A Weekend Trip to Colmar // France

“Little Town, It’s a Quiet Village…” Did anyone else love Belle from Beauty and the Beast as much as me? Maybe it was because she had brown hair or maybe it was because she loved reading, but I think Belle is still one of my favorite Disney princesses. You can imagine my excitement when I finally got to visit Colmar, France – the inspiration behind the village in Beauty and the Beast! It’s been a bucket list item for me for many years and definitely did not disappoint. I had a perfect weekend trip to Colmar and can’t wait to visit the region again. I might have gone a bit overboard with all the photographs but I just couldn’t help it! Everything was so beautiful.

Weekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerFrom a historical perspective, Colmar and the entire Alsace region are extremely fascinating. First mentioned in the 9th century, the city of Colmar was declared a free imperial city in 1226 by the Holy Roman Emperor. After adopting the Protestant Reformation, the city was conquered by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years’ War.

However, Colmar’s modern history doesn’t really begin until 1673 when the French conquered the city. After the creation of Germany in 1871, the entire Alsace region (including the city of Colmar) were claimed by the Germans. The city remained German until it was given back to the French after WWI (although President Wilson strongly advocated for the entire region of Alsace to be a self-ruling region). The Germans occupied, although never officially annexed, Alsace during WWII and the region was returned to France after WWII. While Alsace has been French now for 70 years, the architecture and food of the region still pays homage to its German past.

RELATED POST:  Gingerbread Houses with a Side of Milk // Goslar

Weekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerAlsace cuisine is based around the local wines, including Rieslings my favorite!) There are actually lots of wine tours that go through the region along the Rhine River! Flammkuchen (French: Tarte flambée), similar to a really thin pizza, is the staple food in Alsace and one of my favorite foods! I got a meal for 15 Euros that included a Flammkuchen along with 5 wine samples from the region. You can definitely eat very well in Colmar ;)

Weekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerThe above pictures are from my favorite neighborhood in all of Colmar. Nicknamed “Little Venice,” this quarter is lined with brightly-colored, half-timbered houses. It used to be a trading and market area frequented by market gardeners, fishmongers, butchers, and tanners. Because the city was relatively untouched and undamaged during the two World Wars, the entire old city (including Little Venice) is well preserved. I could have spent all day wandering around the hidden corners and streets of Little Venice!

Weekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With Wagner
Weekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerYou’re probably wondering why there is an image of the Statue of Liberty on Colmar’s streets! The sculptor of the Statute of Liberty, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was born in Colmar and the city is very proud of that fact! There is actually a (much smaller!) replica of the Statue of Liberty in Colmar.

RELATED POST:  7 Most Adorable Villages in Normandy

Also, I’m obsessed with all of these outdoor cafes lining the waterway. I definitely regretted eating dinner before arriving in this part of town! I might have also regretted not taking a boat tour earlier in the day, especially because it was so hot and humid!

Weekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerI might have lingered around this exact spot for several minutes while I waited for the *perfect* golden light to appear. Bonus points, the swans from the earlier photos of Little Venice REAPPEARED right as I was leaving! I had a really hard time pulling myself away from this quaint spot!

Weekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerWeekend Trip to Colmar via Wayfaring With WagnerThese are just some of the additional side streets in the Old Town, so bright and colorful! I really had the most perfect weekend trip to Colmar, France and can’t wait to bring the Prince back here (he was studying for final exams and couldn’t join!).

TIPS + HINTS:

  • Colmar has a great train station that easily connects to Germany, Strasbourg, Paris, etc.
  • Wander around Little Venice and the Old Town area of Colmar – untouched during the two World Wars
  • Eat as much Flammkuchen (French: Tarte flambée) and regional wine as possible (I prefer a Riesling – important to note that European Rieslings are not as sweet as American Rieslings)
  • If possible, take a day trip to one of the neighboring towns (I would suggest Kaysersberg) or join a wine tour through the region.
  • I had a fantastic dinner at this restaurant: http://www.restaurant-koifhus-colmar.fr (order the Flammkuchen with 5 regional wine samples for under 15 Euros)
  • If you have enough time, make sure to take a boat cruise through Little Venice!
  • I stayed at Hotel Kyriad Colmar. The location was halfway between the Old Town area of Colmar and the train station. It wasn’t anything fancy but it was quite nice (although there was no AC and it was so hot!!!)

