Lynsey Ann Moore Criscione

Germany Trip

17 places · Public

Neuer Leuchtturm

Viewpoint in Lindau

Climb the 139 steps to the top of this 136m lighthouse for cracking views out over Lindau and the Bodensee.

Budget price

Maximilian’s

Deli in Konstanz

Fancy a picnic by the lake? Stop by this central deli for fresh bread, cheese, ham, wine and other goodies. It’s also a snug spot for coffee and cake or light lunch specials.

Rosgartenmuseum

Museum in Konstanz

The one-time butchers’ guildhall now harbours the Rosgartenmuseum, spotlighting regional art and history, with an emphasis on medieval panel painting and sculpture.

K9

Cultural Centre in Konstanz

Once a medieval church, this is now Konstanz’ most happening cultural venue, with a line-up skipping from salsa nights and film screenings to gigs, club nights and jive nights. See the website for schedules.

Museum Humpis-Quartier

Museum in Ravensburg

Seven exceptional late-medieval houses set around a glass-covered courtyard shelter a permanent collection and rotating exhibitions focusing on Ravensburg’s past as a trade centre. Free audioguides provide some background.

Niederburg

Area in Konstanz

Best explored on foot, Konstanz’ cobbled heart, Niederburg, stretches north from the Münster to the Rhine. The twisting cobbled lanes lined with half-timbered town houses are the place to snoop around galleries and antique shops.

Mid-range price

Winzerstube zum Becher

German in Meersburg

Vines drape the facade of this wood-panelled bolt-hole, run by the same family since 1884. Home-grown Pinot noirs accompany Lake Constance classics such as whitefish in almond-butter sauce. The terrace affords Altes Schloss views.

Mid-range price

Weinstube Frey

German in Lindau

This 500-year-old wood-panelled wine tavern oozes Bavarian charm with its cosy nooks. Dirndl-clad waitresses serve up regional wines and fare such as Lake Constance whitefish with market veg and Zwiebelrostbraten (onion beef roast). Sit out on the terrace when the sun’s out.

Mid-range price

Münsterhof

German in Konstanz

Tables set up in front of the Münster, a slick bistro interior and a lunchtime buzz have earned Münsterhof a loyal local following. Dishes from cordon bleu with pan-fried potatoes to asparagus-filled Maultaschen in creamy chive sauce are substantial and satisfying. The €7.90 lunch is great value.

Römersiedlung

Ruins in Konstanz

The glass pyramid in front of the Münster shelters the Römersiedlung, the 3rd-century-AD remains of the Roman fort Constantia, which gave the city its name. You'll only get a sneak peek from above, so join one of the guided tours that begin at the tourist office for a touch of magic as a staircase opens from the cobbles and leads down to the ruins.

Burg Meersburg

Castle in Meersburg

Looking across Lake Constance from its lofty perch, the Altes Schloss is an archetypal medieval stronghold, complete with keep, drawbridge, knights’ hall and dungeons. Founded by Merovingian king Dagobert I in the 7th century, the fortress is among Germany’s oldest, which is no mean feat in a country with a lot of old castles. The bishops of Konstanz used it as a summer residence between 1268 and 1803.

Imperia

Statue in Konstanz

At the end of the pier, giving ferry passengers a come-hither look from her rotating pedestal, stands Imperia. Peter Lenk’s 9m-high sculpture of a buxom prostitute, said to have plied her trade in the days of the Council of Constance, is immortalised in a novel by Honoré de Balzac. In her clutches are hilarious sculptures of a naked (and sagging) Pope Martin V and Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, symbolising religious and imperial power.

Reichenau

Island in Konstanz

In AD 724 a missionary named Pirmin founded a Benedictine monastery on Reichenau, a 4.5km-by-1.5km island (Lake Constance’s largest) about 11km west of Konstanz. During its heyday, from 820 to 1050, the so-called Reichenauer School produced stunning illuminated manuscripts and vivid frescos. Today, three surviving churches provide silent testimony to Reichenau’s Golden Age. Thanks to them, this fertile islet of orchards and wineries was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2000. Bring walking boots and binoculars to explore Wollmatinger Ried, a marshy nature reserve whose reed wetlands attract butterflies, migratory birds including kingfishers, grey herons and cuckoos, and even the odd beaver. A 2km-long tree-lined causeway connects the mainland with the island, which is served by bus 7372 from Konstanz. The Konstanz–Schaffhausen and Konstanz–Radolfzell ferries stop off at Reichenau.

Schloss Neuschwanstein

Castle in Füssen

Appearing through the mountaintops like a mirage, Schloss Neuschwanstein was the model for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. King Ludwig II planned this fairy-tale pile himself, with the help of a stage designer rather than an architect. He envisioned it as a giant stage on which to recreate the world of Germanic mythology, inspired by the operatic works of his friend Richard Wagner. The most impressive room is the Sängersaal (Minstrels’ Hall), whose frescos depict scenes from the opera Tannhäuser.Built as a romantic medieval castle, work started in 1869 and, like so many of Ludwig’s grand schemes, was never finished. For all the coffer-depleting sums spent on it, the king spent just over 170 days in residence. Completed sections include Ludwig’s Tristan and Isolde–themed bedroom, dominated by a huge Gothic-style bed crowned with intricately carved cathedral-like spires; a gaudy artificial grotto (another allusion to Tannhäuser); and the Byzantine-style Thronsaal (Throne Room) with an incredible mosaic floor containing over two million stones. The painting opposite the (throneless) throne platform depicts another castle dreamed up by Ludwig that was never built. Almost every window provides tour-halting views across the plain below. The tour ends with a 20-minute film on the castle and its creator, and there's a reasonably priced cafe and the inevitable gift shops. For the postcard view of Neuschwanstein and the plains beyond, walk 10 minutes up to Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge), which spans the spectacular Pöllat Gorge over a waterfall just above the castle. It’s said Ludwig enjoyed coming up here after dark to watch the candlelight radiating from the Sängersaal.

Bohnenviertel

Area in Stuttgart

To really slip under Stuttgart’s skin, mosey through one of the city’s lesser-known neighbourhoods. Walk south to Hans-im-Glück Platz, centred on a fountain depicting the caged Grimm’s fairy-tale character Lucky Hans, and you’ll soon reach the boho-flavoured Bohnenviertel, named after beans introduced in the 16th century. Back then they were grown everywhere as the staple food of the poor tanners, dyers and craftsmen who lived here.

Zugspitze

Mountain in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

On good days, views from Germany’s rooftop extend into four countries. The round trip starts in Garmisch aboard a cogwheel train (Zahnradbahn) that chugs along the mountain base to the Eibsee, an idyllic forest lake. From here, the Eibsee-Seilbahn, a super-steep cable car, swings to the top at 2962m. When you're done admiring the views, the Gletscherbahn cable car takes you to the Zugspitze glacier at 2600m, from where the cogwheel train heads back to Garmisch.The trip to the Zugspitze summit is as memorable as it is popular; beat the crowds by starting early in the day and, if possible, skip weekends altogether.

Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme

Thermal Baths in Wiesbaden

Built in 1913 as a municipal bathhouse on the site of a Roman steam bath, the gorgeous Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme, still run by the city, lets you experience ‘Irish-Roman’ spa culture with saunas and pools fed by water naturally heated to 66.4°C. Bathrobes and towels can be rented; swimsuits are banned in the sauna (you can wear a towel) and optional elsewhere. Shower before entering the pools. The minimum age for the sauna is 16, but kids can access the bathing area.