Getting Oriented

The Bodensee (Lake Constance) is off the beaten path for visitors from overseas and from other parts of Europe. If you venture here, you can be pretty sure you won't meet anyone else from back home. Even the Swiss and the Austrians, who own part of the shore of the Bodensee, tend to vacation elsewhere. For Germans, however, it's a favorite summer vacation spot, so it’s wise to reserve rooms in advance.

  • The Northern Shore. A dozen charming little villages and towns line the northern shore of the lake. In good weather there’s a wonderful view across the water to the Swiss mountains.
  • The Upper Swabian Baroque Road. Nearly every village has its own baroque treasure, from the small village church to the mighty Basilica Weingarten. The more miles between you and the Bodensee, the easier it is on your wallet, which may be reason enough to venture to this region.
  • Around the Bodanrück Peninsula. Konstanz is the biggest city on the international lakeshore, situated on the Bodanrück Peninsula and separated from the northern shore by a few miles of water. Konstanz survived World War II unscathed by leaving its lights burning every night, so the Allied bomber pilots could not distinguish it from the neighboring Swiss city of Kreuzlingen. The small towns of the "Untersee" (Lower Lake), as this part of the Bodensee is called, have a more rural atmosphere than those of the northern shore.

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