WHAT TO DO IN 1 DAY IN COLMAR
Are you planning your Colmar itinerary and are wondering about the best things to do in Colmar (in one day)? Then I am happy to share my travel tips with you. Find out what to do in one day in Colmar – what to see and where to go, plus many more travel tips for this pretty, pretty place.
Nestled among vineyards with its traditional houses, canals, and floral displays, Colmar is a picture-perfect fairytale dream. And because of this, Colmar has become a popular destination in France.
After visiting Annecy, another fairytale town in France, I was quick to name it the most beautiful town in France. With its colorful and gorgeous houses, water canals, and Lake Annecy, it was easy for me to declare it the prettiest town around. Looking at pictures of Colmar, it seemed to be as beautiful as Annecy. So, I knew I had to visit for myself before I decided on the stunning town in the country.
And so I added Colmar to my Alsace road trip, and after a few days in Strasbourg and its surroundings, I finally visited Colmar. Before I let you know my conclusion – which place really deserves the title of the most beautiful town in France – I will share my travel tips for Colmar.
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TOP THINGS TO DO IN COLMAR IN ONE DAY
Here are my tips about the best things to do in Colmar in 1 day.
Stroll the Old Town of Colmar
Hey there! As much as I love going on spontaneous adventures, I learned the hard way that having a basic plan can save you from missing out on must-see places. So now, I like to do a little research beforehand to make sure I hit all the highlights.
Because let’s be real, nobody wants to end up lost and missing out on all the fun. Trust me, it’s not a good feeling! However, I also just plan in some time to roam and see where my feet take me.
Want to explore Colmar like a pro? Good news – you can grab a free map at your hotel or the tourism office, and embark on a walking adventure that will take you through the most charming and picturesque spots in town.
You won’t miss any of the main tourist attractions, as there are clear signs pointing their way. But for an extra special touch, keep your eyes peeled for golden triangles stamped with Lady Liberty – they will lead you to the very best Colmar has to offer.
Discover the enchanting allure of Colmar’s old town – a treasure trove of captivating sights awaiting your arrival! Get ready to be dazzled by history and culture as you explore the top attractions that make this place truly special. From quaint nooks to grand landmarks, this destination promises a feast for the senses.
Welcome to Little Venice – this vibrant and charming neighborhood is a must-see for any tourist visiting the area! Starting behind the stunning Koifhus building, you’ll embark on a picturesque journey through the colorful fishmonger’s district and over the enchanting Turenne and Saint-Pierre bridges.
Little Venice is sure to capture your heart with its unique beauty and lively atmosphere.
Are you searching for the picture-perfect location to add to your Instagram feed? Look no further than this charming, quaint area! You won’t need to spend countless hours exploring every street and house because it’s small and easy to navigate.
And don’t be surprised if you find yourself snapping photo after photo – it’s the most photographed spot around (at least according to social media)!
When I visited, it was lovely with all the blossoms. But I did not get to see all the stunning flower pots, I saw in other pictures. I am sure this would really do add that extra touch to the overall beauty of the town. So, in summer you have all the extra colors and flowers here.
Did you know that Colmar served as the muse for the enchanting setting of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? It’s no surprise, given the vibrant and eye-catching houses, charmingly intimate streets, and tranquil canal that grace this picturesque town.
A stroll through the old town will reveal a trove of delightful shops, scrumptious restaurants, and heavenly bakeries just waiting to be explored. So why not take a leisurely wander through Colmar’s captivating streets and discover all the magic it has to offer?
Saint-Martin Collegiate Church
Colmar’s old town boasts numerous interesting churches, but the Saint-Martin Collegiate Church at Place de la Cathedrale takes the cake. Dazzling both inside and out, this beauty was completed back in the late 14th century. Prepare to be wowed by its remarkable architecture and stunning details!
Step back in time and explore the stunning Pfister House – standing tall since 1537 – a breathtaking Renaissance-style building that’s steeped in history. From gorgeous religious paintings to depictions of powerful German emperors, every inch of this building is adorned with intricate and captivating artwork.
While this gem may blend in amongst other impressive buildings, it’s truly a sight to behold and not to be missed.
House of Heads
One of the best things to do in Colmar is to see the House of Heads. The Rhine Renaissance-style burgeois résidence was built in the early 17th century and has 105 head sculptures. The Alsace bronze copper is a reminder that this house was used for trading wine.
Koifhus / Customs House
Another place to visit – even if you are one day in Colmar only – is the Koifhus. Once the town‘s business and political hub, the Customs House (or Koifhus) was built in 1480. The ground floor served as a warehouse, market, and customs office for centuries.
Covered Market Hall
! If you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about the Market Hall, consider this your personal invitation to come to see it for yourself. Dating back to 1865 and having served many purposes over the years, this iconic building is now a bustling market that’s sure to delight your senses. From fresh produce to artisanal crafts, the Market Hall offers a wide variety of unique finds that you will enjoy.
The “village in a town“ underwent some restorations about 50 years ago. It was originally built in the 17th and 18th centuries.Tanners (people who tan animal hides) used to live in tall, half-timbered houses. They stand on a stone base with no foundations or cellars, and the roofs of the houses have several hooks so that hides could dry.
