Konstanz: 32 Pictures that will make you book a trip here!

Konstanz

Konstanz, Germany

Locations don’t often get more beautiful and photogenic than Konstanz’s jaw-dropping position on the edge of Lake Constance.

This dazzling lake is enclosed by the distant white peaks of the Austrian Alps, forming a spectacular backdrop for this old German town.

With Switzerland quite literally down the road and Lichtenstein and Austria just across the lake, it is the perfect place to base yourself for a while.

We were fortunate to spend three weeks over Christmas and New Year here in 2014, Chris has a friend who lives here and he’d jetted off to Hawaii for the festive period, leaving us the keys to his apartment.

And within an hour of exploring the waterside area of Konstanz, I could totally see why he loved living here!

It was late December, yet the sky was clear and the sun was beaming down. Joggers, dog walkers, families with prams: everyone was out enjoying the mild weather. Konstanz couldn’t have looked more healthy and utopian if it tried!

In the three weeks we stayed here we experienced most types of weather, from sunny bliss, to gloomy fog, and snow.

I took quite a few photographs, scroll on down and see Konstanz through my lens, it sure is pretty!

As you can see, just getting down to the lakeside is reason enough to visit Konstanz, we must have walked here almost every day: it lured us down for fresh air and glittering vistas.

The wide, tree-lined promenade is perfect for a stroll, in becomes a walking trail further away from the town that, I think, you can follow all the way around Lake Constance through three countries.

Our friend had left us a hand-drawn Konstanz ‘bucket list’ of things we had to do while we were there: it had check boxes and a map!

One of the first things on the list that grabbed my attention was Bodensee Therme, it read: ‘go to the sauna, warning: lots of naked Germans!’

Well, I’d arrived into Konstanz fresh off the boat (ok, two days by train fresh off the boat) from Finland, addicted to saunas. I checked the Bodensee Therme website, oh hell yeah: we are going to that sauna!

The Bodensee Therme sits on the lake edge about 2kms along the footpath from Konstanz (there is a bus), this modern building overlooks the lake and has an outdoor thermal pool. We bought a 3.5 hour pass (€18.50 each, it was a splurge treat!) that gave us access to both the sauna area and the pool and spent a blissful morning lounging in sauna-bliss.

Bodensee Therme

Now I’m not particularly shy when it comes to public nudity, especially after saunas in Finland and onsen in Japan, but those experiences have all been segregated. But here in Germany, saunas are mixed, and saunas are busy! I can honesty say, I’ve never been naked among so many other naked people! I thought it might be a little disconcerting, but it turns out, it didn’t faze me in the slightest!

There are 4 saunas of differing temperatures: 100º, 95º, 85º, 60º. You can relax in the 100º panorama sauna gazing out at the stunning view across the lake, I loved it in there! A couple of the saunas have hourly infusions, where aromas are added. We experienced a menthol one which was fun, it gave a pleasing cool sensation to the heat!

It was wonderful to enjoy the saunas then pop a cozzie on and go for a dip in the outdoor thermal swimming pool: this was €18.50 very well spent, I felt amazing afterwards. (I do still prefer Finnish saunas though, they are just on another level, they are part of the national identity!).

Konstanz

This well-endowed diva is Imperia, she stands guard over Konstanz harbour with a naked Pope and a naked Emperor perched in each hand. Imperia was created by controversial local artist Peter Lenk – his work is very distinctive and can be seen all over the Lake Constance area – and it commemorates The Council of Constance that occurred in the 1400s.

And yes, she does rotate!

Konstanz old town is a riot of cobbled streets, colourful buildings and heaps of old world charm. Due to it’s super-close location to Kreuzlingen, just across the border in Switzerland, Konstanz escaped the Allied bombers: the medieval old town you see today is genuine!

Kreuzlingen really is close, the two towns butt up against each other: the only way you know which side of the border you are on is by car registration plates!

We regularly wandered down the street to Switzerland; number 5 on the list: ‘walk to Switzerland and buy chocolate’.

In the centre of the town is Konstanz Münster: Unserer Lieben Frau, a grand gothic cathedral with foundations that go back to the 10th century. It’s pretty cool down there, totally different to the soaring arches inside the church, you can really get a feel for its age.

I loved this miniature model of Konstanz Old Town, it has braille so that visually impaired people can feel their way around the city: it’s very tactile.

Between Christmas and New Year it snowed and Konstanz was transformed!

As soon as the snow settled we set out to explore this new world, and it was so pretty!

The snow melted and our friends returned from their exotic holiday. They took us down to the Wollmatinger Reeds, a nature reserve next to the river. It was partly in the hope of spotting Flamingoes, they been seen on the river there two days before, a very rare sighting indeed. Alas, they were long gone but the walk was pleasant.

KonstanzIt was a great couple of weeks (even if I was aching terribly for Finland), we saw in the new year with fireworks – not an official display: the locals lined the river and set of fireworks themselves!

Bearing in mind it was midnight, on new years: yes, everyone was drunk with fireworks! They were launching the fireworks from the snow, not the most sturdy of supports: rockets were firing in every direction, it was a health and safety nightmare!

The sky over the city was obliterated by gunpowder smoke, it did look a little like a war zone, albeit a colourful, pretty one!

We ate tonnes of German food, including spaetzle dumplings, and various baked goods of which fresh pretzels were my favourite: split, buttered and sprinkled with chives, oh my!

We took various trips over into Switzerland and we also took the ferry one day over to Meersburg.

KonstanzI’d like to go back in the summer, to see the marina full of boats and to visit all the lovely places our friends told us about!

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Konstanz

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Have you been to Konstanz? Have I inspired you to go?

By Rachel A Davis

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2 Responses

  1. Konstanz is only about an hour away from Zurich, so I’ve ventured there a few times for shopping day-trips (the prices in Germany are more reasonable than in Switzerland). Your photos are lovely. Next time, I’ll have to explore more of the town itself.
    Jennifer @ This Off Script Life recently posted…A Turkish Delight – Exploring Istanbul’s CuisineMy Profile

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Hi Jennifer!
      Yes, I have friends who live in Zurich and they do this! Our friends in Konstanz recommended not going supermarket shopping on a Saturday: it’s just a massive queue of Swiss cars to get into the car park 😉
      It’s such a pretty town, and the lake is gorgeous. We took quite a few trips into Switzerland by car then travelled back to the UK a week or so later (after visiting Austria) via Zurich by train. I love how convenient Konstanz is for all these wonderful places!

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