Bodensee Travelogues (Germany)

How often do we get a chance to visit 3 countries in a day with magnificent views of natural landscapes all around? If you are looking for such an amazing experience, then Bodensee (Lake Constance) should be on your bucket list. With the majestic Alps surrounding this beautiful stretch of blue waters, Bodensee is surely a traveller's delight!! It is the perfect location to spend a memorable summer holiday with family or friends. In this post I will share my experience of exploring German side of this region during my stay in Friedrichshafen.

1. Scratch the map

Bodensee (or Lake Constance) located on the border of Germany, Switzerland and Austria stretches across a span of 63 km. It is the third largest freshwater lake in terms of surface area in Central and Western Europe and indeed one of the most gorgeous ones that I have seen!! Read below to know about the charming towns lining Bodensee to enjoy the beautiful landscape during your holiday.

2. How to reach

If you are traveling from Frankfurt, take a flight from Frankfurt to Friedrichshafen (40-45 minutes flight) or else drive down to Friedrichshafen (380 km from Frankfurt). The easiest way to reach from Munich is by taking a bus (requires around 2-2.5 hours) to Friedrichshafen.

Blue waters of Bodensee


3. Destination 1: Friedrichshafen

To be honest, although I have travelled quite a bit around the world I had not heard of this beautiful little town prior to moving to Germany from India. Having spent almost 2 years till now in Friedrichshafen (in Baden-Württemberg), I must admit that I have fallen in love with this town and the surrounding region.

3a. Places to visit

  • Zeppelin Museum: Friedrichshafen is the birthplace of zeppelin airships. If you are interested in history of airships, then definitely visit the Zeppelin museum in the city centre to know interesting facts about the evolution of airships. This museum also contains a life-size replica of the Hindenburg airship (designed and built by the Zeppelin company) with a display of the hull section, passenger cabins and public rooms to give one a feeling of the airship journey in 1900s. An adult ticket for the Zeppelin museum costs approx 12 Euro.

Hindenburg Interiors

Hindenburg airship model

  • Dornier Museum: This is also an aerospace museum located near the Friedrichshafen airport. This museum hosts almost 400 exhibits, mainly designs of Claude Dornier (the famous German airplane designer and founder of Dornier GmbH). The display of variety of aircrafts, aerial vehicles and satellites is so interesting that you can easily spend atleast 2-3 hours in this museum. An adult ticket for the Dornier museum costs approx 11-12 Euro.

@Dornier Museum

Display of airship designs

  • Lakeside Promenade: It is the most lively part of this small town lined with many cafes and restaurants where you can sit by the lake and have a romantic dinner! In fact Friedrichshafen has the largest waterfront promenade amongst other towns on the shore of Lake Constance. Also, don't forget to capture the most beautiful pictures from the pier tower in the promenade with the lake and Swiss Alps in a single frame!!

Lakeside Promenade

Pier tower on Promenade

Port of Friedrichshafen

  • Schloss Kirche: As you take a stroll along the lake, don't forget to visit this beautiful church and spend some time to admire its fine baroque architecture.

  • Strandbad Friedrichshafen: This lakeside swimming beach area is the perfect location for spending a bright sunny day in leisure. It also has a nice playground for kids to play around while the parents can enjoy a refreshing swim in the lake!

View of Bodensee

Strandbad Pier

4. Day trips from Friedrichshafen:

4a. Destination 2: Meersburg

Meersburg is another lovely medieval town along Bodensee around 20 km away from Friedrichshafen. It has an abundance of beautiful vineyards and is known for the Meersburg castle. Explore the old town area on foot to admire the beautiful alleys and half-timbered houses and stop by the roadside cafes to grab a drink.

Do visit both the old and new castles of Meersburg and enjoy fantastic views of Bodensee from the castle ground. The old castle (Alte Burg) is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited castles of Germany. It is said that the Merovingian king Dagobert I built the Dagobert turm (Dagobert's Tower) in this location in 630. However, the other structure of the castle was possibly built around the 12th century.

Meersburg Castle

Warrior armours in display

4b. Destination 3: Scheidegg

Scheidegg is a small town in Lindau district of Bavaria, known for its open-air health resort. If you have an extra day, then I recommend visiting the Allgäu skywalk (around 42 km from Friedrichshafen) to savour the panoramic view of the stunning landscape from the viewpoint of the skywalk. Infact, the skywalk is a great spot to visit with children where they can play around, learn about different bird species (if you are lucky you might be able to spot some of them!) have and above all experience the fun of walking on hanging bridges above the forest.

Allgäu skywalk

View from the top

Snow capped Alps

Personal Recommendations

  • Zeppelin flight: If you are ready to empty your pockets, consider booking a seat on the Zeppelin which takes you on a tour of Bodensee. Although very expensive (tickets starting from approx 350 Euro), it undoubtedly provides the best aerial view of this beautiful lake and the surrounding landscape.

  • Cycling along Bodensee: If you are fond of cycling and are in the mood for some activity, rent a bicycle and follow the cycling trails to enjoy the natural beauty of this region at your own pace.

  • Take a boat ride: There are a lot of options for a boat ride on Bodensee- be it a normal ferry, car ferry, catamarans or cruise ships. It is worth taking the ferry ride to get an unimpeded view of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Useful Tips:

  • Number of days: I would recommend reserving atleast 5-6 days to visit the Bodensee region with 2-3 days for exploring the German towns.

  • Best time to visit: Summer is the best time to visit Bodensee when you can enjoy outdoors till almost 9 PM (in sunlight!). July and August is crowded and expensive; hence its better to plan a trip around May-June to avoid the crowds.

  • Accommodation: You can consider booking an AirBnB accommodation close to the lake so that you can go for a refreshing early morning walk or jog along the lake.

Goodbye Notes:

Now that you have all the necessary information, what are you waiting for? Its time to start packing you bags to head off to Bodensee this summer!! I sign-off today with a promise to be back soon with new travelogues on the Austrian and Swiss towns along Bodensee. Till then... happy travelling and be safe!!

Zeppelin model near the Promenade

Beautiful sunset over Bodensee