Alsace is an incredibly beautiful part of France. I feel like in literally every single post I write about Alsace, I say that “it’s like you walked in to the town in Beauty and the Beast”, but it’s true! The villages in Alsace are probably the most charming and quaint places you’ll ever see. I’m blown away every time I visit.
Colmar is probably the most well-known village in Alsace. It’s insanely cute with canals, shops that sell traditional Alsatian crafts, and sweet little restaurants where you can eat delicious food (tarte flambee / flammekueche is my personal favourite.
Visit Colmar if you want to see beautiful Christmas markets or their Spring festival. During those peak times of year, Colmar can be a little touristy, but the festivals bring so much to see, do, and eat. You could easily spend a day here – it’s small enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed, but are also so many little hidden gems to uncover.
Ribeauville is truly one of my favourite towns in Alsace. While Ribeauville still attracts a fair number of visitors, it’s much less crowded than Colmar or Strasbourg. The town is quite small, but you could easily spend half a day exploring the city. I recommend eating at Hôtel-Restaurant Du Mouton, where I had the set menu that I literally could not stop talking about for days.
Ribeauville is also home to Beauvillé, a luxury household linens company. I have a few tea towels from Beauvillé that I know will last me a lifetime, and I think about all of the afternoons I’ve spent in Alsace whenever I use them. If you’re looking for gifts or a treat for yourself, Beauvillé is my recommendation – they also have discounts on some items at their shop.
Saunter down Rue Charles de Gaulle with views of the Dolder, the 25-meter clock tower that stands out in this little town. Riquewihr is a small town nestled amongst vineyards, with mountains surrounding it. It’s a great place to stop and people watch whilst sipping a glass of Cremant d’Alsace, the local sparkling wine.
I would recommend spending half a day in Riquewihr. You could also easily pair Riquewihr with Ribeauville or another small town to have a fantastic day in Alsace.
The first time I visited Eguisheim, I WAS BLOWN AWAY. I took probably about 500 photos that evening – I was just snapping photos of every direction because it truly is one of the most photogenic little towns. Eguisheim is a medieval town that’s been developed like a bullseye. When you walk into the town, you’ll easily be able to find the center of town, but don’t stop there! The rings surrounding the center are well worth your time, and it’s impossible to get lost! You’ll just end up exactly where you started.
Eguisheim is also one of the best places to see storks. Alsace is known for their storks, which often make huge nests at the top of the wooden-laced buildings, but the sheer number of storks in Eguisheim makes them hard to miss!
Turckheim is yet another sweet town in Alsace that’s littered with flowers, thatched roofs, and old town charm. Turckheim is also located on the wine route, and there are plenty of wineries and vineyards to visit in the nearby area. Stroll through the winding roads and alleyways, stop and smell the flowers at the Jardin Medieval, and don’t forget to have a glass of crémant!
Strasbourg is what I like to think of as the gateway to Alsace. You can easily reach Strasbourg from any major city in France, and you get a sense of Alsace without having to venture too far. It’s perfect for those who don’t have a car but still want all of the charm of the region.
Strasbourg has a great mix of modern city and that absolutely delightful old-town feel. I highly recommend stopping into Strasbourg if you’re in the area. You could easily spend a few days in Strasbourg, walking down all of the rues, strolling by the canal, and eating your weight in buttery, flaky croissants.
My favourite time to visit Strasbourg is in the wintertime, when the Christmas markets are alive! It’s the most pleasant way to do your Christmas shopping. After you shop, you can walk around, find traditional gifts, and eat ALL of the Christmas treats.
Looking for other great Christmas markets in Alsace? Read this guide.
Sitting just on the border of Switzerland and Germany, Mulhouse is a city with plenty to see. The historical center is a colourful classic Alsatian village, but the city has so much more to offer. Unexpectedly, one of the most famous and prestigious automobile museums is located in Mulhouse, as is the largest railway museum in Europe.
Kayersberg, located in France but German for ‘Emperor’s Mountain’, is a beautiful town with a medieval fortress and so much history. It’s a popular destination for hikers and walkers, as its located on the Santiago de Compostela. The town, made up of classic Alsatian half-timbered houses, is surrounded by forest, so you’re never far from nature.
In Kayersberg, I recommend checking out the castle! It offers great views of the region below.
Come here to get away from the crowds and to experience an Alsatian town without the tourists. Gubewiller is surrounded by vineyards and is a much sleepier little town. It remains on my list of fairytale villages to visit in Alsace because it’s a great peek into what life in a classic Alsatian town is. There’s also plenty of rock climbing just above Guebwiller, and hiking trails are hard to miss as well.
Alsace is one of my favourite regions in France and these little villages are a big reason why! There’s so much German, French, and Swiss influence in each and every one of these towns, creating a culture entirely its own. Whether you visit one or all of these villages in Alsace, you’re going to have one incredible adventure.