Konstanz: 3 Countries, 1 Lake

CONTINUATION OF DAY 4 OF 19


We leave Winterthur and drive another half an hour to Konstanz, Germany. Again, fully expecting to pass through some sort of border/customs, but there is none! They have the set up for it, like there was one at some point in time, but no one is the booths, so we just drove on through. Thanks to the Schengen Agreement, going between Switzerland and Germany has all the drama from crossing from one province to another.


We arrive at our hotel for the night, Hotel Halm Konstanz (few pics below) directly in front of the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) in the middle of the old town. Gorgeous old place, grand front entrance, beautiful inner courtyard, rooms are quite large. Before we arrived there, I read reviews and people complained quite a bit that it “was old” and “needs updating”. However, I fell in love with the old creaky floors, high ceilings and the over-the-top décor.


At the request of a few peeps, here's the entire itinerary (over 4000 km of driving altogether!). As you can see, only on Day 4, and have already hit like 10 cities! White numbers indicated the day number of the trip, the black boxes indicate where did overnights.


KONSTANZ

So Konstanz (the city) is on the German side of Lake Constance. A bustling town, with tourists crowding the old town squares, restaurants and bars. One of the European cities to survive the Second World War, Konstanz has been able to hold onto monuments and architecture from bygone eras.Lake Constance (German: Bodensee) is near the Alps and sits sort of in the middle of Germany (shoreline of 173 km), Switzerland (shoreline of 72 km) and Austria (shoreline of 28 km). It has three islands that are total tourist traps, but gorgeous nonetheless, Mainau, Reichenau and Lindau.


Hotel Halm, Konstanz, Germany


YOU'VE GOTTA SEE...

NEIDERBURG (Old Town)

Our hotel was right smack dab in the middle of the old town, so it was easy to get to all the good stuff. Two blocks from our hotel, is Markstätte (I think it translates to Market Place). It’s a wide pedestrian street lined with restaurants, bars and shops, and where the Kaiserbrunnen (Imperial Fountain) is. Continuing to the end of Markstätte street, it turns into cobbled, narrow streets with more shops, restaurants, museums and even fabulous street musicians. Perfect place to stroll around, stop for a coffee or just soak up the atmosphere of this enchanting old town.


Shots of the Old Town


Marktstätte (Market Square)


SCHNETZTOR (City Gate)

Konstanz has 3 preserved city towers, and the most picturesque one is the Schnetztor, located in the southern part of the old town on Hussenstraße.


Schnetztor Gate, a piece of the city wall and the clock tower


MUNSTERPLATZ (Minster Square)

Dominating the square is Konstanz Minster, also known as Konstanz Cathedral (German: Konstanzer Münster), this gothic cathedral has art and treasures from the middle ages to modern times. Free to roam around, though you need to pay (I think 2 €) to climb up the spire to the 40-metre platform to get great views of the city. Not your typical church that you go in, walk around the main section, and that’s it, this one, you have access to the crypts below, the side sections where you can see the Konradi Chapel and the Mauritius Rontonda.


Münster Unserer Lieben Frau (Konstanz Minster)


Inside Münster Unserer Lieben Frau (Konstanz Minster)


LAKESIDE PROMENADE

A tree-linked promenade that stretches east from the Rhine bridge. It starts off with some picturesque turn-of-the-century townhouses, then expansive gardens with beautiful houses. You’ll find many flower beds and benches along the way, where you can rest and enjoy the views of the lake, the boats sailing on the Rhine, the old town and – if the weather cooperates – a magnificent view of Alps in the distance.


Lakeside Promenade | Um, urinals in the middle of a park, right beside a kids playground


KONSTANZ HARBOUR

The Imperia statue was quite a sight (to me it looked like skanky hoe with big boobs!), and it turns out I was right. It’s a 9-metre tall, scantily-clad “courtesan”, holding a naked man in each hand, the inspiration is the main character of a Balzac short story, “La belle Impéria”.


Konstanz Harbour and the Imperia Statue at the entrance of Konstanz Harbour


YOU'VE GOTTA EAT...

CAFÉ-RESTAURANT MEDICI

Located in Munsterplatz, the Cafe-Restaurant Medici has plenty of outdoor seating with a great view of the square and the Minster. Perfect stop to rest your feet and enjoy an authentic Italian espresso, a cool glass of pinot grigio, or a big serving of original gelato-sundae creations.



BRAUHAUS JOH. ALBRECHT

Asked around for a local place, with authentic German food, and we were directed to go the Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht. It’s about a 5-minute walk from Munsterplatz, and while it’s not exactly a place where locals come to hang out, the food and beer was typically German and the staff was super friendly. English was almost non-existant, but you somehow manage to communicate with the wait staff through pointing and signing. Hubby had a pork dish with some potato-apple mash – apparently it was good – he wouldn’t let me touch it. I had the traditional schnitzel with pommes frites – yummy, but heavy.



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