Last update : 02/10/2023
We’ve been wanting to go to Alsace visit Colmar in France for a weekend for a long time, and now we’ve done it! If you’re looking for a change of scenery for a weekend or more, and want to visit a town where you’ll hear as much French as German, Colmar is the town for you! We recently rediscovered the town when we stayed at a hotel we really wanted to discover, the 48° Nord, just a 40-minute drive from Colmar and Strasbourg. If you’d like to discover Colmar’s must-sees, find out where to sleep and eat in Colmar, you’ve come to the right blog post. We hope our feedback will inspire you to discover this corner of eastern France.
Visiting Colmar in France, where to sleep?
Hotel 48° Nord, The Originals Relais
Located in the heights of Breitenbach in the heart of a protected Natura 2000 site, you’ll discover this eco-responsible hotel concept just a 40-minute drive from Colmar in France. If you want to relax in an exceptional setting and totally unwind, this is the address for you. Whirlpools and saunas are also available, so you can relax after a day of sightseeing in Colmar in France and the surrounding area. We really liked the architecture of the accommodation, the work of Norwegian architect Reiulf Ramstad, in which he reinterprets the traditional Scandinavian hytte. A buffet breakfast is served every morning, featuring excellent, organic and 100% local produce. It’s also possible to have breakfast delivered to your room at no extra charge; we did so on one of our mornings, and loved having it in bed with a view!
You’ll also find an excellent gourmet restaurant run by chef Frédéric Metzger in which he offers organic and 100% local cuisine within the 150 km limit around Breitenbach with the only exceptions being sugar, coffee and tea. The products are delicious, and as for breakfast, you’ll have the opportunity to taste some excellent produce. The team is also at your service throughout the stay, and we had an excellent time in their company.
The address is part of the cooperative The Originals Hotels, which brings together over 350 independent hoteliers in France and Europe. We love booking with them, because they’re all about the local experience. Everything we love!”
As you can see, this address was a real coup de coeur for us, and we highly recommend it.View availability
Visiting Colmar in France, what to do? Must-sees
When staying in Colmar, head straight for the town center. If you’re coming by car, you’ll be able to park in the many parking lots in the town center. If you’re coming from the Colmar train station, the surrounding area may not be of much interest, so we advise you to head for the center of Colmar. Once you’ve reached the center of Colmar, it’s easy – it’s all signposted! You’ll then be able to get to each of the addresses to visit Colmar while you’re out and about. Spoiler: if you’re a fan of the magic of Christmas, you should easily find what you’re looking for in Colmar!
The Old Colmar
With its half-timbered houses and bourgeois mansions, some of which date back to the Middle Ages, Colmar’s historic center is a little gem that’s a must-see. If you want to visit Colmar on foot, we recommend you start in this district. It’s our favorite part of town, along with the Petite Venise district. To visit the historic center, you don’t need a map! We simply recommend strolling through the streets to soak up 100% of the district’s special atmosphere.
Colmar’s Little Venice
This area of Colmar really is the cutest and busiest! We loved strolling along the quays, photographing the reflections of the little half-timbered houses. You can let yourself be carried along the narrow streets, and you’ll feel like you’re in a Disneyland setting! The district is small, so you’ll be done in an hour, unless you’re a photo enthusiast like us. You’ll find plenty of terraced restaurants and shops to warm you up for a break. This district is also very popular with Chinese tourists, thanks to a TV program broadcast in China in 2018 featuring stars of a reality show in a café in Colmar’s Little Venice. So don’t be surprised if you hear Chinese spoken in the neighborhood!
The Colmar market
The Colmar market is very close to the Petite Venise district, and you won’t be able to miss it as it’s so imposing next to the small houses in the neighborhood! We loved this covered market, especially its little terrace overlooking the water. Just cross the Market, grab a coffee or a drink, sit back and enjoy the view. A much-appreciated break, especially if you’re lucky enough to visit Colmar on a sunny day! The Colmar market is also an opportunity to sample local produce. The best part is that you can also sit down to lunch at one of the tables near the shops.
Visiting Colmar in France, where to eat?
Restaurant Colmar, Fleur de Sel
It was Alex who found this tiny restaurant in Colmar by chance. It’s located in the heart of the Petite Venise district. This little restaurant in Colmar offers traditional Alsatian recipes, cooked with local produce and served with a smile. We particularly enjoyed the Tarte Flambée with Munster cheese and the Bibalakase with sautéed potatoes. (yes, we tried to go local… 😋). Without a doubt, go for lunch at Fleur de Sel à Colmar!!
Restaurant 40 minutes from Colmar, 48° North
As mentioned earlier in the article, we highly recommend that you come and discover the cuisine at the 48° Nord hotel. If you’re staying in the center of town or just in the area, you can discover the hotel’s restaurant without staying there. A great opportunity to come and discover this excellent restaurant just a 40-minute drive from Colmar. This gourmet restaurant offers 4-course and 6-course meals. We enjoyed the 100% local produce from start to finish. We were pleasantly surprised by the presentation of all the dishes – a real treat! What’s more, the staff are adorable, so you’ll have a great time.
Visiting Colmar, what are the Alsatian specialties?
If, like us, you love sampling local gastronomy, this passage is for you! It’s impossible to visit Colmar without tasting :
Pretzels: sweet or savory, you’ll find them all over the place in downtown shops. The best pretzels in Strasbourg can be found at “Au pain de mon grand père”.
Sauerkraut: the unmissable Alsatian sauerkraut can be found in all traditional restaurants. The tastiest can be found at Chez Yvonne in Strasbourg.
Tarte Flambée or “Flammekueche”: we’re used to eating these just about everywhere, but the ones you’ll find in Colmar and Strasbourg aren’t on the same level! We loved the one we ate in Colmar at the “Fleur de Sel” restaurant.
Visit Colmar at Christmas
The town is already stunning the rest of the year, but it’s truly at Christmas that it reveals its full potential. The city is decked out in lights for its 6 Christmas markets! The shop windows are completely transformed, with garlands of lights tracing a magical path through the city. It’s a chance to visit Colmar in an incredible atmosphere and get straight into the Christmas spirit!
Visit Colmar without forgetting Strasbourg
The beautiful city of Strasbourg is just a 30-minute train ride from Colmar. So it’s impossible not to visit Strasbourg during your stay in Colmar! For our part, we visited Strasbourg and Colmar on the same trip. Strasbourg is much bigger, and you can discover its incredible Cathedral, half-timbered houses, bridges and cobbled streets. Discover all our tips (hotels, restaurants, must-see neighborhoods) for a great time in Strasbourg in our article dedicated to Strasbourg.What to do in Strasbourg
Thank you for reading
We hope the tips and good addresses on our travel blog will help you visit Colmar in France.
You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂
Clem & Alex