19 Incredible Things to Do in Colmar, France (from a Local)

Looking for the best things to do in Colmar?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Not only do I live in France, but I’ve been to Colmar more times than I can count.

This quaint Alsatian town is most known for its cobblestone alleys dotted with colorful medieval buildings. But that’s not all! The local dishes are tantalizing, yet filling, and the museums are inspiring. In summer, the city is decorated with hanging baskets of red, white, and pink flowers. And, in winter, it transforms into a magical wonderland as the Christmas market comes alive.

It’s an enchanting city that’s impossible not to love. So, to help you make the most out of your trip, I’ve put together a list of the absolute best things to do in Colmar.

Things to Do in Colmar France
Incredible Things to Do in Colmar, France

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Table of Contents

Map of Things to Do in Colmar

The map below contains all the things to do in Colmar that are listed in this guide. Click the map below to open Google Maps.

Map of Things to Do in Colmar
Map of Things to Do in Colmar

19 Incredible Things to Do in Colmar

There’s no shortage of exciting things to do in Colmar. In fact, of the places I’ve visited in eastern France, this cute little town was one of my favorites. So, without further ado, here’s a look at Colmar’s top 19 attractions and things that I recommend you do while visiting. I’ve even included a few hidden spots to help you get off the tourist path!

1. Get Lost in Colmar’s Old Town

Colmar’s Old Town will take you on a journey through time. Here you’ll find restaurants, cafés, and hotels set in buildings that date back to the 13th century. It’s a vibrant neighborhood that is teeming with history. Some of the highlights include Saint Martin’s Church and the stretch of buildings on Grand Rue.

Colorful Half-Timbered Houses in Colmar's Old Town
Colmar’s Old Town!

There are several ways to visit Colmar’s Old Town, the most practical is on foot with a guided tour.

Click here to book the best guided tour of Colmar.

2. Take a Boat Ride on the Lauch River

The Lauch River weaves through some of the most picturesque sections of the city. And the waterways that pass through the Old Town have been dubbed La Petite Venise of Colmar (or Little Venice of Colmar).

View from the Boat on a Gondala Ride in Colmar
View from the Boat!

While you could follow the river on foot, a boat ride offers something a little more special. You’ll float along in a small wooden gondola while a tour guide recounts an intimate history of Colmar. It’s a romantic setting that gives way to some spectacular unobstructed views of the city.

Useful Tip: The boat ride is about 25 minutes, and tickets should be purchased in advance.

Sweet Narcisse – Boats Trip Information

  • Departure: Below the Saint Pierre Bridge
  • For more information, click here.

Things to Do in Colmar Guide

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3. Tour the Alsace Wine Route

Of course, no trip to Colmar is complete without exploring the Alsace Wine Route. This scenic road takes you through picturesque vineyards and offers a chance to sample some of the region’s finest wines. It’s one of the best ways to explore the area and get an authentic taste of its culture and history.

This is, actually, one of my favorite things to do near Colmar!

There are so many delightful towns along this route, but the closest ones to Colmar include, Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, and Turckheim. It’s easy to visit each of these as a day trip, but, if you’re short on time, I recommend joining a tour.

Click here to book the best tour of the Alsace Wine Route.

4. Watch the Sunrise over La Petite Venise

Wake up early and watch the sky fill with hues of orange and pink over the most radiant buildings in the city. It’s a kaleidoscope of color that is absolutely sublime. Colmar can be, at times, crowded and buzzing with tourists. So, this will give you the opportunity to see an otherwise busy city, completely empty.

Sunrise over Little Venice in Colmar
Beautiful Sunrise!

The best places to watch the sunrise over La Petite Venise (Little Venice) are:

  • Rue Turenne Bridge
  • Rue des Écoles Bridge

5. Reminisce at the Musée du Jouet

Housed in a former cinema, the Musée du Jouet (Toy Museum) is a place that will bring you pure joy. Here you’ll find a fantastic display of toys from the last two hundred years, including Barbie dolls, video games, Playmobile, and much more.

And, while you can’t play with any of them, it will make you giddy to rediscover the toys that marked your childhood!

Nintendo Games at the Toy Museum in Colmar

Address: 40 Rue Vauban

Opening Times:

Wednesday to Monday:

  • January to November: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • July to August and December – 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Click here to book your tickets for Colmar’s Toy Museum.

6. Admire Colmar’s Most Vivid Street

If there is one thing that Colmar is known for, it’s its colorful architecture. Rows upon rows of streets are lined with pink, blue, yellow, green, and orange houses and shops. The most beautiful of which can be seen from the Bridge Rue des Écoles. In fact, this street alone draws tens of thousands of tourists each year.

