Even though we live so close to the French border we don’t really go to France very often. I could honestly count our visits on the fingers of one hand. A couple of weeks ago I googled French cities that are within 3 hours drive from where we live, and I was surprised to find some real gems. And the planning for our French weekend could start!
Colmar (from the Roman Columbarium) was first mentioned in 823 in a charter of the emperor Louis the Pious. It is a charming city on the Alsace Wine tour with specialization in Riesling and Gewürztraminer. The wine produced there is really good! You should definitely buy a bottle when you’re there.
As the city is at the beginning (or the end – depending from which direction you come) of the Alsace Wine tour it is well known among tourists and always crowded. We arrived to the city in the afternoon and I was literally not able to get to the bridge to take some photos so we decided that we will spend the rest of the day walking around, relaxing and drinking wine, and so we did.
On Sunday we woke up at 6 am and went to the old town again hoping that there won’t be so many people around. And we were right! We only came across some runners and a couple of photographers. It was perfect!
Let’s check it out!
Colmar is well known as ‘the Little Venice’ which is the name given to the course of the river Lauch in the city. There are many bridges across the river from where you can admire colorful Alsace houses.
You can go on a boat trip but when I saw the queue on Saturday afternoon, I didn’t think it was worth it. Of course, you would get to experience a different perspective from the boat but it’s pretty impressive from the ground too.
From the Little Venice we went to see the Fishmonger district which is just a few minutes away. It was interesting to walk through the city so early in the morning as we saw people who live there watering plants, cleaning windows (why would you clean windows so early anyway?) or reading newspapers (yes, I’m that crazy person looking through the windows). It was a completely different city and I enjoyed it much more than the day before.
This is the place where most of the professional fishermen and boatmen of Colmar lived in the past. In 1706 a huge fire destroyed more than forty houses in the district. These houses were restored in the period between 1978 to 1981.
On the other side of the bridge is the popular covered market hall. It was built in 1865 and renovated in 2010. It’s home to many stalls selling local products, fruits and vegetables. It was obviously closed this early in the morning but we saw it on Saturday and I can only recommend visiting this place if you get a chance to come to Colmar.
Each bridge was decorated with beautiful flowers. It was raining during the night so everything looked fresh and vibrant in the morning.
Here are some examples of various houses in the old town. All of them are colorful and many of them have some crazy decoration. It’s a lot of fun to walk around the old town and pay attention to small details.
There are so many streets and you can easily get ‘lost’ in the city for hours. All these places would be buzzing with life in a couple of hours.
The Koïfhus is one of the historically most important buildings in the city.
The house built between 1433 and 1480 used to be the former custom house. It was supposed to be demolished in the 19th century due to the bad condition but luckily it was renovated instead. I really like the tiles on the roof. This pattern makes me think of Spain or Portugal.
It had various functions over the centuries (for example – warehouse, school, discount bank, etc). Today, it is used for manifestations and other public activities.
There are many small canals around the city. It makes you feel like you were in a fairytale. It’s one of the most picturesque towns that I have ever visited.
If you ever visit Colmar, take your time and drive through the Alsace Wine Route to Strasbourg. It’s definitely worth to see!
I hope you have enjoyed our visit of this fairytale place!
Thank you for reading!