The Medieval Fairy-Tale Town of Colmar

Exploring France’s medieval fairy-tale town of Colmar immediately transports you smack dab in the middle of Europe’s middle ages.

No, seriously, you’ll feel like you’ve walked right into one of your favourite European fairy tales (Beauty and the Beast maybe?). At least that’s how exploring this stunning old town made me feel.

Colmar is such a diverse blend of architecture, art and delicious cuisine that it’s hard not to experience sensory overload. Its history and culture are so well preserved that you can’t help but to be impressed by this charming little town. 

Colmar is the beautiful fairy-tale town in Alsace, France. Tourists flock to this medieval age town for good reason as the town boasts beautiful architecture, tasty food and awe-inspiring art. Colmar is even the best producer of wine in the region os Alsace! Travel to this quaint old town to explore all the splendid treats France has to offer!

A Bit About Colmar

This delightful old town is dated right back to the middle ages and has a rich history. Influences from Sweden, Germany and of course, France have played a significant role in its unique cultural diversity.

Colmar was tossed back and forth between German and French rule until World War 2 where it finally became a permanent part of France’s north-eastern region, Alsace.

If you’re an avid wine drinker, you may know that this region of France is renowned for its Alsatian wine. As if wine isn’t a good enough reason to visit, you’ll be pleased to know that Colmar is known to be the best producer of this region’s wine.

Architecture in Colmar
The town of Colmar

How to Get Around

Like it was on my trip to the old city of Florence, Italy (and most old towns in Europe), cars aren’t allowed to drive through the streets. This enhances the experience as you’ll be able to observe every detail of this medieval town unbothered. You are, however, able to ride bicycles through the cobbled streets. 

People Walking through Colmar
Walking through Colmar
Bicycle Rider
Bicycle Rider

Old Town Treats

Architecture:

I’d have to say that the most enchanting part of my visit to Colmar was hands down the architecture. The unique blend of German and French styled architecture resulted in picturesque half-timber buildings. Lining every street these warm pastel coloured buildings brought the entire town to life; you can’t help but to feel enthralled.

Walking through Colmar
Walking through Colmar
Colourful Half-Timber Buildings in Colmar France
Colourful Half-Timber Buildings

Another significant architectural relic to look out for in Colmar is the massive Gothic Saint Martin Church.

The Saint Martin Church in Colmar France
The Saint Martin Church

Bartholdi’s Sculptures:

If you (much like myself) find yourself wondering, who is Bartholdi?, the town will certainly reveal small clues. As I discovered, Bartholdi was a world-renowned sculptor from Colmar whose most prominent piece is the Statue of Liberty.

In celebration of the sculptor the town has placed a few of Bartholdi’s sculptures throughout the town. Walking around town and taking time to spot them can be a terrific way to see more of the town as well. Count them to see how many you find 😉

Barthaldi Sculpture
Sculpture in Town

Indoor + Outdoor Market

A part of what makes Colmar feel like such a quaint town are the local markets. There were both indoor and outdoor markets that offered a mix of fresh local produce. Exploring the markets is a wonderful way to interact with and support friendly local vendors.

Market Vendor in Colmar France
Market Vendor
Vendor at the Indoor Market in Colmar France
Vendor at the Indoor Market
Fresh Produce in the Colmar Market
Fresh Produce in the Market

Cafes + Restaurants

One thing I’ve noticed about Europeans is their love affair with cafes. Colmar was certainly no exception. Cafes and restaurants lined the streets with furniture as visitors chatted and enjoyed the warm sunshine. Surely one of the local attractions is its own unique French cuisine.

People enjoying meals at restaurants
People enjoying meals at restaurants
Cafes & Restaurants along the streets in Colmar
Cafes & restaurants along the streets

Boat Tour Along Little Venice

Another beautiful feature of Colmar is La Petite Venise (Little Venice). As the name suggests, this area of Colmar is reminiscent of the beautiful Italian city of Venice. A picturesque canal crosses the streets of the old town giving it a sense of romance. What’s even better is taking a ride along the canal to see the quaint old buildings from this unique perspective.

Little Venice in Colmar France
Little Venice
La Petite Venise in Colmar
La Petite Venise

Train Tour

Yes, as cheesy as the train tour sounds it’s actually an interesting way to learn a bit more about the town. Enjoy the ride along the cobbled streets hearing interesting historical details of the old town.

Train
Train Tour

A Fairy-Tale in Real Life

A day in this stunningly beautiful and historically rich town leaves anyone awe-struck. From its wonderfully constructed architecture to the deliciousness of its cuisine you’ll be yearning to return to this real life medieval fairy-tale town.

Have you ever visited Colmar? If not, would you? Let us know in the comments!

Colmar is the beautiful fairy-tale town in Alsace, France. Tourists flock to this medieval age town for good reason as the town boasts beautiful architecture, tasty food and awe-inspiring art. Colmar is even the best producer of wine in the region of Alsace! Travel to this quaint old town to explore all the splendid treats France has to offer! via www.theswissfreis.com

Colmar is the beautiful fairy-tale town in Alsace, France. Tourists flock to this medieval age town for good reason as the town boasts beautiful architecture, tasty food and awe-inspiring art. Colmar is even the best producer of wine in the region os Alsace! Travel to this quaint old town to explore all the splendid treats France has to offer! via www.theswissfreis.com
Colmar is the beautiful fairy-tale town in Alsace, France. Tourists flock to this medieval age town for good reason as the town boasts beautiful architecture, tasty food and awe-inspiring art. Colmar is even the best producer of wine in the region os Alsace! Travel to this quaint old town to explore all the splendid treats France has to offer! via www.theswissfreis.com
Colmar is the beautiful fairy-tale town in Alsace, France. Tourists flock to this medieval age town for good reason as the town boasts beautiful architecture, tasty food and awe-inspiring art. Colmar is even the best producer of wine in the region os Alsace! Travel to this quaint old town to explore all the splendid treats France has to offer! via www.theswissfreis.com

15 comments

    • That’s the biggest compliment I could receive 🙂 I really pride myself in my photography so it’s always nice to hear when people enjoy it as well 🙂 Thank you very much Nicholas 🙂 <3

  • I was thinking about this place the other day. I’m glad I stumbled on your blog. How long were you there for? How long a stay would you recommend?

    • Hi Terri! 🙂 Thanks for the questions, I’d be happy to help 🙂 I had visited Colmar on a day trip so subsequently only spent a day there. There are many things to do and see in Colmar so I’d say around two days would be a good time to do a reasonable amount. However, if you really want to see and taste and experience this cute little town in all its entirety, I’d safely say spend around four days 🙂 I hope you have a lot of fun when you do get to visit!

    • Hey Bruce! To be fair I have never visited Colmar in the winter season. However, one of the main attractions while being there is seeing and boating along the river, as well as seeing the farmer’s market. So I’m not quite sure how much of the actual beauty and culture you might experience at this time of year. Maybe you could gear your trip around somewhere that is known for being a winter attraction. Will you only be traveling in France?

  • Hi Toni-Ann, thanks for your reply. Primarily we are visiting England to see our son, but we wanted to spend a week in France. We picked Colmar as it is in a region of France which we have never been to, another place that we thought of is Annecy a bit further south. Being from a warm part of Australia, skiing does not interest us, though seeing the snow covered alps would. I understand it is probably the wrong time to visit there, but we wanted to have a cold (hopefully white) Christmas with our son in England. I would be open to any suggestions you could make and would happily investigate them. Thanks again for you help, regards Bruce.