The most beautiful city at Lake Constance? Constance would have a good chance to win this title. The flair: Mediterranean. The atmosphere: relaxed. Barely there, it feels like a vacation. Stroll through the historic center, sit in a cozy cafe, swim in the lake and enjoy a glass of Lake Constance wine – Constance is the ideal starting point for our planned island hopping. What’s more, the largest city on Lake Constance is so charming that you would like to stay longer. Or soon to return.
Whether you have just one day or a whole weekend to spend in Constance, here are our tips for an enjoyable time:
Constance sights: Old town and Niederburg Castle
From our hotel it is only a handful of steps to the Middle Ages. Half-timbered houses, narrow alleys, everything a bit crooked and crooked – and that’s exactly what makes Constance’s Niederburg district so charming. Flowers adorn small windows, climbing up the facades, which are bright and friendly whitewashed. Wine bars, boutiques and architectural styles from different eras attest to the long history of Constance on Lake Constance.
Across from the cathedral, a red building that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the city catches the eye: the library. The old walls are peeping through the windows. They almost collapsed, so crammed was the Wessenbach House once with books. Only demolition and rebuilding helped. Since then, Constance has one more story.
Facade stories in Constance on Lake Constance
There are plenty of stories anyway. Some used to paint them on their houses. Like at the Turmhaus in the old town of Konstanz, Germany. The picture shows the fish market that used to take place here. The tables almost bend under the load. The painter even snuck in some lobster. If you like, the house painting was an early form of advertising: ‘Look what we have, plenty of everything, you can have it too, come to us’.’
Still works today. Hardly a vacationer who does not stop in front of the 7-story building and pull out the camera. These towers were modeled on the family towers in Bologna and San Gimignano, which the owners used to show off their wealth.
What we also like: the owner-operated stores in the old town, which elsewhere have long been displaced by chain stores. You can find them here too, but not only.
Constance Lake Constance tips: enjoy a glass of wine at the harbor
How are we supposed to decide: Constance on Lake Constance has such beautiful bars, cafes, bistros, wine taverns … we would love to try our way through them all. For this time, the choice falls pragmatically on the terrace of the council building at the harbor. So we can fully enjoy the hour until the departure of our ship.
In the Middle Ages, the only election of the Pope north of the Alps took place in this former warehouse – and made the city famous with the Council of Constance. Today you can enjoy earthly delights: wines and specialties from Lake Constance. And a box seat from which we watch the hustle and bustle at the harbor.
The Imperia, which tirelessly turns around its own axis. Was that a riot when the opulent courtesan came to the port of Constance a quarter of a century ago. Scantily clad, with the king in one hand and the pope in the other. Sculptor Peter Lenk’s artwork is a reminder of the alleged mistress rule that the Roman official church was accused of by its fiercest critics (Wikipedia). The model was the novel by Honore de Balzac “La Belle Imperia”.
As much as the citizens complained, the Imperia stayed – and became the most photographed attraction in Konstanz Bodensee.
Constance Lake Constance vacation tips: Lake walk
Hiking in Constance at Lake Constance? Yes, of course! Best of all on the lake premium hiking trail, along 50 kilometers of Lake Constance to uberlingen. The premium trail starts at the harbor or at the Rhine bridge and runs along the lakeside promenade with its magnificent town houses, mostly right on the waterfront.
In Constance there are many different hiking trails, a nice alternative is a walk along the lake. We have tried out a route for you that takes about two hours and is absolutely easy and flat: the first part of the lake walk and then further on the Lake Constance circular route to Mainau Island. From there you can get back to the center by bus. Or with the Seepferdle-Express, which we unfortunately could not try because of the rain.
Of course it can happen that you get stuck on the way: in the Bodensee-Therme (in case of rain) or in the lido Hornle (in case of sun). But that doesn’t matter, the route can also be wonderfully divided into hiking bites.
