My friends and I are going to be in Germany in August. Someone told me Lake Konstanz is a great place to visit, but when I have looked it up online, it seems to be a quiet relaxing place as opposed to a place with things to see and do. Can anyone who has been there please give me your input. Is it worth driving to and how long of a stay would be needed? Are there things to see?
"Is it worth driving to and how long of a stay would be needed?" Depends on from where you have driven. If from Berlin, forget it, but easy enough from Munich or Frankfurt. As to what to see- how about a gorgeous lake with the Alps rising in the distance and charming little towns along the lakeshore? I'm sure there are plenty of boating or aquatic activities along the lake. My personal experience is, unfortunately, limited to a few hours visit to the lovely town of Lindau, and I can only wish I had spent more time there.
The lake is one of Europe's largest and offers all kinds of water sports and outdoor activities you can imagine incl. hiking trips to the alps. There also is a SeaLife aquarium (similar to SeaWorld) in Konstanz which shows you all the fauna and flora of the rhine river from its spring in the swiss alps to its end in the north sea in the netherlands. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor nightlife in the larger cities (Konstanz and Friedrichshafen). There is a great "beach bar" by the harbor in Friedrichshafen where you can dance and have cocktails right by the lake front with a stunning Alpine panorama as background. Generally speaking the northern (German) shore is more exciting than the Swiss one. Not only because of the better view but also because of the mentality of locals. Bregenz on the Austrian side of the lake is a party capital, too, though.
I stay in Konstanz when I arrive at Zurich airport. It is an easy train ride from the airport to Konstanz and a great place to get over jet lag. Bicyling and strolling and visiting the quaint town is about all but it is beautiful. many german families vacation there. I would go again for an overnight and pick up a rental car there and continue on.
Thank you all for replying to my question. You have been a big help. I look forward to seeing the lake and its beauty. Darleen
we just spent 5 days in Friedrichshafen on Lake Konstanz. There are lots of day long and shorter boat trips to take. We visited Meersburg and toured the castle. We walked along the waterfront. We ate right on the lake. Lindau is lovely. It is perhaps lower key than some places, and it isn't particularly cheap.
A warning, if you drive into Austria, immediately buy a vignette (driving permit)for 8 euros or so at the border crossing. My husband is German, and he still didn't understand that we needed to buy one. They set up traps, much like American speed traps, and it costs $129 euros, credit card or cash, to proceed with your trip. You also need a vignette in Switzerland,more expensive but good for the calendar year, but it is obvious due to posted signs and uniformed guys at the border. Some rental cars may already have them; ask your car rental agency.
We have driven a lot on side roads, etc in both countries, with no problem, so this was a rude awakening.
When crossing into Austria or Switzerland make sure you always use the local road (usually the small one down by the waterfront) instead of the freeway crossing. Those toll stickers are only required if you use the freeways. A day trip from Lindau into Austria to e.g. Bregenz or further on to Switzerland is "free" as long as you only use local roads. Same for Switzerland. You can circle the lake completely without buying a freeway sticker if you are aware of the rules.