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16 Best Things to Do in Colmar, France

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Good news if you’re looking for activities in the beautiful Alsace region of Eastern France! Colmar, one of the most charming towns on the Alsatian wine route, offers many fun and exciting things to do. Visitors can visit museums, landmarks, restaurants, and more.

The charming French town of Colmar, known for its colorful houses, is a vibrant old town with examples of medieval buildings, Art Nouveau and Alsatian Renaissance architecture at its best, an impressive network of underground passages, and magnificent open-air art exhibitions.

Charming Colmar: Historic Half-Timbered Houses and Al Fresco Dining in Alsace, France. Quaint streets, vibrant flower-adorned houses, and cozy outdoor cafes in historic Colmar.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Notably, Colmar has a great love for food, and you can enjoy incredible Alsatian food in France at the town’s various restaurants, Colmar International Festival, the Alsace Wine Fair, pepper harvests, fishmonger’s district, crisscrossing the orchards, and vineyards, or even find yummy game or mushrooms in the forests.

Things to Do in Colmar, France

1. Restaurant La Soï

Front and entrance of Restaurant La Soï in Colmar, France
Ruth L / TripAdvisor

Address: 17 Rue des Marchands, 68000 Colmar, France

Tasting excellent new cuisine is always the best part of traveling, and Alsatian food in France is incredible. Alsace and neighboring German areas are famous for their Tarte Flambée, one of the most renowned specialties in the Alsace region.

Restaurant La Soï is well known for serving this delectable cuisine and other classic French and regional fare examples, such as foie gras, in a charming setting. Aside from the well-known Tarte Flambée, the restaurant also offered its customers scrumptious sweet delicacies from pies, fruitcakes, and parfaits.

Restaurant La Soï also offers a superb selection of wines that pair perfectly with their menus. This establishment’s comfortable ambiance allows clients to unwind after a long day at work or exploring Colmar’s attractions.

Restaurant La Soï’s charming décor and atmosphere, as well as its delightful cuisine, make it a worthwhile experience for everyone who wishes to eat well in Colmar. However, it can get pretty full quickly, so making dinner reservations is a good idea.

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2. Domaine Robert Karcher et Fils

Wine Barrels from Colmar, Alsace

Address: 11 Rue de l’Ours, 68000 Colmar, France

No Colmar itinerary is complete without sampling some Alsace wines! Domaine Robert Karcher et Fils is a key site on the Alsace wine route, a winery known for producing traditional Alsace wines, including Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris.

A trip to Colmar would be incomplete without sampling some exquisite wines from the Alsace wine region. Of course, the Alsace Region is famous in France for its prolific production of superb wines.

The winery is a family-owned establishment that welcomes wine lovers to sample their superb wines and enjoy their beautiful surroundings. In addition to producing exquisite wines, the vineyard is a lovely place to visit in the city because it provides individual and group guided tours of the grounds and facility and several complimentary Alsace wine tastings.

You can take in the beauty of the vineyard and the splendor of the Alsace River as a backdrop to your visit. After the tour, one of the most exciting parts of visiting a winery is tasting various wines.

3. La Petite Venise

Charming La Petite Venise canal view in Colmar, France, with vibrant half-timbered houses and al fresco dining under pastel umbrellas, capturing Alsace's traditional architecture and romantic atmosphere.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Quai de la Poissonnerie, 68000 Colmar, France

La Petite Venise de Colmar, known as the Little Venice, is one of Colmar’s top attractions. The nickname comes from the original line of medieval buildings parallel to the Lauch River, representing a miniature version of Venice.

Little Venice stretches from behind the Kofhus and continues through the fishmonger’s district before reaching the two magnificent bridges in Colmar, Rue Turenne, and Saint-Pierre.

Charming canalside view of La Petite Venise in Colmar, France, with half-timbered buildings and florals
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

This old town area was formerly home to a rural community of individuals, including farmers, gardeners, and local boatmen. It is now home to a major gardening-goods market and a popular tourist attraction.

