The “Flower Island” Mainau is one of the key attractions of the whole Bodensee / Lake Constance region. No doubt that I had to visit this place during my June 2020 trip to the area.
Mainau Island – Location & Admission
Mainau Island is located right North of one of the major cities around Lake Constance, Constance (on the German part of the lake shore). The island has two entrances, which also represent the most popular ways to reach it: from lakeside, there are frequent boat trips, which arrive at the East side of the island. By that, the island is connected to Constance, Friedrichshafen, Meersburg and other cities. I arrived by car from Constance, the corresponding parking lot is located on the Southwest of the island. You walk from the parking lot along a narrow access road. At that point, there are also local transport buses. The Meersburg to Constance ferry is also arriving quite closeby.
During my visit, the island was open 9:00 to 20:00 hrs. Now, at the time of publishing, times are 8:00 to 21:00 hrs, daily. I could not visit the butterfly house due to Covid-19, which is now possible again. You need to have tickets with time slots due to the regulations. The adult admission is 22 Euro. If you arrive by car, there is an additional parking fee of 5 Euro. The island is open year-round, but it is of course by far most popular during spring to fall months. I highly recommend to be there early – my first two hours of visit were much more relaxed than the remaining time of my some 3.5 hour visit on the island (you can easily spend more time there).
Mainau Island – Castle and Buildings
The majority of the buildings on the islands are located in proximity of the harbor. First of all, of course, there is a castle, which comes with some additonal buildings like a church or a tower. The huge greenhouse is called Palmenhaus and is hosting palm trees and other plants.
Mainau Island – The Park
There is no thematic structure in the park, it is more designed in a “Where it fits best” strategy – wine, for example, needs to be at a sunny hill, of course. The park is well sign-posted, so you cannot get lost. Even though the island is not super-large, the central part is quite elevated. There are a lot of information signs about plants and wildlife as well.
As said, I entered the island from Western directions / the parking lots. Once you reached the island, you are welcomed by a large smiling flower. Also in regards of the flora of the island, there is a huge range of diversity. On top of the hill, for example, you have some really old and impressive trees, very shadowy and also comparably quiet and less frequented areas. The flower patches closer to sea level became very crowded around 10:30, however. A key attraction is the rose garden next to the castle area. There are also places like a butterfly garden on the island. Unfortunately, this one was closed due to Covid-19.
The landscape gardening on Mainau is just beautiful. Within a few steps, you walk from a rural forest-alike area to Mediterranean-alike seaside places. It
Last, but not least, here are some inside views of the Palmenhaus.
Mainau Island – Flower & Animal Close-Ups
Here are the stars of Mainau Island: the flowers and some of the animals in the areas. Such a wonderful range of colours.
Mainau Island – Food & Drink
Snack bars, cafes, restaurant-like outlets – Mainau offers the full range of nutrition. I just had a snack in a beer garden-alike place. The food was nice, the prices very reasonable. However, they did not follow all legal Covid-19 measures. Due to lack of organisation, they did not register me (which is mandatory in Germany to be able to reconcile chains of infection).
Mainau Island – Services
Apart from food and drinks, you are of course able to take some souvenirs with you. There are a couple of ordinary gift stores, but also some very posh options. For example the castle hosts a gallery-like store where you can also buy some small art objects.
In order to turn Mainau into a family experience, there are also sufficient services for the kids. There are playgrounds as well as a model train for the youngest.
There are sanitary facilities throughout the island. Especially regarding the high number of visitors, the hygienic measure were nicely performed.
Mainau Island – My View
Mainau is definitely a unique attraction. There is no doubt you should have it on your list when you visit Lake Constance. However, I would highly recommend to carefully select your time of visit: if possible, take the the earlier, the better (or a late afternoon) option and stay away from weekend dates – even though the island is comparably large, it felt quite packed when I was about to go back to my car. Even if some houses might not be open in the early hours, it is just a lovely experience to explore the unique gardens of Mainau in a relaxed atmosphere. Not too surprising, Mainau is in the Top Picks! zone.
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