When I first saw Konstanz, I arrived during the 'magic hour' - the time at dusk when the light is at its most magical, casting a lovely glow on the surroundings, helping to make Konstanz look all the more beautiful.
Konstanz is historical town located in the Lake Constance region. From the 10th to the 14th century, this historical town located at the intersection of the main routes of commerce between Italy, France and Eastern Europe, was an important emporium for trading fur, linen and spices. Today, it retiains its historical charm but is more well known for its shopping with people coming from near and far to shop at the Lago shopping centre.
What to see in Konstanz
When in Konstanz, go on a walking tour of the harbour and the historic Old Town (Niederburg). When you're out and about, ensure you visit the 9th century cathedral, the largest religious building in the town, which has well preserved gallery-like tunnels in its crypt.
Where to eat in Konstanz
Head to Konzil Restaurant for regional specialities (e.g. local fish and meats) or if you're looking for hearty German cuisine (schnitzel and kasspatzle - basically a pimped-up version of macaroni and cheese - pop by Brauhaus, where you can wash down your meal with one of their craft beers.
Where to stay in Konstanz
The Steigenberger Inselhotel
Once a former convent, today the five-star Steigenberger Inselhotel is a stylish, lake-front hotel on the edge of Lake Constance. The hotel's history becomes evident when one beholds the cloister painted with religious frescoes, which depict scenes from the Bible. When the building was converted into a hotel in 1875, the frescoes were in a state of disrepair, so Count Eberhard von Zeppelin, the founder of the hotel, commissioned their repair, which took six years to complete but it was worthwhile as the results are stunning.
Other hotels to check out in the area include the ultra-luxurious 5.5-star Riva Hotel, which is renowned for the stunning cuisine served at its restaurant or opt for the modern and sleek Hotel 47 with its minamilist decor.
The Konstanz Christmas Market
One of the big draws for people visiting Konstanz during the Christmas period is the Christmas market by the lake, the largest Christmas market in the Lake Constance area, which boasts more than 10,000 lights and 170 vendor stalls, where visitors can buy everything from food to unique, handmade gifts. When visiting the stalls, ensure you try the 'dinnele' a delicious pizza-like dish featuring potatoes, cheese, ham and onions. Served piping hot, it's the perfect winter warmer.
One standout feature of the Christmas market is the 'Christmas Ship', a ship decorated with lights that has a restaurant and bar that's a great place to retreat to when the temperature dips below freezing.
Konstanz Mardi Gras
If you happen to be in Konstanz during New Year's Eve, than you'll be in for a raucous celebration as everyone gets in the spirit of celebration during the Mardi Gras. Having been told about its charms, we definitely know when we'll be returning to Konstanz!
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