Colmar's Most Colorful Street with Red, Pink, and Blue Half-Timbered Buildings
Colmar’s Most Colorful Street!

Interestingly, these buildings were not painted for the sake of tourism.

Up until the 18th century, these colors served two very specific purposes. First, they were used to distinguish the religion of a household. Blue represented Catholic, while red corresponded to Protestant. And second, they denoted the type of shop (i.e., bakery, butcher, etc.).

Today, locals have done away with this tradition, and, instead, try to have a color different from their neighbors.

7. Devour a Flammekueche

Flammekueche is a regional specialty that is like pizza. This local delicacy consists of a thin crust topped with crème fraîche, lardons, onions, and local cheese. And, while the ingredients are simple, it’s an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Pair it with a glass of Pinot Gris and you’ll be in heaven.

Of course, you can find flammekueche in every city in Alsace, but the best is in Colmar. Head to La Terrasse du Marché. If you are going for lunch, arrive early. By noon, every seat is taken!

La Terrasse du Marché Address: 13 Rue des Écoles

8. Visit La Maison des Têtes

La Maison des Têtes or The House of Heads sounds like a horror museum, but it’s, actually, a work of art. Small human heads, made of stone, adorn the outside of the building, while windows of different sizes are haphazardly placed between the heads. To say it’s eccentric would be an understatement.

House of Heads in Colmar France
House of Heads

Originally, it was nothing more than a mansion for Anton Burger, a wealthy merchant in the early 1600s. Today, this masterpiece has been turned into a five-star luxury hotel. If you can afford a night here, it will surely be spectacular, or you can admire it from the street for free.

Address: 19 Rue des Têtes

9. Make Your Own Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

Discover, taste, and create at Colmar’s very own Chocolate Museum, Choco Story Colmar.

This immersive environment is both fun and educational. You’ll learn how chocolate is made and at the end, you’ll get to taste some of the best chocolate in town. And, if you have extra time, you can even make your own chocolate bar. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Colmar!

Address: 12 Place de la Cathédrale

Click here to book your museum and chocolate workshop tickets.

10. Admire the Pfister House

The Pfister House was the home of Ludwig Scherer, a financial guru from the mid-15th century. At first glance, it appears to be a medieval-style home, but it, actually, was the first example of Renaissance architecture in Colmar.

Bay Windows and Wood Panels on the Pfister House in Colmar
Pfister House

Its most notable features include the corner bay windows that hang over the street below and the paintings inscribed on the wood panels. Unfortunately, you can’t tour the inside of the house, but don’t let this deter you from stopping by. It’s a work of art!

Address: 15 Place de la Cathédrale

11. Tour the Musée d’Unterlinden

In the 13th century, Musée d’Unterlinden was a convent for the Dominican religious sisters. Today, it’s one of the most spectacular museums in Alsace with over 200,000 visitors per year. It even won the title of Musée de France, one of the most prestigious awards for a museum!

Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald at the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar
Isenheim Altarpiece

Not only is it home to the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald, but there’s also a large collection of local and international artworks.

Address: Place des Unterlinden

Opening Times:

  • Wednesday to Monday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Closed Tuesday

12. Sample Alsatian Wine

When it comes to experiencing the culture of Colmar, there’s no better way than sampling some local Alsatian wine. From dry and fruity Rieslings to full-bodied Pinot Gris, you can find a large variety that will no doubt tantalize your taste buds. You can try a glass at any restaurant, visit a wine cellar, or go on a wine tour.

Below is a list of the best wine cellars to visit in Colmar:

  • Wolfberger Boutique Colmar
  • Domaine Robert Karcher et Fils

For the best wine tasting tour, I highly recommend this tour.

13. Visit Musée Bartholdi

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French sculptor who is best known for designing the Statue of Liberty. And the Musée Bartholdi is a museum built from his former childhood home. From heirlooms to paintings and photographs, it’s a magnificent collection spread across three floors.

Sculpture at the Musée Bartholdi
Musée Bartholdi

Address: 30 Rue des Marchands

Opening Times:

  • Tuesday to Sunday : 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Closed Monday
  • Closed for the month of January

While the museum is the best place to see his work, there are several additional pieces around Colmar. Some of the most famous are listed below:

  • Monument du Général Rapp
  • Fontaine Schongauer
  • Fontaine de l’Amiral Bruat
  • Fontaine Roeselmann
  • Monument Hirn
  • Fontaine Schwendi
  • Les Grands Soutiens du Monde

14. Discover the Statue of Liberty

To commemorate Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, on the 100th anniversary of his death, the city of Colmar installed a replica of the Statue of Liberty. This magnificent monument serves as a tribute to Bartholdi’s seminal work. It also symbolizes the unique relationship between France and the United States.

