Konstanz is the German town lying at the foot of the Alps on its northern edge, adjacent to the Konstanz lake, the largest lake in the country. The majestic lake has a shoreline of 270 kilometers which mostly lies in Germany, and some of it is situated at the border of Austria and Switzerland. It is also one of the top tourist attractions of Konstanz. The largest section of this majestic lake is called the Obersee, and stretches from Bregenz Bay to Konstanz, scattered with lakeside towns and villages graced with a beautiful view of the Swiss Alps. The lake has long been a centre of water sports appealing to a sailor. The rich cultural heritage of the surrounding areas with its places to visit like old castles, quaint villages and gardens make it a great destination for anyone even mildly invested in the idea of traveling. Some of the best points of interest in Konstanz include the Flower Island, the Schloss Palace and the Old Town.
Here's the list of 15 best things to do in Konstanz:
1. Make a visit to the Insel Mainau or the Flower Island
The spectacular flower island, four and a half miles north of Konstanz, is located in Mainau and accords 110 acres of floral wonder. Off the southern shore of the Überlinger See, the site has a range of beautiful ornamented gardens adorned with flowers from tropical and subtropical vegetation. The ornaments are often shaped like gnomes or birds and are spectacular to witness.
2. Visit the Konstanz Minster
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The largest lakeside town in the area, Konstanz, has many beautiful and old buildings. But the most prominent among these is the Konstanz Minster, not merely for its towering structure but also because of its rich backstory. The building was constructed around the 11th century, with some changes incorporated during the 15th and 17th centuries. The different parts of the church seem to have been constructed in different eras- the Holy Sepulchre belongs to the 13th century whereas the choir stalls inside were built during the 1460. The main doorway was built in the 15th century as well, bringing together different timelines. Be sure to climb the tower and view the surrounding old town which has changed with time as well.
3. Explore the surrounding old town
The old town has grown around the Konstanz Minster providing an excellent view from the top of the tower. Other than that, the old town exuberates a unique charm ad has its own set of highlights, such as the fifteenth century Hohenzollernhaus and the sixteenth century Rathaus. The lovely Haus zum Rosgarten was a medieval butcher’s guild house that now functions as a museum housing local and regional artefact.
4. Explore the Schloss Palace
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The flower island at Mainau also has a palace within its grounds, known as the Schloss palace. Built in 1746 for the Grand Duke of Baden, the palace is spectacular and can be accessed by a boat or a pedestrian bridge that connects the island. The interior includes notable features like the gatehouse and the White Hall. Most significantly, the palace has an old defensive tower which is one of the original sixteen towers. The flower island is a destination that should feature on the Konstanz itinerary at all costs.
5. Explore the Wollmatinger Ried-Untersee-Gnadensee
Many areas around the lake have been declared to be natural reserves to maintain and preserve the rare and precious lake ecosystem of lake Konstanz. This is one such area, the largest and most important within the German border. The reserve is situated at the junction of Rhine river flows into the main part of the lake, into the Untersee. There are more than 600 fern and flowering plants at the reserve, more than 290 kinds of birds are attracted to its rich reed beds.
6. Visit the NABU centre
A lot is going on at the Wollmatinger Ried-Untersee-Gnadensee Natural Reserve, and the best place to experience it is from the NABU-centre which imparts information regarding the reserve through digital media.
7. Explore the town of Lindau
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The largest town on the Bavarian shores of the Konstanz lake is the beautiful Lindau, consisting of an island and the mainland bridged together by the Neue Seebrücke. The harbor has a mighty old 13th-century lighthouse, the Mangturm. There is also a newer lighthouse which is 33m high and a 6m high Bavarianlion at the ends of the harbor walls which were both built in 1856. The old town around it has its own charms as well with beautifully preserved Gothic and Baroque houses.
8. Explore the old town around Lindau
The perfectly preserved houses of the old town around Lindau is now mostly pedestrian-only, which is not something we come across every day in our urbanised world. One of the key attractions for travellers in the area is the Maximilianstrasse, the main Street in the town with its patrician houses, arcades and fountains. Other prime spots include the Old Town Hall with its colourful visage, built in 1436. St. Peter’s Church or the Peterskirche also has its simple spiritual appeal.
9. Relax at the Allgäu or the uplands of Lake Konstanz
These are the uplands or the mountaineous region of the Alps closest to the lake, between Lake Konstanz and Lech Valley. The destination makes for a great hiking or driving site for tourists. The view is spectacular and quiet and is cut out for self reflection and inner peace.
10. Visit the Kaufhaus
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Any visit to Konstanz must include its harbour, that ventures out into the blue waters. Here is the location of the famous warehouse known as the Kaufhaus, made especially for trade with Italy.
11. Explore the Konzilsgebäude
The Kaufhaus in Konstanz is also the location known as the Konzilsgebäude where the conclave of cardinals had met to elect Pope Martin V in 1417. The amazing statue 'Imperia' honours this amazing event. The statue has become a well-known landmark of the city at large.
12. Enjoy at Lake Reichenau
This is lake Konstanz's largest island covering an impressive 1057 acres and through a causeway is connected to a mainland. The oldest structures in the island include three churches: St. George's Church in Oberzell, Minster of St. Mary and Minster of St. Mark, each of them as awe-inspiring as the others.
13. Trek around the Lake Konstanz Trail (Bodensee-Rundwanderweg)
This trail covers a total of 272 kilometres in all, encircling the lake in varying distances. It includes nature reserve of Wollmatinger Ried, a lot of the lake's small villages, Lindau and Konstanz, along with the islands of Reichenau and Mainau. It is easily accessible as hikers can enter and exit the trail at various points on the route.
14. Explore the German Stilt House Museum
The German Stilt House Museum is a unique open air museum found in the lake town Konstanz. Opened in 1922, it has reconstructions of stone age and bronze age homes and gives s comprehensive look on how life on these islands developed in the last 6000 years. Guided tours are available and the traditional stilt houses add an authentic vibe to the whole experience.
15. Explore lake Konstanz by boat
The islands are inset with waterways. To get a feel of them as they are, boat tours are available for tourists which is a key attraction for anybody visiting the Konstanz area.
Konstanz therefore offers a range of exotic experiences which is unparalleled. It colours up the itinerary beautifully and teaches us to appreciate life through the life the people lead on this town.