first got to Meersburg, by boat from Konstanz, I found myself in the lower town. It’s got this resort vibe with lots of hotels, restaurants facing the pier, and touristy shops. The uptown is where the historic old town is, and it’s even more charming.

The old town blew me away. You can spend a whole day wandering through the maze of cobblestoned streets, checking out the historic townhomes.

They turned all these cool buildings into boutiques, cafes, wine taverns, and restaurants. Of all the places to visit in Lake Constance, Meersburg is the most charming and quaint one, making it a must for things to do in Konstanz.

3. See Mainau – a pretty flower island

lush green gardens with stone staircase as one of the things to do in lake constance
Mainau, the best places to visit Lake Constance

What to do in Konstanz, I really enjoyed my visit to Mainau, also known as Flower Island because it’s filled with around a million different flowers and plants on its 110 acres. It’s the top attraction around Lake Constance.

The Mainau Castle, which was built in 1746, adds a beautiful touch to the flower gardens. Germany is famous for its amazing parks and gardens, and this one is said to be among the best in the country. It’s pretty impressive!

4. Tour Constance – a large vibrant city

lake with ancient tower with red roof in lake constance germany
Things to do in Bodensee, Constance

I really liked visiting Constance (or Konstanz), the biggest city on Lake Constance. It has a long history dating back to medieval times and has some amazing historical landmarks that history buffs will love.

Some top places to visit include the 14th-century Konstanz Minster Cathedral and the Kaufhaus from the 14th century, also known as Konzilsgebäude.

The old town is surrounded by a medieval circular wall with 20 towers, but only 3 are left today. I loved to stroll through the quiet cobblestone streets and check out the well-preserved half-timber houses, which is a must for things to do in Konstanz.

Constance is a great city for shopping with lots of shops, cafes, and restaurants along the streets. Walking along the waterfront boulevard is also really nice, with elegant townhomes offering stunning views of the lake and the Swiss Alps.

Constance has everything you could ask for – whether you’re into history, food, or nature, there are endless options for Lake Constance activities. Plus, it’s a wonderfully tranquil home base for exploring the region.

5. Sail Around Bodensee

lake with sailboats and mountains in background in bodensee germany
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.

This lake is connected to Lake Constance Switzerland, so you could sail to Konstanz Switzerland without even realizing it. If you are a sailboat lover, this is one of the best things to do at Lake Constance.

6. Bike around Lake Constance

bikes on trail in lake constance
Things to do around Lake Constance, rent bikes!

Wondering what to do in Lake Konstanz? I absolutely love biking around Lake Constance – it’s a truly exhilarating experience with breathtaking views!

The mostly flat bike trails lead you through scenic lakesides, tranquil countryside, and picturesque towns.

Lake Constance, with its unique combination of stunning scenery and outdoor adventure, is a paradise for cyclists of all levels.

It makes for an unforgettable destination if you’re looking for an active and immersive travel experience. And, this tops the list of fun things to do in Lake Constance.

7. Visit St. Gallen – a historic pretty town

old timber frame buildings on cobblestone square near konstanz

Situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps, St. Gallen is a culturally vibrant city just across the border from Germany.

It’s a simple bike ride along the Lake Constance Cycle path leading straight to the charming, traffic-free historic town, that’s how I arrived.

I love exploring the historic Abbey of St. Gallen, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It houses nearly 170,000 written documents dating back over 1,000 years, and is a must-visit in St. Gallen.

One of the things I would have liked to do was go on a one-hour walking tour through the charming old town with a local guide and discover the most wonderful sights.

8. Discover Rhine Falls – a natural wonder

One fantastic day trip from Lake Constance is to Rhine Falls in Switzerland.

I recommend a day trip to Rhine Falls, just under an hour from Konstanz in Switzerland. It’s one of Europe’s most spectacular natural wonders, with its thunderous roar, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking views. Visiting Rhine Falls is a must during your Lake Constance holidays.

To enhance your experience, consider taking a boat tour to the base of the falls. You can book your dates here while listening to audio that shares all the history and interesting facts about this incredible place.

9. Join a Night Watchman City Tour

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

Take this 1.5-hour small guided tour that begins as dusk settles, creating a mystical atmosphere as you stroll through the dark ancient streets. As one of the most unique Lake Konstanz things to do, this is a great way to learn about the city’s past.

10. Sip on some local wine

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

I love the idea of visiting a local winery and indulging in the delicious wines crafted in this region.

