With Eguisheim, Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé is probably one of the most famous villages on the Alsace Wine Route. And it’s easy to understand why, once you get there: it’s a beautiful place! I have already talked a little bit about this village, in an article about the medieval Christmas market held every year in Ribeauvillé, but it is also definitely worth a visit during spring or summer.
A short history of Ribeauvillé
The origins of Ribeauvillé are unknown, but the village belonged to German Emperors around the 11th century, after having been conceded by Henri IV to the Bishop of Basel in 1084. The seigneurs took up residence in Ribeauvillé, fortified the town and gave it the status of town. Around the end of the 13th century, Ribeaupierre had several seigneurs and was divided into four different city-states, with each their own city wall. As early as the 16th century, German Emperors and then the French Kings had entrusted the jurisdiction of the fiddlers of Alsace to the counts of Ribeaupierre. This is how the Fête des ménétriers (Pfiferday) was born and is still celebrated nowadays. Today, the town is famous for its wines, its rich heritage and its water “Carola” (one of the most famous Alsatian water!).
What to do and what to see in Ribeauvillé?
My advice to visit Ribeauvillé is quite simple: go for a walk! Strolling around the Grand-Rue and walking up the perpendicular narrow streets is a real pleasure, as there are so many beautiful things to see: colourful Alsatian houses decorated with flowers, beautiful signs, sculptures at the corner of the houses… Ribeauvillé is a very charming village.
Several edifices of the village has been classified as historic monuments and they are well worth a visit: the three castles (Girsberg Castle, Haut-Ribeaupierre Castle and Saint-Ulrich Castle), the catholic church Saint-Grégoire, as well as the church from the old hospital. You will also discover other monuments while wandering through town, such as the sanctuary Notre-Dame de Dusenbach, the walls and the “Tour des Sorcières” (The Witches’ Tower), several fountains, the town hall, the Japanese lantern, the church of the Couvent des Augustins, the “Tour des Bouchers” (The Butchers’ Tower)… Several traditional houses also bear witness of the rich town history. The most beautiful of these houses is without a doubt the house of the fiddlers (Pfifferhüss), but you shouldn’t miss either another original house, “l’auberge à l’Éléphant”.
Don’t hesitate to exit the walls of this old fortified town to go and admire the vineyards. If you have a little bit of time left and if you like to walk, I’d recommend doing the “balade des Trois Châteaux” (the Three Castles walk). Actually, you should even do it, if you don’t have a lot of time, as you’ll quickly get a very pretty view upon the vineyards and the village: you can do just a small part of the walk and you will get the chance to enjoy a beautiful and typically Alsatian panoramic view!
Don’t forget to visit a winery and a vineyard.
- A splendid Alsatian village
- Located right in the heart of the wine-growing region
- A superb panoramic view at the beginning of the Three Castles Walk
- It’s a touristy village, but there is still a genuine local life!
I liked a little less
- Inevitably, not all the shops are great
My favourite addresses in Ribeauvillé
- To buy delicious pastries to take away: Gilg (that I also listed in the best patisseries in Colmar!).
- To savour delicious Alsatian patisseries: Pâtisserie Vilmain
- To try out good beers: Bar Saint-Ulrich
- To eat a delicious (and huge!) cordon bleu: Restaurant Aux Trois Châteaux
- To relax: Spa of the Casino of Ribeauvillé
Mes photos de Ribeauvillé
Ribeauvillé is located:
- 17 km from Colmar (25 minutes drive)
- 60 km from Mulhouse (40 minutes drive)
- 65 km from Strasbourg (40 minutes drive)
By public transport
You can check your itinerary on Vialsace.