Konstanz

Konstanz is a city in southern Germany. It lies on the border with Switzerland and on Lake Constance (Bodensee) between Obersee and Untersee, exactly where the river Rhine exits the lake. The city is split in two by the Rhine. Although the Rhine is the usual border between Switzerland and Germany, the historic part of Konstanz lies on the south ("Swiss") side of the Rhine and is more or less an enclave.

Understand

Konstanz has traces of civilization dating from the stone age and was settled by the Romans in about 50 CE. Konstanz was an important trade centre and a spiritual centre. At the council of Konstanz in 1414-1418, a papal election was held, ending the papal schism. Konstanz attempted to join the Swiss Confederacy in about 1460, but was voted down. Due to its proximity to Switzerland, Konstanz was not bombed during world war II and its historic old town remains intact. It is a historic city with a charming old town, and could be called the jewel of the region.

The tourist information centre is located in the train station. Hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-18:30, Sat 09:00-16:00, Sun 10:00-13:00.

Get in

By Plane

Konstanz has no commercial airport. The closest airports are:

By Train

Konstanz has multiple train stations. The Konstanz Hauptbahnhof is the main station and is located in the old town. It's the last German stop before the Swiss border, and is therefore served by both German and Swiss trains. Hourly direct trains from Zurich Main Station (1hr 20min) go via Zurich Airport. Zurich Main Station has excellent connections to the rest of Switzerland as well as Italy, Austria and France.

The other Konstanz train stations are located in the city districts of Petershausen, Fürstenburg and Wollmatingen.

Most places around Lake Constance can be reached by train: Romanshorn, St. Gallen, Stein am Rhein and Schaffhausen can all be reached with a change in Kreuzlingen (which is the "Swiss suburb" of Konstanz, just across the border), whereas Friedrichshafen, Lindau and other German places around the lake require a change in Radolfzell and take a long time - the boat can often be quicker. Bregenz in Austria is best reached via Switzerland - change in Rorschach and St Margrethen.

To reach Konstanz from the rest of Germany is time-consuming. There are direct trains to Karlsruhe (3 hours on a scenic route through the Black Forest), but other connections require a change in Offenburg (for Frankfurt and cities further north), Radolfzell (Ulm, Augsburg, München and beyond) or Singen (Stuttgart).

By Car

From Germany: from the A81, take the B33 into Konstanz. From Switzerland: the A7 leads straight into Konstanz.

By Boat

Possible from many cities on Lake Constance. The fastest connections are :

Bodensee Schifffahrt runs several services across Lake Constance which may take longer, but include more cities. Apart from Meersburg and Friedrichshafen, the ferries to and from Konstanz call in. al. in Überlingen (1.5h), Lindau in Bavaria (2h) and Bregenz in Vorarlberg, Austria (4h). The timetable is quite intricate and not all departures include all stops.

Get around

On foot Konstanz's centre (old town) is largely pedestrian and very walkable.

By bus The bus system is fast and efficient. The bus costs €2.10 (adult) or €1.05 (child). A day ticket is €4.00.

By taxi Taxis are nearly always available in front of the main train station.

By bicycle There are bicycle paths all over the city. Bicycles can be rented from near the train station (about 100m north of the main station building) for €12 per day or less.

See

Churches

View from the Munster Cathedral tower

Miscellaneous

Museums and Galleries

Landmarks

Statues and Sculptures

Do

Festivals

Buy

Eat

Konstanz has a rich variety of all kinds of restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars. Due to the proximity of the Swiss border, prices are higher than in other cities (mentally add 2 Euros to every main dish you are eating in other German cities). In summertime most restaurants offer outside sitting and eating, in the evening hours it is hard to find a place, occasionally.

A yearly published magazine "Die Seezunge" covers many of the Konstanz eateries and is available in tabac shops and kiosks.

A good start to discover the Konstanz restaurant scene is to start at the central marketplace Marktstätte:

Just north of the "Marktstätte" is the old fish market site Fischmarkt:

Other recommended restaurants around the old town:

Drink

Clubs

Sleep

Hotel Hirschen

If you're looking for a hostel, there are also a couple in the Swiss town of Kreuzlingen, which is practically a suburb of Konstanz.

Go next


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, January 27, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.