With a 3-day weekend ahead of us, we decided to pack up and head south to explore all the things to do in Lindau, Germany. Located on the very south end of Bavaria, Lindau is a unique island full of incredible historic sites.
The drive is just around four hours from our hometown in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Plus, we were celebrating not one, but two birthdays, so obviously the drive was celebrated with party favors and cupcakes! Having friends traveling with us always makes for a more exciting trip.
Americans Living in Germany: Know Before You Go
Lindau is a rock throw away from Switzerland and Austria, so it’s essential to be prepared when traveling there as an American. As always, it’s important to bring cash (euros), your passport, and your military ID. Plus any vaccination documents (if necessary).
Traveling by car from Grafenwoehr, Germany will take you approximately 4 hours on the A7.
While we were hoping for sunny weather, we did encounter quite a bit of rain. Make sure you pack a good rain jacket and umbrella. And with all of the walking (and eating) we did, comfy shoes are a necessity.
Lindau Island, Germany
Lindau is located on Bodensee, which is German for Lake Constance. Brimming with iconic buildings and landmarks, this is the largest lake in Germany.
Quick Facts About Lindau
– The name “Lindau” comes from the coat of arms of Lindau town which is a linden tree. (Linde means linden tree in German). The historic town of Lindau dates back to 882.
– Lindau Island is 0.68-square-kilometre (0.26 sq miles) and has a population of 25,543.
– Even though it’s not a large area (12.81 miles), there’s a number of historical landmarks and attractions.
Where to Stay
In the middle of Lindau Island is the charming Insel-Hotel. Ran by the 4th generation of owners, they really go out of their way to make each guest feel welcome.
This hotel is also Baxter (pet) friendly! And, whether you want to spend your time exploring Lindau Island or Lindau’s mainland, you are just a 5 minutes walk from a bus, train, boat, or bike rental.
Eating in Lindau
Lindau Island has incredible architecture, gardens, and landmarks. There are so many places to satisfy your pallet that your biggest decision will be what you feel like eating.
Cafe Ristorante Da Capo
Once we arrive at our hotel, we unpacked and headed off to grab some food! We only had to walk a couple of minutes to find an Italian restaurant called Cafe Ristorante Da Capo. Everything we ordered and ate – from pizza to pasta – was savory and mouthwatering. Prices range from €4.50 to €18, depending on what delicious foods you order.
After dinner, our Romanian friend took us to a Romanian bar called Treibgut. We enjoyed a few rounds of drinks and learned how to say “cheers” Romanian style – Noroc! This was a perfect way to end our first day on Lindau Island.
Hotel Bayerischer Hof: Corner Café
Located in a 5-star hotel right on the harbor promenade, with 160 years of history, this is as enchanted as it sounds. The Corner Café serves delightful, homemade regional specialties. You can choose between snacks, cakes, pies, and other specialties to enjoy with an afternoon tea or coffee.
Items range in price from €3 – €30. And, if you choose to sit in the garden or terrace, you’ll have a view of the famous Bavarian lion statue and the Lindau lighthouse.
One of the many amazing places we ate at was the Mediterraneo Mitteimeerspezialitaten! Since we were wrapping up a friend’s birthday and we didn’t have a gift (pun totally intended), we bought a painting right off the wall of this restaurant. Where else can you have a yummy dinner and buy a painting right off the wall?
37° Kaffeebar & Ladengeschäft
Another place with a harbor view, 37° Kaffeebar & Ladengeschäft offers outdoor seating while enjoying coffee, a glass of wine, beer, or other beverages.
Easily the best Greek food I’ve had in Germany. We highly recommend Akropolis for classic Greek dishes. Whatever you’re in the mood for, the Restaurant Akropolis will provide something you’ll love. This restaurant is also located in the shopping district of Lindau, so check out all the cute stores and outlet mall after a warm meal.
Although small, there’s quite a bit of attractions in every direction of the island. And if you think you’ve seen it all, simply jump on the next ferry to discover a new town or country.