Once home to fishermen, the Fishmonger’s District features a colorful rainbow of half-timbered houses along the Lauch River. Most of the houses were homes to boatmen and fishermen. Nowadays, other means of transportation are used, but back then, the market gardener would sail along the Lauch to transport goods to town.
Mini Sightseeing Train
While I have used these kinds of sightseeing trains in other cities, I did not use them in Colmar. If you are tired of walking, you can instead hop on one sightseeing train and discover Colmar by train.
- You can find out about the history of the town during the 35-minute ride. Tickets are about 6€ for adults.
Boat / Gondola Tour
Have I ever mentioned my obsession with boat rides? Yes? Okay, so I am happiest on the water, and for all those weird people with the same obsession as me, you can do a boat tour in Colmar as well.
It is not the epic 3-hour boat tour that I did on Lake Thun, but well, the boat ride takes 30 minutes, and this is a lazy kind of sightseeing, as you will see the center of Colmar without having to move at all.
More Fun Colmar Activities
If you have more than a day or want to add a few more activities, then consider doing one of these things in Colmar.
Alsace is famous for its white wines. The Alsace Wine Route Road Tour is famous for a reason. Alsatian wines are named for their grape varietals. As someone who does not drink any wine, I am not familiar, but even I know about the famous Riesling wine.
There are often wine tastings in Colmar in the summer, so for many visitors, these are another fun thing to do in Colmar.
While Colmar itself is a beautiful little town, there are some lovely hiking paths close by. Since I was short on time, I did not take any hikes, but if you are interested in more nature time and doing more outdoor activities, then you can choose between easier and even longer hikes in the area.
Day Trips From Colmar
If you make Colmar your base and want to see more of the area, then plan a day trip to Colmar´s bigger sister.
Not far from Colmar is the pretty city of Strasbourg, which is also full of beautiful architecture and culture – and political institutions.Getting to Strasbourg by car or train is quite easy, and if you have booked your hotel in Colmar for two nights or even longer, make sure to add a day trip to Strasbourg. Find a detailed Strasbourg itinerary for a day here.
Another gorgeous city with a lot of attractions can be found on the other side of the border – just behind the French/German border, there is Freiburg.
This gorgeous, gorgeous German city is full of unique, medieval architecture that will charm you. Plus, you can enjoy amazing views of the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) which is a mountainous region in southwest Germany, bordering France.
Freiburg is about 1 hour by car and a bit more than one hour by public transportation. Check out my Freiburg guide for more tips on how to spend your day in Freiburg.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR ONE DAY IN COLMAR ITINERARY
Here are some essential travel tips for Colmar.
Alsace, France’s smallest region, is perched on the edge of Germany and Switzerland, on the Rhine River. It is now part of France (but had been part of Germany several times) and combines these two countries’ best.
How to Get to Colmar
- Plane: Colmar does not have a regular airport, and the closest airports are Strasbourg-Entzheim (70km from Colmar), and Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (about 70 km away) – from both airports. You can easily get to Colmar by train.
- Train: Colmar is linked to the largest French and European cities either directly or by changing trains. The train station is close to the old town of Colmar, and after a short walk, you can reach it on foot.
- Car: I arrived in Colmar by car, coming from Strasbourg. It was part of a beautiful Alsace road trip I took, and it was very scenic.
How to Get Around Colmar
- In Colmar, you will most likely visit the old town. And the good news is that Colmar is so small and walkable that walking is the best way to get around.
- On the flip side, Colmar is so small that you are “done“ quickly. However, if you don’t want to or can‘t walk that much, you can either do a sightseeing tour on the small sightseeing trains you see everywhere, or you could rent a bike. There are also boat tours available (more on that later).
Where to Stay in Colmar
- I stayed at a 3-star Colmar Hotel, and I loved it. I booked it more or less last minute via booking.com.
- It is my preferred booking site, as I can often cancel hotels up to 24 hours in advance, which helps since I am a very spontaneous person. I mostly booked the hotel because of its free parking and proximity to the old town. It is not directly located in the old town, but about a 10-15 minute walk.
- It is just next to the train station, so whether you get here in your own car or by train, the hotel is perfect.
- Also, the breakfast was great (including muffins, crepes, pancakes, and much more) and the rooms were clean, bright, and modern. It is for sure my first pick for Colmar.
- To find out more about the hotel click here.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN COLMAR
As you can see, Colmar is a beautiful town worth visiting. Do I think that it is the most beautiful town in France? Well, I am not sure. I still vote for Annecy, but in Colmar´s defense, no flower pots were hanging everywhere (as I had seen on social media and I personally saw in Annecy), which probably makes the town even more colorful and fun.
However, Colmar is a stunning place! 1 day in Colmar is enough to get a good glimpse (read my Annecy post and find out why I am so in love). If you stay in Colmar longer, you can spend even more time soaking in the beauty or visiting a few other places that are close by, like Strasbourg.
Adding Colmar to your bucket list is definitely a good idea, and hopefully, these tips have helped you find out about the best things to do in Colmar.
Check out my Alsace itinerary – the best places to see in 3 days.
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