Lindau is a city in southern Bavaria on the shore of Lake Constance or the Bodensee. It lies on the border to the Austrian federal-state of Vorarlberg with its capital city Bregenz which is within walking distance (about 10 km along the lake). The historic town is on an island and full of medieval and half-timbered buildings. One can also take boat tours leaving the small harbor and just sit and enjoy a Weißbier admiring the view of Austria and Switzerland and the Alps across the lake.
On a sunny day in summer Lindau is a great place to be. The town is old and very beautiful and has a good market.
Every year the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings take place. These meetings are a conference with Nobel Laureates and young scientists in fields such as chemistry, medicine and physics.
Much like Stuttgart, the railway station situation in Lindau has been subject to ongoing controversy for decades. In the 1990s Deutsche Bahn launched their "Bahnhof 21" ("station 21") program with the 21 standing for the 21st century. The general gist of the idea was always to replace a dead-end station with a through station, which would speed up trains not ending or beginning in the city in question and use the space that would no longer be needed for railway infrastructure for urban development. According to the original plans, said urban development would more than cover the costs of the train station redesign. The plans for such large-scale reorganization of the railway infrastructure of cities like Munich, Frankfurt or Stuttgart quickly ran into opposition and most projects had to be given up as too costly. However, the Neu-Ulm 21 project went ahead and is now largely deemed a success. In Lindau the original plans called for shutting down the dead-end station on the island and re-routing all trains through a new station in Reutin which would make use of cargo infrastructure that was deemed oversized for 21st century needs. However, the citizens did not want to give up the station on the island entirely and three different referenda were held to decide on various aspects of the project. The ultimate end result is that long distance trains are to move to a new station in Reutin, to open with the December 2020 schedule change, the line from Munich through Lindau to Switzerland is to be electrified (significantly speeding up trains) and the island is to retain a slightly downsized train station for local trains.
1 Lindau Hbf (Lindau Inselbahnhof), Am Bahnhof (on the island, directly next to the harbour). Until Lindau 21 is completed (see infobox) this station will remain the stop of all long distance and local trains that serve Lindau. Starting in December 2020 the not yet finished station in Reutin (on the mainland) will take the long distance trains while local trains will continue serving the old station on the island, which will be renamed "Inselbahnhof" (Lindau-Insel).
Lindau has direct rail EuroCity connections from Munich and Zurich, as well as regional rail services from Austria, other parts of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Frequent trains run from Bregenz to Lindau and back during the day, single journey €2.40 adult on the ÖBB machine (if you book via the DB machines its more expensive: €4.80 one-way).
Euregio train tickets are available for unlimited travel in the region (including discounts on certain ferries).
The Baden-Württemberg-Ticket is valid on regional trains between Lindau - Kressbronn, and Lindau - Wangen im Allgäu even though parts of the journey are within Bavaria.
- Bodensee-Airport Friedrichshafen (FDH IATA) is the closest airport and easily accessible by rail.
- The next major airports with transcontinental flights are Munich airport (MUC IATA) as well as the airport of Stuttgart (STR IATA).
Lots of tourists come to Lindau from neighbouring harbour towns of Austria and Switzerland in the summer months for a short trip. BSB runs seasonal ferries between April and October.
There the main lines are:
- Konstanz / (Mainau) / Meersburg / Friedrichshafen / Lindau / Bregenz (with many stops along the German shore between Meersburg and Lindau) — the trip between Lindau and Bregenz is direct and has no other stops, takes 22 min and costs €5.70 (adults)
- Rorschach (Switzerland) / (Bad Schachen) / (Wasserburg) / Lindau — complete journey costs €12.70, 17 CHF (it's a good idea to have your passport with you); three times a day in each direction; complete journey takes about 1 hour
Lindau is a very small town and exploring it on foot is the best idea. Many parts of the island are for pedestrians only so it is enjoyable to walk around.
There are city bus routes operating on the island and mainland (routes 1 and 2) and only on the mainland (routes 3 and 4). There is one central bus stop (Anheggerstraße) where all four lines intersect. See the route map and timetables for more details. 2020 prices: single ticket €2.30, 24-hour ticket €4.60, other options are available. BayernTickets are accepted on Lindau's city buses.
City bus routes and timetables will change in December 2020, with a new route 5 linking Inselbahnhof and Reutin-Bahnhof stops directly; see the city bus website for information.
Additionally, RBA Regionalbus Augsburg operates in Lindau (island and mainland) and connects to the surrounding area. See the route map and timetables (search for Landkreis Lindau). Line 21 goes to Nonnenhorn (westbound along the lake) and Line 14/14a goes to Bregenz (Austria, eastbound along the lake).
First step after reaching Lindau should be to contact the tourist info centre just outside the train station, where one can get a list of beautiful buildings in the town and a free map too. On a sunny day, the views that this town offers are awesome.
