The Perfect Colmar Day Trip from Strasbourg (by a Local)

I moved to Strasbourg in 2019 and since then I’ve gone on more day trips than I can count.

Of the places I’ve traveled to Colmar was one of my favorites so much so that I’ve been more than once.

Located 30 minutes south of Strasbourg by train, Colmar is the perfect destination for anyone who loves charming small towns.

Here you’ll find cobbled streets, winding canals, and some of the most colorful half-timbered houses in the region.

In this post, I’ll share with you the perfect Colmar day trip from Strasbourg itinerary. It has everything you need to guarantee an amazing visit.

The Perfect Colmar Day Trip from Strasbourg
A Day Trip to Colmar from Strasbourg

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Colmar Day Trip from Strasbourg Overview

If you’re short on time, here is an overview of my helpful guide.

  • Morning: Travel to Colmar, Little Venice, Quai de la Poissonnerie, Boat Ride on the Lauch River, Fontaine Schwendi, Bartholdi Museum
  • Afternoon: Try Alsatian Cuisine, Old Town, Choco-Story Colmar, Saint Martin’s Church, Unterlinden Museum, Parc du Champ de Mars
  • Evening: Return to Strasbourg

Getting to Colmar from Strasbourg

This is a TER train at Strasbourg's train station. This is the best train to take to Colmar for a day trip.
Train to Colmar

The first step in planning your day trip to Colmar is figuring out how to get there. Luckily, these two cities are well connected and it’s very easy to get from one to the other.

There are quite a few options but for this day trip guide, I’ll be focusing on the two most convenient ones: by train and by car.

Helpful Tip: I’ve traveled to Colmar by both methods, and I prefer taking the train. It’s faster and even more convenient than driving.

By Train

The train is the most popular mode of transportation between Strasbourg and Colmar. It takes about 30 minutes and there are tons of departures throughout the day.

Tickets range from €20 to €30 roundtrip and leave from Strasbourg’s main train station.

Book and Purchase your Train Tickets here ➔

By Car

If you prefer to have more flexibility and the freedom to explore at your own pace, renting a car is the next best option.

The drive takes about 45 minutes (depending on traffic) and follows the A35 highway the entire way. Then, once you’re in Colmar, you’ll find plenty of parking options.

Get the Best Rental Rates here ➔

11 Things to Do in Colmar in One Day

Once you arrive in Colmar, you’ll find there are tons of cool things to do.

Here are my top recommendations for a perfect day trip from Strasbourg:

Helpful Tip: The activities below are listed in order of how you should visit, so you can make the most out of your time.

1. Walk around Little Venice

This is the view on the Pont Rue Turenne. There are several half-timbered houses stacked side-by-side. And each one is a different color. On the railing of the bridge there are baskets of folowers.
Pont Rue Turenne

Start your day in Colmar by walking around the picturesque area known as Little Venice. The name comes from the charming canals and half-timbered houses that line the streets.

It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods to go for a stroll. I love getting lost in the side streets and stopping by the cute shops.

Some of the most beautiful spots are Pont Rue Turenne and Pont Saint Pierre. Both look out over the Lauch River and offer stunning views.

2. Take a Photo of Quai de la Poissonnerie

This is Quai de la Poissonnerie in the Little Venice area of Colmar France. There are several half-timbered houses in a row. Each one is a different color. They are lined along the canal and there are flower baskets on the railings.
Quai de la Poissonnerie

You can’t come to Colmar without visiting Quai de la Poissonnerie. It’s in Little Venice but it’s so spectacular I had to give it its own section.

Here you’ll find the most colorful half-timbered houses in town.

And the best place to take a photo for your feed is from Pont Rue des Écoles.

It’s a popular spot so if you want a picture without the crowds I recommend getting there as early as possible.

Afterward, stop by Maison Alsacienne de Biscuiterie. They sell some of the best traditional treats in town.

3. Go for a Boat Ride on the Lauch River

This is the view from my boat ride on the Lauch River in Colmar. There is the front of the boat in the foreground and colorful half-timbered houses in the distance.
View from My Boat

One of the best things I’ve done in Colmar is take a boat ride through the canals.

Of course, I loved walking around, but I learned so much about the local culture on my boat tour that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Plus, it’s a great way to sit back and relax while taking in the beautiful scenery.

There are a few different companies that offer tours, but I recommend Sweet Narcisse. That’s the one I booked with. They don’t overpack their boats and their guides are, actually, from Alsace.

4. Admire the Fontaine Schwendi

This is Fontaine Schwendi in Colmar. It's a fountain with a statue in the center. In the back of the fountain there are restaurants with tables and chairs outside.
Fontaine Schwendi

After you’ve toured Little Venice, you’ll make your way towards the Old Town, stopping by the infamous Fontaine Schwendi.

The central statue is the work of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. He dedicated it to Lazarus von Schwendi, a key figure in the Imperial Army and a significant contributor to the Alsatian wine culture.

But that’s not the only reason it’s famous.

This is also where Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, sits down to read her book in one of the early scenes of the movie.

It’s a fun fact that makes this already beautiful fountain even more special.

5. Tour the Bartholdi Museum

This a statue in front of the Bartholdi Museum. It's three people holding up the world.
Bartholdi Museum

Speaking of Frédéric Bartholdi, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit his museum.

The French sculptor and designer was born in Colmar and is best known for creating the Statue of Liberty.

The museum is set in his former childhood home. And, inside, you’ll find models of his most famous works, as well as personal artifacts and belongings.

