Bodensee Travel Guide

  • Bodensee
    by christine.j
  • Tulips everywhere!!!
    Tulips everywhere!!!
    by Bigs
  • View over the lake from Mainau
    View over the lake from Mainau
    by Bigs

Bodensee Things to Do

  • Birnau Basilica

    The Birnau Basilica - a cistercensian monastery church, dedicated to St. Mary - is located along the B31 road between Nußdorf and Uhldingen. It was built between 1746 and 1749 in the baroque style, with stunning ceiling frescoes and sculptural art. Its location on a hill overlooking the Bodensee is magnificent. Viewed from the Bodensee, the church...

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  • Meersburg

    Meersburg - between Überlingen and Friedrichshafen - dates back at least to the late 10th century. The bishops of Konstanz ruled from here, first from the old Meersburg castle, since the early 18th century from the "Neues Schloss" palace. These palaces and the picturesque oldtown draw many visitors year-round.

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  • Pfahlbauten - Unteruhldingen

    Human settlement can be retraced to the Stone Age in the Bodensee area. In this time, settling along the lake on stilted houses made eminent sense, as one was close to water, food sources, travel to and trade with other settlements over the lake was relatively easy by boat, and the settlements were easy to defend. In the archaeological museum of...

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  • Hiking from Unteruhldingen to Birnau

    This is a very easy hike between Unteruhldingen and Birnau. The path runs for 3,5 km one-way, unmissable (many sign-posts) and flat. The landscape is very Bodensee-typical with apple-trees and vineyards. The arrival at he Birnau monastery church is rewarding for the view of the Bodensee panorama from here and the architectural treasures of the...

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  • Insel Mainau

    Mainau Island is known by the Name "Blumeninsel". The island came into posession of the ducal house of Baden and later - through dynastic marriages - to the swedish royal house. Count Lennart Bernadotte developed the gardens and parks of the island since the 1950`s and opened them to the public. Since then, the island draws between 1-2 million...

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  • Ravensburg - a bit north of the Lake

    Ravensburg is a bit north of the Bodensee, from Lindau it is a 30-45 minute drive. The city center is very nice, there are plenty of old buildings, of course well-kept and of several different styles. You can stay in the shopping areas if you want to, but I advice to also look at the side streets where you find some architectural gems. It is a...

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  • Kinderfestbrunnen - Childrens' Fountain

    Before our trip to Lindau I had checked out some guide books from the library and in one of them I had read about a fountain in Lindau, called the Trompeterbrunnen - the fountain of the trumpet player. The book said this fountain showed the statue of a boy in the uniform of the Hitler youth - something I couldn't believe. This would have meant...

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  • Diebsturm - the thieves' tower

    A bit away from the lake there is the Diebsturm - thieves' tower. It's got this name because it was used a prison and the thieves were kept there. Built in the 14th century, its first use was as a guard tower. Right next to it there is one of the oldest churches in the whole area, from 1000. I was sorry I could not go in, it was locked and I wasn't...

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  • Mangturm,Lindau

    The Mangturm - Mang tower - is on the promenade at the lake.I loved the colourful tiles on its roof. The tower was built in 13th century and was part of the fortification system of Lindau island, serving also as a lighthouse for many years. The rather strange name is from the neighbouring buildings ( now gone), where the laundry was kept and...

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  • Lindau

    Lindau is the only port in all of Bavaria, not surprisingly as Bavaria is mostly mountains and far away from any sea. But Lake Constance is also called the Swabian Sea, so the Bavarians feel they can call it a port. The larger part of the town is on the mainland, but the more beautiful one is an island, connected by a bridge. If you come by car,...

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  • Compass Fountain

    I was walking through the small town of Kressbronn at the Bodensee, when I saw a fountain with a large pole sticking out of it. The fountain was in the center of lots of blue ceramic plates which formed a cross. At first, this looked really strange and I didn't understand what it's supposed to be. Then I learned more about it and think it's a...

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  • Walk along the lake

    There are a number of cafes where one can sit and have a drink and watch the lake and all the people going by. A very pleasant way to spend a few hours.

