Alsace Road Trip – Colmar France

Written by on September 18, 2012 in Alsace, My French Life

colmar houses

I couldn’t go to Alsace without a visit to Colmar – I’ve read so much about this place over the years and was really excited to be finally going…

We drove into the town and to be honest I was a little disappointed. After the beauty of towns like Riquewihr, St Hippolyte and Ribeauvillė amongst others, and – having seen plentiful photographs of Colmar and its splendid architecture I was surprised to find myself navigating heavy traffic in a very modern city!

colmar roof

We managed to park pretty easily in a municipal car park and followed signs for the Tourist Office. On the way there were a couple of nice buildings but nothing like what I’d imagined, it seemed very much a normal, modern, urban place. I made my way to the tourist office, grabbed a free town map and set off to find the sites which I’d read about – the Rue des Tanneurs, Quai des Poissoniers and Musée Bartholdi (the sculptor who designed the iconic Statue of Liberty).

As I walked it became evident that on entering the town of Colmar you go through the new area and then suddenly, you come smack bang into the old town… the place of dreams of numerous photographers the world over and it is really stunning.

Colmar town centre

It’s not quite as fairy-tale as Riquewihr, and there are modern infringements that I didn’t notice in Ribeauvillé, the road was being repaired on the famed Quai des Poissoniers which made photos a bit more of a challenge but it was an amazing place.  Everywhere you go there are historic reminders, fantastic architectural detail, the wonderful tall buildings in muted colours, stained glass windows, magnificent flower displays, ironwork on grand doors. sneaked into someone’s front garden to get a look at an amazing balcony and there was a plaque saying that Voltaire had lived there at one point.

Musee Bartholodi colmar

The architectural details are everywhere, you’ll have to look all around and up the tops of buildings not to miss anything.

It is very busy in the summer months in Colmar and also at Christmas when the whole town goes crazy for Noel, with fabulous decorations, Christmas markets and quite possibly a dusting of snow.

arcitecture of colmar

Colmar grew and grew on me as I walked around and took it in. Don’t be fooled by the modern exterior, head for the old town with its restaurants and bars, lovely covered market (daily) that on a Thursday extends into the streets around. To really appreciate this town, you’ll need to walk without rushing, giving you plenty of time to pop your head round the door of the boulangeries to ogle the cakes, and to look up as you go because the details on the old buildings are extraordinary and the hanging baskets are a joy.

Colmar is a fairy-tale looking town with a modern vibe.


Related Articles

Insider tips to help you make friends with the locals in France

Making friends in France isn’t difficult I’ve found. They don’t care if my French is not great or I get my grammar all wrong. They don’t even care that much that I am “Flop chef not Top Chef” and can barely grill a bit of French bread without spoiling it. But there are some things […]

Continue Reading

Mulhouse Train Museum | Cité du Train

When it comes to the Cité du train at Mulhouse, you don’t to be a train buff or train spotter, an anorak or a ferroequinologist (someone who studies trains) to get steamed up about a visit. This incredible museum is a fabulous place on so many levels. History, engineering, social history but overall – it’s […]

Continue Reading

Where to eat out in Strasbourg

Where to eat out in Strasbourg

Written by on August 6, 2019 in Alsace

If you love food – you’ll love Strasbourg. The city in the north east of France in the Alsace department takes its food, wine, cakes and desserts seriously. There’s a huge choice of restaurants to choose from. In the main tourist areas, they’re touristy of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean bad, you’ll get gorgeous views […]

Continue Reading

Instagrammable Strasbourg France

Instagrammable Strasbourg France

Written by on July 9, 2019 in Alsace

Keen to take Instagram-worthy photos in Strasbourg to share with your friends and family? Here are my top 10 recommendations of instagrammable Strasbourg: Petite France Pretty much anywhere in the Petite France area is like a fairy tale town scene but Place Benjamin-Zix is particularly photogenic. The medieval district on an island is gorgeous. Notre […]

Continue Reading

Cité de l’Automobile | Mulhouse Car Museum

If you think going to a car museum sounds like it might not be fun – when it comes to Mulhouse, in Alsace, northeast France, you couldn’t be more wrong. You absolutely don’t need to be a petrol head to enjoy the Cité de automobile, it is extraordinary, extravagant and extremely fascinating. History of the […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.