Meersburg, the "Burg on the lake" is located directly across from the Swiss town of Constance (Konstanz) on the shores of Lake Constance. It is a popular summer travel destination for both Germans and Foreigners. It's like Rothenburg but on the shores of a lake. There is plenty to do around this huge body of water, from visiting the place where Zeppelins were born to seeing ancient pile dwellings.
Meersburg is comprised of two distinct areas, the lower town ("Unterstadt") and uptown ("Oberstadt"). You can walk between them via stairs or a steep street. The tourist office is located on Kirchstrasse 4 in the upper town.
Meersburg is connected by car ferry from the larger city of Constance. You can arrive at Meersburg by car via the E54 from Überlingen or Friedrichshafen, other towns on Lake Costance (See the Lake Constance Map below). Meersburg is about a three hour drive from Munich.
Friedrichshafen airport is 20km (12 miles) to the east of Meersburg. The closest international airport is Zurich, Switzerland.
The nearest rail station is in Überlingen, 14km (9 miles) to the northwest of Meersburg on the Basel to Lindau line.
The New Palace--Neues Schloss, the elegant palace that once served as the residence palace of the prince-bishops of Constance faces the Schlossplatz forming the southern boundary of the square. Construction began in 1712 and finished in 1740. You can take a tour into the living quarters and also see the painting gallery and the Dornier Museum focusing on the history of aviation (the Lake Constance area was a hotbed of Zeppelin development as you'll see later).
The Old Palace--a privately owned medieval castle you can visit that lacks the elegance of the New Palace. The Altes Schloss was a successful defender of Meersburg and the narrative of the self-guided tour is all about knights and weapons of war.
The Bible Gallery includes exhibits not only of bibles but of the Guttenburg press that first made printed copies.
Other museums include the Zeppelin Museum, Meersburg Tapestry Art Museum Droste Museum, the Town Museum, and a Viticulture Museum (wine is a very important part of the culture of Meersburg, try the local "Weissherbst" wine, which grows on the northern slopes of Lake Constance.)
Of course there are many well-kept half-timbered houses and interesting town gates to keep your camera busy for a while.
Meersburg and the loop of interesting cities around the lake make it easy to think of a longer stay for this leg of your European vacation, perhaps in a cottage or, for a large family or gathering of friends, a larger villa.
If you prefer staying in a hotel, you can find user-rated hotels and apartments in Meersburg at Booking.com
We took the ferry from Constance; there was ample parking for the car in the terminal, at least in October. The pleasant trip across the lake is part of the fun of visiting Meersburg.
We did a fair amount of walking on our day trip. There's no easy way to avoid walking up the hill unless you don't visit the upper town, so keep that in mind when planning a trip.
If you're not into shopping for tourist trinkets or fake medieval swords and don't like museums or pretty German medieval villages, Meersburg will probably not be a good place for you to visit. On the other hand, like the tourist's beloved Rothenburg ob der Tauber is full of cheap tourist crap, too. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and enjoy the architecture.
There are plenty of restaurants and hotels in Meersburg, as it is a prime tourist destination on the lake.
The entire shoreline Lake Constance is studded with interesting towns and villages for a longer vacation. Meersburg is worth a day or two, and can be done as an easy daytrip from Constance, a larger town, also in Germany.
To the northwest is the pile-dwelling museum in Unteruhldingen, Germany, a good stop for those interested in archaeology and ancient cultures.
We enjoyed the two major islands at the west end of the lake, both easily reachable from Meersburg or Constance: Richenau and Mainau. Mainau is a prime garden island with a butterfly sanctuary and palace to visit. See our Mainau Island Pictures for more. The history of the monasteries of Reichenau Island is fascinating, and the island is known for its vegetable gardens--although it was once known for wine.
Take a look at our Lake Constance Map below to see the location of Meersburg and for more vacation ideas nearby.
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