Last Updated on 22/04/2023
Around Lake Constance there are three countries, three cantons (five if you count the sub-cantons), three federal states and God knows how many smaller administrative units. In general, they try to cooperate in the field of tourism and this cooperation has resulted in the form of guest cards of Lake Constance. But they are not always as profitable as we would like. So plan carefully if you’re on a budget.
Public transport around Lake Constance
Lake Constance family holidays
Lake Constance map of attractions
Meersburg attractions, Mainau Island of flowers
Lake Überlingen, Konstanz
What to see in Lindau
Vorarlberg attractions. From Bregenz to Ischgl
Rhine Delta Bodensee, Appenzell attractions
Swiss side of Lake Constance
Sankt-Gallen, Stein am Rhein, Rhine Falls
Ticket prices, routes, timetables and guest cards are information that changes regularly. I cannot track all the changes, so all the data should help you navigate and cut off unnecessary information, but have not to guarantee accuracy to the euro!
From May 2023 you can buy a German ticket for 49 euros. It is monthly subscription, therefore you should read the conditions and do not forget to cancel it. German ticket is also for tourists available. This ticket makes some tourist card on German side not profitable.
More about German ticket: German ticket for regional public transport Deutschland-Ticket
Tourist cards of Lake Constance
The first two cards are valid around the entire lake, the rest – in certain regions.
Tourist cards you can buy, guest cards you can receive, if you stay in certain town.
Bodensee Card PLUS
This card appears to have replaced the previous Bodensee Erlebniskarte, which had a complex three-level design.
Options. Bodensee Card Plus can be for 3 and 7 days during the calendar year. The days are freely chosen during the calendar year.
The card can be bought online (delivered to your home or printed out) or locally (at tourist offices and some hotels/camps).
Public transport. It includes free travel on scheduled ships (2 days out of three for a three-day card and 4 days out of seven for a seven-day card) and Erlebnisbus 1, 2 shuttles between attractions around Uhldigen.
Attractions. The card offers free admission to 160 partner attractions.
The Bodensee Card PLUS includes, among others:
monastery and monkey mountain in Salem,
reptile museum, museum on stilts in Uhldingen,
Meersburg Castle and New Palace,
Museum Dornier, Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen
Sea Life Konstanz,
cable car Pfänder in Bregenz,
amusement park Ravensburg.
Many sights are far away from Lake Constance: in Liechtenstein or towards Oberstdorf or towards Stuttgart, like Sigmaringen Castle. Therefore, you must understand that 160 is, of course, a lot, but it is possible well if a dozen or a little more – depending on the number of days and especially the starting point.
What is not included in the card? From what caught my eye: Bodensee Zoo, thermal pools in Konstanz, Meersburg or Überlingen, the island of Mainau are not included.
Children. Small children receive the Mini-Bodensee Card Plus together with their parents’ card. From 6 to 16 years old you need to buy a card for children.
for three days – 72 and 43 euros (adult and child respectively)
for seven days – 114 and 69 euros
Will the card pay off?
If your program includes expensive cable cars, the Ravensburg amusement park, then for sure.
Das Bodensee Ticket
This is a transport day or three-day card with free travel on buses and regional trains and some ferries (Friedrichshafen – Romanshorn, Konstanz – Meersburg).
The ticket is sold, like regular transport tickets, in vending machines, at stations.
Day cards are valid:
- in one of two zones (1 day):
- West – everything west of Meersburg and Konstanz,
- Ost – everything else up to Bregenz and St. Gallen and from Ravensburg to Feldkirch.
- in both West and Ost zones (1 or 3 days)
- there are also tickets for three zones (1 or 3 days). The third zone is Süd (Swiss montains beyond St Gallen) and you can buy it only as three zones.
This trick greatly increases the cost of the ticket for those who want to go to Appenzell, disproportionately to the real distance. In the triangle of three countries, choose your routes carefully: it’s easy to miss and get to transfer to the Süd zone, which you cannot do if you have a ticket only to the Ost zone.
Price for 2022.
Rabattkarten means travel cards Halbtax (Switzerland), BahnCard (Germany), Vorteilscard / Österreichcard (Austria)
Kinder means children from 6 to 15 years old.
Kleingruppe – up to 2 adults and up to 4 children.
Will the card pay off?
Plan and calculate your holiday in advance. There are many options:
– free travel can be included in your local guest card, as in the Echt Bodensee Card, and then you need this ticket only for trips outside the region.
– Baden-Würrtemberg, Metropol and Bavaria Tickets
– local day tickets
– planned German Ticket for 49 euros
– swiss travel cards
It can be, that for it is better to buy other ticket.
Bodensee Vorarlberg Card
With this card, you can travel free of charge on buses and regional trains in the Vorarlberg region up to cities in other states: St. Anton am Arlberg, Lindau, Buchs and St. Margrethen.
The card can be bought at tourist offices or online
Bodensee Vorarlberg Card also includes free entry to attractions. Among the attractions are mainly those that are closer to Lake Constance – Bregenz, Dornbirn, including a pair of cable cars.
Price. For 2022
1 day – 16 euros
2 days – 25 euros
3 days – 32 euros
The Vorarlberg and Liechtenstein Card allows you to visit the sights of the region for free from May to October.
The cost is 78 euros (39 for children).
Suitable for those who have long holidays in the region between Bregenz and Liechtenstein, or for those who do not live very far and can periodically come on excursions throughout the summer. For short visits other cards are most likely more profitable.
Guest Cards of Lake Constance
Echt Bodensee Card
You get the Echt Bodensee Card when you stay in a hotel/apartment in towns from Lindau to Bodman. This is almost the entire German coast, but without the peninsula with Konstanz. With it, you can get discounts on visiting swimming pools and city beaches, museums, attractions, on excursions of local travel agencies – mostly 0.5-1 euros, sometimes 3 euros. A booklet with a list of discounts can be obtained from tourist information or downloaded from the website.
The Echt Bodensee Card includes free travel on local transport.
Main tourist bus routes you can find on the map in the post Public transport around Lake Constance
The remaining part of German Lake Constance has its own guest card – BodenseeCard West. It is issued to those who have accomodation in the region. The card allows free use of the local transport of Landkreis Konstanz up to Überlingen and Stein am Rhein and discounts on attractions.
By the way, Konstanz also has its own Konstanzer Gästekarte – for those who stay in the city. Its main advantage is free city buses and a 3 euro discount at SeaLife.
Oskar – guest card of Eastern Switzerland (cantons St. Gallen, Thurgau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Glarus and Schaffhausen). Both public transport and attractions are included.
The card can be purchased by those who have spent at least two nights in the region in partner accommodation, which you will find on the website. The cost of the card for one day is 15 francs, for children half the cost. Since the card includes expensive cable cars and other activities, it pays off.