All photos: Bryan Dearsley / LuxuryEurope

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If first impressions are lasting impressions, it’s little wonder that I’m so mightily impressed by the city of Ravensburg. The first real glimpse I got of this beautiful bucket-list city in Baden-Württemberg in Southern Germany was from my balcony at the Hotel Kaiserhof Ravensburg (more on this excellent place to stay later).

Granted an early check-in after a speedy 20-minute train ride from the port city of Friedrichshafen, I found myself awestruck the moment I caught a glimpse of the view from my luxurious upper-floor room. There before me was an uninterrupted view of Ravensburg’s remarkably well-preserved historic towers… all 10 of them, with no skyscrapers or modernity to spoil the cityscape.


Hotel Kaiserhof room view in Ravensburg Photo Bryan Dearsley LuxuryEurope copy
First impressions are everything: A warm welcome from Hotel Kaiserhof 


It wasn’t long before I ventured out to the city’s immensely fun-to-walk Old Town district for a closer look at these remnants from the Great Ravensburg Trading Society, a conglomerate of wealthy shopkeepers and traders who built them not just as protection against intruders, but also to demonstrate Ravensburg’s prosperity.

Here’s what I learned about the best things to do in Ravensburg, Germany, during my time exploring the City of Towers.


Exploring Ravensburg, Germany: The City of Towers


Old Town Ravensburg: Marienplatz and Rathaus
Ravensburg Old Town streetscape by Bryan dearsley copy
Wandering beautiful Ravensburg Old Town is a must-do experience

Just a few minutes stroll from Ravensburg Station (Ravensburg Hauptbahnhof) and even closer to Hotel Kaiserhof, Old Town Ravensburg (Ravensburg Altstadt) is a labyrinth of cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses laid out in the 11th century that’s lots of fun to explore on foot. It was here I met Christoph Freund, my guide for the morning, and the person tasked with showing me the best things to see in Ravensburg’s Old Town.

As we strolled toward our first stop, the Town Hall (Rathaus), Christoph explained how much of what exists in the Old Town – the well-preserved Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles of the old homes and shops with their pretty oriel windows, the Marienplatz (its main square) and, of course, the town’s many towers – stand as testament to Ravensburg’s prosperous past.


Ravensburg Rathaus heraldry by Bryan Dearsley
The interior of Ravensburg Rathaus pays homage to the city’s past with heraldry and preserved historic artwork


As Christoph explained, the town’s merchants and craftsmen were so successful in the Middle Ages that the town was granted status as an Imperial Free City, with its wealth and influence spreading far beyond the city walls to other cities across Europe.

This prosperity was very evident behind the rich red exterior of the Rathaus, too. An elegant example of Gothic architecture featuring intricate frescoes and a striking façade, the building’s interior is a must-see. While the general public can access some parts of this beautiful building such as its elegant foyer and staircase, others, like the meeting chambers with their original exposed beams and relics from the old merchant guilds, are only accessible when accompanied by a professional tour guide like Christoph. Such tours, available through the Ravensburg Tourist Information Center (it’s also located in the Old Town) are well worth it.


Enjoy Spectacular Old Town Views from The Blaserturm
The Blaserturm Tower Exploring Ravensburg Photo by Bryan Dearsley
The Blaserturm Tower in the heart of Old Town Ravensburg

The Blaserturm, or Trumpeter’s Tower, is undoubtedly the star of the show in the Old Town district. One of Ravensburg’s most iconic structures, it was erected in the 14th century and stands at an impressive height of 167 feet, making it one of the town’s tallest structures. Historically, it served as a lookout point for city guards and was a place for trumpeters to announce the time and various events. Some of these watchmen even spent time painting unique frescos that you can see in the building’s stairwells.

Pay a visit today and you’ll see these well-preserved images as you climb its narrow stairs and make your way to the top of the tower. Here, you’ll be rewarded with stunning 360-degree views of the Old Town and the surrounding Upper Swabian countryside.


Visit Ravensburg’s Other Tower: Mehlsack
Mehlsack Tower with city views while exploring Ravensburg
The Mehlsack Tower is Ravensburg’s other iconic tower

Strategically located on a hill in the southernmost corner of Old Town Ravensburg stands the Mehlsack, an equally impressive tower constructed in the 15th century. Also standing 167 feet tall, the Mehlsack, or “flour sack” tower, is easy to spot for its distinctive white façade and conical roof.

