Visiting Colmar is an essential step during a weekend in Alsace. The reputation of this beautiful city is well deserved!
Why go to Colmar in France?
Colmar is a real little postcard where it is extremely pleasant to stroll. I don’t think I know a person who hasn’t fallen under its spell! As for me, I can’t get enough of it, even though I’ve lived there and visited it many times with friends.
The only negative side of Colmar is its very quiet tendency, which sometimes turns into a lack of dynamism: don’t come here for crazy parties. Even if there are some very nice places to go out, it is not the strong point of the city! On the other hand, to spend a romantic weekend, you will be perfectly well…
An idea for a weekend could be to visit Colmar during one day and to go for a walk on the Wine Route the second day. Colmar is ideally located! Come on, follow the guide, I give you ideas of things to do and see in Colmar, as well as my good addresses.
My guide to Colmar
Plan an unforgettable stay in Colmar without wasting time looking for information with my guidebook : the most beautiful places, the activities not to be missed and the best addresses!
How to visit Colmar in one day?
Colmar is not very big, you will have time to visit it in one day. I would advise you to:
- stroll quietly in the downtown area,
- go to the Covered Market,
- take a boat ride,
- visit a museum, and
- test a few gourmet addresses along the way, of course!
For a first approach of the city, participate in a free tour of Colmar can be interesting: these free tours organized by a passionate local are usually nice! And if you want a real guided tour more in-depth, I can recommend the guide Solène Pouvreau, who is top!
Visit Colmar in 2 days: which villages to visit around Colmar?
If you have more than one day in Colmar, I suggest you visit the villages around Colmar on the second day: Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé are must-sees and are among the most beautiful villages on the Alsace Wine Route!
You can of course visit these villages by yourself, but you can also book a day trip. I have selected two that seem interesting:
- Excursion on the wine road with visit of villages, the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle and stop in a cellar for a tasting
- Excursion on the Wine Route with a visit to 4 villages and a stop in a cellar for a tasting
Tourism in Colmar: what to do and see?
Visit the Little Venice and the Old Colmar on foot
Visiting the city center is really the must-do in Colmar and the only thing to plan if you don’t have much time! The city is small and can be visited very well on foot.
You have certainly already heard of La Petite Venise, the district of Colmar with canals reminiscent of the City of the Doges? Well, you really shouldn’t expect the Venetian landscape, but it’s still lovely. You will certainly be caught in a photographic frenzy as you walk along the quai de la Poissonnerie along the Lauch (river) and its colorful half-timbered houses. And when spring arrives and everything is covered with flowers… It’s a real fairy tale, I warned you!
You should not hesitate to stroll quietly in Little Venice as well as in the Tanners’ district, which is just next door (around Schwendi Square and the Koïfhus), and in the whole historical center in general. Remember to look up, the facades are beautiful and there are great signs to admire!
Colmar has some magnificent buildings, such as the Maison des Têtes, the Pfister house, the Dominican church, the Koïfhus or the covered market. Take the small streets and get lost (downtown Colmar is small, you shouldn’t get lost for too long!). Allow half a day in total to visit the city center, taking your time (with even a snack break!).
Visit one of the city’s museums
Colmar has several museums. Here are the main ones, classified according to your desires:
- If you like art: go to the Unterlinden Museum.This is a must-see museum which houses the famous Issenheim altarpiece. Visit also the Dominican Church, where the Virgin of the Rose Bush by Martin Schongauer is exhibited.
- If you want to discover a part of Alsatian culture: go to Hansi Village, a very nice museum dedicated to the famous Alsatian cartoonist of the early 20th century (you will see his drawings everywhere during your stay in Alsace). Hansi’s story and his drawings being extremely linked to the political context of the time, you will leave having learned a lot about the history of our beautiful region!
- If you are with children, the Toy Museum and the Chocolate Museum are two very good options.
- If you like sculpture, the Bartholdi Museum might be of interest to you.
Go see the Statue of Liberty
You think I’m completely fabulous? But no, the creator of the famous statue is the Colmar sculptor Auguste Bartholdi: you can therefore admire a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Colmar. On the other hand, I warn you, the statue is not really highlighted since it was installed in the middle of a traffic circle… In a commercial area! Not very glamorous… So I advise you either to admire it from your car when you enter Colmar, or to park on the small parking lot near the roundabout to be able to stop a few moments in front of it.
Shopping in downtown Colmar
I won’t detail everything but among my favorite shops are the textiles of Avenue d’Alsace or the store Bretzel Airlines.
Have a snack in a tea room
For a pleasant break in your visit of Colmar, I propose you my favorite tea rooms in Colmar. Very different places but all very nice!
Colmar at Christmas
If you visit Colmar during the Christmas market, you will discover a city adorned with wonderful illuminations and decorations. The Colmar Christmas market is my favorite in Alsace, both for the quality and size of the market and for the Christmas magic that emanates from the city during this holiday season.
