Continuing on this weekend trip after visiting Vaduz, the capital city of the 4th smallest country in Europe, Liechtenstein, we arrive at Bregenz by the Lake Constance, which boundaries are shared between Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Considering that the cities around the lake are very small, with some of them being island-cities, you can perfectly visit as many as time you have by simply stopping along the way. Not to mention the nice advantage viewing points you will have along the way driving.
Being able to visit all these places can only be really possible if having a rental car. Depending on public transportation means you will need much more time than just a weekend. At least, you can count with a good train network connecting most of the important cities.
Our first city by the lake was Bregenz on the southern tip, the westernmost city in Austria, minutes away from the Swiss and German borders. Austria after all, is the country with the less portion of border by the lake.
The drive from Vaduz was just some 60 kilometres, most of it on motorway therefore quick to get in; and although at first look you might think there is nothing to see in the city you will be really mistaken. In fact, it was the city with the most places to see together with Konstanz. But still, those cities are not any big nor time consuming therefore calculate not more than half a day, and that would be already too much if you are the kind of traveller like we are, eager to see more and more with almost no time to rest.
For more information about Bregenz visit Wikipedia site. Austria’s currency is the Euro (EUR). Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
What to see and do in Bregenz
- Upper Town Is the oldest part of the city and the most historical. Fully located on top of a hill, you will have great views over it from the Lower Town.
-Martinsturm Is the landmark in the city. Originally built in the 13th century, an addition in 1601 saw the construction of what is now the biggest Baroque bulb-shaped steeple in Central Europe.
–Old Town Hall Built in 1662.
-Church of Saint Gall Built on top of Romanesque foundations dating from before 1380 was rebuilt in 1480.
-Old streets Every street in the upper town is full of beautiful colourful old buildings. The best way to enjoy is just that, walking around.
- Lower Town Also as beautiful and historic as the Upper one.
-New Town Hall Almost as old as the old town hall in the upper town, built in 1686 with an 1898 façade.
-Seekapelle A beautiful Gothic church placed on a square full of historical buildings.
-Church of the Sacred Cross Built in 1864.
-Streets As for the Upper town, just walking around is the best way to explore and enjoy the beautiful houses, streets and squares.
I will keep adding the same paragraphs about transportation for all the cities I visited around the lake as it applies for all of them. Reaching the lake overland from any of the three countries the lake is shared with is pretty much simple and quick if you depend on a car. Driving around the lake is the best and easiest way to explore every city with the chance of stopping wherever you like and enjoy the great views from the many viewing points along the way. Fortunately if you cannot count on having a car, there is an efficient rail network running along most of the lake connecting the most important cities.
The nearest airport is Friedrichshafen, although extremely limited flights are available to/from here. Other much bigger airports connecting with the principal cities in Europe are located around 2 hours drive from the lake and are Memmingen and Stuttgart in Germany, and Zurich in Switzerland, which was the airport we used in this occasion.
Within each of the cities along the lake there is absolutely no need for any public transportation. All of them are so small that doesn’t require too much time to walk from one end to the other.
There is a good choice of guest houses all across this area although prices are somehow a bit higher that what we expected. A general rule we follow, a good point to start your search is by checking some of our preferred affiliate hotel search engines such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, Ebookers or LateRooms.
We decided to get our hotel at Friedrichshafen because it was the city with the best selection, and also the largest, facilitating the choice of restaurants and bars specially if you plan to go out in the night, although bear in mind it is not located in the city centre but some kilometres to the north after the airport. It was also the most convenient in location having in mind our busy agenda. We stayed at the Hotel Restaurant Krone, simple but really nice. Great value for money with a great included breakfast.