Lindau On a Budget
SightsThe highlight in Lindau has to be its picturesque harbor. The Neuer Leuchtturm (New Lighthouse) is actually from 1853 and is Germany's southernmost lighthouse. At 136 meters, this tower provides one of the best views of the lake if you can brave the 139 steps. Wondering where the old lighthouse stands? The 13th-century Mangturm (Old Lighthouse) is at the northern edge of the port. Though not generally open to the public, there are Marchenstunden (Fairy Tale hours) in August for children.
Across from New Lighthouse is the iconic Bayerische Lowe (Bavarian Lion). The lion is the symbol for the region of Bavaria and this one is carved from Kehlheim sandstone and weighs in at 50 tons. It presides over the harbor on a pedestal with the Roman numerals MDCCCLVI marking the date it was erected, 1856.
Maximilianstrasse is the main promenade and is pedestrians only. There are family-run shops, quaint cafes and restaurants, as well as row after row of beautiful homes. Admire the decorative gables then step inside to enjoy the ceiling paintings that tell stories of the town. Pass the butchers in the west, then bakers, then walk through the old market. The 15th-century Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) is also off this street. Decorated with frescoes of cherubs, this is the city's most important building.
Merchant house Haus zum Cavazzen is the most beautiful Baroque building in Lindau and holds the Stadtmuseum (city museum). Another stand-out building is the Romanesque Peterskirche. This church is over 1,000 years old with frescos of the Passion of Christ.
Neighborhoods"Island" (old town) is the main neighborhood of interest to visitors. This is where the biggest sights and attractions are located like the centuries-old buildings, lively squares and picturesque alleyways, the island's atmosphere is almost palpable. The well-known harbor entrance with its Bavarian lion and white lighthouse is set against an impressive panorama looking over the Alps and Lake Constance. On the lakeside promenade, which is the most attractive on Lake Constance, the numerous cafes are the ideal place to watch the maritime activity in the harbor.
ActivitiesRide the Ferry around Lake Constance because the best views of Lindau are from the water. Jump on one of the many ferries that travels between the cities on the lake like Bregenz, Konstanz or Friedrichshafen and cross over to Austria and Switzerland. Make sure to bring your camera to take pictures of the entry to the harbor and Alps. If you have more than sight-seeing on your itinerary, different tours also offer plated lunch and dinner, as well as cruises with live entertainment and themes.
Swim and Bike on and off Lindau Island. You can't talk about visiting an island without talking about the beach. Some people jump in year-round, but summer season (mid-May to mid-September) is the best. Along with lake-access, at least four Freibads (open-air pools) are available. You can also rent a boat and spend your time rowing around the aquamarine waters. To travel around the island, many visitors choose to bike. There are multiple bike rentals and paths as well as the opportunity to travel onto the mainland and continue riding around the massive lake.
If your visit to Landau is in winter, strap on a pair of skates rather than a bathing suit or bike helmet. An ice-rink is set-up next to the lake. The nearby mountains also offer the opportunity to go skiing at Vorarlberg in Austria or at Schiedegg.
Walk to Austria from Lindau. With so many fantastic locations nearby, Lindau is the ideal location to base your travels. You don't even need to hop in the car (or boat) to reach Bregenz, Austria. The town is within walking distance on the eastern shores of the lake. It features a summer music festival, Bregenzer Festspiele, with a magnificent stage right on the water. There is also a cable car that takes visitors up the Pfander.
Visit a Magical Butterfly Island. Mainau is a tiny, nearby island that is renowned for its gardens and greenhouse butterfly sanctuary. It is both practical as a model of excellent environmental practices and beautiful as one of the main tourist attractions of Lake Constance. Stop to smell the nearly 30,000 rose bushes, find some shade beneath the 150 year old giant sequoias and step into the 18th century castle.
Food and DiningAt a crossroads of cultures, Lindau's German borders tickle both Switzerland and Austria, resulting in a cuisine that encompasses the best of each, while its lakeside locale ensures only that the freshest fish land on your plate. In Lindau you really are spoilt for choice. The region is quite literally a melting pot of culinary influences. It is a place where the traditional meets the contemporary. In this lakeside region, the cuisine combines elements from Bavaria, Swabia, Austria and Switzerland. They serve up fresh, top-quality regional specialties so that a meal with friends or family becomes a true feast for the senses. Try some great local dishes like locally caught whitefish, Styrian fried chicken or Spatzle noodles in sauce. And make sure you try a local dessert, perhaps a delicious Apfelstrudel or Kaiserschmarrn. Then round it all off with local Allgau cheeses or Swiss chocolate. One of the local wines makes the perfect accompaniment, or perhaps try a fruit juice from Lindau's own producer. Around the harbor and Maximilianstrasse there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Each features cozy environments near the water, and you're likely to find anything you might have a taste for.
TransportationLindau does not have its own airport, however is close to Friedrichshafen Airport and Memmingen Airport, which usually serve tourist arrivals and European destinations. The nearest major airports are Munich Airport, Stuttgart Airport or Zurich Airport. Lindau has direct rail Eurocity connections from Munich and Zurich, as well as regional rail services from Austria, other parts of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg. The main station is on the island city. Friedrichshafen Airport is easily accessible by rail. Lindau is a very small town and exploring it on foot is the best idea. Bikes would work great too and give you an opportunity to travel on to Bregenz along the scenic lakeshore.
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Train and Bus Prices
The best prices for buses and trains in Germany can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout the region.