Last month I was able to visit three destinations in Germany that I had never visited before. This included the island of Lindau, the major tourist site Berchtesgaden and the huge city of Munich. I enjoyed visiting all three destinations, and published my main trip report detailing the flights I flew and hotels I stayed at to complete this trip, so hopefully you guys find these reviews useful in the future. However, I figured I’d be doing you guys a disservice without actually reporting back on my thoughts regarding the destinations themselves.
I’m in no position to compile a full guide on things you can do when you’re touring these areas, so in no way am I attempting to do so. Instead, I’d just like to share some of the highlights that I had when visiting these destinations.
Originally we were just planning to visit Berchtesgaden and Munich, since these were two places that I’ve heard good things about and was very intrigued in. However, our friends at Bucher Travel Services highly recommended visiting Lindau, so we were happy to add that to our schedule.
I feel bad for judging a destination this way, as no town is created in the tourist’s best interest. However, as a travel blogger one of my jobs is to make sure that travelers are picking the places that are best for them, and Lindau just wasn’t the best destination for me.
Overall I found Lindau a great place with a nice, relaxing vibe, though personally I’m not dying to return. I decided I’d compile a post with my thoughts why, as others’ opinions may differ.
I have to admit that Lindau is a beautiful place. Near Constance Lake there’s the iconic Lindau Lighthouse, which is the southernmost lighthouse in Germany, as well as the Bavarian Lion. This reaches out into the lake, where boats can park in a little alcove created (there are bridges leading up to the lion and the lighthouse, and incoming boats drive between the two).
We could see Liechtenstein in the distance, which I thought was so cool. It’s only a one-hour drive from Lindau, though unfortunately we couldn’t find the time to go there.
The town of Lindau itself is a typical picturesque German town, with low-rise buildings and much infrastructure directed towards tourism (hotels, tourist centers, etc.). Nevertheless, it’s a stunning place to spend a couple of days.
Looking towards Lindau from the lighthouse
There’s also the main street with a lot of touristy shops and restaurants, which was a good place to spend a small chunk of time, if nothing else.
Town of Lindau
There’s also some interesting architecture if you keep walking further away from the lakeside, which I thought was pretty cool, but not exactly significant.
Town of Lindau
Overall I thought Lindau was a cute town, and I’m sure locals who choose to live there connect with it in a different way.
Food in Lindau is okay
Most of the food options we had in Lindau were mediocre. Lindau has quite a few quaint restaurants, though we only got to try a few of them since we weren’t there for too long. There were a few hole-in-the-wall cafés, which were all reasonably priced, as Lindau isn’t exactly an international tourist destination yet.
Hole-in-the-wall Lindau Restaurants
Obviously get within an hour’s reach of Lindau and you’ll find some places that serve great food. We had lunch at the Hotel Restaurant Heinzler Am See, which was around 40 minutes from Lindau. The food at the restaurant was simply amazing.
Hotel Restaurant Heinzler
Food at the Hotel Restaurant Heinzler
In terms of places within Lindau, we most enjoyed the restaurant Wissingers im Schlecterbrau, which afforded us a lot of good German food at a reasonable cost.
There are interesting places around the area
Lindau isn’t the only city in the vicinity, which perhaps adds value to visiting the area. One of the areas we visited as part of our two-day trip was Meersburg, which was another cute little town with a similar German-tourist sort of vibe.
We also took a ferry to Mainau, another island that seemed more focused towards tourism with less of a local population.
Leaving Meersburg, Germany
We could’ve driven over to Liechtenstein in under an hour (though unfortunately we didn’t find the time for that), as well as visit some more German towns. So if you have car keys with you, you won’t get bored in Lindau.
Lindau is targeted towards weekend holidays for German families
Overall, however, I just thought that Lindau was somewhat of a tourist destination. Most of the tourist demographic seemed to be old German families and a couple of English-speaking European families, and it was clear that most of the town’s infrastructure was dedicated to tourism. That makes sense, as it’s near the lake, and it also houses Germany’s southernmost lighthouse.
I saw hikers with cameras, people feeding birds, tons of street performers, etc.. There just wasn’t much of a local “vibe”, as the whole of Lindau was just scattered with a range of different hotels and restaurants.
Some of the buildings are interesting, though they’re clearly kept in an attempt to boost tourism, such as the chapel featured below.
Church in Lindau
Other than the lighthouse, the lion, hotels and restaurants, the only other notable buildings were those of shops, which either belonged to international brands, or sold merchandise from international brands.
Shops in Lindau
I’m not saying that the town was touristy (it wasn’t – we felt like the only non-Germans there and everyone was friendly), but there was a clear target tourist demographic with everything that we did around Lindau, which makes me question the value of returning to this particular town.
Bottom Line: Would I return?
Lindau is a beautiful place, and I’m sure there are different people that connect with the place better than I do. However, I personally thought that Lindau was just somewhat of a tourist site, with tourist-directed infrastructure and a lack of personality. I probably would return with a purpose, and would encourage you guys to visit once if you find the time, as you’ll find the town relaxing with some cool structures to look at, though personally I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit Lindau again.