Founded in the 9th century, the capital of central Alsace is the very essence of romance with its magnificent pastel-painted half-timbered houses, cheerful flowering balconies, narrow cobblestone streets and pleasant canalside pathways.
Despite its modest size, Colmar boasts an impressive cultural heritage and unforgettable sights concentrated in its exquisitely preserved old town –the internationally-renowned Unterlinden Museum and its precious Isenheim Altarpiece, and the Dominican church housing famous paintings by Martin Schongauer to number a few.
The Old Town
Seemingly right out of a storybook, the old town is the perfect place to get utterly and completely lost. The romantic, old-world charm of Colmar will captivate you from the very first minute.
At every turn one is confronted by incredible beauty. The cute storefronts, the charmingly painted medieval houses and the beautiful facades decorated with old forged iron shop signs will defenitely delight you.
Built in 1609 for the shopkeeper Anton Burger and evoking the “golden age” of traders, La Maison des Têtes (House of Heads) is situated in one of Colmar‘s most distinct buildings. The renaissance-style building´s facade is covered with a myriad of heads and grotesque masks and a statue of Bartholdi.
Built in 1537 for the hatter Ludwig Scherer, the Pfister House is a jewel of Renaissance architecture. With its two-storey corner oriel, its wood gallery, its octagonal turret and its mural paintings depicting biblical scenes, the Pfister house is simply sublime.
The imposing Koifhus is the oldest public building in the city. Completed in 1480, the Old Custom House had a double function. The ground floor served as a warehouse and as a place of taxation for imported and exported goods. The upper floors were reserved for important meetings.
Dating back to the 13th and 14th century, the Église Saint-Martin is a major example of Gothic architecture in Upper Alsace and was made a historic monument in 1840.
Le Petite Venice is the name given to the course of the Lauch river. The flat-bottomed boats cruising the channel and the lovely flower-covered bridge give the charming city such a Venetian feel.
The fishmonger’s district is the area with brightly coloured, little half-timbered houses where the professional fishermen and boatmen of Colmar once lived. The fish were stored in ponds and sold in the district.
Designed in 1865, Colmar´s Couvert Marche (Covered Market) is the perfect place to discover the gastronomic delights of Alsace. Stands filled with flavourful cheeses definitely tempted us and ended buying some Vacherin du Haut–Doubs (a seasonal wooden-boxed cheese made from raw milk) to take back home.
The Magic Of Christmas in Colmar
The atmosphere which reigns at Christmas is absolutely unique. Always alive with concerts, exhibitions and other open air events, Colmar becomes a shining fairy-tale land at this time of the year.
When the night falls, The Old Town shimmers under the glow as the delightful fragrance of freshly baked ginger Bredle Christmas biscuits and mulled Alsace white wine waft through the alleys lulling everyone into the seasonal joy.
Colmar is home to one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. The traditional Christmas market is held actually in five different venues around the historic center of the city. Beautifully arranged, a multitude of châlets offer visitors traditional handcrafted goods as well as some of the finest Alsatian Christmas delicacies.
Hotel Le Colombier
Warmth, relaxation and refined designer decor reach every corner of the four star Hotel Le Colombier. Located right in the heart of the historic district “Little Venice” of Colmar, the intimate boutique-style hotel is the perfect place for a romantic break in the city.
Getting to Colmar by Train
There’s something undeniably romantic about travelling by train. It is the best way to absorb the rich culture and witness some of the country´s incredible landscapes.
Colmar can be easily reach by TGV train from the largest French and European cities. We departed from Paris train station at 12h55 and arrived in Colmar in 2h50m. The average travel time between Strasbourg and Colmar is 30 minutes.
Office de Tourisme de Colmar
32 cours Sainte Anne 68000 COLMAR
Tél.: +33 (0)3 89 20 68 92
Fax : +33 (0)3 89 41 76 99