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Klein Venedig in Colmar, Bild: DaLiu / shutterstock

Colmar – in the heart of Alsace

Colmar is a picturesque little town near the German border. Walking through the streets of the city, you almost feel as if you are transported to the world of the Brothers Grimm and their fairy tales. The typical colorful half-timbered houses, the river Lauch that crosses the city and the charming squares make up the unique charm of the city. In Colmar, there are many ways to enjoy this magical atmosphere and learn about the history of the city. If you visit the city in December, you will experience one of the best Christmas markets in the world, with many typical Alsatian specialties and crafts.

If you are travelling to Colmar, we recommend that you travel by car. This allows you to stay flexible and also visit the nearby cities of Strasbourg and Freiburg. Use the route planner to check in advance how much time you need to consider for the excursions.

The following sights and attractions of the city in Alsace should not be missed during your visit:

1. Little Venice, a must-see in Colmar

Little Venice is the name given to the neighborhood that sits right on the banks of the River Leek. Its shores are lined with dozens of colorful Alsatian buildings that form a picturesque backdrop. It may lack the vastness of the Venetian canals, but this does not detract from the charm of the district! A must in Colmar is a leisurely walk through the district to enjoy the special atmosphere. If you want to see it from a different perspective, there is also the possibility of taking a boat trip.

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2. Visit to the Unterlinden Museum

Getting around Colmar
Out and about in the streets of Colmar, Image: DS_93 / shutterstock

The Unterlinden Museum is housed in a former monastery from the 13th century, which was specially converted for this purpose. The restoration of the building is truly remarkable, as it has preserved the essence of the ancient building without sacrificing a modern touch. Hundreds of works of art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance can be seen here. But there is also a small department for modern art, with big names like Picasso. Admission costs €13 (as of February 2022).

3. With great attention to detail at Maison Pfister

This quirky Renaissance house is a must-see in Colmar. The Maison Pfister was built in 1537 as the residence of a wealthy merchant who had become wealthy by exploiting the nearby silver mines and showed great taste in the design of his house! The façade is decorated with murals depicting biblical scenes. And as if that wasn’t enough, the projecting tower and the wooden gallery give the whole thing a special touch. A must see in Colmar, not only for architecture fans.

4. Shopping in the covered market of Colmar

Fancy a typical Alsatian delicacy? At the covered market in Colmar, you will find several stalls with different types of food. There is no shortage of cheeses, breads and typical pastries. The market building was built in 1865 and has served as a multi-purpose hall for many years. In 2010, it returned to its commercial origins. Lovers of wine and cheese will get their money’s worth there.

5. Visit to the Collegiate Church of St. Martin

Colmar Christmas Market
Christmas market at the Dominiciers Square, Image: cge2010 / shutterstock

Right in the centre of Colmar is an impressive Gothic church. The construction of the Collegiate Church of Saint-Martin began in 1235, but it was not until 130 years later that the imposing structure was completed. During the last restoration in 1982, archaeological remains of a church from around the year 1000 were found. The place has therefore been the religious centre of Colmar for more than ten centuries! At the gate of the collegiate church, the free guided tour in English begins, taking you to the most important sights. A great way to learn about the history of the city. Seat reservations are requested.

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6. Souvenir shopping at Au Vieux Pignon

If you move away from the canals and continue towards the centre of Colmar along Rue des Marchands, you will find a small fairytale square at the very entrance to this street, which invites you to take pictures. The buildings there are all really worth seeing and add to the enchanted atmosphere, but in the background stands out the Au Vieux Pignon shop, a souvenir shop with a typical half-timbered façade and red doors in the windows. If you want to bring a souvenir from Colmar to your loved ones, you can’t avoid this time-honored shop.

7. A trip to the tanners’ quarter

Near the Place de l’Ancienne Douane, on Petite Rue des Tanneurs, is one of the most interesting districts of Colmar, the Tanners’ Quarter, a narrow street with tall houses dating back to the 17. and 18th century, in whose attics the craftsmen dried their skins. The alley invites you to stroll through and marvel at the old houses.

Result: Colmar is a wonderful city for a city trip, which has its charm in every season and has a lot to offer. Nevertheless, the autumn and pre-Christmas period is the ideal time to visit Colmar. The city has a Christmas market known beyond the borders of Europe, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.