One winery I went to was Winzerverein Meersburg. It boasts a rich history as one of the oldest in the area. I had the chance to tour the beautiful vineyards, gaining insights into the intricate winemaking process, and of course, tasting some of the award-winning wines produced right on-site.

Whether you’re a fellow wine enthusiast or simply looking for a cultural experience that immerses you in the local flavours, I can assure you that a visit to Winzerverein Meersburg will undoubtedly become a highlight of your 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
Zurich, one of the popular day trips from Konstanz

An easy day trip from Lake Constance is to Switzerland’s largest city. Konstanz to Zurich is only an hour’s drive, making it top of my list of things to do near Lake Constance.

It’s just enough time to explore the old town and enjoy a meal. 

Once in Zurich, don’t miss strolling along the charming streets of the old town, where you can admire historic architecture and soak in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

A visit to the famous Bahnhofstrasse for some shopping or enjoying a boat ride on Lake Zurich could also add to your memorable day in this bustling Swiss city.

12. Vist the Zeppelin Museum

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

Explore the interesting Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen for an exciting journey through aviation history.

Housed in a beautifully restored Art Nouveau building on Lake Constance, it features an impressive collection of airships, engines, and historical artifacts that highlight Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin’s pioneering spirit.

Marvel at the original Zeppelin airship, enjoy interactive exhibits and even take a ride in a Zeppelin simulator. This museum is a must-visit for those keen on flight history and aviation.

13. Dine at a Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Eating at Michelin-star restaurants is amazing – it’s like a treat for all my senses.

Each restaurant is like a food masterpiece, giving me an unforgettable dining experience that’s really worth enjoying. I can’t think of a better way to wrap up my time in Lake Constance!

I dined at Ophelia, located in the Riva boutique hotel where I stayed. With a beautiful view of Lake Constance, and eating a delightfully delicious meal inspired by classic French cuisine, this was a highlight of my holiday in Lake Constance.

Here are three other Michelin-star restaurants in Konstanz to try, don’t forget to make your reservations:

  • 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
  • Casala, guests are transported to Italy, to a world of refined elegance and artistic gastronomy, with beautifully presented dishes that showcase the best of Italian cuisine

Where to Stay in Lake Constance in Germany

White hotel on waterfront with gardens in Lake Constance holidays
Where to stay on Lake Constance, RIVA Boutique Hotel

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 luxe property offers:

  • a spa and wellness center
  • gorgeous rooftop pool with views of Lake Constance
  • beautiful modern interior, with a stunning architecturally designed staircase
  • spacious, modern rooms with a balcony with views (or partial views) of Lake Constance
  • on-site restaurant for delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • 5-star dining at Ophelia, a Michelin-star restaurant
  • free bike rentals
  • extra special touches like a welcome treat and turn-down service
  • attentive staff who go above and beyond to make sure you have an amazing stay

I wouldn’t want to stay anywhere else and would return in a heartbeat.

FAQ: Lake Constance Holiday

Where is Lake Constance?

Lake Constance, also known as Bodensee, is located in Central Europe at the northern foot of the Alps. It is bordered by Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, making it a stunning and picturesque lake shared by these three countries.

How to travel from Munich to Lake Constance?

The best option is by car, and the journey takes approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, covering a distance of about 220 kilometres (137 miles) along the Alpine Road.

Is Lake Constance worth visiting?

Absolutely. Lake Constance, with its mild climate, stunning lake, and picturesque towns, is a year-round attraction. The area offers a perfect blend of nature, culture, castles, and history.

Why is Lake Constance famous?

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

How do I get to Lake Constance?

You can reach Lake Constance by train, car, or boat. The region is well-connected, with train stations in major towns, and the lake is easily accessible by road. Visitors can fly into Zurich International Airport or Friedrichshafen Airport, both within an hour’s drive.

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.

As a Holidaymaker

Holidays to Lake Constance are like nothing I’ve ever experienced before in Europe. It truly 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 lunch and then go to Austria later that afternoon for coffee and a strudel.

How I came to visit Lake Constance was by taking the ultimate road trip on the Alpine Route through the German Alps. Starting in Berchtesgaden on Konigsee it is 450 km through the most incredible scenery until the ending location in Lake Constance. The halfway point is the alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen which features the highest point in Germany at Zugspitze.

To help plan your trip to Germany be sure to check out my Travel Guide. It’s full of helpful information and inspiration, as well as my long list of articles. I’ve been to Germany 5 times, and have lived here twice in my lifetime, most recently in Berlin.