Bodensee Lake, also known as Lake Constance, has been admired by many tourists from all around the world. This special lake has 270 kilometers of shorelines touching three countries: Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. Although other lakes, like Lake Garda, Lake Como, and Lake Maggiore, are very famous among the tourists but Bodensee lake has never failed to mesmerize its visitors. This third largest lake in Central Europe lets you visit amazing tourist attractions in the three countries and the microstate of Liechtenstein as part of your tour.
The beautiful lake nestled in the foothills of spectacular alps has many picture-perfect towns at its shores. The beautiful landscape is dotted with many historic castles, churches, towers embedded with rich culture and history. Every town has its own culture and history as the map of Europe has seen a lot of changes in the past. If you are visiting Lake Constance, you might need to plan at least 3 days for the trip if you want to see the maximum attractions around 3 countries. Cycling along the lake and boating are the best activities as you can shift from one country to another country with the surroundings of breathtaking views.
The mild climate of Bodensee lake is considered ideal for water sports and many other leisure activities. All the towns and attractions are well connected by the boat services, so it is easy to visit the maximum attractions around the lake in all three countries. You can also easily get the bus and railway services to roam around and shift from one attraction to another.
21 Wonderful Attractions around Bodensee Lake
Stein Am Rhein
Stein Am Rhein is a beautiful little town nestled along the River Rhine in Switzerland, just before it widens out into the Lower Lake Constance (Untersee) and eventually the Upper Lake Constance (Obersee). The town hall (Rathaus) is a beautiful masterpiece of architecture as well as many beautifully decorated buildings on the Rathausplatz. The Medieval towers overgrown with ivy are going to mesmerize you all the way during your pleasant stroll. The cloister museum of St. George is also a nice attraction of the town which depicts the events surrounding the Second Punic War between ancient Rome and Carthage.
Rheinfall Schaffhausen is the largest waterfall in Switzerland with a height of 23 meters and width of 150 meters. You will walk through the lovely Laufen castle and reach an elevator that will take you to the platform offering magnificent views of the waterfall.
Reichenau Island | Bodensee lake
Reichenau Island is also known as Monastic Island and is a UNESCO World heritage Site in Southern Germany. The island has three wonderful historic churches that are the main highlights of the island.
The Weinfelden Wine Trail
The Weinfelden Wine Trail is a wonderful 9 kilometers loop in Switzerland that takes you on an exploratory visit to several local vineyards. You can also enjoy the taste of different type of wines along the route as well as breathtaking views of many Alpine peaks.
Schloss Arenenberg | Bodensee lake
Schloss Arenenberg was built between 1546 and 1548 in Switzerland and is famous for being the domicile of Hortense de Beauharnais who was stepdaughter of Emperor Napoleon I. The castle also houses a Napoleon museum and is considered as one of the most beautiful castles around Bodensee Lake. The castle is surrounded by beautiful landscape including Reichenau Island.
Kartause Ittingen | Bodensee lake
At Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland, you can visit a museum that depicts the old Carthusian lifestyle. Moreover, it has gorgeous gardens and houses a school with a seminar center. There is a nice restaurant at the location which is famous for its cloister beer, wine, and cheese.
The ruins of the Fortress of Hohentwiel are located on top of an extinct volcano in Germany which makes it a spectacular site to visit around the Bodensee Lake. The fortress was built in 914 by Burchard III, Duke of Swabia. This fortress also acted as a prison during the rule of Duke Ulrich von Württemberg.
Konstanz town | Bodensee lake
Konstanz town in Germany is a wonderful place to visit and walk in its lovely cobblestoned old streets. The town has a magnificent architecture with Konstanz Münster as a stunning gothic structure that dates back to 1089. Konstanz Münster is also known as Münster Unserer Lieben Frau and has an amazing interior. The town has many museums like Rosgarten Museum, Archäologisches Landesmuseum and Hus-Haus Museum. The town’s harbor is also a popular attraction for best sunset views of the town.
Maria im Stein
Maria im Stein is a famous place for pilgrimage in Germany from more than 500 years. It is stated that the altar for Virgin Maria was built by Alberto von Bodmann after he escaped from the Turkish captivity.
Imperia Statue | Bodensee lake
Imperia Statue is the most iconic landmark of the city of Konstanz in Germany and is designed by Peter Lenk. The statue proudly stands at the entrance of the harbor. The statue is visible from a long distance and is frequently used in pictures to symbolize Konstanz.
Imperia Statue brought a lot of controversy in the beginning as the statue is a representation of a short story called “La Belle Imperia”, which mocks the morals of the Catholic Clergy. The statue of a women which is provocatively dressed holds tiny statues of Pope Martin V and Emperor Sigismund in her hands. Both tiny statues are naked. The statue rotates every 4 minutes and this work of controversial art can be seen from different angles with different backgrounds.
Zeppelin Museum is located in the town of Friedrichshafen in Germany, where the first Zeppelin airship was made. The museum is hosted in a former train station. The museum depicts the history of Zeppelin and the era of wars. There is also a model of the largest airship to have ever been built called Hindenburg.
Schloss Heiligenberg | Bodensee lake
Schloss Heiligenberg is one of the most beautiful castles around the Bodensee Lake and is located in the village of Heiligenberg, Germany. The castle with its beautiful renaissance styled structure overlooks a spectacular valley making it a wonderful and romantic spot for visitors. This castle can be visited daily by guided tours.
Wallfahrtskirche Birnau is a beautiful pink and white church that is located on a hill of vineyards at the shore of the Bodensee lake in Germany. The church was built in the 18th century and has an extraordinary beautiful interior. The church has a terrace that is ideal for beautiful sunset views over the Bodensee lake (Lake Constance).
