Can’t decide again? Snow-capped mountain peaks or crystal-clear water? Charming village or modern city? How good that you don’t have to decide! Because how about Lake Constance and the city of Konstanz? In this article, I will show you the most important and beautiful sights in Konstanz and how you can explore them in one day.
We in Baden-Württemberg love our “sea” so much that I use the term “sea” even though Lake Constance is of course a lake. (And before I get comments from the Bavarians again: Of course, Lake Constance is also in Bavaria and the Bavarians love it almost as much as we from Baden-Württemberg!)
We like to spend our weekends at Lake Constance and visit lidos, and thermal baths, ride bikes or visit the largest city on Lake Constance: Konstanz with around 85,000 inhabitants.
The city of Konstanz borders Switzerland and the city of Kreuzlingen.
If you have never been to Lake Constance, you should do so as soon as possible. Here are the best tips and sights in Konstanz for a day or a whole weekend.
Top Sights in Konstanz That You Should See
When visiting Konstanz, there are a few classics that you should visit. The beautiful city on Lake Constance offers many attractions besides the old town, Imperia and the harbor that you simply have to see! I have listed these top sights for you here.
1. Imperia and the port
2. Old town
5. Konstanz Cathedral
7. Rheintor & Pulverturm
8. Town Hall
Main sights in Konstanz
1.The historic old town
Stroll through the historic old town of Konstanz. The sights for me are the Kaiserbrunnen, the Rosgarten Museum, the Kontanz Minster of Our Lady, and the historic streets around it.
2. Konstanz Cathedral of Our Lady
A classic excursion destination in Konstanz is the Minster from the year 600 AD, which is also the largest Romanesque church in southern Germany. From 1414 to 1418 the council took place in Konstanz and thus the only election of the pope that was ever carried out in Germany. The enthronement (inauguration of the new pope into office) took place on the forecourt of the minister.
Climb the 193 steps of the Minster tower for a great view of Konstanz’s old town.
Our tip: The light is best just before dusk. And the view of Konstanz at sunset is simply fantastic! (Ticket only €2).
3. The Shore of Lake Constance
Sightseeing tour in the old town over? Then treat yourself to a break on the lake shore. I find the small green mile with trees and benches directly on the shore of Lake Constance particularly relaxing. In summer you can watch the hustle and bustle in the port of Konstanz, walk along the lake promenade, and relax in the shade.
Here you really feel like you are at the sea. Because the Mediterranean holiday flair, the fresh air, and the summery weather help you to really switch off.
Tip: Are you traveling by bike? How about a circumnavigation of the lake? The Lake Constance cycle path is really well developed. Check out the most beautiful bike tours around Konstanz on Komoot.
4. Imperia Konstanz
If you are at the port anyway, you should visit Imperia. The world’s largest monument of a courtesan and at the same time Konstanz’s “Statue of Liberty”. You will find Imperia at the end of the harbor jetty. The landmark of Konstanz and a popular photo motif rotate around its own axis within 4 minutes.
There is really a lot worth seeing in Konstanz. The next well-known attraction is right in front of Imperia because this is where the historic Konstanz ferry is located. It was not only the first car ferry on Lake Constance when it went into operation in 1928. She was the first ferry for motor vehicles on an inland lake in Europe.
5. Konzil Building Constance
If you look towards the train station and the old town, you will see the historic council building of Constance. The massive building was erected as a warehouse as early as the 13th century. In 1417, during the Council, the conclave for the election of Pope Martin V took place here.
Today the building is used as a ballroom, congress center, and restaurant. The beer garden is well-frequented, especially in summer, and is worth a short break. If you’re hungry, I can really recommend the home-style food here.
6. Rhine Bridge
A few meters further is the old Rhine bridge. From here you can see the photogenic Seestraße with its beautiful buildings. You have the best view directly from the Rhine bridge.
If you’re still not tired, go to the oldest part of Konstanz: Niederburg. Narrow winding streets, pretty little houses, small shops, restaurants, and wine bars give you a very special (almost Mediterranean) flair. We love the alleys of the Niederburg, which have existed since the Middle Ages!
Don’t Miss This Either
The most beautiful thing about Konstanz is the old town in the center. You can explore these completely relaxed on your own. But before you start a tour of the old town, you should treat yourself to a good breakfast.
In the middle of Konstanz’s old town, you will find the Voglhaus café and department store. Even the selection of coffee from various countries of origin is large. What makes me particularly happy is that there is also coffee here from the fair trade roastery Kaffeehaus Hagen from my hometown of Heilbronn. It’s really tasty, give it a try!
