Colmar is a picturesque town located in the Alsace region of France. With its beautiful architecture, historic landmarks, and delicious local cuisine, Colmar is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to France. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what to do, where to stay, and how to reach Colmar. Storybook houses lined up throughout the city in various blues and yellows, lush greenery as far as your eye can see, and jubilant locals clinking their glasses of Riesling together while watching people pass by.
This scene forever etched in my brain is of a lovely afternoon in Colmar, France – home to beautiful canalside homes and delicious white wine. Not only is it a delight to explore for a couple of days, but its convenient location also makes it a great spot to explore the Upper Rhine region, head south to Switzerland, or pop over to Germany for an extended stay. Above all else, their mouth-watering flammekueche (a thin-crust pizza topped with bacon, crème fraîche, and onion), year-round pleasant weather, and Instagram-worthy snapshots around every corner are a couple of reasons you’ll adore Colmar.
This guide walks you through the best things to do in Colmar, France – from sightseeing activities to epic food spots!
What to Do in Colmar
Visit the Old Town - Colmar's old town is full of beautiful half-timbered houses, quaint streets, and charming shops. Take a stroll around the town and soak up the atmosphere. Marvel at the differently-colored houses with their wooden beams and at the sophisticated renaissance buildings covered in flowers. Every cobblestone street will leave you as impressed as the one before.
Little Venice (La Petite Venise) - Arguably, the prettiest part of the old town is the small river right in the middle, known as Little Venice. This shallow stream of water flows past brightly painted houses and under beautiful bridges, making it a must-see on any trip to Colmar. Walk along the river or sit down at one of the many cafes, taking in the beautiful and vibrant atmosphere. The most visited area along the canal lies south of the center and is called Quai de la Poissonnerie (the Fishmonger District). This picturesque district is where tanners, winemakers, and fishmongers used to work by the water. The area has the most iconic sights of Colmar, where beautifully decorated homes meet the city’s old covered market.
Musée Unterlinden - This museum is home to a range of art and artifacts from the Alsace region, including the famous Isenheim Altarpiece.
Boat Tour - Take a boat tour along the canals of Colmar and admire the town from a different perspective.
Christmas Markets - If you're visiting Colmar in December, be sure to check out the town's famous Christmas markets. The markets are spread across six different locations in the town and offer a range of festive treats, crafts, and gifts.
Wine Tasting - The Alsace region is known for its delicious wines, so be sure to sample some of the local produce while you're in Colmar. There are plenty of wine bars and cellars in the town where you can taste and purchase wines.
Visit the Bartholdi Museum - The Bartholdi Museum is dedicated to the life and work of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty.
Visit the Collegiate Church of Saint Martin - This beautiful church dates back to the 14th century and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Gothic architecture.
Visit Eguisheim or Kaysersberg (Alsace Villages) - Along the foothills of the mountains, there are numerous little villages, named the Alsace Villages, that make a great destination for a day trip from Colmar. Travel back in time as you walk through cute alleyways of Alsatian towns, looking out over hillside vineyards.
Eguisheim The beautiful village of Eguisheim lies southwest of Colmar and is a great place to visit, especially on a sunny day. To get to Eguisheim, you can either drive or hop on the bus. Alternatively, you can rent a bike in Colmar, which costs about 7 EUR (7 USD) and is a great way of seeing the beautiful countryside. The journey takes no more than one hour and allows you to stop whenever you want to take some photos. When you get to Eguisheim, you can explore the impressive history and architecture of the town on foot.
Kaysersberg is another picturesque village that lies in the lush countryside to the north of Colmar. The town is dotted with beautiful half-timbered houses, has a stunning fortified bridge, and a castle ruin that you can climb for the best views. It’s an 11-kilometer journey to get to Kaysersberg, so the best way to get there is by car or bus. Alternatively, you can explore all the Alsace villages on a tour from Colmar (or another city nearby).
Colmar is a wonderful destination for a weekend trip or as a side trip if you’re visiting Strasbourg. You can certainly fill up two days exploring the picturesque town, learning about its history and traditions, and – of course – filling up on fantastic wine and delicious food!