Sweating in the Bodensee-Therme
There is not supposed to be really bad weather in Constance. And if, then the rain clouds move on very soon and the sun laughs again.
If you happen to be there when it does drizzle, we have a few tips for Constance in the rain: sit in one of the many nice cafes in the old town, take a boat trip (see next tip), go to Sea Life Constance (not only interesting for children, as the exhibition also refers to Lake Constance) or like us: relax for a few hours in the Lake Constance thermal baths.
Bathrobe and sauna towels we could borrow. The thermal bath offers different packages, in which the rent as well as for example a drink and/or an application are inclusive.
That with the fast weather change seems to be true, by the way: Promptly in the moment in which we make ourselves comfortable in the sauna, the rainy morning decides against all predictions and drags the sun out from behind the clouds. Which was fine, of course, because nothing is more refreshing than jumping into a lake after a good sweat. Wonderful!
And from the panoramic terrace the water shimmers much more turquoise in the sunlight. Next time please with a distant view of the Alps.
Gondola on Lake Constance from Constance by boat
A sea trip, that is funny … Comes there, at least with the theme cruises and the second bottle of wine&
No, seriously: The culinary boat tours on Lake Constance are really fun; it’s a different kind of sightseeing.
At the barbecue& Chill we sailed from Constance to Meersburg and from there to Friedrichshafen, then back to Constance towards the sunset.
On the sun deck, plenty of steaks and sausages sizzle on the grill during this tour, we get side dishes and salads from the buffet, wine is served at the table – the cruise feeling comes free of charge.
From Constance, the ship is probably the most pleasant way to get from one place to another on Lake Constance. Whether for hiking, biking (bikes are allowed on board some ships), shopping, or a classic excursion to the islands of Mainau or Reichenau, where we spent half a day each – with the scheduled ferry, you’re as boundless as you are comfortable.
The boat takes about four hours to Bregenz, if you want to go to Friedrichshafen, you can get there in one hour by catamaran. And it is only a stone’s throw to Meersburg on the opposite side anyway.
Constance Lake Constance – travel tips& practical information
How to get there:
Constance is located on the western side of Lake Constance. By car via the A81 via Singen or by train also to Singen and from there by regional train to Konstanz.
Constance Lake Constance overnight stay:
We stayed at the Steigenberger Inselhotel*, which is actually located on a real island. It is only a few steps to the harbor or the old town. A highlight was the breakfast on the lake terrace. A separate article about the hotel will follow.
Constance Restaurants – Food& Drink:
Hard to believe, but true: We didn’t have time to eat out in Konstanz. Therefore, here is the highly official overview of the restaurants in Constance.
Schedules and excursions (e.g. Mainau Island or Reichenau Island) of the Bodensee-Schiffsbetriebe can be found on their website www.bsb.en; tickets also directly on the ship.
Hiking on the premium hiking trail “SeeGang
Four stages with a total of over 50 kilometers connect Constance and uberlingen, Lake Constance and the Alps always in view. In between, scattered orchards, wildly romantic ruins, gorges, forest paths, historic towns and culinary breaks in cozy cafes, quaint wine taverns to Michelin-starred restaurants. More info in the SeeGang brochure.
The best way to get there is to take bus line 5 from the center of Constance or to walk by the lake (approx. 30 min). If you come by car, you can leave it in the parking garage.
Zur Therme 2, Constance, www.therme-konstanz.de
With the Constance guest card, you can travel for free on the city buses in Constance (note: not valid when crossing the border into Switzerland). More discounts are u.a. at Sea-Life or at the Spitalkellerei Constance.
More at www.constance-tourism.en
Lake Constance travel guide* Michael Muller Verlag: Travel individually with many practical tips
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Note: This is an editorial contribution, which could nevertheless have an advertising effect under certain circumstances. The trip was made with the kind support of Marketing und Tourismus Konstanz. In my research, I partly cooperate with tourism associations, tour operators and hotels. This has no influence on the type, content and scope of my articles, my opinion remains as always my own.