Exploring and enjoying the beauty of Colmar’s half-timbered houses along the side of the Lauch River in Little Venice is one of the most pleasurable activities to do when visiting Colmar.

4. Unterlinden Museum

Front of the Unterlinden Museum, Colamar

Address: Pl. des Unterlinden, 68000 Colmar, France

Colmar is a beautiful old town with many stunning views and fascinating museums that detail the history and culture of the Alsace region in Eastern France.

The Unterlinden Museum is one of the best attractions to see on your trip if you want to know more about the area. It used to be a Dominican convent, which has since been transformed into an interesting museum.

The old Dominican convent houses the famous Issenheim Altarpiece in town and showcases a spectrum of local art and artifacts in its rooms. In addition to being a former convent, the museum was also a 19th-century public bath building.

The bathhouse is in a different structure but was connected and linked by an addition designed by Herzog & de Meuron, two famous architects. Unterlinden Museum also has a delightful cloister garden ideal for unwinding and sightseeing, and there’s a nearby orchard museum to explore. The museums also offer gastronomy and a shop that sells souvenirs related to the gallery’s exhibits.

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5. Musée du Jouet

Figurines in the Musėe du Jouet

Address: 40 Rue Vauban, 68000 Colmar, France

Are you traveling with your children? The Colmar Toy Museum is popular among both kids and kids at heart! The Musée du Jouet is a fantastic museum dedicated to children’s playthings, with many collections and exhibits on display.

A trip to this museum takes you back to your youth and shows the little ones what constituted entertainment back in the day!

The Toy Museum houses a variety of toys that date back to the 19th century and up to today. The museum’s collection of giant teddy bears, antique Barbie dolls, train sets, puppet shows, and large-scale board games are just a few of the exhibits.

The museum’s train network, which extends throughout the whole second level, is the main draw of the facility. The museum transports guests back in time and elicits a sense of nostalgia while touring its galleries. It also examines the history and background of toys and games.

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6. Fontaine Bruat

Fontaine du Bruat, Colmar, France

Address: 2 Av. de la Marne, 68000 Colmar, France

One of the most popular attractions in Colmar, the Fontaine Bruat, is one of several noteworthy landmarks and attractions to add to a day trip. It is also one of the most photographed.

Bruat Memorial Fountain is a captivating fountain built in 1864 to commemorate Admiral Armand-Joseph Bruat and is dedicated to his memory. Immediately in front of the fountain is the admiral’s statue, an exceptional work of art created by the great sculptor Auguste Bartholdi.

In addition to the fountain, there are two concentric circular basins on either side of the structure, with a bronze statue of Admiral Bruat in the center of the structure on either side.

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7. La Maison des Têtes – Relais & Châteaux

Relais & Châteaux La Maison Des Têtes
Management / Booking.com

Address: 19 Rue des Têtes, 68000 Colmar, France

It may take multiple days to uncover all of Colmar’s hidden gems and all of their splendor. An excellent place to stay is critical to maximize your visit and stay for an extended duration.

It isn’t easy to match the La Maison des Têtes – Relais & Châteaux for a fantastic hotel and restaurant with a lovely setting and delectable cuisine. It’s a magnificent mansion that dates back to 1609 and is situated on a cobblestone street. The estate has been renovated into a lovely hotel with well-appointed rooms.

They have standard wood-paneled rooms with a minibar, a flat-screen television, and a coffeemaker. Rooms with additional sitting areas, separate living rooms, and a whirlpool tub are also available.

Additionally, the lodging is adjacent to two of the city’s most popular attractions, the Château du Hohlandsbourg and the lovely Musée Unterlinden. Due to its dual function as a hotel and restaurant, this exceptional lodging includes a delicious complimentary breakfast.

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8. Parc du Champ de Mars

Parc Champ du Mars in Colmar

Address: Av. de la République, 68000 Colmar, France

The Parc du Champ de Mars is usually considered the city’s most significant and favorite public park. Here, guests can immerse themselves in the splendor of nature while participating in the activity of their choosing, be it picnics, frisbee, or a kickabout.