- 1 Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus), Bismarckplatz 4. Construction started in 1422 and took about 14 years to complete. Make sure to also look at the south facade.
- 2 Lighthouse. Climb the lighthouse (33 m). Views are great from that height. €1.80 adults, €0.70 children.
- 3 Mangturm, Seepromenade. A 20-m tower that was built in the 12th century as part of the town's defence wall. The interior is only accessible as part of a "fairy tale" event - for adults May-Sep every Friday at 19:00 and for children during the summer holidays (beginning of Aug- beginning of September) every Tuesday 10:30. Adults €8, children €3.
- 4 Diebsturm, Zeppelinstraße (On the island). Constructed in 1380 as part of the city walls. It was also used as a prison, hence the name.
- 5 Stadtmuseum (City Museum), Marktplatz 6 (on the market place), ☏ . Only open during the summer season. Museum with collections about the history of the city. A collection of mechanical musical instruments can be seen on a guided tour. There are also changing art exhibitions. The building of the museum, called Cavazzen, is an impressive baroque building from 1729. €3 adults, €1.50 concessions.
- 6 Bavarian Lion.
- 7 Lindauer Dahlienschau, Büchelewiesweg, Oberreutin (on the mainland; city bus service 4 to bus stop "Inselbrauerei" (island brewery), then 400-m walking distance). Enjoy fields of Dahlia. The surrounding area is nice for short walks with its many apple and pear trees. The small hill close-by (towards Streitelsfingen) offers great views over Lindau and Lake Constance.
- Take cruise trips to neighbouring harbour towns like Bregenz, Konstanz or Friedrichshafen. You can plan a day trip from Lindau to Bregenz, and climb the Pfänder mountain at Bregenz that offers great views of the lake.
- Rent a paddleboat or a rowing boat. This is also the only way to get to the tiny island which is just big enough for one tree. One place to rent these boats is at the entrance of the island, to the right-hand side when entering via the main car bridge (Bootsvermietung Lindau).
- Sit in one of the restaurants by the lakeside and enjoy variety of cuisines.
- On the West side of the island there are very few places giving access to the water where swimming is possible, but do not expect a beach. Also on the West side there are small grassy patches where you can enjoy the sun and have a picnic.
- Take a tour on the Lindau Science Trail and learn more about Nobel Laureates and their scientific breakthroughs. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings organise free guided tours for groups. In addition, people can explore the web-based Virtual Science Trail online.
- Go to theatre or music events.
- 1 [formerly dead link] Marionette Opera, Fischergasse 37.
- Isle of Music. Music event happening several times a year with live music throughout the island.
- 2 Park-Theater, Zwanzigerstr. 3, ☏ . The only cinema on the island.
- 3 Strandbad Eichwald, Eichwaldstraße 16-20 (On the mainland). A managed area for swimming and sun bathing. Has swimming pool areas and access to the lake. €4 or €2.50 after 17:00 for adults (17+), €2 for children (5-16).
- 4 Ice Skating Arena (Eissportarena), Eichwaldstraße 16 (On the mainland). Adults: €3.50 entrance, €4 to rent skates.
- 5 Flugplatz Wildberg (Der fliegende Bauer), Wildberg, Weißensberg (by car: follow the B12; about 6 km from the island). Small airport which offers sightseeing flights in small airplanes (one guest seat per plane).
- 6 Golfclub Lindau.
- 7 Golf Club Bodensee-Weißensberg.
The market place of Lindau is a beautiful street that offers lots of souvenirs at cheap prices. Branded cloth and accessories shops are quite a few in number. Number of shops sell hats, sunglasses and other accessories etc. One should consider buying Swiss Knives as they are at fair prices.
- 1 Weekly Market (Wochenmarkt), Marktplatz. Every Saturday from 07:00; from April till October additionally on Wednesdays. Get local products.
- If you are looking for a cheap supermarket on the island, there is a Netto on Marktplatz 5 - it's in the basement of that building. It's open M-Sa 07:00-20:00.
There are many restaurants in the market and near the shore that offer variety of cuisine.
There are also a few good ice-cream places on the island.
Plenty of hotels available in Lindau, one can get a listing of these hotels at the tourist info point.
- 1 Youth Hostel, Herbergsweg 11 (On the mainland, not on the island itself). From €21.90.
- 2 Park-Camping Lindau, Fraunhoferstraße 20, ☏ . First adult for tent area: €12.50, additional adults €8.50.
- 3 Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Bahnhofplatz 2, ☏ . Luxury hotel (5-stars) opposite the train station and facing the harbour. Adjacent to this building is their second Hotel Reutemann/Seegarten (4-stars).
- Bregenz (Austria) — go there to climb the Pfänder and for the famous floating stage
- Friedrichshafen — Zeppelin Museum and airport