Originally part of the town’s fortifications, the Mehlsack served a dual purpose as a granary and watchtower, guarding the town against potential invaders, a role it effectively fulfilled thanks to its strategic position and robust construction.

Accessible via a wide staircase leading up from Marktstrasse at the Rutenbrunnen fountain, the Mehlsack also offers superb views over Ravensburg as far afield as Lake Constance and the Alps on clear days.


Explore Ravensburg’s Past at Museum Humpis-Quartier
Museum Humpis-Quartier exploring Ravensburg with guide Christoph photo Bryan Dearsley
Exploring Ravensburg’s Museum Humpis-Quartier with guide Christoph Freund

As my guide, Christoph, explained, Museum Humpis-Quartier is much more than just a museum. Housed in a complex of medieval buildings dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, this fascinating museum, he explained, was considered to be a journey through time that offers a unique and immersive look at the lives of the town’s past inhabitants.

Named after the Humpis family, one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Ravensburg during the Middle Ages, this world-class attraction provides a vivid portrayal of urban life across various historical periods, starting in late Medieval times right up to today.

As you wander through the rooms and courtyards of this extensive complex, it’s easy to feel yourself transported back to a time when Ravensburg was a bustling trade center, with intricately furnished living quarters reflecting the lifestyle of wealthy merchants and the more modest accommodations of the poorer classes. These personal stories are supported by artifacts, documents, and multimedia presentations, making it all so vivid that it’s a little as if the people who once lived there were telling them first-hand.

The museum also highlights the architectural evolution of the buildings, showcasing the changes and adaptations made over centuries.


It’s “Game On!” at Museum Ravensburger
Museum Ravensburger exploring Ravensburg by Bryan Dearsley copy
Museum Ravensburger is a must-do for lovers of classic games and puzzles

Museum Ravensburger is responsible for the town’s other great nickname: the “City of Games.” Also known as the Games Museum, this fun attraction is dedicated to the history and culture of games, focusing on Ravensburger, the world-renowned board game and puzzle company that has its roots in this quaint German town.

The museum’s interactive and engaging experiences are suitable for all ages and are housed in the original building of the Ravensburger publishing house. Blending history with the playfulness of its exhibits, you’re greeted with a colorful array of games, puzzles, and books that each tell a part of the company’s story since its establishment in 1883. Exhibits cover everything from vintage games and puzzles to modern interactive installations, along with Ravensburger’s evolution from simple hand-crafted games to sophisticated digital offerings.

A highlight for me was finding a re-issue of a long-lost but never forgotten childhood favorite, Malefiz, or Barricade, in the museum’s well-stocked shop. This, along with a super puzzle of that beautiful Ravensburg cityscape, were purchased and accompanied me home.


Explore the Ravensburg Art Museum
Kunstmuseum exterior
Kunstmuseum Ravensburg is a must-visit for art buffs

Located just around the corner from Museum Ravensburger, the Ravensburg Art Museum (Kunstmuseum Ravensburg) is a must-visit for lovers of modern and contemporary art. Housed in an architecturally significant building that blends the historical with the modern, the museum itself is a visual delight; its façade, a combination of traditional and contemporary design elements, sets the tone for what you’ll find inside – a fusion of the old and the new, the classic… and the cutting-edge.

The museum’s impressive collection of artworks spans a diverse range of styles and mediums, from painting and sculpture to photography and new media, by both established and emerging artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Regularly changing exhibitions are also offered, as are educational programs and guided tours.


Enjoy the Climb to Veitsburg Castle
Veitsburg Castle walk with small hilltop church while exploring Ravensburg Germany
The lovely walk to Veitsburg Castle takes you past this picturesque small church

Perched atop a hill overlooking Ravensburg, getting to Veitsburg Castle is best combined with a visit to the Mehlsack. From the tower, just follow the path uphill to the Philosophenweg, a pleasant route that zigzags up the grassy slopes to the castle.

This historic landmark offers great views of the town and the countryside beyond and was built in the Middle Ages for defensive purposes. Transformations over the centuries saw it evolve from a medieval fortress to a Renaissance chateau, while its grounds serve as an excellent picnic spot with a view.