Hohenbodman Turm is a wonderful tall tower in Germany that offers 360 degree of uninterrupted views of the lake and the Alps in the region. The tower was built in the 11th century and the climb to the top of the tower will require some fitness level. The stairs are also narrow, so you must be careful while going up and especially while coming down. The views from the top of this tower are worth the struggle and will leave you speechless for some time.
Schloss Salem | Bodensee lake
Salem Castle is a school, winery, and a famous sightseeing destination in Germany along the shore of Bodensee lake. The gardens of the Salem Castle are the highlights of the entrance. This castle was built in 1134 and was one of the richest and largest castles in Southern Germany.
Pfahlbaumuseum | Bodensee lake
Pfahlbaumuseum is a unique museum in Germany that depicts the stories from the stone age around the Bodensee Lake. The museum is constructed by re-using the materials from the pre-historic houses that were once settled at the shores of Bodensee Lake.
Alte Burg Meersburg
Alte Burg Meersburg is a beautiful medieval town in Germany with cobblestoned streets and colorful facades. The town is ideal for a few hours peaceful strolling around the historic structures and to visit Meersburg Castle. This castle is the oldest inhabited castle in Germany. Adding to the beauty of the town, there is another Castle right next to the Meersburg Castle which has a wonderful terrace offering splendid views of the lake Constance.
Mainau | Bodensee lake
Mainau is the magnificent Flower Island and is one of the most famous tourist attractions off the shore of Bodensee Lake. As the name suggested the island is home to millions of flowers and plants from a wide variety of species. These flowers and plants change the look of the island according to the seasons which makes it even more attractive. The island and its surroundings are always glorified with the beautiful smell of flowery scents.
The island also has a castle called Mainu Castle which was built in 1700s. The views of the flowers from the castle and its terraces is spectacular. This island is an ideal holiday destination for the families and has many playgrounds as well as butterfly gardens.
Lindau is a beautiful town in Bavaria, Germany, famous for its amazing panoramic views of the Bodensee Lake. The town is also famous for its historic Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Lindau’s harbor is also a wonderful attraction of the town with two famous landmarks. One of the landmarks is a 33-meter high lighthouse that provides magnificent views of the lake, Alps, and the surroundings. The other landmark is a 6-meter high statue of a lion.
Allgäu | Bodensee lake
Allgäu is considered to be one of the most stunning landscapes of Europe that is stretched over a large part of Bavarian Swabia and extending itself up to Austria. Allgäu is full of surprises with a huge variety of landscapes. You will be stunned by the beautiful villages nestled in the laps of majestic mountains and the unspoiled alpine lakes around every corner of the area. There are mountains, fields, lakes, and dense forests that make this area a fairytale land. Allgäu is also famous for ski spots in the winters and is ideal for hiking and cycling in summers. There are many health and wellness resorts in the area because of its wonderful clean atmosphere and healing properties.
Säntis Mountain and the Six Countries
Säntis Mountain is a majestic 2,502 meters high mountain near the Switzerland shores of Bodensee Lake. Visitors can reach up to the peak by a cableway which takes 10 minutes. The cableway ride is one of the most amazing cable rides in the world because you will be able to see into 6 countries at the same time. The terrace on the top also provides the unique view of the 6 countries from one point. The six countries that you can see are Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Lichtenstein, Italy, and France.
3 Best Activities around the Bodensee Lake
Boating at Bodensee lake
Boating along the shores of Bodensee Lake is the most popular activity and is considered as a must to do thing here. Most of the towns and villages have the facilities of boat hiring from where you can choose different types of boats. The boating and cruising in Bodensee Lake is going to be a memorable experience for you as you sail and watch many small villages and picturesque spots along the shores.
You will see many other visitors enjoying rowing in the sea and many other enjoying Catamarans, ferry rides, cruises. There are many wonderful towns and tiny villages that can only be accessed by the boats hence the boats are the best way to explore around the Bodensee lake. The sunset cruises are one of the best experiences in this region where you will be mesmerized by the beauty of water, mountains and the greenery as the sun goes down.
Cycling around the Bodensee Lake
We have talked about it in the beginning that Bodensee Lake is an amazing place for cycling holidays. The lake has some wonderful cycling paths that pass-through Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. The terrain is flat and easy and is ideal for families as well. This is a great way to enjoy wonderful views of mountains, hills, vineyards, and apple orchards that are scattered around this varied landscape. The best time to enjoy cycling around Bodensee Lake is in May when the spring shows its magnificent colors. The 2nd best time is during the autumn in September when the trees turn golden.
One of the most famous cycling routes starts from Konstanz, Germany which is a circular path. The first stop is in Stein Am Rhein in Switzerland near the Switzerland’s Largest Waterfall “Rheinfall Schaffhausen”. From here the next stop will be back in Germany, UberLingen. From UberLingen, you will head towards the 3rd stop which is Friedrichshafen in Germany near the Zepplin Museum. Your next stop would be Bregenz in Austria or alternatively you can choose Lindau, Germany. From here, your fifth stop will be Rorschach back in Switzerland. From Rorschach, you will reach back to the Konstanz from where you started your journey. Some visitors cut short their tour by using trains along with their cycling routes.
Train around Bodensee Lake
Trains are the easiest and comfortable way of exploring the Bodensee Lake that is stretched along three countries. Bodenseegürtelbahn Is a route for regular scheduled trains that pass through the scenic shores of the Bodensee Lake. You can make a single journey from one corner of the lake to another or take breaks in between by hopping off to explore the beautiful towns and villages in the area. You can also mix your journey with train and cycling as many visitors love to do. This is a wonderful way of experiencing the lake with the backdrop of magnificent mountains.