Colorful streets, pretty buildings, and scenic canals are the main reason thousands of tourists visit the medieval village of Colmar in France. The village resembles a town straight out of a Disney storybook and is an inspiration for many fairy tale films loved worldwide.
Located in-between Germany and France, the medieval village of Colmar is a “must-visit” destination for travelers looking to enjoy a unique and fulfilling holiday. If you are planning to visit Colmar soon, consider visiting during the peak season which is in December and late November.
Top attractions to visit in Colmar
Traveling to Colmar would be incomplete without visiting the well-known sights that are spread all over the village. These sights display the history and culture of the town giving visitors a chance to have an in-depth understanding of the going-ons within the township.
Although the attractions in Colmar are many, some of them stand out from the rest and are worth visiting. Here are some of these “must-visit” attractions in Colmar.
House of Heads or Maison Des Tetes
The oddly named House of Heads is one of the most visited attractions in Colmar. The building which has over one hundred head sculptures on the front, looking down at onlookers has been part of the landscape since 1906.
It was initially put up for a well-known merchant and the mayor of the town in the 17th century, Anton Burger. However, it was later restored making its final look pleasing to those visiting the site.
At the top of the building is a statue that acts as the crown which was a brainchild of Bartholdi in 1902. The other statues are spread across the facade of the building making it stand out on the street.
Besides the heads, the building has uniquely shaped windows that vary in width and position. Currently, the House of heads is home to some of the famous restaurants in the medieval village of Colmar. These restaurants offer wonderful cuisines and are worth every penny for tourists that visit the village.
The Little Venice of Colmar
Arguably the most eye-catching part of Colmar, Little Venice is located where River Lauch separates from the main canal.
Initially, it was a quarter that hosted fishmongers, tanners, and winemakers that resided next to the water. On either side of the river are half-timbered houses that can be seen when standing on the two bridges.
If you are looking to experience a full village atmosphere, then a visit to Krutenau district that was home to a corporation for market gardeners.
Boat trips are one of the best ways to discover the unforgettable setting provided by Little Venice of Colmar. The canal tour is done using gondolier boats that allow visitors to enjoy a Venetian feel while passing next to stunningly restored houses.
Besides the canal tour, tourists can also visit the fishing quay where fishermen sold fish that were captured in the river. The quay is accessible using a bridge that connects to Tanneurs Street.
The Bartholdi Museum was first the home of Auguste Bartholdi, a sculptor that was known for creating several impressive statues.
The statues include those of Schwendi Fountain, General Rapp, and Maertin Schongauerwasset up across the town with some being displayed in the museum alongside other works of the artist.
When walking through the building, tourists can interact with photographs, family furniture, engravings, souvenirs, paintings, models, and drawings. These artifacts displayed in the three-story museum give visitors a chance to look deep into the life of the sculptor.
Besides the artifacts displayed in Colmar, Auguste Bartholdi is credited with the creation of the Statue of Liberty which is a famous landmark in the United States. In France, he has also been credited with two famous emblems in the country. These emblems are the monumental Lion of Belfort as well as a statue of Vercongetorix which is located within Clermont-Ferrand.
Best outdoor activities
Spending time outdoors is a great way of exploring the medieval village of Colmar and relaxing as well. The town has a lot of outdoor activities that can be done alone or with groups when on vacation. Here are some things to do when in Colmar.
Walk Through Champ de Mars Park
Champ de Mars is a popular public park in Colmar and is used for military parades and other national ceremonies. It is a peaceful haven located right at the center of the town that tourists love to visit when in the village.
Walking through the park reveals expansive green areas that include tall trees that line the walkways. It also has many benches that give visitors to revel in the shade provided by the trees.
Statues of famous people in Colmar are also spread across the alleys of the park which include one of General Rapp as well as Fontaine Bruat. These statues were the creation of Bartholdi, a famous sculptor whose museum stands in Colmar as well. A fountain also stands in the middle of the park enhancing its appearance and making it very welcoming.
If you are traveling with children, you can take them to their dedicated playground within the park, and later they can enjoy drinks at kiosks next to the Carousel Salon.
Relax at Base Nautique
After exploring Colmar for an entire day, you can take a break by visiting Base Nautique. The boating center is an expansive property that consists of a beach with fine sand plus dedicated spaces for various leisure activities.
Spending time in the clear lake is a great way to cool off by swimming and getting involved in other water activities. The facilities are world-class with large changing booths and spotless toilets.
If traveling with children, you are all set when at Base Nautique because of the facilities that are designed for kids. The children’s slides are within a wooded area just a short walk from the main facility area.
Parents can also enjoy viewing different activities taking place at the boating center. A snack bar is also part of the facility making it easier to buy food to eat while at the center.
Best day trips from Colmar
Although the medieval village of Colmar is an exciting place to explore, taking a day trip away can be a great way to take a break. Some of the best locations to visit around include Eguisheim and Riquewihr.
Eguisheim is near Colmar on the Southwest and is easily accessible by both public and private means. For an adventure, you can cycle to the town from the train station and through open fields to get to the town.
The picturesque village is considered one of the most favorite towns in France with a castle and ring roads that circle the town. Walking around the town and learning more about its history is made possible with plaques placed across the village.
Riquewihr is another excellent location for a day trip in the eastern side of France. It has beautiful cobbled streets lined with tasting rooms and half-timbered shops selling wine.
Au Petite Delice is a “must-visit” for dessert lovers as they serve tasty chocolate macaroons that leave you wanting more. The region also has many landmarks that are worth visiting like the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg among others.
Colmar holds several events throughout the year which can be fun for tourists visiting the medieval village. Some popular events include the Colmar international festival, Alsace wine fair, and Alsatian folklore evening ( May to September, every Tuesday evening ) among others.
Where to Stay in the Medieval Town of Colmar?
If you’ve already decided to give Colmar a try, then finding a great accommodation isn’t hard.
Besides its lovely charm, Colmar is not that expensive. But, depending on the time you choose to visit, it might get a bit pricey. As a consequence, it’s always best to book in advance and enjoy the perks of discounts!
Booking a room in Colmar’s City Center
If you want to be right in the middle of it all, then Hotel Saint-Martin is just 350m from the city center. Situated right in the heart of the beautiful medieval town, its charm fits right in the landscape.
Non-smoking rooms, pet friendly, a very good breakfast and a wonderful view – that’s what you get!
You will also find great accommodation spots near the city’s center if you book a room at the cosy Mercure Colmar Centre Unterlinden (250m) or a historical apartment at L’ambassadeur
If you can’t decide on the location, then a map of the best available booking spots in Colmar is just below.
Have a safe trip and enjoy!
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