If you have more days for your trip, there are lots more to explore in Alsace. A short drive brings you to charming small towns like Eguisheim and Kaysersberg and hiking trails and scenic viewpoints in the beautiful Vosges national park.
Day 1 – Put on your comfy shoes and begin your adventures in Colmar’s picturesque Little Venice district. Walk along Quai de la Poissonnerie, take beautiful pictures at Pont de la Rue Turenne, and then weave in and out the narrow alleys lined with half-timbered houses. Continue to Marché couvert Colmar for a taste of the region’s local flavors and specialties. Spend the afternoon wine-tasting and enjoying the region’s best products.
Day 2 – Now, it’s time to see more of the Alsatian landscape. Bike or drive to Eguisheim and explore the quaint village. If you’re driving (or a strong biker), continue to Lac du Ballon and the Grand Ballon for breathtaking sights in the Vosges national park. If you prefer a more laid-back day in Colmar, though, plan for wine-tasting, patisserie and charcuterie visits, and a scenic boat ride along the canal.
Where to stay: Colmar has a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. For those looking for a luxurious experience, the Hotel Le Maréchal is a great choice. This 4-star hotel is located in the heart of the old town and boasts beautifully decorated rooms, a gourmet restaurant, and a spa. For a more budget-friendly option, consider staying at the Au Kugelhopf Doré. This apartment is located just a short distance from the canals of Colmar and offers comfortable rooms at an affordable price. parking available
If you want to stay in an old historical house this is one for you, it's right at the canals of Little Venice Colmar. La Petite Venise also has a parking place for your car.
Getting to Colmar: Colmar is easily accessible by train, with regular connections from Paris, Strasbourg, and other major French cities. The journey from Paris takes around 2.5 hours, while from Strasbourg it takes just under 30 minutes. If you prefer to drive, Colmar is conveniently located just off the A35 motorway.
The gateway to Alsace is the region’s capital, Strasbourg. You can get to Strasbourg via several means:
Flying to Strasbourg – Strasbourg has an international airport in Entzheim, just 16 KM from the Strasbourg city center – check for flights to Strasbourg here. From the airport, ride the train to the main station, then catch a train to Colmar. The journey takes about an hour, including waiting times.
Other airports near Colmar – Other airports near Colmar are in Basel, Baden Baden, and Zurich.
Renting a car in Alsace – The most convenient place to get a rental car is in Strasbourg. There are two main pick-up points in the city: the airport and the Gare Centrale (Strasbourg’s central train station). You can choose and reserve a car from the major car rental companies in Strasbourg here.
Weather and best times to go: Colmar and the rest of Alsace are gorgeous during the summer months (July, and August), with flowers in full bloom and the perfect weather for walking and biking around the region. Autumn (October, November) is also a lovely time to visit, especially if you’re planning to continue your adventures around Alsace. You can enjoy the beautiful fall colors, milder weather, and wine festivals and tastings throughout the countryside. During the Christmas season (December), Alsace’s enchanting towns and cities host festive Christmas markets all over the region.
Here are some resources to help you get your trip going:
Travel Essentials what's in my bag: To help you get started on packing, here are my essential travel and photography gear
Flights: WayAway to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.
Car Rental: DiscoverCars.com is a great and reliable platform to find rental cars all over the world.
Internet: Airalo is the best way to get a sim card and has reliable internet access for your trip. All you need is an Esim-compatible smartphone, install it on your phone prior to your trip, and you are all set.
Tickets & Deals: Tiqets is always my go-to website when I want to find cheaper deals for entrance tickets to tourist attractions
Klook to find the best deals for trips in Asia, somehow they are 30% cheaper than when you buy them at a local agency
Train, buses, and ferries 12Go to find your travel route for local buses, and ferries, we use them all the time as you can easily see the reviews, and the vouchers are everywhere accepted. tickets are sold for more than 5,000 destinations in 100+ countries worldwide.