The best thing to do in town is to stroll the lake-fronting Seepromenade, with its sweeping view that extends on clear days all the way to the Swiss Alps. Cycling along the broad Seestrasse is also a delight. A kiosk within the Stadtbahnhof rents bikes for 8€ to 10€ a day.
The town's architectural highlight is the 17th-century Schlosskirche, Schlossstrasse 33 (tel. 07541/21308). The palatial ecclesiastical buildings that were once part of the church's monastery were converted in the 1800s into a palace for the kings of Württemberg. Today, they're privately owned. The church is well worth a visit, but it's open only Easter to October daily 9am to 6pm.
The Zeppelin-Museum (tel. 07541/38010; www.zeppelin-museum.de), in the Hafenbahnhof, Seestrasse 22, is a tribute to Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Around 1900, this native of Konstanz invented and tested the aircraft that bore his name. The museum has a re-creation of the giant and historic zeppelin Hindenburg, including a full-scale replica of its passenger cabins. The famous blimp exploded in a catastrophic fire in New Jersey in 1937, possibly because of sabotage. The museum also has memorabilia associated with zeppelins and their inventor. May to October, it's open daily 9am to 5pm; November to April, hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. Admission is 7.50€ for adults and 3.50€ for children 16 and under.
Of interest to students of educational techniques is Friedrichshafen's Schulmuseum, Friedrichstrasse 14 (tel. 07541/32622; www.friedrichshafen.de), which traces the development of education between 1850 (when classes were taught by monks and nuns) and 1930 (when education was the responsibility of the German state). The museum is near the Schlosskirche in the historic heart of town. Look for reconstructions of schoolrooms from periods in the 19th and 20th centuries. April to October, it's open daily 10am to 5pm; November to March, hours are Tuesday to Sunday 2 to 5pm. Admission is 3.50€ for adults and 1.50€ for children.
Rebirth of the Zeppelin
The zeppelin fell out of favor in 1937 when the Hindenburg blew up in New Jersey, but its postmillennium sibling glides peacefully over Lake Constance. (Don't worry. The new zeppelin is much smaller and rises with inert helium gas, not the explosive hydrogen used by the Hindenburg.) The airship, named Bodensee, can climb to about 2,300m (7,500 ft.). The newer vessel carries 12 passengers and a crew of two, as opposed to the Hindenburg, which carried 100 aboard. Cruising at approximately 54kmph (33 mph) over the scenic lake, it takes passengers on hour-long flights scheduled daily, costing 395€ per person Monday to Friday, or 200€ for a half-hour. For more information and takeoff points along the lake, visit www.zeppelinflug.de.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.