Day trip to Konstanz from Switzerland + Giveaway
Konstanz: shopping, fish and turtles
Disclaimer: SFT was invited by Sea Life Konstanz to visit their Aquarium and share our visit on the blog. As always opinions are my own.
The concept of just popping over into another country for the day is still one that still amazes me, even after living in the centre of Europe for over 17 years. I grew up in Australia where it was a big deal to even cross state borders—let alone visit another county. So for me, just being able to pop over to Germany for the day is all kinds of cool!
There are many German towns dotted along the border that are popular shopping destinations for Swiss residents looking for cheaper prices, and Konstanz is one of them. Easily accessed by car or train, the traffic jams on Saturdays and numerous Swiss number plates on the vehicles are an indication of just how popular it is. (My advice is to take the train unless you visit on a Sunday)
But popping over the border to Konstanz doesn’t have to just be for a day of shopping. There are plenty of other things to do! For example, the lakeside city is home to a Sea Life Aquarium, with over 3500 sea creatures throughout 35 pools. From dangerous Pirhanas with their glittering scales, to the magestic penguin who are also quite curious, Sea Life provides a great way to spend a bit of time and learn something, too.
We had that opportunity a couple of weeks ago, and decided to check it out. One of the things which intrigued us was the “SOS Turtle” exhibition which was a hit with not just the 4-6 year old age set, but the teens as well. Our group of 5 kids, ranging in ages from 4-13, all enjoyed picking out their own turtle to rescue, choosing a name, weighing it and finding out how to help rehabilitate it so it could be released back into the “ocean” (ready for the next visitor to have a go).
The first step in helping our Turtles after figuring out what was wrong was to rehydrate them. Next, using the cutest x-ray machine, the kids had the opportunity to diagnose and then fix the injuries of their turtles before moving on to discovering what turtles loved to eat and then feeding them so they reached their ideal weight again.
With a lump in our throats and a better appreciation of the effort it takes to rehabilitate a turtle, we released our turtles back into the ocean. But the question remained, how did they get hurt in the first place?
This exhibition was the perfect segue to reminding the kids why I am against the use of plastic straws, and why I hassle them to remember to take their water bottles with them. See, Mom’s not so crazy to juggle 8 apples instead of putting them inside plastic bags! Even though we don’t live near any oceans, we do live near a lake with plenty of sea life. In the past I may have gotten an eye roll from the Teen when I suggested that I was a good eco-warrior, but now she understood better.
One of the other things I really liked about Sea Life was that their exhibits were scaled for the little people. No holding your kids up and killing your back—almost all exhibits were right at their eye level. The kids loved that.
So the next time you are in Konstanz why not reward the kids for following you around the shops with a trip to Sea Life, or better yet, send Dad with them so you can have a couple of hours of retail therapy without their whining and complaining. Win-Win.
Despite the sun shining the entire time we visited, I kept thinking to myself - a visit to Sea Life would be perfect on one of those grey days when the fog seems like it will never lift, or the rain just won’t stop.
Good to know when visiting Sea Life :
If you do take my advice and head to Sea Life on a gloomy day, make sure you use the useful online booking system and pre purchase your tickets online to save up to 30%. For those who would like to reduce their queuing time, consider an express ticket.
Come by train if you visit during the week or on a Saturday. Konstanz can get very busy and the parking lots fills up quickly. Sea Life is conveniently located next to the Konstanz train station.
If you do come by car, the car park at the LAGO shopping centre is the closest, and the parking is even open on Sundays. (note the height restriction of 1.90m.)
Sea Life is just over the border in Germany, so don’t forget your Euros.