Bavarian Lion & Lindau Lighthouse
Located at the harbor entrance on Lake Constance, these are the most popular attractions on the island. The Bavarian Lion is 19.685 feet high and weighs 50 tons. Built in 1856, the Baviarian Lion is the work of Munich professor Johann von Halbig. The presence of the lion gives way to a magnificent sense of protection and honor.
The Mangturm Tower once served as the lighthouse and observation point to Lindau Island. Originally built in the 12th century, it used to be completely surrounded by water.
On October 4th, 1856, Lindau’s new lighthouse was lit. This means that the Mangturm Tower was no longer needed. So, they added another floor to it and covered it with stunning glazed bricks. And if you want to climb the 89 steps to take in the view from the top, you’ll need to check the fairy tale hours first. This is a nod to the fairy tale, Rapunzel, as a “braid” hangs from one of the top loopholes.
One way to get a tour of Lindau Island without walking is to take a ride with Feitzi’s Rikscha: Sightseeing Ride!
A rikscha is a light two-wheeled hooded vehicle/carriage drawn by one or more people on a bicycle.
Feitzi has been doing this for years and knows his way around Lindau Island. The prices range from €6 – €22, depending on where you want to go. It’s definitely a nice way to take in the sights!
Church of St. Stephan
One of the historic sites we passed on our tour with Feitzi was the Church of St. Stephan. Still an active, evangelical church, this church was founded in 1180 and the altars date back to the 1780s. Truly, there is a rich history on Lindau Island.
Lindau City Garden
Lindau Island has a lush, city garden. The Lindau City Garden is a welcoming place to walk through the exotic trees or rest on a park bench. You can also see the flowerbeds that are as diverse in colors as they are flowers. The Lindau City Garden’s atmosphere fits in perfectly with the feeling on Lindau Island.
While continuing on our ride in Feitzi’s rikscha, we passed a bronze female statue and a marvelous fountain known as the Lindavia Brunnen. Designed for the 20th year of the reign of King Ludwig II (known as the “fairy tale king”) of Bavaria by Wilhelm Rümann. Inaugurated in 1884, the sculpture of “Lindavia” holds an oar in her left hand and a branch of linden in her right. This truly is something that is best seen in person to take in all that it is.
Altes Rathaus – Lindau am Bodensee
One of our first landmark stops, which was only a 3-minute walk from our hotel. This outstanding 15th-century historic landmark doesn’t hold back from mesmerizing you with its distinctive arcitecture. It is also known as the “Old Town Hall” and is full of paintings and colors to capture your attention and leave you awe-struck.
Lake Constance Ferry
From touring the beautiful gardens to a boat ride, Lake Constance is full of ways to explore. You can take the ferry to many of the surrounding areas and countries. Since Switzerland was right there, we decided to hop on the one-hour ride. The cost of one adult roundtrip ticket to Switzerland is €28. You can enjoy a drink while you take in the sites around you.
Herz-Jesu-Kirche (In Rorschach Switzerland)
Arriving in Switzerland from the ferry boat ride, you’ll see the historic Catholic church – Herz-Jesu-Kirche. Constructed from 1895 – 1899, this church is one of the tallest structures in Switzerland. And is still very much a functioning church.
Right on the harbor of Rorschach, Switzerland, we found yet another delicious dining experience! The Hafen Buffet doesn’t mess around when it comes to mouthwatering food! The gnocchi and pasta were the perfect amounts to fill us up for the rest of our adventure. Prices ranged from €9.50 – €35.00.
Also called, “Flower Island,” and with historic records going back to 400 BC, Mainua Island is managed by the Bernodatte family. The historic castle, park, and gardens attract around 1.2 million visitors each year.
In 2003 the island of Mainau was placed under monument protection. This means, the specific areas are under protection of the highest level of importance.
Visiting Lindau Island
A trip to Lindau is definitely one you’ll want to take while you’re in Germany. Make sure you have at least 3-days to spend there exploring! And if you have more time, that’s even better! There’s a lot of history (I mean A LOT!)! So take lots of photos and enjoy all the things to do in Lindau!