Day Trip to Colmar from Strasbourg
Colmar is a town in the Alsace region of France, close to the border of Germany. It’s a much smaller town compared to Strasbourg. Very similar feel to it yet different when compared to Strasbourg. As mentioned in my earlier post about our stay in Strasbourg, after some research, we decided to stay in Strasbourg and do a day trip to Colmar on Saturday.
How to get to Colmar from Strasbourg
If you haven’t rented a car, you can get to Colmar from Strasbourg by either bus or train. We decided to take the train which was only a ~35minute ride from Strasbourg. We booked our train tickets ahead of time on Trainline.com to make sure we had tickets and also not to worry about buying tickets at the station on the day of. We paid about 15-20 euros per person for roundtrip tickets. You can probably snag cheaper tickets if you book your tickets online even earlier than we did.
We left Strasbourg around 9am and got to Colmar right before 10am. Our returning train was around 4pm, so we spent about a total of 6 hours or so in Colmar, which we thought was sufficient to enjoy the town. It’s a small little town so you don’t need a lot of time to walk around the whole town and see the main attractions.
La Petite Venise
Hands down the biggest attraction in Colmar is its La Petite Venise. If there is Petite France in Strasbourg, there is Petite Venise in Colmar. It was named after Venice, Italy for it being built around canals.
You can find fairytale-like colorful buildings around the canals and bridges. There were a few bridges that you can get a good view of the pretty architecture so check out all of them!
You can explore this area by foot or by boat and I recommend doing both!
TIP: Head to this area before 10:30am before the crowds. You will be able to get good pictures on the bridges without fighting the crowd. Also, do the boat tour in the morning as well to enjoy the boat ride on your own instead of sharing it with other tourists. You can find boat owners offering rides near this area. We were able to ride the boat on our own and get a personalized 20-30minute tour and the tour guide offered to take lots of photos for us! Later during the day, we saw the same boats carrying 6-10 tourists at once!
Marche Couvert (Covered Market)
I always like to visit a local market when I go to new places - it’s always fun and exciting to see local ingredients! If you are like me, take a quick look at this old covered market in Colmar! This is in an old traditional building that served as a market since long time ago.
There’s also a few restaurants in here where you can grab a drink and some food as well. If the weather is nice, grabbing some bread and wine for a picnic outside would be great too! You can probably also find some goodies here to take back as souvenirs!
Not too far from Petite Venise, you can find the Old Town of Colmar. Affter grabbing lunch, we walked around the Old Town admiring the unique architecture of this area. There’s museums, restaurants, cafes, shops, and more!
As you wander around Old Town, you will come across this cute square area with a fountain in the middle. Though the Disney Classic “Beauty and the Beast” got its inspiration from two other towns nearby called Riquewihr and Rebeauville in the Alsace region, it’s also said that it drew inspiration from this cute town of Colmar. Belle’s hometown in the movie showcases colorful homes, cobblestone streets, and fountains which you can find all over in Colmar. This particular fountain is very similar to the fountain scene in Belle’s hometown!
Also, the famous animation movie “Howl’s Moving Castle” also got its inspiration from Colmar. You can find a lot of side-by-side pictures online that show the similarities between the movie scenes and Colmar.
Everywhere you go in Colmar, you might think you are in some Disney fairytale! Just simply walking around in this quaint town will give you a totally different French experience!