19 Most Charming Towns in Alsace (Local’s Guide)

Alsace is a region located in eastern France. It’s known for its picturesque towns, colorful half-timbered houses, and exceptional wines.

In 2019, I moved to the capital of Alsace, Strasbourg, and since then, I’ve visited every corner of this beautiful region.

From Colmar’s Little Venice to Riquewihr’s medieval ramparts, there isn’t a place I haven’t been to.

In this post, I’ll share with you the most beautiful towns in Alsace and the best things to see and do in each one.

Here is a list of the most beautiful towns in Alsace France.
Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace

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19 Most Beautiful Towns in Alsace

There’s no shortage of amazing towns to visit in Alsace. From beautiful panoramic vistas to savory traditional dishes, every village has something special to offer.

Here are the most charming Alsatian villages that I recommend you visit while you’re here.

1. Strasbourg

This is a photo of me, Jen Ciesielsk, on Quai des Moulins in Strasbourg. I'm wearing shorts, a jacket, and gym shoes. Behind me is the canal and Place Benjamin Zix, a square with white half-timbered houses.
Me in La Petite France

Strasbourg is the economic and cultural hub of Alsace. Here you’ll find a true mix of French and German cultures. Not only that but it’s also the formal seat of the European Parliament.

Highlights include the Strasbourg Cathedral, the Alsatian Museum, and, of course, the Christmas market.

But my all-time favorite thing to do is wander around La Petite France early in the morning, especially on Sundays.

If you head to Quai des Moulins, you’ll have a beautiful view of Place Benjamin Zix. That’s where I took the photo above.

I recommend spending more than one day in Strasbourg if you want to take advantage of all this city has to offer.

Helpful Tip: Strasbourg is a very walkable city so it’s easy to explore on foot.

2. Colmar

This is the view from the bridge on Rue Turenne in Colmar. There are five colorful half-timbered houses stacked side by side and in front there is a railing that overlooks the canal. It's covered with with lush bushes.
Colmar’s Little Venice

Colmar is most renowned for its colorful half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. It’s easy to get lost in the side streets while admiring the gorgeous architecture.

Needless to say, there are endless things to see in Colmar.

I’ve been to Colmar so many times, it’s hard to choose my favorite spot.

But if I had to pick, it would be Little Venice, a charming neighborhood with picturesque canals and traditional houses.

I also loved touring the Unterlinden Museum and riding in a gondola down the Lauch River.

3. Riquewihr

This is Restaurant le Médiéval on Rue du Général de Gaulle in Riquewihr. It's a green and red half timbered house.
Restaurant le Médiéval

Riquewihr is easily one of the most picturesque villages I’ve been to in Alsace. It has retained its rustic charm from the 16th century.

The cobblestone streets, flower-decked windows, and old-fashioned signs make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Rue du Général de Gaulle was my favorite street. It’s lined with quaint shops selling local specialties and colorful half-timbered houses.

It’s also where you’ll find Restaurant le Médiéval, the best restaurant in town (photo above).

I also enjoyed touring the Musée du Dolder and Musée de la Tour des Voleurs. Both are worth it if you have time.

4. Ribeauvillé

This is a view of Château de Saint-Ulrich from Château du Girsberg in Ribeauvillé. It's a giant stone castle with fortified walls and a wall tower. It's surrounded by trees and rolling mountains.
Château de Saint-Ulrich

Ribeauvillé is full of narrow streets adorned with medieval-style houses and cafés.

It’s most known for its three castles – Château de Saint-Ulrich, Château du Girsberg, and Château du Haut-Ribeaupierre.

They are free to visit, but you’ll have to hike a steep hill to get there.

It took me about 90 minutes, and it was worth every step. The views over the region were absolutely spectacular.

Of the three castles, I found Château de Saint-Ulrich to be the most impressive. It was the most intact and best preserved.

Helpful Tip: For the best view of Château de Saint-Ulrich, head to Château du Girsberg. That’s where I took the photo above.

Then, if you are in Ribeauvillé on the first Sunday in September, don’t miss the Fête des Ménétriers de Ribeauvillé (also called Pfifferdaj).

It’s one of the oldest and most popular festivals in Alsace!

5. Eguisheim

This is a photo of Le Pigeonnier, one of the most famous half-timbered houses in Eguisheim. It's in the middle of two cobbled streets and there is a wooden arch with vines hanging in front.

Located 5 kilometers (3 miles) south of Colmar, lies yet another charming town in Alsace, Eguisheim. Like many others, it has won several awards, including the most beautiful village in France.

But this is not the only reason tourists flock here.

