Located on the northern edge of the Bodensee Lake (also known as Lake Constance), Friedrichshafen is a university city in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The city is close to the borders with both Austria and Switzerland to the south, while its idyllic lakeside location makes it a popular destination for people looking to head to the northern reaches of the Alps. The city’s university has helped to lend Friedrichshafen a youthful air, with a surprisingly vibrant nightlife belying its tranquil Alpine location. Mostly rebuilt after World War Two, there are still one or two reminders of its past, while it happens to have a long lakeside promenade where visitors can watch the water shimmer all day long.
Although not the most rugged vehicle, with winter tyres fitted, a hatchback should be sufficient for driving up and down the mountains as well as in the centre of Friedrichshafen.
Driving in Friedrichshafen
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
The B31 road is a traffic blackspot during the summer when visitor numbers tend to peak. The E54 going eastbound is prone to heavy traffic at that time as well.
Ferry rides are available to towns and cities on the other side of the Bodensee. Romanshorn, Konstanz and Kreuzlingen are among the destinations served.
In winter, black ice and snow on the roads are common problems. Driving with winter tyres here is an absolute necessity between November and March.
Highlights & Hotspots
The city is home to the Zeppelin Museum, which documents all things related to aircraft. The museum has a plethora of artefacts dedicated to the zeppelin, many of which were made in Friedrichshafen itself at local factories.
Keeping the aviation theme going, the Dornier Museum is also worth a visit. Opened a few years ago, it documents over a century of aviation history, hosting close to 400 exhibits including military planes and even a few examples of spacecraft.
In the city, it’s possible to go canoeing across the Bodensee. By renting a canoe from the shore, you could go the length of the lake, taking in numerous sights including the Alps and, at the other side of the Bodensee, the Swiss city of St Gallen.
The most notable landmark in Friedrichshafen is the Schlosskirche (palace church). Its domed towers managed to survive major conflict, although part of the church was restored after World War Two. The largely baroque architecture makes it worth a look.
Friedrichshafen Airport is located about two miles east northeast of the city centre. It serves destinations throughout Europe either in winter or summer and has one terminal for passengers with eight departure gates.
The airport is handily located on the B30, which will take you west towards the centre of Friedrichshafen and near to the city‚Äôs docks.