Discover the hidden treasures of Friedrichshafen

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Oct 04, 2013 / 0 comments

Well, longtime readers know I love Germany. The food (!), the family we have there, the incredible history, and the gorgeous landscapes all fill my heart. But today, let’s focus on a beautiful university town in southern Germany – Friedrichshafen. Located on Lake Constance, Friedrichshafen is mostly known for being the historic center of German Aviation. But there’s more to the place than things that fly. Let’s take a look.


Friedrichshafen, Germany

Photo: DHausBT


First flights. Friedrichshafen was the first site of airship construction. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin had airships built on the lake – on a floating airships hangar! Other aviation companies (which later turend into automobile companies) followed suit, including Maybach and Dornier. Because Friedrichshafen has had such a historical influence on flight, it now hosts a yearly aviation conference (AERO Friedrichshafen), with tens of thousands of people attending. If you’re fascinated by Aviation history, you’re golden here. Places to visit touring the airship/aircraft aviation factories, the extraordinary Zeppelin Museum, the Dornier Museum, and more. You can, of course, take a Zeppelin flight. Would you expect anything else?


Zeppelin flight over Friedrichshafen

Photo: Probabilistic


It’s also about the ham! Ham radio, that is. Did you know that Friedrichshafen is the site of Europe’s largest ham radio convention?


As educators, you know it is rare to find museums about education! But there’s one here – the Schulmuseum (School Museum). Here, learn how schools developed, what classrooms looked like throughout history, and how education and schools have changed.


My brother is a firefighter, and I’m always interested in learning about local firefighting. Head to Feuerwehrmuseum, a firefighting museum located in a former equipment house for the local fire brigade. You need to make an appointment to see it, but it’s worth the personalized tour and first-hand stories. Tel.: +49 (0) 7541 2032200.


If you’re visiting in warmer weather, definitely plan to spend some time exploring the lakeshore. Called the Uferpromenade, this urban walk boasts plenty of open space, restaurants, and public art. You’ll see the Klangschiff (Boat of Sound), which is a sculpture by Helmut Lutz. It was designed to be an ambassador of peace, by showing solidarity with Eastern Europe. It sailed the Danube before landing here.


Klangshiffe - boat of sound - Friedrichshafen

Photo: k4dordy


While you’re on the promenade, be sure to climb the (free) Aussichtsturm – a tower with quite a view. You’ll see far off into the distance, not only the lake, but the surrounding mountains and towns. Incredible, and for most visitors, a highlight of the town.


Aussichtsturm - free climbing tower, Friedrichshafen

Photo: dierk schaefer


While it was bombed in WWII (the whole town was), a visit to the Schlosskirche (church) is a must. Use this time for quiet contemplation or a rest from running around town.


Lastly, wander the streets of Friedrichshafen – finding small restaurants, ice cream shops, hidden alleys, and treasures galore.


Friedrichshafen, Germany

Photo: dierk Schaefer

Getting there:
You can book flights with Monatch into Bodensee Airport Friedrichshafen (FDH), which is the 3rd biggest airport in Germany.

Or, you can take the car ferry from Konstanz or Romanshorn. I love car ferries! And, of course, trains and automobiles. Possibly even bikes – there is plenty of biking in Friedrichshafen, and, indeed, around Lake Constance.






All photos courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons