Generally speaking, if you choose a train to take you to a Christmas market in Germany, you need a long way to get to the city center from the railway station. The Harbour Christmas Market in Lindau (Lindauer Hafenweihnacht) is unique because it is the only one situated in a harbour and you need to walk just about 100 m from the train station to get to the market’s gate. What’s more, you can take the extraordinary Christmas ship which takes you to the city of Bregenz in Austria, only a few kilometers from Lindau.
Here you have some tips on how to organize and enjoy a perfect trip without any stress.
Take a Train and Start Your Trip in Lindau
If you have the opportunity to choose how to travel to the Christmas market, you should definitely prefer the train to avoid parking problems and the search for just a soft drink at every stall.
Take advantage of the Group and Regional Discounts!
Every federal country in Germany offers a one-day ticket for the train and public transport. Lindau is in Bavaria so you can use the Bayern-ticket. On a weekend, you can travel across the country with the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket. Both tickets are NOT VALID on the ICE and EC trains. For more details – see below.
Lindau has a very good connection to large cities. From Munich, you need 2 hours 45 minutes, so if you choose the train at 9 am, you can arrive there exactly at noon.
Combine the City Tour with a Lunch
If you arrive in Lindau at lunch time, you can leave your visit to the Christmas market for the evening. The historic town of Lindau is located on an island and offers many interesting places to visit, including the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) and the Museum of the Town (Stadtmuseum) where interesting exhibitions are held (in 2018 closed due to reconstruction). If you like good food, then try one of the restaurants in the Maximilianstrasse, I recommend Gasthaus zum Sünfzen or Zum Alten Rathaus.
The Christmas Ship is a Must
A boat trip around the Lake Constance is the top attraction. Many tourists take the ship just for the transport between the coastal cities, but cruises are also very popular. From Lindau to Bregenz, you need only half an hour, but it will remain as one of your best memories for sure. It is good to come to the harbour at least 15 minutes before the departure to get the best places near the windows or on the upper deck of the ship. The cruise from Bregenz after the sunset is very popular especially for the experience of sailing between the illuminated statue of the Bavarian Lion and the New Lighthouse in Lindau.
Bregenz Christmas Market – Small But Great!
The size of any Christmas market is not important. The Christmas Market at Kornmarkt Square is separated from the harbour by a busy main road and railway tracks. Here, you can taste many goodies or buy nice hand made products like high-quality winter hats for about 20 €.
You can also visit the Voralberg Museum directly next to the market or the Kunsthaus (House of Art) Bregenz behind the theater. Those who like beautiful views can take the cable car to the Pfänder hill – 1064 m above sea level. The ground station is located 750 m from the Christmas market. Regular trips are at the full and half-hour – daily from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Before you start the return trip to Lindau, make a short visit to the sea stage located next to the harbour.
Watching People from the Tower
For a romantic view, I recommend visiting the Mangtower which is 20 m high. This lighthouse from the 12th century offers the best view of the Christmas market.
Mulled Wine is a tradition but exotic drinks are also in
During the last years, traditional mulled wine has to compete with beverages like the hot Caipi, Hugo or various clones of punch (for children, with egg, whiskey and other sorts). The Hot Witch (Heiße Hexe) is a women’s drink made of hot egg cognac and whipped cream. It is becoming more and more popular.
Another drink with the exotic name Lumumba is a cocktail made of cocoa and rum, sometimes with whipped cream. It is said that it was named after the African warrior Patrice Lumumba who drove the Belgian colonizers out of Congo.
In 2018, the market in Lindau is held from 22nd of November to 16th of December but IS NOT open every day of the week. You can visit it from Thursdays to Sundays from 11.00 to 21.00. The opening of the market depends also on weather conditions (strong wind in the port). The entrance is free. More information: Lindauer Hafenweihnacht website
Bregenzer Weihnacht You can visit the Christmas market at Kornsmarkt Square in Bregenz (Bregenzer Weihnacht) from 16th of November until 23rd of December, daily from 11.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. (Gastronomy until 9 p.m.)
The Christmas ship between Lindau and Bregenz does not sail on Thursdays, but only on Fridays to Sundays.
From Lindau 13.20 / 15.00 / 16.40 / 18.20
From Bregenz 12.30 / 14.10 / 15.50 / 17.30
Prices: return ticket – 14 € for adults, 6,30 € for children.
The trip is possibly only if the water is sufficiently high.
The regional ticket is valid not only for regional trains (no ICE or EC) but also for the public transport in all Bavarian cities. The validity of the ticket starts at 9.00 from Monday to Friday and at 0.00 on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is valid until 3.00 on the following day. You can also use this ticket to travel to or from Salzburg or Ulm, but it is not valid for public transport in these cities. The maximum number of passengers per ticket is 5 regardless of age. The names of all passengers must be marked down, otherwise, the ticket is NOT VALID. The ticket for the first person costs 25 €, plus 6 € for every other person (25+6+6+6+6 = 49 € for 5 persons).
If you buy the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket, the price for the first passenger is 44 € and then again 6 € for every other person (44+6+6+6+6 = 68 €). For example, you can use it for your trip from Constance (Konstanz).
Text: © Copyright Robert, Travelpotpourri
Fotos: © Copyright Robert, Travelpotpourri