Every year, my desire to explore blossoms again with the approaching spring. There are so many corners of Switzerland that I’ve still never seen. And it’s the same “beyond the borders”. Which should I explore with the companion ticket?
I’ve only heard about Constance in connection with that buzzword “shopping tourism”. I’d love to find out what else the city has to offer. Everyone knows it’s more fun to travel with a friend, so I buy a companion ticket for my co-worker Daniel and invite him to join me.
After arriving in Konstanz, we head straight to the harbour. Our gaze is inevitably drawn to the Imperia. No wonder, as the scantily clad female figure is wearing a robe that barely closes in the front and is impossible to overlook at a height of nine metres. Although the rotating statue was originally very controversial, it has become one of the most famous tourist attractions in Konstanz.
The harbour is lined with plenty of inviting benches and the cry of seagulls and swishing of the waves remind me of the ocean. In the summer the harbour must be even more beautiful, and perfect for a rest after strolling through the city.
On a treasure hunt in the Niederburg.
The atmosphere changes considerably once we enter the cobbled streets of the Niederburg district. In the oldest part of Konstanz, the colourful buildings are tightly packed together, sometimes a bit askew. Preparations for the carnival celebrations are in full swing, with innumerable fabric pennants flapping in the wind. In places like this, there’s only one thing to do: go from alleyway to alleyway and discover the surprising, unknown treasures.
The art of coffee in half-timbered house “N° elf”.
We take a spontaneous coffee break at the coffee and wine bar “N° elf”. Daniel is looking for something with enough caffeine, and the barista recommends a “flat white”. Contrary to my assumption, it’s not a name invented by hipsters for a regular coffee, but a speciality similar to cappuccino. In any case, it tastes delicious and warms us up after the windy morning. Tempted by the sweet treats at the bar, we order two brownies to accompany our coffee.
More than just shopping.
Fortified by caffeine and sugar, we make our way through the old town back to the station. The streets get wider and the names of the shops become more familiar. Shopping enthusiasts would be in paradise. But there’s more:
- The Münsterturm rewards those who climb the tower’s 245 steps with impressive views over the city and Lake Constance (price for adults: 2 euros, open from April).
- Dessert fans should not miss Voglhaus. The old town café offers delectable cakes and specialities from local producers.
- From Konstanz, boat service to Schaffhausen will begin operating in April. Many smaller harbours, such as Stein am Rhein or Steckborn, can be reached by boat, offering a relaxing way to discover the areas bordering the Lower Lake.
Hours of relaxation.
Discovering a new place is tiring: time to relax. After arriving at the station, we take the number 5 bus which drops us off right outside the entrance to the Lake Constance Thermal Spa.
In summary: People who come to Konstanz just to shop will miss the nicest things about this city. A short break by the harbour or a stroll through the Niederburg does not take long and is definitely worth it. And a few hours’ relaxation in the thermal baths rounds off the trip to Constance nicely.
Photos: Daniel Schwarz