Colmar is a beautiful city in Alsace, a stunning region at the border of France and Germany. The city’s old town is packed with several cobblestone streets and attractive architecture.
Colmar is distinguished not only by its remarkable architectural feats but also as the capital of Alsatian wines.
This postcard town will transport visitors into another dimension. Colmar is a great place to visit any time of the year, but it is especially beautiful in the summer months.
There are plenty of things to do in Colmar, the city even has many festivals throughout the year, as well as many Christmas markets and an annual wine festival.
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Colmar International Festival
The New York Times has placed this vibrant festival among the top 10 best festivals in Europe since 1994. The Colmar International Festival takes place every year during the first two weeks of July.
During this fortnight the highest artistic standards are met by the best musicians and groups in Colmar. It is consistently well programmed and attracts high artistic quality. The festival’s theme and original concept are chosen each year to ensure that it remains relevant.
This 2023 Colmar International Festival is opening a new page in its history with the appointment of Alain Altinoglu as Artistic Director. Recognising a legacy of more than 30 years, this festival demonstrates absolute artistic excellence.
For 2023, they have now appointed the 47-year-old, famous French conductor. He is brilliant and charismatic and has been invited to conduct some of the most prestigious orchestras and opera houses in the world.
St Martin’s Church
Take a stroll around Saint-Martin Collegiate Church at Place de la Cathedrale. Saint Martin’s church was built between 1235 and 1365, and with century stained glass windows, this is a prime example of the region’s Gothic architecture. This is one of Colmar’s most impressive churches, inside and out.
Additionally, Saint Martin’s Cathedral is the second largest church in Alsace, after Strasbourg Cathedral. And it is also the most important religious building in Colmar itself.
Interestingly, the bulbous lantern that crowns the building’s spire gives it its distinctive silhouette. If you are looking to visit this church then you will typically find their opening hours are 8:15 am – 5:45 pm Monday to Friday.
Ice Skating at Place Rapp
If you are visiting Colmar during the Winter months then you may want to go ice skating to get into the festive spirit. It is 4.50 euros per person for entry into the ‘Rink of Colmar’ and to rent some ice skates is only 2.50 euros.
The 800 square foot ice rink is in the heart of a magical setting and is open to skaters who want to enjoy this sport with their families or friends.
If your visit spreads over to the evening, this ice rink is lit with thousands of illuminations and there are a number of highlights to be seen. You can expect faux snowstorms, visits from Santa Claus and an illuminated fluorescent evening. This is truly an enchanting place for young and old.
Colmar Christmas Market
Located in the heart of Colmar’s historic town centre, Colmar hosts six Christmas markets. These Christmas markets provide an inviting atmosphere where both locals and visitors are sure to make delightful discoveries.When visiting these markets in Colmar, you may notice that each market has its own theme.
The combination of the themes creates a magical Christmas atmosphere and fun around every corner. The names of the six Christmas Markets are Place de l’Ancienne Douane, Place Jeanne d’Arc, The Indoor Craft Market, Place de la Cathédrale, the Children’s Christmas Market and Place des Dominicains.
Adding to this, all six of these Christmas markets display the popular products and crafts made by local Alsatian people. With a total of 180 stalls, the crafts and products on display range from traditional handicrafts to local delicacies.
This includes mulled wine and seasonal entertainment. The Colmar Christmas markets take place for six weeks, from the middle of November to the end of December. If you are searching for Colmar Attractions this Christmas then please make sure to visit these markets, they will not disappoint.
There are also several tour groups that you can join if you wish to take part in a Christmas Market Tour.
Alsace Wine Route
The Alsace Wine Route is France’s oldest wine route, and its winding roads offer an abundance of surprises.
It is a never ending opportunity to discover new experiences and most importantly fine wine. The beautiful Alsace region has a wine route that spans 170 kilometres, starting near Strasbourg in the north and ending just south of Colmar.
You can discover the area in more detail on a guided day wine tour. Many tours include wine tasting and a personal guide to help educate you on the history and culture of the region.
Colmar’s Old Town
Colmar is a small city, with a population of about 70,000 people. The old town is compact and easy to explore on foot.
Also, there are many narrow lanes and alleys that wind through the centre of town. This makes it ideal for walking around and taking in all of the sights.
In addition to shops and restaurants lining these cobblestone streets, there are also museums, markets and various other activities you can take part in at any time.
Some highlights to explore in the old town include St Martin’s Church, Place du 2 Févrierand and Musée Bartholdi.
Parc du Champ de Mars
This large park is great for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. It is filled with trees, greenery and fresh air. The park is also home to various statues and fountains making it a lovely place to go for a stroll.
There are plenty of benches throughout the park so you can sit down and enjoy the view or just relax. Plus there is a children’s playground, meaning it is a fantastic place to stop with children.
Considered one of the most beautiful museums in all of France, the Unterlinden Museum is situated in Colmar France. This fine art museum is housed in a 13th century cloister and displays some of the most beautiful collections of artwork from the 15th to the 18th century
Located underground, this gallery connects three exhibition rooms, all of which are located beneath the Place Unterlinden and the canal.
For those fine art enthusiasts, you may have heard of the world famous Isenheim altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald and Nicolas Haguenau, this piece is housed here. Each year, roughly 200,000 visitors come to see this spectacular museum, the most in all of Alsace.
