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Bodensee: Austria or Germany?

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Hi! I love reading all the tips on this website! There is just so much! I was reading some old threads on the topic, but they were from 2003 so I am curious for some up to date advice.

I want to visit the Bodensee in a couple weeks, and not sure where I want to base. I have been living in Germany for a year and I've already been to Konstanz and Meersburg, though I loved both. However I'd like to show my sister something new when she comes to visit. We are students looking for something accessible by train/bus, and wanting to swim or wade in the water and just enjoy the sun and water. I read that there are not many beaches for swimming? Right now I am thinking of Bregenz.
We are interested in art and culture, as well as nature and small hikes and swimming! Also, our plan is to come from Salzburg (or possibly Innsbruck) over to Bodensee, which is why I was thinking maybe Austria, and then eventually heading to Zurich to drop my sister at the airport. Any thoughts on beaches/swimming (even pools or the like!), and an inexpensive town to stay for a night or two? I know the Swiss side would be more expensive I'm sure!

Thanks :)

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