See the Church of Our Lady: Liebfrauenkirche
The attractive Liebfrauenkirche is a must-visit when  exploring Ravensburg Germany
The attractive Liebfrauenkirche is a must-visit when  exploring Ravensburg Germany

Liebfrauenkirche, also known as the Church of Our Lady, is an exquisite architectural and spiritual landmark in Ravensburg. This Gothic church dates back to the 14th century and is notable for its pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses of its intricate façade, which is also adorned with detailed sculptures and stonework. The centerpiece of this elegant façade is the building’s magnificent rose window, a common feature in Gothic churches and which floods the interior with colorful light.

Interior highlights include a spacious nave lined with tall, slender columns and a beautiful, vaulted ceiling. As you soak up this scene, the play of light and shadow created by the stained glass windows certainly adds to the church’s contemplative atmosphere. The church also houses several significant works including beautifully crafted altarpieces, religious sculptures, and detailed frescoes.

The church’s acoustics make it an excellent venue for music, and it often hosts concerts and recitals.


Catch a Performance at Konzerthaus Ravensburg
Konzerthaus Ravensburg exterior
Konzerthaus Ravensburg is a stunning venue on the edge of the Old Town

Located just outside the Old Town, Konzerthaus Ravensburg was built in 1897 and is renowned for its exceptional acoustics. Designed with a contemporary aesthetic, this large white building boasts an equally attractive interior with a spacious, well-designed auditorium that provides an intimate yet grand, old-school setting for a variety of performances from classical concerts and operas to contemporary music performances and jazz nights.

The Konzerthaus also hosts many other events throughout the year, including theater productions, lectures, and community events.


Enjoy a Classy Stay at Hotel Kaiserhof
Hotel Kaiserhof Exterior Ravensburg
Hotel Kaiserhof is one of the best luxury hotels in Ravensburg Germany

Hotel Kaiserhof is a great place to stay not just for its central location, but also for its quiet, comfortable stays. Boasting a grand staircase and large, colorful artwork, the lobby is a delight, with friendly staff eager to help.

The accommodations at this lovely family-run hotel are elegantly designed, spacious, well-lit, and bright, with those large balcony doors boasting great views over the city (be sure to request a room with a view of those towers!). The hotel’s plush rooms are well-furnished to ensure comfort and convenience, with features such as comfortable bedding, a work area, and a modern bathroom. Complimentary Wi-Fi and room service add to the comfort of the stay.


Hotel Kaiserhof Dining room
Hotel Kaiserhof’s classy Hermanns Restaurant Café Bar 


The hotel’s location is a real plus. Situated just a short walk from Ravensburg train station, it’s also just a short walk from many of Ravensburg’s main attractions including the Old Town and Marienplatz, the Ravensburg Art Museum, and various shopping and restaurant options. My new favorite, Gaststätte Humpis is a must-dine; it was here Christoph and I enjoyed traditional Swabian Spätzle (a type of pasta) and Maultaschen (filled dumplings), washed down with a glass of excellent Humpis-Original beer by Edelweissbrauerei Farny.

Hotel Kaiserhof is also noted for its excellent dining options, with its trendy Hermanns Restaurant Café Bar offering a selection of regional and international cuisine served in a refined yet relaxed setting. The breakfast buffet is a must-try, too.

LuxuryEurope Recommends: For the latest details, rates, and reservations, visit Hotel Kaiserhof. For other great hotel ideas, check out these great places to stay in Ravensburg.


And Finally… Grab Yourself a Bodensee Card Plus
Tourist Information interior with people at desk
You can purchase a handy Bodensee Card Plus from Tourist Information Ravensburg

Another big plus about visiting beautiful Ravensburg, Germany, is the inclusion of many of the town’s excellent attractions, as well as an array of transportation options, in the excellent Bodensee Card Plus.

Available for purchase online or at 100 sales points across the Bodensee / Lake Constance region, this all-inclusive adventure card is not only convenient but gets you into pretty much all the major attractions across the region, including those I’ve mentioned above, as well as those in other destinations like nearby Lindau and Friedrichshafen, to name but two.

I used my Bodensee extensively in the lead-up to my Ravensburg, Germany, visit, including buses to remote wineries, local train services, and even a cruise on Lake Constance. And once I got to Ravensburg, it was as easy as simply showing the card to gain entry to my choice of things to see.

The Bodensee Card Plus is available for three or seven days and prices start from €76. If in Ravensburg, you can pick up your card from the Tourist Information Ravensburg center at 35 Marienplatz.

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Bryan Dearsley is a luxury lifestyles writer, a prolific traveler, Co-Founder of Riley and LuxuryEurope, and a huge fan of Ravensburg, Germany.