Situated in Alsace, in the north east of France, Colmar is a unique blend of French and German culture.
With gingerbread houses lining the paved streets and flowers blooming from every windowsill, Colmar is one of France’s true hidden gems.
How to get to Colmar:
Colmar can be reached via regular trains from Paris, some require changing trains along the way. A direct train from Paris twice a day, see Eurail for more schedule information.
Reservation required on your train? What does that mean? What do I need to do? Check out more information on Train Reservations here.
How to get around:
The bus service runs throughout wider Colmar, from the train station into the central hub and beyond, however the main part of town is small enough to just wander from one side to the other. You’ll be surprised at how small it really is. Google Maps offers accurate bus timetable information.
Where to eat:
As you wander through the town you’ll start to notice the fusion of Germany & France; in architecture, way of life and food. Pretzel stands and sausage huts are common, as well as French patisseries and alfresco cafés.
While a little overpriced, the restaurants alongside the river are a definite must for the best atmosphere. Watch the small gondola style boats float by the flower-lined balcony edge, and enjoy a meal or an espresso in the afternoon sun.
Where to stay:
While Colmar is perfect for a day trip if you are in the neighbouring areas, if you do choose to stay, Air BnBs are your best bet. Hostels are few and far between and hotels fetch a pretty price-tag. I stayed with a lovely French lady Francine who taught herself English using Duolingo and was more than accommodating for my stay in the self-contained top floor of her flat.
Example daily budget in Colmar:
€55 per day
- Air BnB: €30 per night
- Ham & cheese croissant from grocery store: €3
- Pretzel and fruit for lunch: €5
- Espresso and macaroon at café: €5
- Postcards/souvenirs: €5
- Self-made meal at BnB: €7
How long to spend here:
While beautiful, Colmar is quite small so you won’t need longer than 1-2 days.
What to see and do:
Walk through the town, ride a ‘gondola’ through Little Venice passing by the restaurants on the rivers edge, and enjoy a pretzel under the blooming cherry blossoms and write out a postcard while enjoying an afternoon espresso in one of the many alfresco cafés.