How to Spend a Weekend at Lake Constance

A swan floating on Lake Constance
A swan floating on Lake Constance | © N1K081 / Flickr

Just two days around Lake Constance are enough to relax even the most stressed out folks. With its glittering waters, medieval towns, deep green landscape, and the Alps looming in the distance, this area is paradise. Check out how to spend a perfect weekend in Bodensee.

Day One

Visit the Pfahlbaumuseum

Having gained its UNESCO World Heritage status in 2011, the Pfahlbaumuseum Unteruhldingen is one of Lake Constance’s most important attractions. The site consists of reconstructed prehistoric pile dwellings based on local excavations and are sure to transport visitors back to the Stone and Bronze Ages. Apart from the dwellings, information about the lives of the farmers, fishermen, and craftsmen of the time are also revealed.

y9215 Germany, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Lake Constance, Unteruhldingen. The lake dwellings of the Pfahlbau Museum of Unteruhldigen. The buildings on stilts are reconstructions of dwellings from the Bronze and Stone Age. - Deutschland, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bodensee, Unteruhldingen. Pfahlbaumuseum von Unteruhldingen. Die Pfahlbauten sind eine Rekonstruktion der Pfahlbaudoerfer aus der Bronzezeit und Steinzeit. - 31.05.2005. - NUR DIGITAL ONLY, 48 MB. copyright: Berthold Steinhilber / Bilderberg

Enjoy lunch at Knoblauch Fischimbiss

After a historical tour of the Pfahlbaumuseum take a stroll through the nearby village of Uhldingen and stop at the Knoblauch Fischimbiss, which literally translates to ‘Garlic Fish Eatery’ (Knoblauch is the last name of the family that runs the little restaurant). Take a seat outside to bask in the sun and enjoy fresh fish from Lake Constance cooked in a German style, baked or grilled with potato salad or homemade noodles. Do remember that Knoblauch is all self-service, even when it comes to clearing away the dishes.

Head to Birnau

When you’re done with lunch you can either walk (about 45 minutes) or drive to the nearby church of Birnau, which also happens to boast some of the most beautiful views of the lake. Built in the 18th century, the church stands out because of its pink color and the large vineyard that slopes down from its huge terrace.

The beautiful church of Birnau and the vineyards on a summer day | © sacratomato_hr / Flickr

Spend the evening in Überlingen

When evening rolls around, make your way to the town of Überlingen, which becomes quite lively at night due to its many cafes, restaurants, and bars by the water. You’ll see a lot of the area’s young people hanging out here, especially on the lake promenade steps. One of the best places to grab some dinner is the restaurant of the Hotel Seegarden, which overlooks the water. On the menu you’ll find excellent German classics made using local ingredients.

The popular lakeside promenade steps in Überlingen | © Pixelteufel / Flickr

Day Two

Spend a few hours wandering around Insel Mainau

In the morning, take the boat from Überlingen to the Insel Mainau, also known as the Island of Flowers. The island was purchased by the Grand Duke Frederick I of Baden in 1853 who created an arboretum that includes 500 species of deciduous and coniferous trees, 200 rhododendron and azalea varieties, around 200,000 dahlias, and an Italia rose garden. Take a long stroll around the gardens, view the Duke’s former summer palace, and stop by one of the many restaurants for lunch.

A field of colorful tulips on the flower island of Mainau | © Leo Glatzel / Flickr

Explore Meersburg

After you’ve gotten your fill of the blooming flowers of Mainau, take a boat to the medieval town of Meersburg and wander up and down the many cobblestoned streets surrounded by historic houses. Make sure to see the 7th century Altes Schloss (Old Castle), which boasts beautiful views of the lake from its perch, as well as the Neues Schloss (New Castle) which replaced the old castle in the 18th century with its pink, Baroque style.

The colorful medieval houses of Meersburg | © Ștefan Jurcă / Flickr

Unwind at the Therme in Meersburg

If you’re feeling a bit tired from all the walking, you can relax at the famous thermal pool in Meersburg. Overlooking the lake and the Alps, the Therme (as it’s known in German) is filled with natural minerals that will give your body a much needed boost. When the sun begins to set, take a small nap on one of the sun loungers and watch the colors reflect off the lake.

Have a romantic dinner at Casala Restaurant

And last, but certainly not least, end your amazing Bodensee weekend with one of the area’s most exquisite fine dining experiences at Casala Restaurant inside the Residenz am See hotel. With one Michelin star, a menu of experimental Mediterranean dishes, and excellent wine pairings, Casala is pretty much the perfect way to end a great weekend.