Eguisheim has a long-standing reputation for producing the best wines in the region.

I’ve visited several wineries and my two favorites were Domaine Mann and Domaine Emile Beyer.

Then, if you’re like me and love to hike, you’ll find tons of trails around Eguisheim.

The most famous leads to Les Trois Châteaux d’Eguisheim (The Three Castles of Eguisheim). I started on Rue Porte Haute and it took me about 75 minutes.

The castles were in ruins but the views over the town were incredible. I, then, followed the Route des 5 Châteaux to Château du Hohlandsbourg, the largest intact castle in the region.

6. Kaysersberg

This is the view from Kaysersberg's fortified bridge. In the middle there is the Weiss River. On the right there is a stone wall with half-timbered houses. On the left there are just half-timbered houses. In this distance you can see tree covered mountains.

Kaysersberg or Emperor’s Mountain received its name from the high fortress, Château de Kaysersberg, that overlooks the village.

While it served as an important strategic location in the past, it’s now one of the prettiest towns in Alsace.

Popular activities include hiking in the Vosges mountains, biking on one of the many trails, and enjoying delicious wine.

But my favorite thing to do was watch the sunrise from Château de Kaysersberg. The view over the valley was incredible and I loved the peaceful setting.

7. Rosheim

This is the outside of the Église Saints-Pierre-et-Paul in Rosheim. It's a large stone church with one circular tower.
Église Saints-Pierre-et-Paul

Rosheim dates back to the 8th century, and, to this day, it has retained many relics of its glorious past.

The most impressive is the Église Saints-Pierre-et-Paul (photo above). In fact, it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in the region.

After I toured the cathedral, I stopped by Salon de thé Rohmer.

Not only is this the oldest bakery in Alsace, but it also serves the best ropküeche (a sweet cake topped with nuts and cinnamon) I’ve ever had.

8. Obernai

This is a photo of me, Jen Ciesielski, at Mont National in Obernai. I'm wearing a jacket and pants. Then, behind me is Obernai. You can also see the Vosges mountains in the distance.
Me at Mont National

Obernai is one of the larger cities in Alsace, and it serves as a gateway to Alsace’s famous Route des Vins (Wine Route).

Here you’ll find one of my favorite viewpoints in the entire region, Mont National.

This historical monument pays tribute to the Alsatian soldiers, who were forced to serve under the German army in World War II.

Then, behind it is Allée des Cerisiers, a street lined with the biggest cherry trees I’ve ever seen. They bloom every year in April, so, if you’re in the area, it’s worth stopping by.

9. Barr

This a photo of the colorful half-timbered houses in Barr. There is a cobblestone street in the middle and half-timbered houses stacked side by side on either side of the street.

Barr is an undiscovered gem in Alsace. Most who venture this way stop in Obernai and continue south without ever giving Barr a thought.

While there are not an overwhelming number of highlights, I found Barr to be absolutely beautiful.

I’ve also used it as a base for day hikes in the area. My favorites were Landsberg Castle and Mont Sainte Odile. Both trails start at the Saint-Martin Protestant Church.

10. Dambach-la-Ville

These are the vineyards that surrounded Dambach-la-Ville. There is a stone rode in the middle and then rolling vineyards on either side.
Vineyards in Dambach-la-Ville

Dambach-la-Ville is one of the best places to visit in Alsace, especially if you don’t have a car. Highlights include Saint Sébastien Chapel and Château de Bernstein.

As the oldest wine-growing village in the region, touring a wine cellar should be at the top of your itinerary.

I’ve toured several cellars here and my favorite was Maison Charles Frey.

Tours and tastings are free, but you’ll need to book a reservation if you want to guarantee a spot.

Helpful Tip: Maison Charles Frey is also listed as Alsace Charles Frey on Google Maps.

11. Munster 

This is the view over Munster from the Chemin du Narrenstein. You can see the rooftops and all the lights are on because I took this photo before sunrise. The sky is foggy but you can make out some tree covered mountains in the distance.
View from the Chemin du Narrenstein

Munster is one of the most underrated towns I’ve been to, but let me assure you there are a ton of things to see here.

Meander around the city and appreciate the unique architecture or stop at a fromagerie (cheese house) and try some Munster cheese. Of the places I’ve tried, Maison Dischinger easily had the best.

But the biggest reason to stop by is for the outdoor activities.

The easiest hike follows the Chemin du Narrenstein (Narrenstein trail). It leads to a beautiful view of the city. That’s, actually, where I captured the scene in the above photo.