There are also small snacks for small and large appetites and, above all, a great selection of vegan delicacies.
If you are full, you can walk right next door to the associated department store. The walk of the basement is particularly rustic.
Afterward, you can start exploring the old town of Konstanz strengthened and relaxed and see all the sights and the many small shops! We love Konstanz and love to go shopping in the old town.
Shopping in The Old Town
Now we’re on to the next topic: shopping. This is best done in the small winding streets of Konstanz’s old town. Here you will come across many individual and very loving shops, which are definitely worth a look. I would particularly like to mention the small chacha WOMEN shop.
He stocks many Fairtrade brands and also stocks some of my favorite travel inspiration books. Maybe you will find inspiration for your next travel destination there! The chacha store is located at St.-Stephansplatz 16.
You shouldn’t miss the hustle and bustle at the Konstanz markets on St. Stephans & St. Gehbard-Platz, but they are still very cozy. A special highlight in July: the Treasure Market in Konstanz.
All markets with dates can be found on the Konstanz Tourismus website
If you want to swim at Lake Constance, the best thing to do is to look for lidos. In Konstanz, there is the Horn lido, also affectionately called Hörnle.
Since there is a lot going on here in summer, we always take the ferry to Immenstaad. Because friends own an apartment there. It’s a bit quieter overall, although Lake Constance is of course generally very popular in summer.
More tips for Immenstaad and Lake Constance can be found here
Even when friends of mine were studying in Konstanz, we occasionally drove “briefly” from Heilbronn to Konstanz to the Klimperkasten. Crazy? Yes, but the bar is really freaking cool!
Bodensee Therme Konstanz
My best tip for Konstanz in the rain: The Bodensee-Therme Konstanz. Mineral thermal baths – in the outdoor area with a view of Lake Constance and the Alps -, and a salt room, but also a sauna and massages guarantee your absolute relaxation.
Day Trips from Lake Constance
1. With the ferry to Meersburg
For the next day, we recommend a trip to Meersburg by ferry. The journey across Lake Constance takes 15 minutes (costs €5.50). The car ferry has connected Konstanz with Meersburg since 1928.
Meersburg is probably the most touristy place on Lake Constance. No wonder, because the city is simply beautiful. The castle in the vineyards, also known as the old castle, or the new castle in Meersburg invites you to explore. There are also cozy little alleys to stroll along, as well as numerous wine bars, restaurants, and small cafés.
As a fan of half-timbered houses and beer gardens, I feel particularly comfortable when the many excursion buses leave Meersburg in the evening. Sitting in the beer garden of the Gutsschaenke in the upper town with a view of the sunset over Lake Constance – is priceless.
Tip: Be sure to reserve a table: Gutsschänke Meersburg
Did you fancy Meersburg? Then you will find my article here with all the tips for the perfect day in Meersburg.
Pile Dwellings in Unteruhldingen
The stilt houses in Unteruhldingen are an absolute highlight on Lake Constance. Archeology you can touch and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As always, the view of the pile dwellings is grandiose and fascinating. We walk over the wooden walkways and take a look inside the reconstruction of the stilt houses. This type of building could be traced back to Constance Bay, the Überlinger See or the Obersee. This pile-dwelling village was recreated in Unteruhldingen. The museum is really worth seeing.
Tip: Come here early in the morning, after that it is very crowded. Especially on nice days from May to October.
More information on the official website
Other Destinations for Lake Constance:
- Reichenau Island
- Pfänder (view of the Alps and Lake Constance)
- Flower Island Mainau
→ Here again the reference to my article, in which I have listed all the highlights and places worth seeing on Lake Constance.
Map for Konstanz And Lake Constance
So that you can easily navigate through Konstanz and have a better overview, I have drawn the most important sights, departure points for ferries, and highlights in Konstanz and Lake Constance on this map. Save them on your cell phone.
Special City Tours
In Konstanz, there are very classic as well as themed city tours. My friends are Tatort fans and were enthusiastic about the Bodensee – Tatort tour. Personally, I would like to do the scary tour on my next trip.
There are also very special tours on the Pleasure Ships. Taking a boat across Lake Constance with a gin tasting or a 3-course meal sounds great, doesn’t it?
Eating & Drinking
- Konstanzer Hafenhalle: Restaurant, beer garden, and café all in one. Check the website for the program, live concerts often take place.
- Constanze Wirtshaus: Classic Swabian cuisine from Maultaschen to onion roast beef. There is also a large selection of vegetarians and vegans. Location right on the Rhine.
- Living room Konstanz: Flammkuchen in all variations in a living room atmosphere.
