A Perfect One Day Trip to the Christmas Markets in Lindau and Bregenz


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.

Lindauer Weihnacht

At noon, you don’t feel the real Christmas atmosphere here yet

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.

Lindau, Maximilianstrasse

There are many possibilities to eat in the Maximilianstrasse

Lindau Altes Rathaus

The Old Town Hall is a popular sight

Lindau Altes Rathaus

The clock on the Northern facade

The Christmas Ship is a Must

Weihnachtschiff Austria

Don’t miss the Christmas ship in Bregenz!

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.

Lindau Hafen

The harbour is watched by the lighthouse built by the German sculptor Johann Halbig in 1865 with a 6 m high statue of the Bavarian Lion

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 €.

Bregenz Weihnachtspyramide

Christmas pyramids belong to the old tradition in Germany. Originally, they were exhibited at the Christmas tree inside the houses only. In 1926, Traugott Pollmer from the town of Frohnau near the borders with the Czech Republic got the idea to create a “pyramid for all”. Since then, it became a part of every Christmas market.

The offer is very rich.

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.

Pfänder Bregenz

The cable car offers a unique view of Lake Constance

The coffee house Wunderbar (= Wonderful) is open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends

0,0000000001 mm nanometer in Bregenz

The inscription “0,0000000001 mm” on the building directly opposite the Christmas market in Bregenz was made by Austrian artist Heinz Gappmayr (1925 – 2010) who creates works of visual poetry. Here, he tried to present the unimaginable length of the nanometer by using a 12 m long line of digits.

Before you start the return trip to Lindau, make a short visit to the sea stage located next to the harbour.

Bregenz Seebühne

Bregenzer Festspiele is a performing arts festival which is held since 1946. Four years later, they moved to this lake stage. It is really breathtaking! In 2011-12, it looked as if the murdered Marat bathed in the water

Bregenz Festspiele Carmen

The stage for the opera Carmen was also very original. There were giant hands throwing playing cards into the air. The view from the lake shows not only the sophisticated architecture but also the auditorium. Tickets for Rigoletto in July and August 2019 will range from 30 to 348 €.

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.

Lindau Hafen Mangturm

During the day, you can even see the other side of the Lake Constance from the large windows of the old lighthouse

Lindau Hotel Helvetia

Hotel Helvetia with a Café Restaurant is located directly opposite the Mangtower

The view from the tower of the port of Lindau and the western part of the market with the well-known hotel Bayerischer Hof

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.

Lindauer Weihnachten

During the day, the tables in front of the stalls with drinks are still empty while in the evening, it’s hard to find a vacant place

Lindauer Weihnachten Karussel

The Christmas merry-go-round is a big attraction for children

Important Information


Lindauer Hafenweihnacht

Just a few steps from the train and you are at the market in Lindau

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.)

Bregenz Weihnachtsmarkt

The entrance to the Christmas market in Bregenz

Christmas Ship

Weihnachtschif Austria

The trip with the Christmas Boat Austria takes about 35 minutes – you can have a look at a Nativity scene, a Fairytale Forest and a ten-meter-long model railroad or enjoy some winter specialities at the bar.

The Christmas ship between Lindau and Bregenz does not sail on Thursdays, but only on Fridays to Sundays.

The timetable
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.

Train Discounts

Bayern ticket
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).

Bregenz Bahnhof

The harbour in Bregenz is located just a few meters from the railway station. Unlike Salzburg or Ulm, it is not a border station where the Bayern ticket would be valid. A nine-minute-train ride along the coast can make the trip overpriced.


The Lake Constance (Bodensee in German) is the third largest freshwater lake in Europe after the Balaton and Geneva Lakes. The lake is situated in three countries – Germany, Switzerland and Austria, however, there are no national borderlines on the water. It consists of three lakes. The German name was given after the important medieval town of Bodman, its derivative was adopted by many other languages including the Scandinavian or Slavic ones. Frenchmen, Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese, Anglo-Americans and Greeks know it as Lake Constance after the name of its largest city. What’s more, the proud local people call it Swabian Sea.

Text: © Copyright Robert, Travelpotpourri
Fotos: © Copyright Robert, Travelpotpourri



  1. Anna

    Hallo Ingrid
    Sehr interessanter Artikel.
    Sehr lustiges Haus mit vielen Nullen 😉
    LG AS

    1. Ingrid

      Danke, Anna. Ich finde es auch sehr interessant und möchte sehr gern auch besuchen! 🙂


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