Constance is famous for being the biggest city on Lake Constance, which adjoins Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and is the third largest lake in central Europe. Visitors arriving at the harbor are greeted by the Imperia — a nine-meter-high statue of a curtisane — that slowly circles around itself. This memorial commemorates the Council of Constance, which took place in the building opposite the Imperia in the 15th century, and aimed to reunite the church. The building now houses a restaurant and a ballroom for visitors to enjoy, and hosts many cultural events throughout the year.
Take a short walk from the harbor and you’ll come across Constance’s Old Town, where you can find the Marktstätte (market square), the beautiful Kaiserbrunnen fountain, as well as plenty of shops and cafés. In the summer, the Old Town is filled with both tourists and locals, enjoying a cup of coffee, or an ice cream, in the sun. The neighboring district of Niederburg is the oldest quarter in Constance and dates back to the Middle Ages. Its crooked streets, houses with picturesque facades, and cozy wine cellars allow you to take a journey back in time.
|The Old City Gate is called "Schnetztor".
Other historical landmarks include the beautifully-painted city hall, the old city gate Schnetztor, and the minster Konstanzer Münster (Constance Minster). The minster’s construction began in the seventh century, but it has been rebuilt and expanded multiple times, and now showcases elements from the Middle Ages and modern eras. During spring, summer, and fall, you can climb the 193 stairs to the viewing platform, where you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful view over the city and lake. If you visit on a clear day, you’ll even be able to see as far as the Alps!
Although Constance is a popular destination year-round, most tourists tend to visit during the summer months. From Lake Constance to the river Rhine, there are countless spots to go for a swim and relax in the sun. The best-known area is the Hörnle, a big park next to the lake with sports fields, a playground, and a restaurant. If you prefer a little more privacy, you’ll find plenty of better-hidden spots in Constance and its smaller suburbs, such as Allensbach, Litzelstetten, Wallhausen, and many more.
|Constance's Harbor is next to the city center.
Another popular option is the Reichenau, a small island in the lake, which you can get to via a tree-lined avenue. Reichenau offers plenty of green spaces and vineyards for its visitors, and its eighth-century monastery is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
One of Lake Constance’s most unique attractions is the flower island of Mainau. Whilst the island is open year-round, the best time to visit is between March and October, when most flowers are in bloom. As well as its impressive flower displays, the island is also worth a visit for its castle park, botanical garden, and butterfly house.
|The Pile Dwelling Museum in Unteruhldingen is a great half-day trip from Constance.
If you stay in Constance longer, you should consider taking the ferry across the lake to Meersburg, a small medieval town with an old fort, and a newer, baroque-style castle. Other day trips around the lake could take you to Lindau, Friedrichshafen, or Unteruhldingen. The latter is famous for its prehistoric — but well-preserved — pile dwelling museum, showcasing life in the Stone Age. Lastly, the Affenberg in Salem — a park famous for its monkeys — is great fun for kids and adults alike.
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|Germany - North|
|Germany - South|
Konstanz: 3 countries, 1 lakeMore
Medium-sized city at Lake Constance, great for a beach and outdoor vacation with some sightseeing and shopping