Address: 45 Route de Strasbourg

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15. St. Martin’s Church

Located in the heart of the city, construction of St. Martin’s Church began in 1235 and finished in 1365. Not only is it a historical monument, but it’s also one of the most significant pieces of Gothic architecture in Colmar.

The Interior of St Martins Church in Colmar
St. Martin’s Church

It was here that the Isenmann altarpiece was created. This piece of art contains a series of panels showcasing the life of Jesus Christ. To date, only seven remain and are currently housed in the Unterlinden Museum.

Address: 18 Place de la Cathédrale

16. Go on a Segway Tour

If you’re looking to add some adventure to your trip, a Segway tour is a must. You’ll visit the top tourist attractions in Colmar while learning about its history and culture. It’s a great way to explore the city, especially if you’re short on time. Plus, it’s a ton of fun!

Click here to book the best Segway Tour in Colmar.

17. Shop at the Covered Market

Colmar is brimming with architectural beauty, cultural attractions, and delicious cuisine. Among its many gems is the ever-charming Marché Couvert Colmar.

Fruit and Vegetable Stands at Colmar's Covered Market
Fruit and Vegetable Stands

This vibrant indoor market features a variety of stalls selling local products as well as a bar with a terrace that sits on the Lauch River. Shop for souvenirs or stop by for lunch, either way, you won’t regret it!

Address: 13 Rue des Écoles

18. Explore Colmar’s Christmas Market

There’s no denying that Colmar is a stunning destination year-round. But during the holiday season, it transforms into a magical winter wonderland. This quaint little town comes alive with twinkling lights and festive decorations. You’ll also find wooden chalets selling traditional gifts, handmade crafts, and local delicacies.

Decorated Wooden Chalets at Colmar's Christmas Market
Colmar’s Christmas Market!

Useful Tip: If you want to avoid the Christmas market crowds, I recommend visiting in early December.

I recommend this tour of Colmar’s Christmas market.

19. Hang-out in Parc du Champ-de-Mars

The Champ de Mars Park is a beloved spot for both locals and tourists alike. Here you’ll find tree-lined walkways, picnic areas, comfortable benches, and a playground. It’s perfect for anyone looking to relax and escape Colmar’s busy center.

It’s the largest park so even if it’s popular it never feels full! I recommend gathering a few items from Marché Couvert Colmar and having a picnic in one of the grassed areas.

Address: Avenue de la République

Where to Eat

There is no shortage of amazing restaurants in Colmar so to help you plan your trip I’ve narrowed it down. Below is a list of the best restaurants in town:

  • Restaurant L’incontournable – A cozy restaurant with amazing food. The menu is centered on local dishes, but they have other options as well.
  • Aux Armes de Colmar – Set in a half-timbered house, this charming restaurant serves some excellent traditional Alsatian food.
  • La Cocotte de Grand-Mère – A cute bistro with outdoor seating. The service is excellent and the food is delicious. It’s also a great place to sample some local wine!

Where to Stay

There’s no denying that Colmar is a small town so budget hotels are few and far between. You’ll find most of the accommodation options fall within the mid-range to luxury budgets.

If you’re a first-time visitor I recommend staying in either Colmar’s Old Town district or La Petite Venise. Both neighborhoods are centrally located and within walking distance of the major attractions.

Below is a list of hotels I recommend:

  • Coquet Studio Colmar Centre – A studio apartment with all the amenities you could want. Not on that but it’s centrally located.
  • Au Grenier à Sel Colmar – A spacious immaculate apartment that is right in the center of town. The host is friendly and the apartment is well-equipped.
  • Hotel Saint-Martin – Located on Grand Rue, this lovely hotel is set in a traditional half-timbered house. The rooms are cozy and the staff is terrific. Their breakfast is also really good!

Best Time to Visit Colmar

Colmar is an enchanting destination that has something to offer any time of year.

But when is the best time to visit this charming French city?

The best time to visit Colmar is from April through June. Temperatures are mild with minimal rainfall, making it an ideal period for sightseeing. Plus, the summer crowds have yet to arrive, so you’ll have the place to yourself. Prices are lower and there are plenty of accommodation options available. Of the seasons, this is my favorite time to visit Colmar.

Colmar in April with Colorful Flowers Hanging Baskets on Half-timbered Houses
Colmar in April

During summer (July to August), temperatures are scorching, and the humidity is at its highest. It’s undoubtedly a great time to visit, but you’ll have to be ready for the high tourist season.