La Petite Venise
La Petite Venise, also known as Little Venice, is the name of one of the most beautiful areas in Colmar. This picturesque area is filled with colourful houses, narrow streets, romantic scenery and several restaurants.
This is truly a must see in this small, quaint town. The charm of this area is based on the beauty of the local architecture and the traditional details in their construction.
Traditionally, because of its location on the Lauch river, this place was perfect for importing different kinds of goods. However, now locals have named this area “La Petite Venise” as it resembles a small version of the real Venice.
La Petite Venise is a section of the Krutenau district. It is located in Colmar’s southern part, very close to the historical centre.
Although it is a very small district, La Petite Venise offers a few fun things to do. A top recommendation would be a cruise down the river on a traditional boat. Although not used to transport goods anymore, the boats remain an important part of daily tourism.
You can still enjoy a pleasant cruise along the city’s banks and see little Venice from a different perspective.
If you want to arrange a boat tour then use Barque Colmar au fil de l’eau Sweet Narcisse. The boats carry up to 9 passengers and leaves from the bridge next to Restaurant Le Caveau Saint-Pierre. The half-hour cruise costs 7 euros per person and sitting in the front of the boat is the best for the view.
Chocolate creation workshop
Choco Story in Colmar is a fun way to spend a few hours with friends. The museum also hosts a chocolate workshop where you can learn how to create your own chocolates. It is fun, entertaining and educational all at the same time.
The Colmar chocolate creation workshop lasts approx two and a half hours and also includes an audio guided tour of the museum.
FAQs for Things to do in Colmar
Colmar is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. If you are short on time, or just want to make sure you do not miss the best things, make sure that you plan ahead accordingly. Colmar is best known for its beautiful half-timbered houses that line the streets.
These buildings are a reminder of the city’s medieval past and they are part of what makes Colmar such an attractive destination. But there is more to this town than just its architecture; there are also plenty of museums and art galleries to explore.
Is Colmar Worth Visiting?
Colmar is a very pleasant little town and is well worth a visit. It has some lovely buildings and surroundings and is easy to get around on foot. In addition, there are many things to do in Colmar such as visit one of the museums.
There is also a good range of restaurants and bars in the centre. The main reason for visiting Colmar, though, is the Christmas Market which takes place every year between the end of November and the end of December.
What is Colmar Best Known for?
Among the city’s landmarks are its well-preserved old town and numerous architectural treasures, including the Unterlinden Museum. In addition, Colmar is located on the Alsatian Wine Route and takes pride in being called “the capital of Alsatian wine.”
Colmar’s attractions are certainly visually spectacular and definitely worth seeing. Vibrant houses with colourful paintwork, wooden shutters, and winding streets line the water’s edge.
Is One Day Enough in Colmor?
Colmar is a small city and a quick visit can be accomplished in two days. However, if you want to see all the sights and visit a vineyard on the wine route, then you may need to consider an extra day.
The city is small, so you can easily walk from one end to the other in a few hours. It is also very compact and easy to navigate, with most of the main sights clustered together in the old town.
Many visitors may aim to pass through and therefore only spend a day visiting Colmar. This can be achieved, however, if you have any extra time then it may be worth staying at least two days.
Things to do in Colmar at Christmas
There are lots of things to do in Colmar at Christmas. During the Christmas season, Colmar is one of Europe’s most magical destinations. The streets are lined with Christmas lights, everyone is cheerful and Colmar hosts magical Christmas markets.
You will also find many other Christmas activities such as Ice Skating at Place Rapp. It is a great place to visit with your family and friends. The Christmas Market in Colmar has become one of the most popular destinations for tourists in France.
Colmar is a small and beautiful city in Alsace, France. It is known for its colourful architecture, unique shops and great food. There are plenty of things to do in Colmar, from visiting museums to strolling through the streets or drinking wine outside on a sunny day.
Colmar is a great place to visit any time of the year. It has plenty of fun activities and sights to keep you busy, even during the off-season when many other cities are often closed. If you are looking for an alternative to other popular European destinations then Colmar should be one of your first choices.
Colmar is an ideal destination for anyone who likes the idea of visiting a European city but does not want to deal with large crowds or long lines.
Lastly, the city is known for its vibrant and cultural scene, with festivals and concerts taking place throughout the year. From jazz to wine tasting and beyond, Colmar has something for every seasoned traveller.
Recommended tours in Colmar
- Alsace 4 Wonders Small-Group Day Trip from Colmar
- ICONICS Tour: 1/2 day on the Wine Route, visit of 2 Villages + Tasting.
- Safari-Tour Villages and vineyard, 1/2 day afternoon
- The Emblematic: visit of villages, Haut-Koenigsbourg, Wine tasting
- Alsace villages half day tour from Colmar
- France, Germany and Switzerland Full Day Tour from Colmar
- Alsace Full Day Wine Tour from Colmar
- Segway Tours 2h in Colmar
- Visit of Choco-story COLMAR, the Chocolate Museum.
- Christmas Market Tour from Colmar
- Skip the Line: Toy Museum Colmar Admission Ticket
- Christmas across the 3 borders
- Private Wine Tasting Tour With Personal Driver
- Alsace 4 Wonders Private Full Day Trip