Colmar is an unmissable destination when visiting the Alsatian region for a weekend. Here are the top local addresses!
Due to its charm and postcard-style beauty, Colmar is one of the most popular towns in Alsace and attracts its fair share of tourists every year. With its half-timbered houses, old churches, and canals; Colmar is often depicted as a town straight from a fairy tale. Colmar might be small but bountiful in regional treasures. Here are the best local addresses and activities to discover!
HOW TO GET THERE
To reach Colmar from Paris, it is quite the adventure! You can either take the bus, car, or train. The quickest way to reach the Alsatian city is by train (at Gare de l’Est) as it takes around 2h30m and only costs between 60 and 140 euros. You can also take the night bus which takes about 9 hours but costs less than 50 euros. Finally, if you wish to sightsee then the car is your best option! It takes a little less than 6 hours to reach Colmar, however, you will traverse through important French cities, including: Reims, Metz, and even Strasbourg. The ideal opportunity to learn about the East of France.
The best activity to do is by wandering around to admire the scenic beauty of the town and learn more about its rich history. Being close to Switzerland and Germany, you will discover that this eastern town is a blend of many different cultures.
Tour the most famous half-timbered houses
11 Rue des Marchands, 68000 Colmar, France
Did you know that most houses date back to the Middle Ages? After lunch, stroll around the streets to uncover the most renowned half-timbered houses of Colmar. First stop: Rue des Marchands for the Maison Pfister! Built during the 16th century, this yellow house is typical of the region, and since then, it has yet to be altered. With its wood gallery, balustrades, and biblical paintings; the house is a symbol of the old Colmar. Next, head to Rue Saint Jean to admire La Maison des Chevaliers which dates back to the 17th century. This house is known for its atypical architecture, balustrades, and vaulted archways. Finally, for French literature fans, head Rue Berthe Molly to lay eyes upon Voltaire’s house in which he resided during a large part of the Age of Enlightenment.
Discover La Petite Venise
14 Quai de la Poissonnerie, 68000 Colmar, France
La Petite Venise or Little Venice in English is the name given to a certain area of the old town. The distribution of the half-timbered houses in alignment with the channel which separates two banks, makes the Alsatian city look like the Italian “City of Canals.” No wonder it is known as the most romantic neighborhood in Colmar! There is a magnificent promenade along the bank, which passes through the city from east to south. Otherwise, a boat ride is another possibility to visit Colmar in an original way.
Here are my recommendations for the best local bistros in the city. Blending both French and Alsatian cuisine, this combination has beguiled more than 3 million tourists, each year.
Le Petit Bidon
14 Rue Étroite, 68000 Colmar, France
Set in the town center in a typical half-timbered house, it does not get any more Alsatian than this! Indulge in regional dishes in a cozy ambiance, including: sauté of Alsatian game, grilled duck filet from the Vosges, and even homemade foie gras crème brûlée. The price points are very reasonable for the exquisite delicacies you will savor. The fresh produce are locally grown and made – especially the cheese – which you can pair with an Alsatian wine from Le Petit Bidon’s extensive list.
La Fleur del Sel
9 Quai de la Poissonnerie, 68000 Colmar, France
Small but convivial, La Fleur de Sel is a traditional Alsatian restaurant. In winter, a simple interior welcomes you to a warm-hearted atmosphere, but in the summer it is another story. A wooden terrace, overlooking the canal of Little Venice, is capable of seating 25 people in a breathtaking setting. On the menu: fresh vegetables, sauerkraut, sausage, flammkuchen (a traditional tarte flambée)…etc. Lunch and dinner menus are offered where the prices are very accessible. This is a fantastic little local address for a great lunch spot!
To get the full experience, we recommend staying in the center of the town within walking distance from everything!
38 Grand Rue, 68000 Colmar, France
Located in the old town center, l’Hôtel Saint-Martin is at the heart of Colmar! Within walking distance of Little Venice, Colmar’s market, the parcs, and the museums; this hotel provides an easy access to major attractions. The hotel’s building dates back to the 14th century and its facades are still intact. The Renaissance atmosphere is not only present on the exterior but also in the room and the lobby. Built by wood or stone and decorated with various Bordeaux-colored artifacts, the majority of the rooms are typically Alsatian. Either with friends, family or by yourself; this hotel accommodates your every need! On a sunny day, enjoy your breakfast in its courtyard where you can admire the impressive spiral staircase!
Le Colombier Suites
12 Rue de la Poissonnerie, 68000 Colmar, France
Blending both comfort and tradition, Le Colombier Suites offers many modern amenities while being established in an 18th century half-timbered Alsatian house. Located in La Petite Venise in a serene alley, it is the perfect spot to get away from the sometimes hectic town. If you miss green spaces, the hotel has a beautiful natural sanctuary for its clients, situated on a canal. The rooms are spacious, luxurious with contemporary design while keeping its traditional exterior and Alsatian ambiance. With a superb view on the waterfront, at the heart of Little Venice, Le Colombier Suites is definitely a top choice.
Eve spent 5 days in Colmar.