SHARE THE LOVE AND PIN IT!

Going on a weekend trip to Colmar, France? These are the best things to do in the beautiful city of Colmar!
Going on a weekend trip to Colmar, France? These are the best things to do in the beautiful city of Colmar!
Going on a weekend trip to Colmar, France? These are the best things to do in the beautiful city of Colmar!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Colmar is such a marvelous little town! It must have felt like stepping into a fairy tale when you came here. This place has been on my bucket list for so long and your article really tickles my travel mood again. Absolutely love the photos!.

  • I am obsessed with each and every single one of your photos! Colmar is still on my bucket list and your post has made me even more keen on going. As a side note, it would have been pretty cool if Alsace could have become a self-ruling region!

  • This little place is going so high up on my list of places to see! Beautiful! It’s like a perfect little movie set. I love it and I haven’t even been there yet haha.

  • I can’t even deal with how freaking gorgeous these photos are! I’m DYING to visit Colmar. If I get 1 photo as beautiful as yours I’d die happy!

  • I visited Colmar for a day on my study abroad trip years ago. It was such a cute and colorful little town. I would love to go back with Eddie someday and spend a little more time there! I will have to save your guide for Inspiration!

  • Oh my goodness, this place is a dream!!! Absolutely loved your photos, they truly captured the charm of this town. Cannot wait to explore it myself!

  • I can absolutely see the similarity between this place and the little town in Beauty & the Beast. Such wonderful buildings and scenery! Thanks so much for recommending it :)

  • I didn’t realize that Colmar was the inspiration behind Beauty & The Beast! It’s also one of my top Disney movies– mostly because of Belle’s book obsession!! The Little Venice area is also absolutely stunning! I will definitely be keeping this on my radar for the next time I’m in France! Thanks for the fantastic round-up!

  • Colmar looks so lovely! I do like the Alsace region and was in Colmar once years ago – my host family took me to the art museum where I underappreciated the Isenheimer Altar (kicking myself years later when I realized what I’d been looking at!). More recently we only drove through it for lack of time to stop. What a shame! Your photos are truly beautiful and make me want to go back at the next opportunity. Interesting that you mention Riesling in America being sweeter. Good tip – I can tolerate it here in Germany (though I still prefer drier wine), but in the US I just can’t drink it. I did not realize Colmar was the inspiration for the BatB village!

  • This place is a photographer’s paradise! I’d happily spend a week in Colmar just walking around and taking photos.

    Oh, and I love Flammkuchen – I had it for lunch almost every day when I was Germany :) I didn’t know that it’s also popular in France.

  • This little town looks like it’s straight out of a Disney fairy tale! And you’re right, Belle would fit right in! I love the lesser known towns and cities in Europe. I Guess Colmar will have to be on my list. Especially for Riesling!

  • Oh my gorgeousness – could this town (with all its flowers!) + your photos be any more beautiful? No! What a great weekend trip! I have been imagining a trip there (or maybe Strasbourg?) for awhile – would you recommend one over the other?

  • I went there last year and to be honest, wasn’t too impressed because there were SO MANY people and everything seemed extremely touristy (also, as a well-traveled European, I was not too impressed with all the architecture because I’ve seen it hundreds of times. This is not being snobby, it’s just a fact).
    However, I have to admit that after reading your article and seeing your stunning photos, I REALLY should give Colmar another chance and take someone with me who hasn’t seen it and will be impressed :)

  • I love half timbered houses so much! They look like they come straight out of a fairy tale. Never knew Colmar had so much charm as well. Saving this for later <3

  • OMG this surely looks like a village from The Beauty and the Beast. I love such cute towns and I am definitely putting it on my bucket list. Thanks for showing me this little town