Last Updated on 31/01/2023
In comparison with the German coast, where everything is subordinated to tourism, the Swiss side of Lake Constance seems to know nothing about tourists and does not want to know. Therefore, you need to prepare especially carefully for a vacation there.
Does it make sense to go there at all? Consider the pros and cons below.
Lake Constance map of attractions
Along Rhine from Basel to Schaffhausen
Vorarlberg attractions. From Bregenz to Ischgl
Rhine Delta Bodensee, Appenzell attractions
Mainau Island of flowers
Meersburg attraction, Lindau, Konstanz
Lake Constance family holidays
Public transport around Lake Constance
Tourist and guest cards of Lake Constance
– faster roads on this side of the lake (on the German side the road is overcrowded and there are many 30 km per hour restrictions and radars), but it is better to bypass Kreuzlingen somehow and use the autobahn if you have a vignette – you can lose at least half an hour when driving through the city
-numerous farms, somewhere you can collect fruits yourself, somewhere you can buy at self-service checkouts. They are trying to make cider also and have already realized that this is not apple wine, but so far it is not a masterpiece.
-good bike paths, but renting a bike costs decently
Bicycle rental: https://www.rentabike.ch
– railway along the shore. If you plan to use public transport, try to choose accommodation that gives you an Oscar card. Also check out the Bodensee Ticket.
More about discount, transport and guest cards
– there are not so many sights as on the opposite shore, nevertheless they are. However, you have to go to them – in terms of distance, everything is mostly within an hour by car
– local farms proudly announce that they do not use mobile phones as a matter of principle – in short, a complete return to nature. Therefore, you may find yourself in a situation where you only need to pay in cash francs.
-prices on farms are not too high, but it is expensive in stores, so locals dangle to Germany or Austria to refuel and buy.
A special case is the confluence of the Rhine into Lake Constance, where you can, by renting a house on the Swiss side, enjoy the prices of Austria. The Rhine Valley will be discussed in the next topic.
Small Seemuseum (fishing, boats,
sealakefaring in general), planetarium.
Seeburg Park (castle-restaurant, park with a large playground, picnic areas, small zoo).
Plus sights of adjacent Konstanz
Further downstream, in Arenenberg – the villa where Napoleon III lived, with a museum. Link
Amusement park Connyland. Link
You can get here by bus from Kreuzlingen – see Public transport around Lake Constance
Steam train. Link
Stained glass windows in the church – the region is known for its stained glass windows, which are especially interesting in Weinfelden and Frauenfeld. On the tourist site you can download a brochure with a route through the stained glass windows.
You can get here by train
Stained glass (see brochure link above)
You can get here by train
Technorama Big Science Museum with Science Shows – full day tour. Link
Museum of photography, art museum (where there are a couple of quite masterpieces, for example, the painting by Friedrich Kaspar Kreidefelsen auf Rügen) Link
Well-preserved old town, especially picturesque looking from the side of a large city pond.
Fitness Island (fitness and thermal bath)
You can get here by train
Chocolate Factory Maestrani. Link
It so happened that this is the second chocolate museum for us this year, and I went to this one because my family liked the first one in Strasbourg. I liked the museum in Strasbourg more – there is more information, a video of real production. Here, the main bait is the opportunity to sprinkle various nuts on your chocolate bar (for an additional 10 francs). The chocolate itself is already ready, you make only design. The tile is large, so 10 francs can be spent on it. Something about the production is told, but on a primitive level, with a lot of admiration for themselves and the happy cows of Switzerland. On weekdays, you can see how the conveyor works. They give you a taste of chocolate, but their variety is limited and I personally did not like this chocolate.
You can get here by bus from Flawil – see Public transport around Lake Constance
The bridge of the 15th century, according to legend, was built in memory of the drowned sons by a local noblewoman and therefore free from customs duties. Instead of paying, the passers-by had to pray.
You can get here by train
Ferry to Friedrichshafen
Car museum Autobau Erlebniswelt Link
Steam train museum Locorama Link
You can get here by train, ferry or ship
Old city. Historical museum in the castle
Arbon has been inhabited since the Stone Age – houses on stilts have been excavated here, just like on the German coast. Under the Romans there was a fortress, then the monks came, including St. Gallus, the founder of Saint Gallen. The castle’s bergfried has been preserved since the 10th century.
You can get here by train or ship
Museum Sauerer (oldtimer trucks). Link
MoMö – Swiss Museum of Wine, Most and Juice Production. The Swiss shores of Lake Constance are numerous orchards, mostly apple trees, but pears and plums were also seen in large numbers. Naturally, drinks are also made from them.
Most – this is such a young wine, which in Germany is known instead of cider. Depending on the region, the juice of squeezed fruit without an alcohol (apple, grape or pear) can also be called Most, but in my experience it is mostly a young wine. It can be found in village eateries and on holidays. Juice without alcohol can be called Süßmost.
For me Most is a rare poison, but, as you know, all felt-tip pens are different in taste and color.
They also try to make cider, so far without enthusiasm on my part.