The park features a variety of outstanding amenities, including a playground, lovely walkways, and benches amidst stunning landscaping. The park’s Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi statues of General Rapp and Fontaine Bruat are among the most impressive sights to witness.

The park provides a calm ambiance for families to enjoy and bond, as well as a gorgeous and tranquil setting for a wonderful day in Colmar.

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9. Schwendi Fountain

Schwendi Fountain, Colmar, France
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 12 Pl. de l’Ancienne Douane, 68000 Colmar, France

Schwendi Fountain is a prominent tourist attraction that was damaged and virtually destroyed in 1940 during the opening stages of World War II. Nonetheless, it was repaired and renovated, with a statue of General Lazare Schwendi serving as the fountain’s centerpiece.

Lazare Schwend was an elderly nobleman and war chief who fought the Turks in Hungary. The fountain is a popular gathering point near the town’s Place de l’Ancienne Douane, a lively and bustling city section. The fountains are a stunning sight and a monument to Colmar’s history and beauty.

Schwendi Fountain, Colmar, France: Historic landmark with bronzed statue, vibrant flowers, and half-timbered houses in old town district.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

One of the most enjoyable activities in Colmar is seeing the Schwendi Fountain, dropping a coin in it, and making a wish.

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10. St Martin’s Church

A Tower in St Martin's Church, Colmar

Address: 18 Pl. de la Cathédrale, 68000 Colmar, France

Collégiale Saint Martin, or St Martin’s Church, is among the most popular Colmar attractions. It’s a Roman Catholic collegiate gothic church built between 1235 and 1365, found at the beautiful Place de la Cathédrale.

The church’s grand architecture, constructed of red and yellow stones in the style of a Latin cross, is a great example of the prominent Gothic architecture in the Alsace region.

When you visit Collégiale Saint Martin, you will be met with a variety of intriguing medieval sculptures on the church’s exterior. Additionally, you will no doubt be impressed by the church’s interior beauty.

The chapel is lavishly decorated with wonderful patterns, typical of medieval European Catholic churches. The stunning stained glass windows and ancient altars and statues tell biblical stories. Perhaps the most impressive item in the church is the magnificent Baroque organ.

11. Dominican Church

Outside Dominican Church in Colmar

Address: 3 Pl. des Dominicains, 68000 Colmar, France

A visit to the Dominican Church in Colmar is another of the most pleasurable things to do during your stay if you’re a fan of history and architecture. It is a historically and architecturally significant church built in the early 14th Century.

The church has become a landmark and a renowned tourist attraction for many who have visited Colmar. Along with St. Martin’s Church and Église Saint-Matthieu, Colmar’s Dominican Church is among the city’s most beautiful architectural structures.

The church, now a museum, is home to the Madonna of the Rosebush, also known as the Rose Garden, depicted on its façade. The Dominican Church’s interior is highlighted by the Isenheim Altarpiece, one of the church’s most striking pieces.

In addition to the saints and other sculptures inside the church, you can admire some beautiful paintings throughout the building.

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12. Église Saint-Matthieu

Outside the Eglise Saint-Matthieu

Address: 3 Grand Rue, 68000 Colmar, France

The Église Saint-Matthieu is one of Colmar’s many historic landmarks and magnificent churches, and it is a must-see for anybody visiting the city. It’s a Protestant church founded in 1292 and completed in the 14th Century. The church underwent multiple restorations before achieving its current appearance and beauty.

Aside from multiple restorations, the church is also used for a variety of purposes, including as a music venue due to its high ceilings and by the Lutheran community of Colmar, which first convened there in 1575.

Today, the church is regarded as one of the city’s most magnificent attractions. The collection of exquisite oil paintings that adorn the inside of Église Saint-Matthieu is one of the most prominent features of the structure. The church’s interior features include a large organ and an altar.

