Right at the very foot of Germany
On the shores of beautiful Lake Constance, Friedrichshafen is a modern alpine gateway with both Switzerland and Austria on its doorstep. The once mighty Zeppelin was made here in its heyday, and you can still take modern Zeppelin trips over the lake today. Indeed, drawn by its proud reputation for industry and innovation, the town is now a pretty place to come for all sorts of conferences and congresses.
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The first port of call for shopaholics in Friedrichshafen is the Bodensee Center (Meistershofener Strasse 14), the city’s biggest mall and home to an impressive collection of international chains. If you prefer to get your retail therapy on the street, though, then Karlstrasse is a good place to start. Follow it down to the lake and bear left towards the city centre to pass a series of stylish boutiques, including fashion staples HEKA (Karlstrasse 29) and Huchler (Karlstrasse 42). The bustling produce market that takes place every Tuesday morning on the Charlottenhof and Fridays and Saturdays on the Adenauerplatz is also a must for visitors looking to get under the city’s skin.
Food & Drink
Friedrichshafen specialises in cosy little local bistros, with many of the best eateries housed in guesthouses and hotels. Of these, Hotel-Restaurant Goldener Hirsch (Charlottenstrasse 1) and Hotel-Restaurant Knoblauch (Jettenhauser Strasse 32) are among the best – both serve warming Swabian dishes at wallet-friendly prices. Goldenenes Rad at the Best Western Hotel (Karlstrasse 43) is often lauded as the city’s top restaurant, thanks to the chef’s creative use of the freshest local produce and seafood, with the touristy but fabulous Zeppelin Hangar (Allmannsweiler Strasse 134) following closely in its footsteps. Ristorante Credo (Otto-Lilienthal-Strasse 2) does good, uncomplicated Italian food, and the restaurant at Hotel Buchhorner Hof (Friedrichstrasse 33) specialises in locally caught game.
Held annually on the first weekend in May, this popular festival hosts a packed programme of opera, orchestral concerts, jazz, ballet, theatre and literature. Each year, a different ‘artist in residence’ opens and leads the event.
This is Europe’s largest outdoors fair and exhibition, featuring hundreds of international clothing and equipment brands. Learn about new products, discover upcoming trends and meet leading industry figures.
Celebrating all aspects of cultural life in Friedrichshafen, this long-running festival encompasses dance, pop, jazz, theatre and even political satire. Performances by street artists create an upbeat atmosphere across the city.
Held on the edge of Lake Constance, this summer festival has been running for over 65 years and attracts upwards of 40,000 visitors. The highlight of the event is the “Seefeuerwerk” display – an incredible lightshow that runs for half an hour to the accompaniment of triumphant music.
Tuck into traditional mulled wine, sausages and gingerbread at this ancient annual market on the Buchhornplatz next to Lake Constance. It runs for 18 days, with stalls selling everything from handmade gifts to scrumptious takeaway food.
Perched on the eastern shore of Lake Constance with views over the distant Alps, Friedrichshafen has a strong underlying connection to the great outdoors. The best hotels here have lake-facing rooms so guests can drink up the incredible natural tableau – four-star Hotel City Krone (Schanzstrasse 7) and the Best Western Hotel Goldenes Rad (Karlstrasse 43) are both classy city centre choices close to the lake, with spa facilities and good restaurants. Family-run Gasthof Rebstock (Werastrasse 35) is a charming mid-budget option with unashamedly traditional décor and cuisine, while the cosy Hotel Schlossgarten (Friedrichstrasse 1) offers comfortable rooms within an easy walk of the town centre.