Visit Colmar in Alsace – Things to do, see and taste

by | Dec 21, 2018 | Colmar, Itinerary suggestions, Must read | 0 comments

Visiting Colmar is a must 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 anyone who hasn’t fallen under its spell! As for me, I can’t get enough of it, even though I’ve lived there and walked around many times with friends who came to visit.

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, if you want to spend a romantic weekend, you will be perfectly fine…

An idea for a weekend could be to visit Colmar during one day and to go on the Wine Route the second day. Colmar is ideally located! Come on, follow the guide, I give you some ideas of things to do and see in Colmar, as well as my good addresses.

My guide to Colmar

Planifiez un séjour inoubliable à Colmar et dans sa région sans perdre de temps grâce à mon guide numérique! Vous y trouverez les plus beaux lieux, les activités à ne pas louper et les meilleures adresses!

How to visit Colmar in one day?

Colmar is not very big, you will have time to visit it in one day. I advise you to:

  • stroll quietly in the city center,
  • go to the covered market,
  • take a boat ride,
  • visit a museum, and
  • of course, try a few gourmet addresses along the way!

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 of the Alsace Wine Route!

riquewihr-alsace

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 being small, it can be visited very well on foot.

You have certainly already heard about La Petite Venise, the district of Colmar with canals reminding the City of the Doges? Well, you really shouldn’t expect the Venetian landscape, but it’s nonetheless delightful. 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!

Don’t 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. Don’t forget to look up, the facades are beautiful and there are some great signs to admire!

Colmar has beautiful 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 (Colmar’s downtown is small, so you shouldn’t get lost for too long!). Count on 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, a must-see which houses the famous Issenheim altarpiece. You can also visit 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 the Hansi Village, a very nice museum dedicated to the famous Alsatian draftsman of the beginning of the 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 come out 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 Bretzel Airlines store.

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 pleasant!

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

A boat ride in the middle of the Old Town of Colmar

Taking a boat ride in the Little Venice is a tourist activity, but it is worth it! It’s pleasant, interesting and it allows you to discover Colmar from another angle (all the details by clicking on the link).

Cycling around Colmar

Go for a bike ride along the Lauch river or on the Route des Vins. 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 make a nice little walk along the Lauch river (with a break at the restaurant if necessary!) or even to go directly on the Wine Route since you are very quickly out of the city. A nice breath of fresh air! And if you want to book a wine tasting on the way (it’s very fast to go to Eguisheim by bike for example), go to the website Rue des Vignerons.

My gourmet addresses in Colmar

Colmar is a little 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 Fromagerie Saint-Nicolas. A reference in Alsace, you will find here fabulous cheeses. If you want to bring back some 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, 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 products from local producers. Fresh and 100% Alsatian!

A little wine to go with all these good things? Go to the wine shop La Sommelière. They offer very good wines, are nice and have good advice!

It’s impossible to come to Alsace without tasting a kougelhopf, so here are my good addresses to find the best kougelhopf in Colmar.

 

In the mood for 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 to drink a tea in their little tea room!).

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 Colmar restaurants, 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 Colmar friends with good advice. They will allow you to visit Colmar off the beaten track and to experience Colmar like a real Colmarian!

  • Shopping at the Marché Saint-Joseph. An unavoidable Saturday morning meeting place for Colmarians, where you can do your shopping but also have a coffee with friends (all the info in the article). I am also told that you should stop for lunch at the restaurant Peter for an authentic cuisine in a friendly atmosphere!
  • Go to the Aqualia swimming pool, to the ice rink or even in summer to the Colmar water sports center, a gravel pit where you can swim!
  • Go and see an exhibition at the Espace d’Art Contemporain André Malraux.
  • Go to the free concert organized every first Friday of the month in the Covered Market by the association Hiéro Colmar.
  • Go 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, the Latin bar El Barrio (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 Colmarians, 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 cellar and do a wine tasting! Book your visit on the website Rue des Vignerons, it’s convenient and the domains are very qualitative.

cave-eguisheim

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

Want to stay in a superb guest room? Let’s go to Villa Elyane, for which I had a big crush! Click on the link to read the dedicated article or check the prices on Booking.

Looking for a charming apartment in Colmar? The Clos Bartholdi apartments 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.  Check the prices on Booking.

appartement-turenne-colmar

Laurène

Laurène

Laurène est la créatrice du blog Mon week-end en Alsace. Bretonne installée en Alsace depuis 2014, elle est tombée amoureuse de sa région d'adoption au point de lui dédier un blog et d'acheter avec son mari une maison alsacienne dans un village du Kochersberg, près de Strasbourg. A pied, à vélo, sur ses chevaux ou au volant de sa Fiat 500, elle aime partir explorer les moindres recoins de l'Alsace pour dénicher de bonnes adresses à partager sur le blog.

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