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Bodensee Restaurants

  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    by christine.j Written Jun 18, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The teddy bear hotel has a restaurant attached to it, with the focus on local products. We went there to celebrate my mother's birthday and the food was so good, that we returned the next evening as well. They offer local products mostly, asparagus, fish from the lake, swabian specialties. Also a good selection for vegetarians.
    We had some champagne to toast, main course and dessert, with a bottle of a very good local wine, alltogether it was about 70 Euro, really not too much. When my mother's dessert arrived, around her plate it was written:Happy Birthday! A very nice touch. The whole family came to wish her luck, even a bear on strings was brought to shake hands.
    We're already planning to go back there next year, for another birthday celebration.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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Bodensee Transportation

  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Dec 17, 2013

    The "Weiße Flotte" ferries connect almost every city and touristic attraction along the shores of the Bodensee. Despite its name (every ship/ferry on the Bodensee is coloured white), these are actually different service providers that offer transport to almost every part of the lake. There are regular ferries which cater mainly for professional travelers, and touristic lines that only operate between April and October between the most interesting tourist destinations. Travelling to the Bodensee, you should first pick up a flyer with travel times and routes of the "Weisse Flotte", to figure out your itinerary.

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Bodensee Shopping

  • Beautiful, but far too expensive

    I saw some beautiful earthenware being displayed outside the small shop next to the Diebsturm and went in, hoping to find a nice present. I liked most of what I saw and thought I could buy one of the espresso cups. But when I asked how much it was I heard 35 Euro. This was too much for one, small cup. I'm not sure this shop is doing much business,...

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  • St. Gallen - prepare to spend

    If you have a bit more money in your travel purse you might consider shopping in St. Gallen. There are several nice boutiques who carry fashion that is influenced by the French taste, looking quite nice, but being quite expensive. There are also many other stores, you could find many things here – clothes, household decoration items, jewelry,...

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  • Ravensburg

    When I am in the area, Ravensburg is my favorite place to shop. There are two main streets with shops as well as some side streets and you get a good selection of clothes here. A larger department store (a tiny bit upscale) and two or three large boutiques as well as several small ones cater to most clothing tastes. You have some bookshops here as...

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Bodensee Warnings and Dangers

  • phred1910's Profile Photo

    by phred1910 Written Jun 2, 2003

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    Because it is a mountain lake...fed by the glaciers of the Alps... it is quite rocky...a pair of neoprene water shoes could come in quite handy...

    Rocky beach
    Related to:
    • Beaches

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Bodensee Tourist Traps

  • Not worth the trip

    My mother had read about a doll museum in Kippenhausen, so we went there. This museum can serve as an example of a tourist trap.True, there are lots of dolls on display. BUT:No explanation whatsoever! Everything is set down without a single plate or note, like how old it is or which manufacturer etc. The items are arranged in no specific order, it...

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  • The most expensive waterfalls in Europe

    Don’t go to Schaffhausen (about 15 miles west of the west corner of the Bodensee, it is quite a long drive) unless you have money to give away. Schaffhausen is where the River Rhine rushes down a waterfall (Rheinfall), which apparently is the biggest waterfall in Europe. Sure, it is very nice and delightful to see, it is a lovely and somewhat...

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  • Bodensee Hotels

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Bodensee Off The Beaten Path

  • Museum in the cellar, but what a gem!

    We had seen a sign saying "doll museum" near Hagnau, but still took a long time and some wrong turns to find it. It's in the cellar of a normal family home, entrance is through the garden and we had to ring the bell. We weren't even sure if we had come to the right place.But as soon we were inside the house, we saw dolls everywhere and posters of...

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  • Enjoy the beach where the locals do

    While a lot of people stick to the bigger, more popular towns, take a trip to Langenargen - which has a nice - and not so crowded beach and downtown area....

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Bodensee Sports & Outdoors

  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    by christine.j Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For a few years now, the three-country-marathon has been held on the first Sunday in October and this year, 2009, I decided to run it. It was wonderful!

    The course starts in Lindau, Germany, you run through Bregenz, Austria into St Margarethen in Switzerland and then again back to Bregenz, where the finish is in the stadium at Lake Constance. It's a wonderful course, with a great view on the lake ( how often do people cheer you from boats?) and only a very short, boring part through an industrial area.
    The finish in the stadion is something else!

    It is not a huge affair, but a more intimate marathon, about 1000 people ran the full course this year, all together about 5000 had signed up, running the half-marathon, quarter marathon, as a part of relay team, walking or the full marathon.

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Bodensee Favorites

  • Erin09340's Profile Photo

    by Erin09340 Written Jul 9, 2005

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    Favorite thing: Since most of the sights were closed, we decided to wait for our friends in a convivial restaurant/pub. And proceeded to drink a number of their fine beverages. Then we ended up in a greek restaurant on the lake and had some delicious wines.

    mmm tasty goodness

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