You’ll find lots of little cafés in the Old Town that can help you kick off the day with a yummy meal, but we love Café Großstadt and their all-day breakfast. On the menu are a bunch of themed platters named after European cities – Paris for a croissant, butter, marmalade or Nutella, Amsterdam for fresh buns with a selection of cheese and fruits and nuts, or Istanbul for bread rolls, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber and olives. Let’s not forget about the fried or scrambled eggs and the fact that you can swap dairy products for vegan alternatives – they also make a mean tofu scramble.
Lindau is a place where you can take things slowly, especially in the Old Town. The historic centre is not all that big and can easily be explored on foot – feel free to pop in some of the cute speciality shops and boutiques as you go along and let the web of winding alleys guide you past the major sights.
You’ll spot the first remnants from medieval times right as you leave the café. The Thieves Tower stands on the city’s highest point, and its roof with the four turrets and multi-coloured glazed tiles is one of the most popular photo motifs in Lindau. It was built in 1380 as part of the city fortification, was later used a prison, and today stands empty after a private investor saved it from being torn down in 1817. Have a look at the next-door Church of St Peter, which is a whopping 1018 years old and home to beautiful frescoes depicting the Passion of the Christ. The artworks are believed to have been created by Hans Holbein the Elder, a famous 15th-century painter from Augsburg.
The pedestrianised area was once the merchant centre, and a few houses along Maximilianstrasse stand as testimony from that time. Today’s City Museum, which occupies the most beautiful building in the city, is probably the best example. The former Cavazzen merchant house stands out with a timber roof and vividly coloured murals that decorate the façade. The museum (€8) has a great collection of paintings, sculptures and handicrafts from the region and regularly hosts art exhibitions. As you walk on, you’ll see more beautiful buildings, for example, ‘Zum Sünfzen’, the former seat of the patrician’s society and the Gothic-style Old Town Hall with its beautifully painted façade.
Lindau’s Notre-Dame Cathedral is the last stop for the morning venture across town. After a fire destroyed the previous church, the Baroque minster was constructed in its place between 1748 and 1752. The interior is pompously decorated with white stucco ornaments, colourful frescoes and intricate wood carvings.
Head over to 37 Grad, a cute café and shop where you can refuel on coffee and tea, light snacks, cakes – vegan options included.
Since much of the city’s charm is created by the stunning waterfront setting and alpine views, your afternoon is the best spent near and on Lake Constance. The Mangturm tower overlooks the harbour and is one of Lindau’s most prominent landmarks. Today, the New Lighthouse serves its original purpose and at the same time allows you to get a bird’s-eye view of the city. It costs around €2 to climb up to the top of the lighthouse for panoramic views of Lindau and Lake Constance.
Take the rest of the afternoon to enjoy some lakeside fun. If you’re after an active adventure, you’ll be spoilt for choice with water activities ranging from windsurfing and kitesurfing to stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing, as well as sailing. But if you’d rather move at a slower pace, have a look at the boat tour schedules. Several operators offer up to two-hour long cruises around Lake Constance.
Round the jam-packed day off with a delightful dinner at one of the city-centre restaurants. Mole3 is a popular choice and located right on the waterfront, so you can soak up the idyllic atmosphere until the last minute. Zur Fischerin entices with a combination of fresh seafood dishes and fantastic wine, all topped off with smooth jazz sounds in the background. Gasthof Alte Post is a good address if you’re after hearty German food, including Bavarian specialities à la Käsespätzle and Maultaschen. Their beer garden is also a great spot to end the night with a few draft beers.