Lake Constance: Meersburg, Bregenz, & Konstanz

Lake Constance (in German: Bodensee) is located partially in Southern Germany, but also borders Switzerland and Austria. Before moving to Germany, I had never heard of Lake Constance. When we were living in Ulm and searching for new weekend travel destinations, my husband suggested we check it out. We found a place to stay with a friend of a friend and it was an incredible weekend.

lake constance germany

We were so lucky to be able to stay at a house located directly on the lake. There are only a small number of houses allowed to have water access, so it is not an experience that every traveler gets to have. We had a barbecue on their garden looking out over the water and it is by far one of my favorite memories from the summer.

lake constance dinner

Grilling our dinner at Lake Constance

Here are my travel recommendations for three cities located on Lake Constance: Meersburg, Bregenz, and Konstanz. I’ve also included some tips on other activities to do in the area.

Meersburg, Germany

meersburg lake constance

Meersburg was my favorite city of the three that we visited. It has the charm of Bavaria and an unbelievable view of the lake. It’s much smaller than the other two cities and for me was more of a laid-back atmosphere. These are a few of my favorite photos of the town:

meersburg lake constance

meersburg lake constance

Meersburg Castle
meersburg castle bodensee

The Meersburg Castle

My top tip for you is to check out the Meersburg Castle. You can’t miss it, as it’s the focal point of the city at the top of the hill. You can pay a cheaper ticket price, I believe it was 2.50 euro, to enter the castle, see some of the historic building and head up to the Castle Cafe. The cheaper ticket does not include a castle tour or access to all of the grounds.

The ticket then serves as a coupon towards your purchase at the Cafe, which has a stunning outdoor seating area with an amazing view of Lake Constance. Every other cafe we passed was super crowded with tourists and yet the Castle cafe was only half full so I don’t think many people know about this offer. I would definitely advise you to check it out!

meersburg castle bodensee

View from the outdoor cafe at the Meersburg Castle

Meersburg Therme

My other recommendation for Meersburg is to go to the Meersburg Therme. A therme is a German indoor pool/spa complex, that usually consists of heated indoor and outdoor salt pools, saunas, salt rooms, and massages. They are one of my absolute favorite things about Germany.

lake constance therme

Tanning Deck over Lake Constance

The Meersburg Therme has a heated outdoor infinity salt pool (I know, that’s a pretty intense pool description – but trust me, it lives up to it’s name). It’s not every day you can hang out in a pool and look out at the Alps. I really wish I had a photo of it but my husband told me that I was making people feel uncomfortable by taking photos at the pool (it does sound a little creepy now that I’m writing about it…), so I reluctantly had to put away my camera. We didn’t get a chance to go into the Sauna area, but from the outside it looked really unique and you can also take a dip in the lake afterwards to cool off.

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lake lucerne switzerland

Lucerne, Switzerland: European Road Trip Part 4

Going on a European road trip/honeymoon with C was one of the best parts of fall 2015. We started off the trip in Colmar, France, then went south to Zurich, Switzerland, and drove through the Swiss Alps to get to Lago Maggiore, Italy. The last planned stop on our Euro trip was Lucerne, Switzerland (although we did take a surprise detour to Munich on the way home).

lucerne switzerland lake

Lucerne may not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of Switzerland, but it is a beautiful city with a rich history. Although it was officially founded in 1178, it had been inhabited by monks since 750. It is home to the oldest covered bridge in Europe, the Chapel Bridge, which was built in 1333. Walking through the old town of the city was magical, I can’t get enough of historical areas. I hope that my recommendations and tips will help you have a great visit to Lucerne!

Lucerne

Hotel: Hotel Seeburg
lake lucerne switzerland

View from our balcony at Hotel Seeburg

I loved Hotel Seeburg. It was right on the water and we had a great view of Lake Lucerne from the balcony. There was even a military airshow over the lake while we ate our lunch outside, so it was a pretty spectacular afternoon. However, I would only recommend it to those who are traveling to Lucerne by car, otherwise you would have to take a bus into the city. It did not look complicated by any means, just a pain if you don’t have a lot of time in the area. The hotel also had the most adorable looking restaurant called Rigi Chalet, but it unfortunately was not open while I was there. I would love to go back and get to check it out.

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zurich switzerland rooftops

Zurich, Switzerland: European Road Trip Part 2

In the fall, I went on a European road trip/honeymoon with C. It started in Colmar, France, and then we continued driving south toward Zurich, Switzerland, and then onto Lago Maggiore, Italy. We also stopped in Lucerne, Switzerland for another night on our way home to break up all of our driving. Both cities in Switzerland were quick stops, but I fully enjoyed getting to experience a new country, as I had never been to Switzerland before.

The absolute hardest part about visiting Switzerland was not breaking our travel budget. I really could not believe some of the prices, even McDonald’s was expensive. We did a lot of research before hand on reasonable restaurants, so I’ve included our choice in this post. Switzerland is certainly worth the visit, I just recommend planning in advance if you know you need to stick to a certain price range.

Zurich

Hotel: Guesthouse Anwandstrasse
hotel zurich switzerland

Guesthouse Andwandstrasse – Image Credit: http://guesthouse-anwandstrasse.hotelinzurich.net/en/

We booked this trip fairly last minute so we didn’t have many options of hotels. (This was before a friend introduced me to Hotel Tonight). Guesthouse Anwandstrasse was reasonably priced and seemed nice enough. Overall, I thought it was a decent hotel. If you are looking for a place to stay, my only complaint would be that it seemed to be in a sketchier area of Zurich and was around a 20 minute walk to the center city. Also, if you are planning on driving into Zurich, you may want to look into the ParkU App. Through the app, you can rent a parking space from someone for a set amount of time and a predetermined price. It was such a convenient way to park in a city where the parking prices were extremely high.

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