Heading to our last city for this trip, just a short ferry crossing from Meersburg are those 2 beautiful places right where Lake Constance splits into 2 and the river Rhine flows into the lake right through the city. The first of them, Mainau, is an island referred to as island garden because all that is there are impressive landscaped gardens and palaces, all of which listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. And the second, the beautiful city of Konstanz, some 5 kilometres away from Mainau.
The Medieval city of Konstanz will impress any visitor. Larger than all the other cities we visited you will definitely need more time to enjoy and properly visit, something that unfortunately we could not count with any more as we would have loved to. But in any case was “just” enough to enjoy all the beauties of the city and finalise such a wonderful trip all together.
After all, there is not really much to see and do other than walk around the nice streets admiring the architecture and nature around you, hence straightforward and easy to navigate. Then if you do a similar tour as the one we did this weekend, driving back from here to Zurich airport is very quick at not even 80 kilometres distance. For us it was just arrive, drop the rental car and board minutes after, as simple as that. We take planes that often as people who gets on the metro.
There’s not much more to be said on this introduction but for more information, check Wikipedia site. Germany’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 Mainau
- Mainau Island Only 10 kilometres from Meersburg, 28 kilometres from Friedrichshafen. It’s peculiarity is that of being a garden island. Palaces, fountains and monuments around beautiful landscaped gardens. There is a fee to enter the island where the large car park is also located, just before the bridge to the island.
What to see and do in Konstanz
- Cathedral Known as Konstanz Minster, is without any doubt the major landmark in the city. Built over the spam of over 700 years between 1100 and 1854. From the bell tower you will get the best views of the city and lake.
- Imperia sculpture Is another of the well known iconic images of the city. Designed by artist Peter Lenk it depicts a woman holding two naked men on each hand. Is located at the harbour entrance.
- Lighthouse Also at the harbour entrance on the opposite side of Imperia.
- Rheintorturm and Pulverturm Rhine entrance tower and Powder tower, both located at the confluence of the Rhine river and the lake.
- Schnetztor A 14th century city gate and tower.
- Rathaus Another beautiful example of painted façade building as that we saw in Lindau.
As the same I wrote for Meersburg, I will keep adding the same information 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.