Tuning into the magic of Lindau

TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

There are a multitude of reasons for visiting the picturesque island and town of Lindau. The unhurried pace of the island with its old town buildings and narrow, winding alleyways and its lush greenery surrounded by the lake’s ever-changing blue draw visitors of all ages, at any time of year.

Young people love the island because it is a sought-after spot for water sports, where daring windsurfers ride the waves, stand up paddlers skim across the water and guitar sessions at the campfire round up the day. All year round, visitors enjoy Lindau’s Mediterranean flair, the clear waters of Lake Constance and the Alpine Panorama with its snow-covered peaks. For sailing enthusiasts, there is the annual long-distance night regatta, taking place during the Lindau sailing days.
Lindau in winter forms a charming and fascinating counterpart to the bustling summer months. Foggy November and December days form a wonderful backdrop for romantic walks across the island. Imagine the moon rising over the mountains, the stars twinkling above the streets and houses and the scent of spicy treats filling the air. Around and during the festive season, Lindau simply transforms itself into an enchanting place. When the December snow falls silently and Lake Constance takes on a mysterious air, the picturesque island entices with a visit of the famous Harbour Christmas Market.

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Christmas tree at the Lindau City Hall. Photo: © Wolfgang Schneider, Lindau Tourism

Christmas market in Lindau

One of Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets, the lovingly decorated market stalls of the Harbour Christmas Market line the shores of Lake Constance against the stunning backdrop of the Alps. With its unique lakeside setting on the promenade and the Mangturm Tower at its heart, the famous Harbour Christmas Market is the perfect place to enjoy hot mulled wine, spicy Christmas cookies and to look for unique Christmas gifts and decorations.

A varied programme of events is on offer to get visitors into Christmas spirit, including storytelling, city tours, night watchman tours, shows and musical events. Both children and grown-ups enjoy the magical fairy tale forest with its scent of pine trees, wildlife and surprises around every corner.

The walking tour with night watchman Michl is a particularly popular way of exploring the beautifully decorated streets and alleyways of the town. Armed with halberd, lantern, horn and good humour, Michl reveals some of the secrets of times gone by. Along with the market, the Old Town is festively illuminated and its many shops and restaurants tempt visitors to do a little shopping or enjoy a delicious meal in the evening.

Lindau turns into a Christmas island during the Advent period and the market is the perfect way to brighten up the dark days of the season with its wonderful location and festive atmosphere.

The Lindau Harbour Christmas Market on the harbour promenade runs each weekend between 23 November and 17 December, from Thursday through Sunday at 11am – 9pm (closed on 26 November).

Capture the spirit of Christmas and tune into the most enchanting time of year with the help of Lindau’s romantic scenery and inspiring events. No matter if just for a weekend treat or a longer stay – the enchanting island of Lindau will always provide the perfect ambiance to let go of the daily grind.

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Lindau Annual Funfair. Photo: © Hari Pulko, Lindau Tourism

Top events: The Lindau Annual Fair

For those coming in early November, the Lindau Annual Fair with a flea market and funfair form a treat not to be missed. The fair has been a town tradition since 1652 and has ever since remained a true visitors’ magnet. As of last year, the funfair is spread around the harbour promenade, the station square and the Reichsplatz. The fairground rides will tip you up and send you racing round bends and tunnels at breakneck speed. Those who prefer their fun to be a little more grounded enjoy the bumper cars and swing rides. Of course, it would not be a funfair without the shooting galleries, fairground games and the legendary horse derby.

The Ferris wheel is the true highlight of the event. It is set up right by the Mangturm Tower and the stunning views from the gondolas include the harbour entrance with lion and lighthouse, the rooftops of Lindau, the bustle of the harbour promenade and of course Lake Constance itself.

Top events: Lindau Marionette Opera

A unique cultural experience can be enjoyed at the city’s Marionette Opera, residing in its own space at the city theatre. “Are those really puppets?” audience members wonder time and again
when they see the four little swans from Swan Lake dancing across the stage. Excelling in the art of puppetry, the Marionette Opera has staged incredible shows featuring dancing puppets for more than a decade.

Founder and director Bernhard Leismüller himself describes his art as “authentic, believable and realistic”. Together with his 12 puppeteers, he brings the figures to life using the tiniest, most detailed movements. Over the years, Leismüller and his troupe have made more than 400 puppets. The repertoire includes well-known operas such as The Magic Flute, La Traviata, Carmen and Hansel and Gretel, as well as the aforementioned Swan Lake ballet. At first, the Marionette Opera of Lindau only had a temporary home, but now it is the proud occupant of its own stage at the Lindau Stadttheater. Since 2010, the Marionette Opera has owned a mobile stage and is thus able to take its shows on tour.

The theatre is regularly staging a special show for children, based on the fairy tale of Der Riese Tunichtgut. The puppeteers aim to make guests forget that the characters on the stage are “only” puppets – a goal reached on every night of performance.

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