Colmar is a beautiful, elegant, pristine town! It is picturesque with lots of things to do. It is touristy but still fun to visit for a few days.
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Unfortunately, we did not experience the food or wine on this visit. Prices seemed unreasonably high for restaurants/cafes so we elected to use the local supermarket instead.
The town is stunning and full of history and art. It really makes you feel like you are in medieval times with the architecture and cobblestone walk paths.
Colmar is safe and comfortable. It is serine even walking around at night with the streetlights. The Airbnb we stayed at had all of the amenities we needed for an affordable rate.
The Colmar train station is centrally located and it is easy to walk to your accommodation. Destinations are all easily walkable and take 10 minutes or less to get to.
The mistaken Identity - How big is France really?
After leaving the doggos behind in La Coquille, we were headed by train to Colmar. If you know how big France is, you can see where this is heading. We left early in the morning from the tiny little town station to head to Vierzon to then transfer and head east across France. It should have been a 13 hour train journey. Well….nothing, absolutely nothing, went to plan because the train to Vierzon got cancelled with no other train scheduled.
So after trying to use our data to find other non-reservation trains that even remotely get us closer to Colmar, we were so happy we had Google Fi. With Google Fi Flexible plan, you can turn on and off data in 200+ destinations and you only pay for exactly what you use. If you are a digital nomad or traveler, we highly recommend this type of data plan. To get $20 off your first bill use our referral link when signing up:
After searching for any available trains that didn’t require a seat reservation it looks like we were headed to Dijon to pick up another train in the morning to get us to Colmar.
At this point we had to make a budget vs. comfort decision. It was either sleeping in the Dijon train station or getting an airbnb for the night. We didn’t want to double pay for the night as we had already booked our Colmar airbnb. Brad asked the station attendant if the station closes and she said yes so we had to book the airbnb. Luckily it was cheapish (cost below) and actually really nice.
Dijon - Yes, the mustard
We were soooooo happy we got to stop over here as we really wanted to try authentic Dijon mustard! We decided to take the 11am train so we could head out in the morning to take a quick grand tour of the town. There was a huge market: Les Halles Market, Place de la Liberation, a 1790’s monumental Gate (William gate), nice parks and mustard stores galore.
After stopping in to grab a little bit of Dijon mustard, we were headed back to the train station to take our 5 1/2 hour train to Colmar. Finally.
The most picturesque town in France! Fun fact; the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty was born in Colmar. We had an airbnb located between old town and the train station and it could not have been a better budget location. It is a quick walk down to the main historic center, the river, and the park.
The main draw of Colmar is the pastel colored half timbered buildings along the river. The town lights up around sunset as most houses and buildings have sconces hung between them or over the cobbled stoned streets. Something out of Thomas Kinkade’s collection!
During the day Little Venice (la Petite Venise) can be dauntingly busy as tourists flood from Strasbourg and Paris. But when the sun starts to set and the crowds head back, Little Venice is the only place to be. The street lights come on, the houses light up, and the bars and restaurants enjoy the nights’ patrons.
This “old town” area was the merchant hub of the city and the color of the houses indicated what they were selling. We enjoyed walking the streets and taking in the smell of fresh food that whafts the streets.
Unique Opportunities and Experiences for Colmar
Colmar is full of things to do! Below are the top experiences we recommend! Here is a much more in depth list with more detail.
- Cruise the Canal – The gondolas run regularly through the city. It costs about €10 per person for a half-hour ride.
- Shop at the Covered Market – Markets are always fun to go to! Pick up some fresh fruits, bread, and souvenirs!
- Relax in the park – Take a break from walking around the city and enjoy watching the world go by.
- Go wine tasting – You can rent a bike from the Colmar train station and ride to the Alsace wine route (7km away). There are 33 wineries along the route that love to share the local flavors. Who doesn’t love good French wine?
- Ride the train – There are 2 petite trains (green and white) in the city. Ride around and take in the views! Cute photos are a must.
Colmar Trip Cost Breakdown
AirBnB - Dijon
AirBnB - Colmar
Cost Saving Opportunities for COlmar
There are options for a canal tour of the city. It would have been nice, but I am happy we didn’t take a canal tour in Colmar as you can see everything just walking the street next to the canal.
There are restaurants and cafes all over the place! It can be really easy to spend boatloads of money trying all of the food. However, there is a local Carrefour city where we picked up some breakfast food and late night snacks to make in the airbnb. I would estimate, for the 3 days we were there, it saved us about $75-$100. Enough to cover the last minute booking in Dijon!
There are many paid tours, including trains that wheel you around the city. However, Colmar is a totally walkable city! There are FREE walking tours that you can take (though tips are recommended at the end) to really enjoy the city. Here are a few that you could catch. The town at night is stunning and perfect for pictures since most of the tourists have left by that time. Enjoy your adventure!
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