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13. Musée Bartholdi

Musée Bartholdi Statue

Address: 30 Rue des Marchands, 68000 Colmar, France

The Musée Bartholdi or Bartholdi Museum is a wonderful art museum. If you like wandering through art exhibitions, this is an excellent place to visit in town. The museum is devoted to the artist Auguste Bartholdi, who was born in Colmar and the man behind the construction of the Statue of Liberty.

The Bartholdi Museum is housed in the artist’s former residence, converted into a museum in 1922. The artist’s family belongings and many of his paintings, drawings, and photographs of himself are on display here.

You should definitely visit the museum and explore all three floors, which are brimming with Bartholdi’s artwork. In addition to the museum’s permanent collection of renowned artworks, a unique display features the crown jewels collection and original models for the Statue of Liberty and the Lion of Belfort.

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14. Marché Couvert Colmar

Marché Couvert Colmar

Address: 13 Rue des Écoles, 68000 Colmar, France

Colmar is home to the historic Marché couvert Colmar, which is open to the public. It is an enthralling and dynamic market hall that offers a diverse selection of goods to peruse.

Suppose you are ever hungry, in the market for ingredients, or interested in an adventure of Colmar shopping. In that case, this market hall is a town institution and a real eye-opener into what makes Colmar great.

The market, built in 1865, has served as the focal point of commerce in the town ever since. The market’s grounds are filled with a variety of vendors offering a diverse range of commodities, especially food.

At market stalls, vendors sell meat, dairy, veggies, various fruits, snacks, and bread. Additional shops at the market sell items other than food, such as souvenirs, mugs, antiques, and collectibles.

Although the Marché couvert Colmar is primarily a commercial venue, it hosts various events, notably Easter markets, concerts, and other musical events.

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15. Le Caveau Saint-Pierre

Le Caveau Saint Pierre, Colmar, France
Source: Tripadvisor

Address: 24 Rue de la Herse, 68000 Colmar, France

Enjoying Alsatian food is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Colmar. In Little Venice, near the Lauch River, there is a place that dates back to 1568 called Caveau Saint-Pierre that will have your tastebuds begging for more.

Eating specialties like foie gras while taking in the sights of half-timbered houses in Little Venice makes dining in the restaurant much more enjoyable. Grilled foods, tasty flambées, and other exquisite French fare are prepared and served in the hotel dining room.

There are plenty of things to do in Colmar, including tasting fantastic food and wine while visiting some of the best attractions in the city. Sign up for our free international travel newsletter to get the best travel recommendations and advice in your inbox.

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16. Museum of Natural History and Ethnography of Colmar

Dinosaur bone exhibit at Museum of Natural History and Ethnography of Colmar
Museum of Natural History and Ethnography of Colmar / Facebook

Address: 11 Rue Turenne, 68000 Colmar, France

I recently learned all about this amazing, underrated museum. It was founded in 1859 by scientists and public figures. It was first opened at the Unterlinden convent and later relocated to its current spot in a 500-year-old building.

You’ll find all sorts of preserved creatures here, mainly from the Vosges forests and Rhine Valley. Beyond the mammals, reptiles, fish, and amphibians on display, there are many minerals, rocks, and fossils from Alsace and the Vosges.

I asked Virginie Guichon, director of Communications and Cultural Programming, a bit about the highlights of the Museum and learned:

In 1998, the museum added “Ethnography” to its appellation since it houses large collections of Arts and Crafts from other cultures. It is also the only museum in Alsace showing sarcophagi and mummies from Ancient Egypt. Those rare items were collected by Alsatian travelers through the 19th century.

FAQs

Where is Colmar Located?

A beautiful example of a European city, Colmar is in Eastern France, the main town of the Colmar canton and arrondissement. It is part of Alsace, which has changed hands dozens of times between France and Germany over the last couple thousand years and has been inhabited since well before the Middle Ages.

Is it safe to vacation to Colmar?

Absolutely! It is a perfectly safe place to visit. Colmar has things for everyone. There are plenty of great things to do in Colmar, France, and while some things, like museums, will interest people more than others, it’s pretty hard to go wrong here.

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