Lake Constance Germany, known as Bodensee Germany, is the third largest lake in Europe.
The lake is bordered by Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, although it has little in the way of barriers between the three countries.
Where do I spend three days exploring Lake Constance?
When you are planning a short break or a weekend getaway, you have a couple of options:
We chose Friedrichshafen because of its easy access to exploring this beautiful area using hiking trails or cycling routes. And it was only a short ferry ride to Konstanz, Germany.
Whether you choose Friedrichshafen or Konstanz, you will find plenty of must-see places and things to do in each location.
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Stay at Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance
This beautiful town is situated around the midpoint on the northern shoreline of the lake and offers you a stopping-off point to explore the various towns and walks that are nearby.
Day trips are easy to organize to Lindau, Konstanz or Ravensburg by taking the ferry.
But there is plenty to see in Friedrichshafen, which dates back to the 5th century.
Take Time to Relax and Unwind
For those of you who are here to relax, unwind and enjoy the panoramic views, then a stroll along the lake promenade will have you in awe.
With plenty of cafes and restaurants available, makes Lake Constance the perfect place to enjoy not only a drink or meal but also the fabulous views of the alps in the distance.
Walking along the lake promenade, you will find fountains and statues commemorating the history of Friedrichshafen.
One of the most notable fountains on the lake promenade is the Zeppelin Fountain.
Things to Do on Lake Constance
1. Take a Zeppelin Flight over Lake Constance
2. Visit The Zeppelin Museum “Technology and Art”
Friedrichshafen is best known for building the first airship, the Zeppelin, launched on 2nd July 1900. The Zeppelin Museum “Technology and Art” has two sections.
The first section is the largest collection of airship history in the world, and the second section has the largest art collection of South German Masters dating back to medieval times.
For more information, click here at the Zeppelin Museum.
What to do next?
Why not catch a bus from the central station and head out to the Zeppelin Hangar, where you can take a Zeppelin Flight?
3. Look Inside the Zeppelin Hangar
Zeppelin airships have always mesmerized us, so to see one flying above Lake Constance, Germany, was memorable.
If you want to get up close to a Zeppelin, you have two options:
- book a Zeppelin flight
- take a tour of the Zeppelin Hangar
To check tour times and flight times, here is a link to click to learn more about Zeppelin Hangar.
4. Learn more at The Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen
The Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen will also give you 100 years of air and space history.
The Museum also offers a platform to view the arrival and departure of the Zeppelin flights.
The museum is situated out of the main town area. Here’s their website, Dornier Museum.
5. Zeppelin Fountain on the Lake Constance
Notable Landmarks of Lake Constance
1. Schlosskirche (Palace Church) and The Schloss
The most notable landmark on Lake Constance, Germany, is the Schlosskirche (Palace Church) and The Schloss. By walking to the end of the lake promenade, just look for the Palace Church’s high domed towers reaching 55m.
Palace Church was finished in 1701 but restored in the 1950s after being destroyed in WWII. There is a museum within the church that is free to visit.
The Schloss was built in 1654 as a Benedictine Monastery.
Between 1824-1828 Wilhelm I of Wurttemberg converted The Schloss into a summer residence, and today it is the residence of Friedrich Duke of Wurttemberg.
2. Best Viewpoint on Lake Constance
Aussichtsturm (Viewpoint Tower) on the lake waterfront will give you a panoramic view of the lake to the Alps, the town of Friedrichshafen and The Schloss and Palace Church.
This viewpoint is a must during the day but also in the evening for sunset.
Just be prepared for a climb up the steps to the top level, as there is no lift available. However, the climb for the panoramic view is free.
3. Church of St Nicholas and Buchhorn Fountain
The original church of St Nicholas was built here in the 14th century. However, the church was destroyed in WWII and reconstructed.
The fountain’s name is Buchhorn and was the original name of the town before it changed to Friedrichshafen.
Day trips from Friedrichshafen
When visiting the Tourist Office, ask about the Guest Card for free services and activities.
You can also organize and choose guided tours by boat, sail, and hiking for a variety of day trips.
Lindau – by ferry – lies on the border with Austria and is within walking distance of the Austrian town of Bregenz. The historic medieval town is actually on an island.
Ravensburg – 20 minutes by train – is famous for its many towers and church spires. It also has a great shopping precinct.
Konstanz – 50 minutes by ferry where the River Rhine exits the lake and the old town borders Switzerland.
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Stay in the Medieval Town of Konstanz
Konstanz Germany can trace its origins back to the stone age when the Rhine river originates and exits Lake Constance.
The Rhine River effectively divides the city from the old town of Konstanz, sharing a border with Switzerland.
This beautiful city avoided being bombed by the Allies in WWII due to its proximity to Switzerland.
Choosing Konstanz as your travel destination makes it the best place, with its multiple train stations connecting to the rest of Europe.
Train travel from Konstanz will give you plenty of wonderful old towns nearby to explore as well.
Things to Do and See in Konstanz
1. Statue Imperia
Arriving at the harbour entrance to Konstanz, remember to look for the Statue Imperia.
The 9-meter-high statue is of a woman holding two naked men, representing Pope Martin V and Emperor Sigismund from the story La Bella Imperia.
The statue commemorates the Council of Constance held here between 1414-1418.
2. Konzil on Lake Constance
The first building you see when you come ashore from the ferry is the Konzil (Council building).
An impressive building dating back to 1388, it was originally used as a warehouse. But from 1414-1417, the council of Konstanz met here to elect a new Pope.
Today it is a very busy restaurant.
3. Explore the Niederburg District
The Niederburg district is the oldest area of Konstanz. Its buildings and narrow streets date back 700 years.
The old town has a variety of colourful houses, quaint shops, and many beautiful frescoes, so remember to look up as you walk by.
The Munster Cathedral is worth a visit, and there are plenty of cafes in the square at the Cathedral to enjoy.
What will catch your eye is the beautifully painted houses showcased in the narrow streets with a view of the Luther Church.
4. Konstanz Christmas Market
And if you decide on a weekend away prior to Christmas, remember to time your visit to include the lake promenade Christmas Market of Konstanz.
Who can resist Gluwhein on a winter’s day?
The variety of Christmas stalls just adds to the charm of Konstanz’s old town.
Have you been to a German Christmas market?
Day Trips from Konstanz Germany
With any short break, the question of where to spend your time can be challenging.
What we found by staying on Lake Constance meant we were spoilt for choice with so many day trip options.
Konstanz Germany is so close to towns all worth visiting, such as:
- Stein am Rhein
- Reichenau Island
But sometimes, it is better just to sit down and catch up with what is happening in the old town of Konstanz. Check out how to relax on your short break.
“Where do I spend three days exploring Lake Constance?” is just a small snippet of what is on offer with a stay in either Friedrichshafen or Konstanz.
Where on Lake Constance will you spend your short break?