- Eugens Bio · Café · Restaurant: Not only delicious organic food for vegetarians and vegans. Downtown.
- Strandbar Konstanz: Especially in summer the first port of call with sun loungers and a sandy beach for chilling out by the lake.
- Rothaus beer garden (haven’t tested it myself, but it was recommended to me): The stylish beer garden of the Steigenberger Hotel is located directly on the lake (open May – October). We were told that this is a beautiful place to watch the moon rise. Next time I visit Konstanz I will try this place.
View From The Bismarck Tower
A great vantage point just outside the center can be found on the Bismarck Tower. The tower is located on the 452 m high Raiteberg. From the top you have a great view of the Alps and over the lake.
- Opening times: Daily from spring to autumn
- Admission: adults €1 (Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays: €1.50) and children up to 14 years 30 cents.
- Location: About 30 minutes walk from the old town
Note on Sea Life Konstanz:
Many years ago, when I didn’t know any better, I stayed at Sea Life. In my opinion, the pools for many species are much too small (rays) and make me sad. It is better to see the animals in their natural habitat on a holiday trip. In my opinion, the price-performance ratio is just as bad. It’s all my opinion, yours may be different.
Lake Constance Cycle Path
The entire Lake Constance cycle path is 260 kilometers long and leads around the lake. So far I’ve only ridden the route in parts (Immenstaad – Friedrichshafen and around Konstanz in both directions). The entire cycle path consists of 8 stages if you take it easy. Of course, it is also faster.
If you only want to ride a bike in Konstanz, you can rent a bike from the city’s rental system ( information here ). For longer bike tours, I advise you to rent from Kultur-Rädle or Radial (a tip from a friend who studied in Konstanz and lived for a long time). I always have my own bike with me.
Shipping on Lake Constance
Don’t feel like going to the center? Then use the ships and take a relaxed ride on Lake Constance. You can find the line timetables and special excursions on the Bodensee-Schiffsbetriebe website.
There are trips to Friedrichshafen, Lindau, the island of Mainau, or the island of Reichenau. My tip is a trip to Meersburg, the most beautiful place on Lake Constance. Friedrichshafen also has a number of places and attractions that are well worth seeing (Zeppelin Museum, Dornier Museum, Mole Tower).
Konstanz is on the western side of Lake Constance. We always drive from Heilbronn via the A81. You can travel by train via Singen and by regional train to Konstanz.
Accommodation in Konstanz
We stayed at the Ko’Ono in Litzelstätten. The hotel is a bit out of the way, but the public transport network is excellent. The bus ride to takes about 20 minutes to the train station in Konstanz. You don’t want to drive to Konstanz anyway. Parking spaces are scarce or expensive.
If you’re lucky, there’ll be a room with a hammock, and in the adjoining restaurant, you can choose between burgers and a Hawaiian poke bowl.
You can reach the island of Mainau from the hotel without any problems. The parking lot to the island can be reached in less than 5 minutes.
Konstanz with a Mobile Home
There is no campsite in the city of Konstanz, but there are camper van sites:
- Döbele car park is directly adjacent to the city center of Konstanz. There is space for 20 vehicles. The car park is open all year round and costs 18 euros for 2 people. Supply/disposal is available, but unfortunately, no electricity. However, the place is not ideal for rest either, since the parking lot is right on the street. Ideal for sightseeing and parking during the visit.
- The parking space on the island of Reichenau is more idyllic. For 12 euros per night, you can spend the night in one of the 12 parking spaces on the outskirts of Niederzell. There is supply/disposal and electricity. You can quickly reach Konstanz by bike or bus.
- Ergeten parking space in Meersburg . This parking space is on the other side of the lake, easily accessible by ferry. There is space for 38 vehicles on the site. From spring to autumn there is also a toilet for 13 euros/night. Electricity, supply/disposal available.
Guest Card Konstanz
If you live in a hotel in Konstanz as we do, you will automatically receive a guest card. With this card, you can ride the Konstanz city buses for free. This does not apply to border crossings into Switzerland.
Thanks to the guest card, you will also receive further discounts: Konstanz-tourismus.de
You can also find more tips for Baden Württemberg in my following articles:
- 1 day in Meersburg on Lake Constance
- Excursion destinations in the Black Forest (also for children)
- Highlights on the road trip from the Black Forest to Lake Constance
- The most beautiful places on Lake Constance
Do you have any other travel tips for Konstanz?
What do you think are the most beautiful sights, activities, excursion destinations, and tips for the largest city on Lake Constance? Leave your recommendations at the end of the article.