A Colmar day trip is an incredible way to spend a day away from Basel, Strasbourg, or nearby cities. Colmar is charming and quaint, and it looks like the kind of place that inspired Beauty and the Beast. It’s truly worth a day to see. It’s quintessential Alsace!
A Colmar day trip is an incredible way to spend a day away from Basel, Strasbourg, or nearby cities. Colmar is charming and quaint, and it looks like the kind of place that inspired Beauty and the Beast. It’s truly worth a day to see. It’s quintessential Alsace! There’s no best time to go to Colmar – it’s charming in the Spring, great for days out in the Summer, beautiful during autumn, and in the winter, it has one of my favourite Christmas markets in Alsace, as well as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe!
How to Get to Colmar
It’s incredibly easy to get to Colmar from all around Alsace. Colmar is accessible by bus, though the train is very reasonably priced and super simple to figure out. It’s also possible to drive to Colmar, and there are quite a few parking lots throughout the city which make it less of a hassle. Overall, the
Basel to Colmar Train
Basel SBB has two ‘train stations’. The first is the main station that you’ll be familiar with. The second is the French side. To get to the trains that go to France, follow the signs for Platforms 30-33. You’ll be taken to the right of the main station on Centralbahnstrasse.
There, you’ll find a ticket machine. You can’t buy tickets for Colmar in the regular SBB, so you’ll have to go to this French side. Direct trains run about every hour, though check the timetable carefully as there are a few hours that it skips. There’s also the option of taking the train to Mulhouse and transferring to a train to Colmar, though I’d only take this route if the direct trains aren’t coming for a while.
The direct train takes about 50 minutes.
Strasbourg to Colmar
To get from Strasbourg to Colmar, you can take the bus, train, or drive. Driving takes 50 minutes, but I recommend taking the train. Trains take roughly half an hour and run quite often. It’s easy to take the train, as they’ll mostly be direct trains and you can buy tickets at the station.
How to Spend One Day in Colmar: A Colmar Itinerary
9:00: Start your day with a petit dejeuner
The best way to start your day is with a pastry, some fresh bread, a coffee, and an orange juice. There are quite a few reasonable places for breakfast, so I recommend starting your day slowly and picking a place that has a lovely view. The architecture around Petite Venice is a great place for that.
10:30: Walk around Petite Venice
Little Venice is arguably the most beautiful part of Strasbourg. The buildings are done in the classic Alsatian architecture so it’s definitely worth taking a few photos! Near
12 Noon: Lunch
Whilst I personally love to walk around Colmar collecting snacks as I go (hello pastries!), you’ll also want to have a lunch full of Alsatian food. There are tonnes of restaurants that I recommend (below), but I’d try to avoid the more touristy places and find places that are slightly more authentic.
1:30: Visit Colmar’s top sights
Let’s be honest. People go to Colmar to see just how charming the city is! The best part of travelling to Colmar is being able to soak up all the beautiful architecture by just walking around! Colmar is the perfect day trip because the top sights can all be seen in a day. Saint Martin’s Church is lovely, and there are some great history and art museums.
The Bartholdi Museum showcases Bartholdi’s home and is dedicated to his work. It houses the original models of the Statue of Liberty. If you’re keen to see another Statue of Liberty, there’s one a little bit outside of the city.
3:30: Snack time!
Mid-afternoon is the perfect time to pick up a crepe, an ice cream cone, a waffle, or a pastry from a local shop and wander around the Grand Rue with it.
5:00: Take a boat/train tour
The best way to rest your feet after a full day of walking around Colmar is by taking a little tour of the city! You can take a toy train around the city or a boat tour of the canals. This is a great way to relax a bit and enjoy the sunset, and also a great way to work up an appetite!
Alsace is a culinary lover’s dream! It’s best to end the day with a glass of local wine (you ARE in a huge wine region!) or cremant- Alsace’s version of champagne!
Where to Eat in Colmar
There are so many amazing options for food in Colmar. Colmar is located in the region of Alsace, and Alsace is known for its German-French food. Expect delicious and delicate influence from France, yet a hearty influence from Germany.
Breakfast in Colmar
Au Croissant Dore – If you’re looking for something small, this is your place! It’s a cafe that’s great for a quick pastry and coffee before running around Colmar.
28 Rue des Marchands
Le Boudoir – This is a great place for petite dejeuner, and there are SO many different kinds of tea to choose from.
15 Grand Rue
Bistrot Gourmand – A great, cosy place if you’re on a budget but still want a full breakfast. More on this place in the
La Soi – You’ll need to make reservations for this place! This is a small restaurant that has few tables and is run by a couple. It’s difficult to get reservations so book ahead! This has amazing tarte flambée (Alsatian pizza of sorts – pictured above).
17 Rue des Marchands, make reservations at +33 3 89 29 63 50
Pizzarium Fiore – Whilst not exactly the most
9 Rue Vauban
Schwendi Bier und Wiestub – This is a wonderful place to go on a nice day. The outside terrace is really lovely and there’s a great view! It’s right next to the Schwendi Fountain, which is right in the heart of the town.
25 Grand Rue
Marche Couvert Colmar – I mentioned this place before, but it’s really great if you’re looking for a quick meal OR if you want to sit out on a terrace over the canal. There’s a restaurant in the back that’s great for a sunny day.
13 Rue des Ecoles
Bistrot Gourmand – Look in the gluten-free section of this article for my full two-cents on this place.
Snacks and Desserts
These are a must in Colmar! If you need an excuse to sit down and relax a bit during your day of sightseeing, a yummy snack is definitely the way to go!
La Sobetiere d’Isabelle – if you like ice cream, this is a must. I always go for the strawberry-mint-basil sorbet and it is delicious! There are also more traditional flavours like chocolate, but then there are more interesting ones like violet and almond milk!
13A Rue des Marchands
Gilg Desserts – (photo above) This place is takeaway only, but it’s worth getting! They have amazing macarons and super creamy desserts. It’s a little more pricey, but they have super
60 Grand Rue
There are also loads of places to get crepes and other yummy pastries on the street- you can’t go wrong here!
If you need to follow a gluten-free diet, Colmar isn’t the easiest place to eat. I’ve recently had to eliminate gluten from my diet, and I found a place that does some GREAT gluten-free options. It’s mentioned before, but I figured this was important enough to dedicate a whole section!
Bistrot Gourmand CLEARLY labels what’s gluten and dairy-free on their menu. There are plenty of galettes to choose from, which are naturally
18 Grand Rue
Other Colmar Tips
- My favourite times of year to visit Colmar are during the Spring Festival in April, the Christmas Markets in late November/December, and during the summer.
- Colmar is a stop on the Alsatian wine route – this is a great place to either start or finish your tour of the region.
- July and August are peak season (as well as during the Christmas market) because of the wine festival, and prices reflect that.
And that’s a day in Colmar!
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