The island town of Lindau owes its reputation as Bavaria's riviera to its blend of Art Nouveau buildings and Italian ambiance. Surrounded by Lake Constance, or the "Swabian sea" as it is sometimes called, it effortlessly conjures up a holiday atmosphere.
A lighthouse and the king of the beasts watch over the island
Start your exploration of the town at Lindau's station. Just a stone's throw away is Bavaria's only lighthouse: the town's 36 m high landmark towers over the entrance to the harbour. The route to the Lindau's other well-known landmark, the lion monument, takes you past the Römus kiosk beside a small park, Römerschanze. During warm weather, people gather at this popular meeting place to enjoy a cool local beer in the sunshine. A walkway along the harbour's eastern pier leads to the impressive monument, crowned by a 6 m statue of a lion. Weighing 50 tonnes, it looks proudly in the direction of the Alps. The animal is the work of sculptor Johann Halbig, and it is one of his best-known creations along with the four lions on Siegestor arch in Munich. The best place to take a souvenir photo of the lion and lighthouse is from out on the lake. All you have to do is take a boat trip. We'll tell you more about them anon.
Just enjoy whiling away the time
If you'd prefer somewhere quieter on the lakeshore, walk 500 m until you reach Gerberschanze. A gigantic, gnarled lime tree adds to the timeless atmosphere of this spot. Many of the town's inhabitants say it offers the most beautiful view in Lindau. You'll be able to make your personal judgement at the end of your daytrip. After round one of your tour, it's time for a short break. Augstin is a bookshop and café in one, and there is nowhere else like it in Lindau. Famous for having the town's most delicious coffee, its shelves carry countless books – a mix of classic works and new publications. Take the time to browse the many titles as you enjoy the café's homemade treats. Its unique atmosphere and irresistible menu make it perfect for a spot of relaxation that does the heart good.
Medieval charm in the heart of the town
When you've finished your snack, head for the playfully ornate old town hall. It's five minutes' walk away, on Reichsplatz square. Studying the facade, you'll see historical events and religious images. As colourful as it is splendid, the building is a popular motif for holiday photos, and its captivating architecture mixes styles from several centuries. Located at the back of the town hall is the Lindavia fountain, built of red marble. The central female figure is the town's protector, while the statues around the rim of the basin represent the four traditional sources of the Lindau's wealth: shipping, fishing, wine and agriculture.
Anchors aweigh: a boat trip across the Swabian seaIt's time to pick up the pace so you can catch a ship for a wonderful three-country tour. The starting point for your panoramic boat trip is located just five minutes on foot from the town hall. Once you board, you can spend the next 90 minutes taking in the beauty of the shores that surround you. Three countries meet here: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. When returning to Lindau's harbour, don't forget to take a photo of the lighthouse and lion: it's your chance to capture the two landmarks from a great new angle.
A relaxed way to hunt for unexpected treasures
Once you're back on terra firma, make a beeline for the town centre and take the opportunity to go on a little shopping trip. Lindau is famous for its one-off boutiques and shops. The best place to start is Maximilianstrasse, the town's most imposing street. Several quaint alleyways open off it. Art lovers are guaranteed to find something at Stefanie Steinmayer's atelier. The artist creates limited-edition prints and regularly hosts exhibitions of her work.
All roads lead to the lake as the day ends
After your busy day, take a leisurely stroll through the heart of the picturesque island town, and call into 37° for something to eat before you start your homeward journey. Simultaneously a shop and a café, it is located at the dockside close to the station. Whether you're a vegetarian, vegan or a fan of hearty meat dishes, the menu is guaranteed to have just what you're looking for. Treat yourself to a fantastic cocktail on the terrace and watch the busy comings and goings at the harbour from your tranquil vantage point. Then it's time to say goodbye to Lindau, the idyllic town on the shore of Lake Constance. Handily, the station is just around the corner. Board your train, and soon you'll be crossing the four-track causeway that links the island to the mainland. From your window, you can take in the panorama of the Swabian sea one last time.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.