12. Andlau

This is the view of Andlau from the Kastelberg gazebo. You can see the rooftops of the houses and the church. It's completely surrounded by trees and rolling mountains in the distance.

From enchanting castles and magnificent churches to beautiful scenery and pristine hiking trails, Andlau has everything.

It was even labeled as one of the most adored villages in France in 2014.

Some highlights include:

✓Abbaye d’Andlau – A beautiful Romanesque church from 880.

✓ Kastelberg Gazebo – A small gazebo that overlooks the town. It’s where I took the photo above.

✓ La Seigneurie – A cultural heritage museum dedicated to the history of Alsace (particularly the area around Andlau and Barr).

After I toured the town, I hiked to Château d’Andlau and then Château de Spesbourg. Both castles were free to visit and worth the long uphill hike.

If you only have time for one, I recommend Château d’Andlau. It’s not as far and most of the castle is still intact.

13. Hunawihr

This is Hunawihr's Fortified Church. It's a small chruch with one pointed clock tower then there is a stone wall surrounding it. Then, around the church are vineyards and in the distance you can see some forested mountains.
Hunawihr’s Fortified Church

Hunawihr lies between Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé, and, while it may not be as popular as these two, it’s worth a visit.

This little town is home to less than 1000 people and is a great place to escape the tourist crowds.

I loved walking through the vineyards and taking in the amazing scenery. It’s also one of the best places to view Hunawihr’s Fortified Church.

Helpful Tip: The times I’ve gone to Hunawihr, I’ve stayed in either Riquewihr or Ribeauvillé and visited as a day trip.

14. Mittelbergheim

This is Rue Principale in Mittelbergheim. There are houses that are also wineries lined along the street. All the windows are decorated with hanging baskets of flowers.
Rue Principale

Since moving to Alsace, I’ve been to Mittelbergheim more times than I can count. It’s far from the more popular places, so I always have it to myself.

And unlike the other towns listed here, it’s not known for its colorful half-timbered houses. In fact, Mittelbergheim is a true wine-growers village.

Most houses on the main street (Rue Principale) are wineries and offer tastings.

My favorite was Domaine Armand Gilg Vigneron Indépendant Vins et Crémants d’Alsace.

They first gave me a tour of their cellars from the 16th century and then I tried a wide variety of wines. The best was their Crémant d’Alsace.

15. Guebwiller

This is the view of the Grand Ballon in the Vosges mountains. In the foreground there a forrest then in the distance there are two peaks the tallest one on the right is the top of the Grand Ballon.
The Grand Ballon

Guebwiller is my home away from home. There are so many nature and outdoor activities here that I keep coming back.

My favorite hike, so far, was to the Grand Ballon. It’s the highest peak (1424 meters or 4671 feet) in the Vosges mountains and offers incredible views of the region.

It was a strenuous hike, but I was able to do it in a day. It’s 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) from the town center so make sure to bring lots of water and snacks.

Helpful Tip: You can also drive to the top.

If you’re short on time or don’t want to tackle the Grand Ballon, Guebwiller has plenty of things to see.

Highlights include the Romanesque church of Saint Léger, the Convent of the Dominicans, the Synagogue of Guebwiller, and the Theodore Deck and Museum.

16. Turckheim

This is a view of the Hotel de Ville from the Jardin de la Ville in Turckheim. It's tall pointed building and it's decorated with hanging baskets of flowers. In the foreground there is the garden with bushes and grass. To the left of the Hôtel de Ville is a half-timbered house covered in lush hanging vines.
Turckheim’s Hôtel de Ville

On the eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains lies a hidden gem that is rarely talked about, Turckheim.

This quaint Alsatian village is small but boasts some of the most spectacularly beautiful streets I’ve ever seen.

One of my favorites was Rue de Conseil.

As you can see in the photo I took above, every building was covered with hanging baskets of colorful flowers and lush vines.

Helpful Tip: If you want the same picture, head to Jardin de la Ville.

After I finished walking around, I stopped by the Boulangerie Pâtisserie Husser for a homemade sandwich, before touring the Musée Mémorial des combats de la Poche de Colmar.

17. Cernay

These are three Stork nest in Cernay. They are on top of wooden polls and surrounding them are trees.
Cernay’s Stork Park

Cernay is most known for its Stork Park.

Every year at the beginning of spring, around 60 strokes flock to this little town. It not only marks the end of winter, but also symbolizes new life, fertility, and happiness.

Cernay has played a critical role in their conservation, with nearly 30 storks being born each year. Their nests are dotted on the rooftops throughout the town, and they visit the park during mealtimes.

