Accommodation near Lake Constance

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Welcome to Lake Constance

Explore Lake Constance

The Lake of Constance - or der Bodensee to give it its German name - is one of Europe’s biggest and most attractive lakes. With the city of Konstanz at one end and the foothills of the Alps at the other, the lake’s boundaries cross Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The shoreline is sprinkled with charming towns and villages, all set against a backdrop of beautiful countryside.

About Lake Constance

Crystal-clear waters, beautiful countryside and friendly towns: Explore the Lake of Constance on your holiday.

  • The lake has been completely frozen just 32 times since the year 875, most recently in 1963
  • The lake has 273 km of shoreline and 11 islands

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Where to Stay

Place near Lake Constance

The biggest settlement on the lake is the German university city of Konstanz, and its size and breadth of amenities makes it a great place to rent an apartment and use as a base. It has a beautiful medieval centre and some great restaurants and good independent bars. Going clockwise around the lake, the next major town is the charming Meersburg, dominated by the huge castle on the hill behind the cheerfully painted houses of the town. There is a direct boat between Konstanz and Meersburg. Further down the coasts sits Friedrichshafen, which was mostly destroyed in WW2 and is much more modern in architecture than its neighbours. It has some interesting museums, including the Zeppelin museum, with its lifesize reconstruction of the Hindenburg. The main town on the Swiss coastline is Bregenz, at the foot of the Alps. Take the cable car to the top of the Pfänder mountain for jaw-droppingly beautiful views across the lake and beyond.

Things to Do

Activities

No matter where on the lake you start your holiday, a boat trip is an absolute must. The waters of the lake are incredibly clear and the view of the shore is lovely from anywhere on the lake. All the major towns offer water sports equipment hire as well, and the lake is very well used for waterskiing, windsurfing and sailing. There are various large water parks around the lake as well, and many Strandbads (beach bathing places, normally with a food stand or two and a bar). If you are visiting in May, make sure to check out the events of International Bodensee Week, based in Konstanz. Children will love a daytrip to Affenberg Salem, just east of Überlingen - a mountain where 200 Barbary macaques roam freely in a forest, and visitors can feed them. Another fascinating day out is a trip to the Pfahlbaumuseum at Unteruhldingen - an open-air archaeological museum consisting of reconstructions of stilt houses standing in the lake from the Neolithic Stone Age and Bronze Age.

Eating and Drinking

Food and drink

All the towns around the Bodensee are geared up for tourism, and as such there is a good variety of food available. However, we recommend trying some typically Swabian dishes, local to the German side of the lake. Swabian cuisine is hearty, simple and down-to-earth. Try Maultaschen, their version of ravioli - a delicious mix of meat, spinach and onion normally served in a tasty beef broth. Spätzle (a type of thick egg noodle) is an incredibly popular dish - fill up on Kässpätzle, where the noodles are layered with cheese sauce and then liberally sprinkled with roasted onions. Some traditional Swabian breads are Laugengebäck, Pretzels and Hefezopf - they are available from every bakery and a great way to start the morning with some cheese and ham. Wash all this down with a local beer: Ruppaner brewery is based in Konstanz and the popular Rothaus brewery is based just a few hours west of the lake.

Getting Around

Getting Around

Ferries make regular crossings of the lake, most notably between Konstanz and Meersburg and Friedrichshafen and Romanshorn. A fast catamaran crosses between Friedrichshafen and Konstanz. There are slower boat crossings between many of the other towns as well - check local timetables for more information. It is also possible to explore the area by train, although the network is more comprehensive in Germany and Austria than on the Swiss side of the lake. Konstanz, Lindau, Friedrichshafen and Bregenz all have train stations with connections out towards bigger urban centres. It is possible to circumnavigate the entire lake by bicycle - the shoreline is nearly entirely flat and there is a well-maintained network of cycle lanes. You don’t of course have to cycle the full 273 km - but consider renting a bike to explore the area of the lake you have chosen as the base for your holiday.

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