Taking a Colmar day trip from Strasbourg is the best way to experience the beautiful Alsace region of France. Explore Colmar with these top things to do.
It’s hard not to teleport instantly into one of Disney’s movies when you walk into Colmar.
Half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, and the smell of meat wafting through the streets. It’s everything you imagined the Disney towns to be.
Those reasons are why Colmar is one of France’s most picturesque villages and why you need to visit. With unique attractions, a fairy-tale vibe, medieval buildings, and plenty of wine and food, it’s the perfect old village to spend a morning, afternoon, or a full-day trip!
And I’ll tell you exactly how to make the day trip from Strasbourg to Colmar in this post. How to get there, sightseeing and things to do, and other great towns nearby Strasbourg.
So, let’s begin.
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How to get from Strasbourg to Colmar
To start the day trip, you’ve gotta reach the town first, right?
There are three easy ways how to get to Colmar from Strasbourg:
- Book a tour from Strasbourg with an itinerary
- Take the train
- Drive yourself
I put these in rank from easiest to hardest (although none are particularly difficult).
Book a tour from Strasbourg with an itinerary
This option is the simplest.
Book a tour online or in the city, and they’ll take care of all the dirty work.
There are a few options available, but the most popular is through Ophorus. They offer a few tours of the Alsace region’s wine route and vineyards. This option is a great way to experience the area around Colmar because it’s surrounded by vineyards.
But Ophorus also offers a Colmar-specific day trip tour, one of the most highly rated, so it’s worth checking out.
Otherwise, within the city, you can find tour agencies to book an excursion on every street corner. Most of them include the Alsace wine route as a part of the package.
But it’s not bad getting to try some Alsace wines while you tour these small towns.
Take the high-speed train
This option is what I prefer as it gives a more local experience.
The trains in France are easy to navigate. And it’s even easier to buy tickets.
Plus, there’s only one train station, and it’s easy to find.
I purchased my tickets through Trainline and had zero issues. The prices seemed to be competitive with other services I compared it to also.
The Strasbourg to Colmar train line departs around 42 times daily and takes about 40 minutes. Tickets are usually approximately $30-40 in total.
It’s best to leave Strasbourg in the morning. That way, you can maximize time to explore. Typically, the earliest trains leave at 6 am and 8 am.
When you arrive in Colmar, the center is just a short distance from the station. The walk takes a roundabout time of 10-15 minutes.
I put this as the most difficult because I’m assuming if you’re visiting, you don’t have a car.
Renting a car will also be the most expensive option, depending on your usage.
If you plan on visiting multiple places along the German and French border, this is a great option to move at your own pace. If not, consider one of the above options.
From Strasbourg to Colmar takes around an hour, and you’ll follow A35.
Best things to do on a Strasbourg to Colmar day trip
It’s hard to know where to begin with this little town near the Rhine.
There are many fantastic main attractions and things to do when visiting Colmar from Strasbourg. Here’s Colmar, France’s things to do:
- Walk around Little Venice
- Take a cruise on the canal
- Tour the Unterlinden Museum
- Stroll Colmar’s Old Town
- Enjoy the views from the Pfister House
- Eat and drink all the food and wine you can
- Picnic in one of the beautiful parks
- Visit the different churches
Keep in mind there are plenty more things to do in Colmar, France, but this list would be endless.
So, I’ve cut it short to list the top Colmar things to do.
1. Walk around Little Venice
Little Venice (Petite Venise) is a storybook that’s come to life, and that’s why it’s the most popular tourist destination and a must-see in Colmar.
Located in the city’s historic center, Little Venice is the perfect place to stroll around, take plenty of pictures, admire the half-timbered houses lining the Lauch River, and just watch life pass by. You may even see a boat passing through one of the canals full of people.
Which, speaking of…
2. Take a cruise on the canal
Want a unique way to see Colmar and its surroundings? You got it.
The boats are great for kicking back and floating for about an hour. Attractive scenery, people’s chatter, and the occasional bridge will all pass by overhead. And it’s waiting for you to take it all in.
The boats are frequent, so you should be fine snagging a seat. But be sure to enjoy one of Colmar’s most unique transportation methods.
3. Tour the Unterlinden Museum
This museum is a piece of history in the middle of this beautiful village.
The museum is located in a former monastery and has an impressive art collection that dates back to the Middle Ages. If you’re a medieval and Renaissance art fan, this museum is a can’t-miss. You can even see some archaeology in the museum, such as a Roman mosaic.
Art fans rejoice. There’s plenty for you in this part of France!
4. Stroll Colmar’s Old Town
Need more strolling in Little Venice offers?
Then get your fill in Colmar’s most famous area — Old Town. With its quaint cobbled streets and renaissance-style buildings, and plenty of half-timbered houses in the area to add to the old feel. Plus, you can pop in and out of cafes, restaurants, and bars to fill yourself with Alsatian food and drink.
And you can wander the streets that Auguste Bartholdi used to use in the city centre. Who is that?