I went early in the morning and saw about 10 storks.

I spent an hour admiring these beautiful birds before heading to the Musée de la Porte de Thann in downtown Cernay.

18. Sélestat

This is a street in Sélestat. There is a paved rode then colorful stone buildings on either side.

Sélestat is located between Strasbourg and Colmar, which means it’s a great base for exploring the area.

It’s, actually, where I took the shuttle to visit the Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle.

Of course, the city itself is full of things to do.

My favorite attraction was the Humanist Library.

Here you’ll find thousands of artifacts on display, some dating to the 15th century. Not only that but it’s also one of the most significant cultural wonders in Alsace to visit.

19. Kruth

This is the view of Kruth from the Château du Wildenstein. In the center is Kruth. There are houses and there is a large patch of grass. Then, surrounding the town are rolling forested mountains.
View from Château du Wildenstein

Nestled in the mountains, at the end of the train line, lies an absolute hidden gem, Kruth. It’s so secluded that you won’t find this Alsatian town in any guidebook.

Here you’ll find beautiful vistas, gushing waterfalls, and endless hiking trails. If you love nature and the outdoors, you could spend a few days here, but one day is enough if you’re short on time.

The first thing I did when I arrived was hike to Château du Wildenstein. From there, I had a magnificent panoramic view over Kruth (photo above).

Then, I followed the Tour du Lac de Kruth-Wildenstein around the lake, stopping by Cascade du Bockloch along the way.

Helpful Tip: There is a small trail that begins at Cascade du Bockloch. Follow the zigging path to see more wonderful waterfalls. It’s about 30 minutes to the top.

Map of Alsace Towns

Below is a map of the Alsatian villages that will be covered in this post. (Click the map to open Google Maps.)

This is a map of the towns I listed in this article. Click on the map to open Google Maps.
Map of Alsace

Best Time to Visit Alsace

Alsace is a year-round destination where each season offers something unique.

Spring (March to May) – The weather is mild, and the villages are decorated with fresh, vibrant flowers. The summer crowds have not arrived, so prices are reasonable.

Summer (June to August) – Alsace is alive and bustling with tourists. This is one of the busiest periods of the year. The sun is almost always shining, and the vineyards are in full bloom. Expect higher prices and book everything in advance.

Fall (September to November) – This is my favorite time to tour around Alsace. The weather is mild, and the summer crowds are long gone. The vineyards turn bright orange, and the trees radiate with magnificent fall colors.

Winter (December to February) – This is another busy time. In December, Alsace transforms into a winter wonderland as the Christmas markets start to open. The weather is cold and rainy, so make sure to bring warm clothing.

Getting Around Alsace

While the region is not gigantic, getting around Alsace can be tricky, especially for the smaller towns. Below I’ll cover the best ways to get around Alsace.

By Tour

Visiting Alsace as part of a tour is the most convenient way to see the area. You won’t have to worry about organizing every step of the process or getting lost. Everything is planned so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your trip.

Book the best Medieval Villages Tour of Alsace here ➔

By Car

If you prefer to travel at your own pace, then renting a car is the best option. You’ll have complete control over your itinerary and be able to plan exactly what you want to do. It will even give you a chance to get off the typical tourist path.

Get the Best Car Rental Rates here ➔

By Train

Taking a train is the cheapest option. Keep in mind that several of the smaller villages don’t have train stations. So, you won’t get to visit these places, but you’ll still be able to see the main highlights.

Book and Purchase your Train Tickets here ➔

By Bike

If you’re up for an adventure then renting a bike is the best option. There are tons of biking paths, including the Alsace Wine Route.

Book the best Private Bike Tour of Alsace here ➔

FAQS About Alsace

What is the most beautiful village in Alsace France?

There are so many beautiful villages in Alsace. But the most beautiful is Colmar.

What is the main town in Alsace?

The main town in Alsace is Strasbourg.

What is the largest town in Alsace?

The largest town in Alsace is Strasbourg.

What is the prettiest place in Alsace?

The prettiest places in Alsace are Colmar, Eguisheim, Ribeauvillé, and Riquewihr.

Conclusion: Prettiest Villages in Alsace

Alsace is a must-see region in France. Whether you love history, culture, or nature, there is no shortage of things to do.

Visit the cobbled streets of Eguisheim or sample a glass of wine in Dambach-la-Ville.

Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

So, now, all that’s left to do is plan your trip. I recommend booking a tour of the region. You’ll be able to sit back relax and enjoy our well-deserved vacation.

I hope you enjoyed my article and found it helpful. Here are some other articles about France that I think you might enjoy!

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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