Colmar is located near Germany and Switzerland, between the Vosges and the Rhine, Strasbourg and Mulhouse. With its 67,000 inhabitants, it retains a 'country town' atmosphere which contributes so much to its charm.
The city offers visitors a fascinating insight into 1,000 years of European history through its exceptional heritage. Wonderfully preserved from the ravages of time, its homogenous historical centre is classed as a 'protected area' and has benefited from careful restoration and ongoing improvements for more than 25 years.
Colmar is really a condensed version of the Alsace region. Walking in its streets is like visiting à huge movie set with hundreds of century-old half-timbered houses, lovely canals and flourished pedestrian town center. The city has an impressive selection of quality restaurants and shops selling high-quality local products...
Not to miss: the romantic and world famous district of 'the Little Venice'.
Colmar is also the capital of Alsace wines and is nestled at the foot of the vineyard next to many idyllic villages. The city hosts the annual Wine Fair of Alsace in August, that has gone through six decades. This event gathers approximately 300 000 people during 15 days of music, party and wine tasting.
The City centre with multicoloured houses is also the birthplace of sculptor Bartholdi, father of the famous Statue of Liberty in New York and of Hansi, the well known illustrator of Alsace. The culture vultures will complete their visit by one of its 5 museums. We especially suggest to visit the Unterlinden Museum to discover and admire its wonderful Issenheim Altarpiece or the Toy Museum, if you’re looking for something to do with your kids.
With 200,000 visitors each year, the Musée Unterlinden ranks second in attendance among regional fine art museums in France. Visitors arrive from around the world to admire Grünewald’s crowning achievement, the Isenheim Altarpiece. They meander through the medieval cloister to explore the museum’s collections of paintings, sculptures and other works of art from the 12th to the 16th century, decorative art objects, folk art and traditions, modern art and archaeological artefacts.
The Animated Museum of Toys and model Trains was created when the City of Colmar made the acquisition of Georges Trincot's prime collection. Toy automata, dolls, cars, boats, planes, steam engines… delight visitors on three open floors of display. The Museum re-creates the magic of Perrault's Tales and La Fontaine's Fables, the books which used to enchant the childhood of French kids: watch its computer-controlled puppet show “The Fox and the Stork” re-created in an Alsatian décor or see Cinderella's automated coach. Train-lovers will be fascinated by the one kilometre (0.6 mile) train network and the locomotive Britannia. Visit this enchanted place!
The house where Auguste Bartholdi (1834 - 1904) was born at the heart of the old town of Colmar, houses a museum dedicated to this emblematic artist. In the rooms spread over 3 floors, models of his monuments from several towns are on display. A special place is reserved for the original models of Bartholdi's masterpieces, the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Lion of Belfort. You can also visit the living quarters with the family's furniture and the artist's personal memorabilia, not forgetting the room with a beautiful collection of Jewish art and another reserved for temporary exhibitions.
Colmar celebrates spring
A wonderful occasion to catch the first rays of sunshine in the enchanting atmosphere of old Colmar! This is a longstanding event in Colmar life. For two weeks, hens and chicks, ducks and sheep, and trout and carp come to town in a lovely bucolic setting. Colourful flowerbeds decorate the town squares. See little houses decorated by Colmar school children.
Two seasonal markets await you in Colmar’s emblematic squares, Place des Dominicains and Place de l’Ancienne Douane. 70 exhibitors sell traditional Easter objects and specialties. A whole range of Springtime products can be found.
Colmar Christmas Markets
The magic of Christmas in Colmar, first of all there’s the ambiance of the Old Town, illuminated and decorated like a fairy tale : a historic setting made magical by the Christmas illuminations which, in this festive period, blend harmoniously with the wonderful lighting designed to enhance the town’s heritage, and lay a soothing aura of light over the centre of Colmar.