Canton of Saint Gallen
The rest of the sights of the canton are in the next map. I’m posting it here so you can see what else is around. To drive to Appenzell is more convenient from St. Gallen. The mountains drop to the Rhine.
The mountains is achievable from German side, but it will take a lot of time. The easiest way is by ferry from Friedrichshafen, then 30 minutes by local autobahn (vignette is about 40 euros), then along the local narrow and winding roads for another forty minutes – an hour in depending on the target.
11. Sankt Gallen
The main attraction of Saint Gallen is the monastery and the library on the UNESCO list, as well as the old town, whose feature is the numerous bay windows of houses.
The city is also famous for textile production, which is why there is a textile museum here. Link
For those who are staying in St. Gallen or nearby, you may also be interested in:
– bathing pond (Drei Weiher)
– a small gorge nearby (Mühlenenschlucht)
– zoo of local animals (Wildpark Peter und Pavel)
– botanical garden with a large greenhouse
– Brückenweg bridge trail – walking trail along the river Sitter with a number of different bridges and viaducts (railway, wooden covered, hanging, etc.)
Walter Zoo in Gossau Link
You can get here by bus – see Public transport around Lake Constance
Herisau – Appenzeller Park: climbing complex, slides from the roof of the building, indoor playground. Link
The only old Badhütte bath on Swiss Lake Constance (early 20th century). The depth of the lake in Rorscharch near the coast is significant – at least two or three meters by eye, so the bath is still relevant and used. Swimming costs about 4 euros. Link
You can get here by train or ship
A small number of old houses with decorated bay windows.
Forum Würth Museum (greetings from dear Swabia, where this company comes from). Würth is not only a prosperous industrialist, but also a philanthropist and collector. He has a museum in Schwäbisch Hall (old and new art, at least I highly recommend the old, not an expert in the new) and in Alsace. In Rorschach, Würth exhibits new art. Link
Read more about Schwäbisch Hall
There is a mountain train upstairs from the small station in the city center and the Rorschach pier. You can climb, better not to the last station, but to the middle, in order to go to the observation point 5 lands (Fünfländer Blick). They counted five lands, dividing Germany and Switzerland into federal lands and cantons. You can also go there by car. However, there is also a view at the end station Heiden from the church tower.
13. Rheineck, Rhine delta, St. Margrethen
Rheineck – a pleasant town as a base for trips. The tourist website indicates the historical center, but in reality it is 100 meters there at best, and these hundred meters look much more interesting from the backyards than in the front view. But here and there on the slopes you can find houses of the 16th century, in which, as a rule, hotels are now in a classic or rustic form.
There are free beaches and (paid) parking in the Rhine Delta, but you will not find signs on the roads, prepare routes in advance using Google. You will doubt more than once that you are driving where it is allowed, and that you will be able to turn around at the end, and not back away for a couple of kilometers.
Swimming in the lake is warmer than in the local outdoor pools.
From the site Steiniger Tisch quite a decent view, there is a restaurant.
Zeppelins are spinning without a break – before one has time to land, the second one takes off. Usually at least two of them are visible at a time. It is relativ weird: after all flight costs about 250-450 Euro per person!
The slopes only look like soft hills, in fact the grandients are substantial everywhere.
Nearby is the local airport, with a small museum of aircraft and cars FFA Museum. Link
On the traffic circle at the airport – Markthalle Altenrhein, built based on ideas of the architecture of Hundertwasser (not by himself, but by an architect named Pelican). Inside is a bistro and something like a gallery.
Money for parking, farms and entertainment that do not accept cards and euros can be changed without commission at the machine in Sparkasse Höchst. There is also a gas station and grocery stores with smaller prices than in Switzerland, which the local Swiss actively use. Parking meters in the Rhine Delta also take euros, look carefully at the signs. In Swiss supermarkets in the region, you can pay with euro notes and receive change in francs – another way to exchange money and get valuable Swiss coins for parking meters.
About parking in Switzerland
St Margrethen – transport hub linking Switzerland with Austria.
Of the attractions here are
a large shopping complex Rheinpark,
Mineralheilbad St. Margrethen (according to reviews, good, but expensive and small)
and the military bunker Festung Feldsberg, open to the public. Link
The nearest Austria, in fact, is not as accessible as it seems. Firstly, bridges are not built every 100 meters, this lengthens the path and increases the number of cars. And there are a lot of cars, because transit travelers do not want to pay for the Austrian autobahns and go around them on local roads.
To get from one slope to another by public transport, you need to make 2-3 transfers and spend about an hour or two, depending on the destination.
Therefore, only two relatively large destinations make sense: Bregenz with its cable car and Dornbirn with its Rolls-Royce Museum and further along the same road, two gorges and a lake. Both of them are quite possible to miss, since there are more than enough car museums on Lake Constance, the cable cars in Appenzeller are better, and the Rhine Gorges, an hour away by car, are definitely cooler. The lake and mountains view instead Pfänder cable car you receive from Gebhardsberg in Bregenz.