The Little Venice of Colmar seen from Pont St Pierre © French Moments
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Last Updated: 27 January 2022


At the heart of the Alsace Wine Route, Colmar is very well located and while it may not be the capital of Alsace, it remains one of its top tourist destinations. The city has a rich architectural and cultural heritage that is impressive for its size (80,000 inhabitants in its metropolitan area).

Its numerous half-timbered houses neatly line the cobblestone streets and walkways, its peaceful canals giving it its reputation of the “Little Venice of Alsace”, its museums rich in altarpieces and artistic masterpieces of Gothic and Renaissance art, and its delicious restaurants offering some of the best cuisines in the region, are all the assets the city needs to perfect and maintain its international reputation.


Colmar: practical info

The Little Venice of Colmar seen from Pont St Pierre © French Moments
The Little Venice from Pont St Pierre © French Moments

You can easily spend 2 whole days in Colmar, particularly so as to appreciate the Colmar night tour: 900 light points give an original style and illumination to the city’s famous monuments and buildings. The illuminations take place all year round, from nightfall on Fridays and Saturdays and in the evenings of particular events (fairs, the music festival, Christmas). The Tourist Office regularly organises guided tours of the illuminated streets of the historic town, the “Lights Extravaganza”.

Visit our page on the Old Town of Colmar for more information.


Major events

Christmas time at rue des Marchands © French Moments

Christmas is a key event in Colmar and it is easy to feel it in the atmosphere thanks to the natural scenery of its districts. A clever path of light attracts the visitor and guides them across the five different Christmas markets in town.

The Colmar International Music Festival is a classical music festival that has become enormously popular in Europe since its creation in 1980.

Following your tour of the city, don’t forget to visit some of the villages along the Alsace Wine Route: Eguisheim, Riquewihr and Kaysersberg, which are located a few kilometres from the city centre.


How to get there

The Little Venice © French Moments

Colmar is easily accessible by car from Alsace’s main cities Strasbourg and Mulhouse, as well as from Lorraine (Nancy and Metz) and Franche-Comté (Besançon).

From Paris, take the N4 road (which is a dual carriageway from Vitry-le-François to Nancy), and then the expressway from Nancy to Saint-Dié des Vosges.

If you travel from Australia you could take a flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle, Zurich or Frankfurt Airports and rent a car from there.

The TGV from Paris-Gare de l’Est takes just over 2 hours to Strasbourg, and some TGV continue their route to Colmar.

For more practical info, visit the Colmar Tourist Board website.

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About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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