I love touring museums like this. I learned so much about his life and walking through his home helped me imagine what it was like for him growing up.

6. Try Alsatian Cuisine

This is Brasserie des Tanneurs in Colmar. It's a traditional Alsatian restaurant decorated with hearts on the outside.
Brasserie des Tanneurs

No trip to Colmar would be complete without trying some of the regional food.

Some of my favorite dishes are:

  • Tarte Flambée – a traditional thin-crust pizza-like dish topped with cream, onions, and lardons.
  • Choucroute Garnie – a hearty dish of sauerkraut and various slices of pork.
  • Baeckeoffe – a meat and vegetable casserole.

And there’s no shortage of amazing restaurants in Colmar.

For the best tarte flambée, head to La Terrasse du Marche.

Every time I’ve gone, it has been packed. So, I recommend arriving at least 15 minutes before noon or making a reservation.

Then, there’s Brasserie des Tanneurs. It’s one of the best traditional Alsatian restaurants in town. And, if the tarte flambée at La Terrasse du Marche wasn’t so delicious, I would recommend it for that as well.

7. Stroll through the Old Town

This is Place Ancienne Douane in Colmar. It's an area with half-timbered houses next to a part of the canal. There are baskets of flowers on the railing above the canal and people sitting outside in front of the half-timbered houses.
Old Town

After Little Venice, Colmar’s Old Town is my next favorite neighborhood.

It’s full of shops, cafés, colorful half-timbered houses, quirky buildings, and historical landmarks.

Grand Rue is the main street, and this is where you’ll find the infamous Maison dite “au Pèlerin.” It’s one of the most photographed spots in town.

Then, there’s Rue des Marchands. It’s the oldest and most known street in Colmar.

Here you’ll find plenty of shops selling local products and souvenirs.

But its biggest attraction is the Pfister House, a gorgeous Renaissance building. It’s known for its intricately carved balconies and detailed frescoes.

Then, if you’re looking to take a break, stop by Place de l’Ancienne Douane. It’s a charming square with tons of outdoor cafés. I always stop at the Deer and Beer, but you can’t go wrong with any of them.

8. Visit Saint Martin’s Church

This is Rue de Église. It's a street that leads to Saint Martin's Church. So you can see the back of the church. There are half-timbered houses lined on the street leading to the church.
Rue de Église

Saint Martin’s Church is one of the most iconic landmarks in town.

And since you’re already in the Old Town, I recommend heading down Rue de l’Église. From here you’ll have a magnificent view of this Gothic-style church.

It dates to the 13th century and its stained-glass windows are spectacular. Of course, it doesn’t compare to the Strasbourg Cathedral, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

9. Make Chocolate at Choco-Story Colmar

Preparing Chocolate at Choco Story Colmar is one of the best things to do on a day trip from Strasbourg. Here is warm chocolate mixing and being prepared to make candy bars.
Preparing Chocolate

If you’re a chocolate lover like me, then you have to make a stop at Choco-Story Colmar.

This museum is dedicated to all things chocolate and it’s the perfect place for anyone with a sweet tooth. I loved learning about its history and how it’s made. There were samples galore and I helped myself to quite a few.

But the real treat here is their workshop where you can learn how to make your own chocolates from scratch. Trust me, they taste even better when you make them yourself.

10. Explore the Unterlinden Museum

This isMatthias Grünewald's Isenheim Altarpiece at the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar. It's four wooden panels each painted withe Biblical scene.
Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece

If there’s one museum you have to visit in Colmar, it’s the Unterlinden Museum.

This museum is known for housing a vast collection of artworks from the Middle Ages up to modern times.

It’s also home to many famous pieces such as Martin Schongauer’s The Madonna in the Rose Bower and Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece.

Compared to the other museums I’ve been to in Alsace, this one ranks in my top five.

Even if you’re not an art enthusiast, the architecture of the building alone is worth a visit. The former monastery has been beautifully renovated, and its open courtyard is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city.

11. Visit a Nearby Town: Eguisheim

This is a cobblestone street in Eguisheim. There are colorful houses and it's lined with potted flowers.

If you have some extra time during your day trip, consider stopping by Eguisheim.

This charming medieval village is often referred to as one of the most beautiful villages in France. And it’s not hard to see why. The half-timbered houses are the prettiest I’ve seen in the region.

Take a stroll through its picturesque streets, stop by Saint Léon Square, and visit Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral. All the main sites are easy to see in under two hours.

Helpful Tip: Eguisheim is 6.8 kilometers (4.2 miles) from Colmar. It’s a 15-minute drive and you’ll find plenty of taxis at Colmar’s train station.

Conclusion: Colmar Day Trip from Strasbourg

A day trip to Colmar offers a perfect blend of history, art, culture, and food. From cruising down the Lauch River to indulging in the region’s tastiest dishes, this itinerary has it all.

So, if you’re visiting Strasbourg for a few days, take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and head down to Colmar. It’s something I do at least once a month!

And, now that you have your day trip all planned, why not decide what time of year is best to visit this part of France?

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Jen Ciesielski
Jen Ciesielski

Jen Ciesielski is the creator of Dabbling in Jet Lag. She has lived abroad for over ten years, traveled to more than 50 countries, and speaks French and English fluently. Her areas of expertise include moving abroad, learning languages, and travel planning. Originally from the United States, she now lives in France, where she has been for more than six years. She has also traveled extensively around the country. She shares her experiences as an expat living in France and helps thousands of people plan their trips every month.

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