Well, Bartholdi’s most famous sculpture sits in the bay in New York City. That’s right. He was the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty and various other replicas in the US. So you can keep that in mind as you step on Colmar’s cobblestone streets.
You can even pop into the museum dedicated to his honor if you want to learn more.
Also the Unterlinden Museum is also located here, so you can combine these two to save time.
5. Visit the Pfister House
The Pfisterhaus may look like a medieval building from the outside, but it was an architectural marvel in its heyday.
Dating back to the 16th-century, it’s one of the oldest houses in Colmar. So that’s fascinating in its own right.
Today it’s a museum. And you can visit it to learn about Colmar’s history and view some original furniture and paintings from its past.
Which leads to where it got its name.
Although it was built in the 1500s, the house owes its name to the family that restored it in the 1800s and continued living there.
So, naturally, the name stuck.
6. Eat and drink all the food and wine you can
Want to become Alsatian in a day? Then indulging in as much of its wine and food as possible is a must!
From the hearty dishes consisting of meats to lighter sides with veggies, you’ll find a dish from Alsace you love. And a meal without a glass of the Alsation world-famous wine? That’s a big no-no.
And no meal is complete without a nice helping of Tarte Flambée (one of my favorite dishes).
So eat until your belt snaps and drink until wine spills out your mouth — you deserve it.
7. Picnic in one of the beautiful parks in Colmar
Colmar’s attractions and buildings are plenty charming.
But what often gets overlooked is its bright green parks.
For example, the Parc de la Bruche is one of the most popular parks in Colmar, and it is perfect for a picnic. With a large pond, plenty of trees and flowers, and even a playground for children, it’s the ideal place for families.
Some restaurants and cafes are nearby if you want to refuel before tackling your next expedition!
8. Visit the different churches
The town’s churches draw plenty of visitors in peak season.
In total, there are five:
- St. Martin’s Church
- The Dominican Church
- Chapel of the Colombe
- Saint Matthew’s Church
Each church is interesting in its own way. For example, St. Martin’s Church and The Dominican Church were built between the 13th and 14th centuries!
Luckily, many churches are in the areas you’ll already be visiting, so it’s just a quick pop inside and won’t take much time.
Best times to visit Colmar and the Alsace region
Is there a wrong time to visit?
Each season you can find plenty of things to do and events in the village.
But, the best times to visit are in the spring and fall, when the weather is a bit cooler and the scenery is really in bloom. Summer gets hot and humid. So, if you’re not a fan of sweating everywhere you go, it’s best to avoid these months.
If you’re a Christmas Lover, it’s hard to pass up Colmar in December. The village celebrates Christmas with huge markets, decorations, and festivities. So this is the place for you.
But, all in all, no matter when you visit, it’s sure to be excellent.
Other great places to visit on a day trip from Strasbourg
You didn’t think Colmar was the only place to visit, did you?
Of course not! There is plenty more to see in the Alsace area, and here are some other great day trips from Strasbourg!
Riquewihr is a small village about 20 minutes from Colmar and an hour from Strasbourg.
Snuggled up against the Vosges Mountains, this village is known for its jaw-dropping scenery and unique architecture.
It’s also home to more wineries than you can visit (like much of the Alsace region), making it the perfect place to further indulge in your wine obsession. Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, and more. You name it. It’s here.
And as a fun fact, Riquewihr was the inspiration for Belle’s town in Beauty and the Beast. Nothing like visiting a city that inspired a classic movie.
If you’re looking for another charming French town to add to your day trips from Strasbourg, France, put Riquewihr near the top!
Does anyone visit these places and think, “I could live here”?
Kayserberg is no different. It’s a beautiful town pushed right up against a hillside and has plenty of historic buildings and monuments to keep you busy. But, if shopping is your thing, there are plenty of shops and restaurants to meander through to spend an afternoon.
There’s also a large square where you can buy produce or other goods. Or, you can just sit back and watch the locals go about their daily lives.
Nothing like a medieval-era town to cap things off in France.
If you don’t know Eguisheim, you’ve probably seen pictures of it.
This small town is known for its beautiful houses and vineyards. For hours, you could stroll down its claustrophobic streets, gaze out at the nature surrounding the area, or just sit back with a big glass of wine! (If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of wine)
After that, you can stop in a few of the churches or museums and finish up with some shopping.
Basel is actually a city in Switzerland!
But it’s only a short train ride away from Strasbourg, so it’s still great for a quick visit.
If you’ve grown tired of the smaller-town feel, then Basel is a good antidote. While not a huge city, it will still have way more life than the Alsatian villages. Whether you’re looking for nightlife, fine dining, or simply bask in city life, It’s a great and quick getaway from Strasbourg.
The train ride takes around an hour and a half one way, so plan ahead so you have the opportunity to get the most out of your time!
So, what other cities in France should you take advantage of?
This is one way to see Colmar in one day. And I hope this guide helps you see this old beautiful city.
But there are plenty of Strasbourg day trips to choose from.
And I’m curious to hear from you and your experience. What cities or towns should everyone visit for their next Strasbourg, France, day trips? Or, what major cities are a can’t miss in France? Let me know in the comments!