Enjoy these 5 must-do activities at Lake Constance

Enjoy these 5 must-do activities at Lake Constance

by Mary Del Rosario
Stripes Europe

Imagine a crystal clear, green lake encompassing you. The wind gently blowing on your hair, your skin being slightly kissed by the sun, and the beautiful boats all around you waiting to set sail. Sounds like the perfect place doesn’t it? Spend a couple of days at Lake Constance and be ready to see a side of Germany you haven’t seen before.

Lake Constance, or the Bodensee, is Central Europe’s third-largest lake that straddles three countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In this convenient strategical location, you can see the clearest lake with trees and boats everywhere, as well as the Alps in the distance. Just under four hours from Kaiserslautern, you can revel in all of Lake Constance’s glory.

Don’t know what to do there other than enjoy a sunny day? Check out these 5 must do’s before heading down to one of the most beautiful places in Germany.

Mainau

This "Blumeninsel" (Flower Island) is heaven on Earth that lies just off the shores of Lake Constance.

Just a short ferry or bus ride away, this breathtaking island calls you to relax as you visit an Arboretum over 150 years old with giant sequoias adorning the walkways. The millions of tulips, rhododendrons, scented roses, perennials and colorful dahlias will have you feeling mesmerized as if you’re in the Garden of Eden.

During the summer months, you will truly feel like you’re in the Mediterranean from the palms and citrus plants that await you. Walking amongst giant flower bushes as tall as the eye can see, you will be amazed at how such an island can exist. The rich and vibrant colors of the copious amounts of flowers will make your photos very Instagram worthy.  

If you feel like you’ve had your fill of flowers (impossible, right?), you can relish in the architectural highlights from the Baroque era, such as The Teutonic Castle and St. Marien Church. You can also visit the butterfly house and admire these colorful creatures as they freely flutter their wings in their natural habitat. 

There is also a playground for children, as well as several cafés and restaurants for when you’re hungry from looking at those amazing flowers and plants.

To say that Mainau is just a flower island would be an understatement. It is an island adorned and covered with the most exotic and beautiful flowers that you won’t find in just any garden.  The view of Lake Constance with the Alps in the background will make you forget you’re in Germany and instead feel like you’re in paradise.

Pfahlbauten Museum

Imagine a tropical island with huts on the water, but during the Bronze and Stone Ages. That is the best way to describe the Pfahlbauten. This museum shows how the lake dwellers lived in 4,000 to 850 BC. The museum was done so well, it truly made me feel like as though I were one of the settlers living in this lake dweller settlement. Not to spoil the experience of the museum, but the tour starts with three interactive rooms explaining who these people were and what their settlement was about. If you want to find out what awaits you as you exit the last interactive room, you’ll have to come visit! There are guided English tours, and it is heavily advised that everyone take the tour because you cannot enter some parts of the museum without the tour guide. 

Zeppelin Museum

Blimps, or zeppelins, are an interesting form of air transportation. They are so big you can see them from miles away. Aren’t they fascinating? Many people who visit the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen think so, too! In this museum, you can see the fascinating history of air travel come alive. This museum bears a replica of the LZ 129 Hindenburg, a large German commercial passenger-carrying rigid airship, and you can even see inside.

If you’re up for spending extra money, you can also book a scenic zeppelin flight that will take you to many locations.

Affenberg Salem

If you have children who love monkeying around, take them to Salem’s Affenberg where the kids can do all the monkey business they want! This monkey mountain is a great treat for children as they can feed 200 Barbary macaques (monkeys that are native to Morocco and Algeria) unsweetened popcorn.  Tell your children you have popcorn waiting in the car because this popcorn is designed to be eaten by the monkeys only. **Check the website beforehand as restrictions may apply.** 

Affenberg serves not only as a tourist attraction, but it is also a reserve as these monkeys are currently under threat of extinction. Not only will you and your family enjoy these silly primates climbing trees and eating popcorn out of your hands, but you will also be supporting conservation efforts.

Water activities

Some of the most obvious pastimes to do in Lake Constance are the various amounts of water sports and activities that can be enjoyed. This clean and inviting natural pool calls all water lovers to swim, sail, enjoy SUP (stand up paddling), wind sail, canoe, or even go on a cruise.  Lake Constance satisfies every taste for all those who love water. 

This lake provides sailors the best conditions and even goes easy for those beginners who want to learn to set sail. Bask in the beautiful scenery of the mountains and others’ sailboats as you crisscross one another at sea. Many sailing schools offer sailing courses, motorboat courses, rental boats for an excursion, and even surfing courses. 

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