If you’re looking for a warm welcome to Spring in Germany, then look no further than the beautiful flower paradise, Mainau Island.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all love flowers! (Yes, I’m talking to you too fellas!)
There’s absolutely nothing more refreshing than watching mother nature awaken from her long winter slumber to greet us with a warm flowery “Hello!”.
But did you know there’s an entire flower island in Konstanz Germany?
Insel Mainau (Mainau Island) is every flower lover’s dream island and a destination ripe with adventures for couples and families alike.
This lovely botanical island makes for a great day trip from not only Konstanz but also Switzerland and Austria.
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About Mainau Island
Recommended Travel Resource: Lonely Planet Germany (Travel Guide)
Located in the Lake of Constance (Bodensee), the flower island of Mainau didn’t always have a flowery past.
The history of the island stems all the way back to 2000 years when it was originally used as a strategic fortress by the Romans. Eventually Mainau Island was inhabited by the Teutonic Knights after which it fell into the hands of the Swedes.
Yes, the island has a history that can be likened to that of fairytales!
Mainau was eventually sold to Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden who transformed the island into a personal garden park for the castle he inhabited as a summer palace. This botanical paradise didn’t get its modern-day status until 1932 when his grandson, Count Lennart Bernadotte, modified the gardens to the flower wonderland it is today.
Best Time to Visit Mainau Island
Since Insel Mainau is in the temperate zone in Germany, the island experiences all four seasons. While each season on the island comes with its own share of attractions, the best time to visit Mainau Island is in Spring or Summer.
I mean, we’re all about that warm flowery vibe aren’t we? (Pretty sure we are!)
It’s the best way to optimize your vacation in Europe and also guarantees bang for your buck!
However, if you’re still curious to find out what Mainau Island offers in each season, here’s what you can expect.
Spring marks the true awakening of the flowers on Mainau Island. Beginning mid-March the island is covered in nature’s colourful beauties. A spectacular display of tulips, cherry blossoms, narcissi, daffodils, hyacinths, pansies, forget-me-nots, and primroses are sure to get you in the Spring mood. By mid-May running in to June you’ll be able to enjoy rhododendrons and azaleas.
Already in full flower swing, the transition from Spring to Summer brings along with it a change in floral displays. Unlike Spring whose main stars are the tulips, Summer exhibits a myriad of rose and dahlia species.
Mainau Island also becomes much busier in the summer time as it is filled with curious nature loving tourists. However, if crowds aren’t your thing you can, either go in the early morning or in the late evening to avoid the crowds.
Autumn is the last hurrah of the colourful spread as the dahlias carry the show into the winter season. The dahlia blossom is usually over when the temperature falls below the frost limit, which is typically in the second half of October.
Unfortunately, in Winter, there is no flower display. However, if you are still interested in a visit, you could still enjoy a walk around the park, explore the indoor palm garden or even explore the Mainau Castle.
How to Get to Mainau Island
The easiest and closest city to traverse from to get to Mainau Island is the city of Konstanz (Constance). From Konstanz you’ll find varying options to choose from.
Public Transportation (Train & Bus)
If you’re travelling from a different city/country the nearest railway station to access Mainau Island is Konstanz (Constance). From there you’ll take the bus no. 4 direction ‘Wallhausen/Hafen, Konstanz’ and exit at ‘Mainau’. The journey lasts about 15 minutes.
If you’re travelling with a personal vehicle, you’ll need to follow the federal highway B 33 which leads you to the island. Once you’ve arrived and payed entry, you’ll take a short walk across a pedestrian bridge that leads you onto the stunningly beautiful flower island.
Another fantastic option is to travel by ferry to Mainau’s harbour (Mainau Hafen). Personally, I’d love this option since it gives me the true sense of arriving on an island!
Mainau Island Opening Times
Mainau Island’s opening times are quite reasonable. They boast being open to the public from sunrise until sunset. Simply check what time that is on the day you choose to visit.
What is the Cost of Entry for Mainau Island?
The cost of entry for Mainau Island is as follows below for the year 2018. My personal tip would be to purchase the late entry ticket. since it’s half the price of the regular one. Not only will you get the ticket at half the normal price, but you’ll also face less visitors while still getting to see the entire island. Sounds like a deal to me!
16th Mar 2018 -21st Oct 2018
22nd Oct 2018 -21st Mar 2019
|Children (0-12 years old)
|Students (ID required)
|Family Ticket (2 adults + children under 15)
|Late Entry (after 5 pm)
|Visitors with disabilities (handicapped ID required)
|16.50 € (per person)
|8 € (per person)
|Parking for Annual Ticket & Partnercard holders
|Bus runs only in summer
Special Attractions at Insel Mainau
Even though I’m sure we’re all visiting Insel Mainau for its beautiful flowers, I’m here to also tell you that the flower island offers much more.
Mainau Castle (Schloss Mainau)
Open Daily: 10 am- 5pm
As if the island didn’t seem enough of a fairytale, let’s add a real-life castle to the mix. Yes, the Mainau Castle (Schloss Mainau) is an actual attraction on Mainau Island.
Fashioned in the Baroque style of architecture, this historical gem should be a key feature to visit on your trip. Explore the castle then take a quick snack break by its restaurant.
Butterfly House (Mainau Schmetterlingshaus)
Open Daily (Summer Season): 10 am- 7 pm
Adding also to the whimsical feeling of the island is the Butterfly House (Mainau Schmetterlingshaus). Immerse yourself among the millions of free flying butterflies in this gorgeous tropical sanctuary. How many times can you say you’ve done that?
Italian Floral and Water Cascade
Particularly impressive for me was the Italian floral and water cascade. This stepped water feature seemed like one straight out of a royal garden in the 18th century.
Open Daily: (Summer) 9 am- 9 pm, (Winter) 9 am- 5 pm
Another tropical feature you’re sure to like is the Palm House. Explore the various species of palms as well as the special showcase of orchids (seen only in Spring and Summer).
Children’s Playground & Petting Zoo (with Pony Rides)
If you’re visiting with children, you’ll be happy to know that the island is also kid friendly. The flower island is fully equipped with a children’s playground and a petting zoo where kids can play with goats and ride ponies.