You want to spend 3 days in Alsace? What a great idea! A 3-day long weekend is of course not enough to discover all the wonders the region has to offer, but it will be a good start to give you an overview and visit the must-sees. For the rest, we will have to come back! I propose you in this article an idea of circuit to visit Alsace in 3 days. This is the itinerary I would recommend to friends coming to visit me for a first stay in Alsace. Let’s go, follow the guide!
What tour to do in Alsace in 3 days?
Here is the circuit that I propose for 3 days of visit of Alsace:
- Day 1 – Strasbourg
- Day 2 – Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle and Colmar
- Day 3 – Alsace Wine Route
Day 1 – Tourism in the city of Strasbourg
It is impossible not to start this itinerary without mentioning the beautiful Strasbourg, the largest city in Alsace, which is also one of the European capitals since it is home to many institutions, including the famous European Parliament. I advise you to spend a day in Strasbourg. Even if the city is not huge, you should really take the time to stroll around: the city is very beautiful, it would be a shame not to enjoy it! I give you my detailed advice in my article about visiting Strasbourg, but here is already an idea of a day trip.
Morning – Strasbourg Cathedral, Batorama and cellars of the Hospices civils
After a good breakfast, let’s go for the day of discovery of Strasbourg’s must-sees! I advise you to start by visiting the Notre Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral (if you go early enough, it will be less crowded), unless you want to see the astronomical clock show, in which case it will be at noon. If you are in shape, don’t hesitate to climb on the platform, the view on Strasbourg is magnificent!
Just next door, board one of the fly boats of the Batorama company for a tour of Strasbourg on the water. A tourist activity but one that I systematically recommend to my friends visiting Alsace: the tour allows you to apprehend Strasbourg differently, to have a good global view of it and also allows you to go to districts that you would not necessarily have seen on foot (such as the district of the European institutions).
Finally, visit the cellar of the Hospices civils de Strasbourg before having lunch in a traditional winstub. This cellar has the oldest white wine in the world kept in barrels, but it is also simply beautiful to see!
Afternoon – Stroll in the Petite France, on the Grande Île and in the Neustadt
Did you know that Strasbourg has two districts classified as Unesco World Heritage Sites? The Grande Île, the heart of the city center, but also more recently the Neustadt, also known as the imperial district or German quarter. I simply advise you to stroll around Strasbourg: you will see that the distances are not very great. In particular, you will discover the Petite France district, one of the most photogenic, but you will see that the whole downtown area is beautiful in reality!
Don’t forget when you’re in Petite France to climb the Vauban dam to have a magnificent view of the Ponts Couverts and Strasbourg. This is one of my favorite panoramas!
Obviously, if your stay in Alsace takes place during the Christmas market period, you will not miss the opportunity to visit the different Christmas markets in Strasbourg.
Day 2 – Visit of Colmar and the Haut Koenigsbourg Castle
Morning – Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg
The Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle is a must-see during a stay in Alsace, and I think you’ll immediately understand why when you see it! It is an impressive castle remarkably well preserved (for what reason? You will discover it during the visit…). The discovery of the castle is really worth it for the beauty of the place and the historical aspect of the visit as well as for the exceptional panorama that its situation offers on the Alsace Plain, the Black Forest and even the Alps on a clear day!
Afternoon – Discovering Colmar
Colmar is the second largest city in Alsace, the capital of the Alsace wines and is usually a favorite for visitors: it is a real little postcard, the ideal place for a romantic weekend! Here are all my tips for visiting Colmar as well as the guidebook on Colmar that I wrote.
Spending the afternoon in Colmar will allow you to stroll quietly in the city center (it’s small!) passing by the famous Little Venice or the magnificent Maison des Têtes, do some gourmet shopping at the Covered Market, take a boat ride and possibly visit one of the museums such as the Musée Unterlinden or the Musée du Jouet if you arrive in the late morning/early afternoon.
If your extended weekend in Alsace takes place during the Christmas market period, you will also have the Christmas markets of Colmar to stroll around (and there is plenty to do!).
Day 3 – Alsace Wine Route and its villages (Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé…)
For this third and last day (it went by fast? I knew it, you will want to come back!), I will not divide the day into morning and afternoon because it will really depend on what you want to do on the Alsace Wine Route. Some will prefer to go from cellar to cellar (be careful with tastings in moderation or by spitting out ;-)), others will prefer villages, others still will prefer walks in the vineyards.
In any case, I advise you to visit the most beautiful villages of Alsace, which you will find on the Wine Route. On the program, magnificent half-timbered houses with colored and flowered facades, adorable lanes, pretty stores… You can’t help but fall under its spell!
You will not be able to see them all, you will have to choose among the unavoidable cities(Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé and Eguisheim) and others a little less known (I confess to have a little weakness for Obernai, Rosheim and Scherwiller on my side). I give you all the information about the most beautiful villages of the Wine Route here.
Don’t hesitate to push the door of the winemakers for a tasting and possibly a visit of the cellar (think of reserving in advance, you will be sure to have someone having time to welcome you). Here are my favorite winemakers in Alsace to help you.
And if you want to go for a walk, you will usually find wine trails starting from the villages. They are only forbidden during the harvest so as not to disturb the work of the winegrowers, but otherwise it is always nice to walk in the vineyards!