Nature activities in Colmar
Take a boat ride in the middle of the Old Town of Colmar
Going on a boat trip in Little Venice is a tourist activity, but it is worth it! It is pleasant, interesting and it allows to discover Colmar under another angle (all the details by clicking on the link).
Cycling around Colmar
Take a bike ride along the Lauch river or on the Wine Route. If you want a natural interlude in your stay in Colmar, I recommend you to rent a bike and go for a ride. It is possible to take a nice little walk along the Lauch (with a break in the restaurant if necessary!) or even to go directly on the Wine Route since you are very quickly out of the city. A good breath of fresh air! And if you want to book a wine tasting on the way (it is very fast for example to go to Eguisheim by bike), go to the website Rue des Vignerons.
My gourmet addresses in Colmar
Colmar is a small paradise for gourmets. There are many good addresses!
What if you went to eat a good Alsatian meal in a winstub, a typical Alsatian brasserie? You will find here my selection of restaurants in Colmar (not only Alsatian restaurants, it is necessary to know how to vary the pleasure! Especially since, as you will see, Alsatian gastronomy is excellent but a bit heavy!) Here is also a selection of organic and vegetarian restaurants in Colmar.
The covered market of Colmar is also a perfect place to find lots of good things from the region!
La Saint-Nicolas cheese factory. A reference in Alsace, you will find here fabulous cheeses. If you want to bring back munster cheese, this is the place to buy it (they will vacuum pack it for you, don’t panic!)
The Market of Riquewihr. A good address to bring back good foie gras, gingerbread, preserves… They have good Alsatian products!
La Maison Alsacienne de Biscuiterie is a good address to buy bredele (small Alsatian cookies, traditionally made at Christmas… But it’s good all year long!). There are three stores in Colmar.
Coeur Paysan, a store selling the products of local producers. Fresh and 100% Alsatian!
A little wine to accompany all these good things? Appointment at the wine shop La Sommelière. They offer very good wines, are nice and have good advice!
It is impossible to come to Alsace without tasting a kougelhopf, so here are my good addresses to find the best kougelhopf in Colmar.
Feel like eating some pastries? Here are the addresses of my favorite pastry shops in Colmar.
If you are a tea lover, I warmly invite you to discover the store L’Essence du Thé(and eventually drink a tea in their little tea room, by the way!).
Do you know the Alsatian Nutella? You will find the famous Nut’Alsace at the chocolate maker Jacques Bockel.
I invite you to read also the articles dedicated to the restaurants of Colmar, tea rooms, pastry shops and kougelhopf to see my favorite addresses.
Colmar as a local
For this section, I entrust you with some addresses I know and others gleaned from friends in Colmar with good advice. They will allow you to visit Colmar off the beaten track and experience Colmar like a true Colmarian!
- Shopping at the St. Joseph’s Market. An unavoidable Saturday morning meeting place for Colmarians, where people come to do their shopping but also to drink a coffee with friends (all the information in the article). I am also told that you should stop for lunch at Peter’s restaurant for authentic cuisine in a friendly atmosphere!
- Go to the Aqualia swimming pool, to the ice rink or in summer to the Colmar water sports center, a gravel pit where you can swim!
- Go see an exhibition at theEspace d’Art Contemporain André Malraux.
- Go to the free concert organized every first Friday of the month in the Covered Market by theassociation Hiéro Colmar.
- See a show in one of the city’s theaters: Grillen, Salle Europe, Théâtre municipal or Comédie de l’Est.
- Go out to Café Rapp, El Barrio Latino bar (if you like to dance, this is the place!) or Les Trois Singes (ideal for beer lovers).
- Go to the Colmar Wine Fair, which takes place every year in summer. An unmissable event for the people of Colmar, which is not really a wine fair but rather a big fair where you can find everything (yes, even sofas, bathrooms and so on…), with as a bonus (and above all!) a really impressive concert program.
Colmar, capital of Alsace wines
It would be a shame not to take advantage of your stay in Colmar to go for a ride on the Alsace Wine Route (by car or with the Kutzig Shuttle). The village of Eguisheim is for example located right next to Colmar, it is easy to get there! Of course, you can also visit a winery and do a wine tasting! Book your visit on the website Rue des Vignerons. It’s practical and the domains are very qualitative.
Where to stay in Colmar?
Hotels in Colmar
I have prepared here a selection of the best hotels in Colmar (in all subjectivity, as always!).
Guest rooms and apartments
Looking for a superb guest room? Have a look at the Villa Elyane for which I had a big crush! Click on the link to read the dedicated article or check prices on Booking.
Looking for a charming apartment in Colmar? The apartments of the Clos Bartholdi should please you. Click on the link to read the dedicated article or check the prices on Booking.
Other charming apartments, each with a different personality and a common spa, the 1834 & Spa. Click on the link to read the dedicated article or check the prices on Booking.