Another fantastic time to visit Colmar is from September to November. The days are cooler but still mild, and the autumn foliage is at its peak. The summer crowds have left, and prices start to drop. You’ll also find plenty of affordable accommodation options.

For a unique experience, consider visiting during the winter months (December to January). Temperatures are considerably cooler, so you’ll need to bring extra layers of clothing. But Colmar is especially beautiful when decorated with Christmas lights and festive ornaments.

If you’re looking for Colmar’s low season, it’s from February to March. The weather is cold and rainy, but prices are at their lowest. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to get the most bang for their buck.

How to Get to Colmar

While Colmar might not seem like it’s conveniently located, it’s, actually, very easy to reach. For the most convenient option, I recommend first getting to Strasbourg because there are a ton of ways to get from Strasbourg to Colmar.

Below is a complete overview of the various travel options.

By Train

  • From France: The closest major city in France to Colmar is Strasbourg. From Strasbourg, it’s about 1 hour by train.
  • From Germany: The closest city in Germany to Colmar is Fribourg. But there are no direct trains. You will have to change at least once. The trip takes about 1-2 hours. Frankfurt is much farther, but its airport is very convenient. If you’re coming from Frankfurt, it’s easier to get to Colmar via Strasbourg.
  • From Switzerland: The closest city in Switzerland to Colmar is Basel. Trains are direct and take under an hour.

Click here to book and purchase your train tickets.

By Plane

The three closest airports are listed below:

  • Frankfurt Airport (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Charles de Gaulle or Orly Airport (Paris, France)
  • EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (St. Louis, France)

If you are flying into one of these airports, use the information above to reach Colmar by train.

For the best deals on flights, I recommend WayAway.

FAQs About Things to Do in Colmar

What is Colmar Best Known For?

Colmar is best known for its colorful, cobbled streets and buildings painted in a traditional Alsatian style. It’s also home to several museums, the most famous being the Unterlinden Museum.

Is One Day Enough in Colmar?

While it’s possible to see the highlights in a single day, it’s not enough time to do everything. It’s best to plan a trip with at least two days in Colmar, if you want to have the best experience.

Is Colmar Closed on Sunday?

No, Colmar is not closed on Sunday. Most businesses are open, though some shops may have reduced hours. The tourist attractions and museums are also generally open during the weekend. It’s best to check with individual establishments in advance if you plan to visit on Sunday.

Is Colmar a Day Trip from Paris?

Yes, it is possible to visit Colmar on a day trip from Paris. If you take a high-speed TGV train, you’ll be able to reach Colmar in two and a half hours. You will have to change trains in Strasbourg, but there’s usually enough time so you won’t have to rush. If you take a slower train (OUIGO), you won’t have enough time. With these trains the travel time increases to four hours!

How Do You Get Around Colmar France?

The best way to get around Colmar is on foot. It’s walkable and compact. Most of the major attractions are in the same area, making it easy to explore on foot.

Is Colmar Walkable?

Yes, Colmar is very walkable. The historic district and key attractions are all within five minutes of each other. There are also a lot of restaurants and cafés on every corner. So, you’re never far from what you need.

Is Colmar Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! Colmar is a charming town filled with culture and history. There are tons of museums, restaurants, cafés, and attractions to explore. You’ll come for a weekend and wish you spent a week. Needless to say, Colmar is definitely worth visiting!

What Language Do They Speak in Colmar?

The primary language spoken in Colmar is French. But you’ll also hear German and English in the streets.

Does Colmar Have Uber?

Yes, Colmar has Uber, but there are not a lot of drivers. You could wait up to an hour or more for a ten-minute drive. So don’t count on it as a form of transportation.

Where to Go After Colmar?

After Colmar, if you want to explore other towns in Alsace, I recommend going to Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, or Strasbourg. For destinations outside France, Luxembourg and Basel are wonderful destinations.

Things to Do in Colmar Guide

Sign up for a free copy of my Things to Do in Colmar Guide. It has everything you need to guarantee an amazing trip!

Free Things to Do in Colmar Guide

Conclusion: Things to Do in Colmar

Colmar is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in France. With its colorful streets, historical museums, and delectable food there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a day trip from Strasbourg, Colmar has it all! Plus, with easy access, it makes for a great destination no matter what your travel plans are. So, now, all that’s left to do is plan a trip to this gorgeous city!

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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 and has traveled to more than 50 countries. She also speaks three languages, English, French, and Spanish. She's an expert on moving abroad, learning new languages, and planning adventures. Originally from the United States, she now lives in France. She shares her experiences as an expat living in France and helps thousands of people plan their trips every month.

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