by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | June 9th, 2018
Located in the Alsace region, Colmar is one of the most beautiful places in France. Its colorful houses, winding canals, and picture-perfect shops delicately decorate the town. If you were to step into the pages of a fairytale, it would probably look something like Colmar. The cobblestone streets are filled with the scent of freshly baked pastries, small boats gently glide along the canals, and locals and tourists enjoy everything great about lovely Colmar.
How to Get There
Located in the northeast corner of France, closely bordering both Germany and Switzerland, Colmar can be an easy day trip from many nearby cities. Taking the train is a comfortable and easy way to get to Colmar. The train station is located close to the center of town and is a simple two minute walk away. If you drive to Colmar, there is ample parking. Once you find a spot, be sure to pay at one of the nearby meters and leave the ticket visible on the car's dashboard. Drive times from nearby cities are...
Bern - 2 hours
Zurich - 2 hours
Dijon - 2.5 hours
Geneva - 3.5 hours
Lyon - 4.5 hours
Munich - 5 hours
Paris - 6 hours
What to Do
Colmar is fairly small and is easy to see in one or two days. Exploring Old Town is hands-down the best thing to do. Wandering the narrow streets, seeing the multi-colored houses, sampling fresh meats and cheese, taking a boat ride along the canals, and eating lunch at one of the adorable cafes is a marvelous way to spend a day in Colmar.
Wine tasting is also very popular here. Colmar is situated along the Route du Vin, or Wine Route, of France. Surrounded by acres and acres of vineyards, Colmar produces some of the most delicious glasses of vino. Old Town has a handful of wine shops that offer tastings or you can take a short trip out to one of the Alsace region's vineyards for a more in-depth look.
For art lovers, the Unterlinden Museum is one of France's most renowned museums. Housing many sculptures and painting from the Middle Ages and early Renaissance era, the Unterlinder is a popular attraction in Colmar.
Where to Stay
Old Town has many adorable hotels and B&B's sprinkled throughout. One of my favorites is the Hotel Saint-Martin. Each guest room has its own unique decor and the hotel's location is perfect. Almost every attraction is in walking distance and the hotel is surrounded by wonderful restaurants, shops, and sights. Room prices average $100 USD / per night.
If you prefer to stay outside of Old Town, I recommend the Comfort Hotel Expo Colmar. The hotel is large, quiet, has free parking, and the nightly room prices are fantastic - around $65 USD! Old Town is only two miles away from this hotel, so it's quick and easy to walk or drive there.
When to Go
Colmar is a great year-round destination. The main tourist season is from May to September, when the weather is a comfortable 65°F to 75°F. Flowers are in full bloom, the days are long, and the streets are crowded. I visited in May and it was glorious. December is also a busy time of year due to the popular Christmas market. Shopkeepers set up outdoor stalls and sell everything from tree ornaments and trinkets to holiday candies and warm food options. December through February can get quite cold, dipping into the 20's and 30's and often times snowing. If you don't mind the chilly weather, I'm sure it's a beautiful time to visit Colmar.