All our hotels in Colmar
What to Do in Colmar, France
Dreamlike in appearance Colmar may be, but it is also robustly up-to-date: there's always something cultural going on – from wine festivals to classical-music jamborees – and a potter around its winding cobbled alleys turns up indie shops selling reminders of your stay in Alsace, such as brightly painted wooden toys and cheery red ceramics. Alongside high-tech industries and a sizeable industrial port on the River Rhine, the city is home to a thriving wine industry – and of course its waterside quays are liberally lined with cafés and Colmar weinstuben (wine bars) where you can sample Alsace Rieslings. Looking for a romantic weekend in Colmar or flying in for the Alsace Wine Festival? Whatever your motive for a visit to this charming corner of Alsace, Accor has some of the best hotels in Colmar, France.
What to See around Colmar
Where to start? This town is so picture-perfect that it's hard to know where to head first. Perhaps the best way of getting the lie of the land is to join a canal cruise on the flat-bottomed punts that depart from Saint-Pierre Bridge to see Petite Venise from the water. From there, it's a joy to wander through cobbled lanes to Quai de la Poissonnerie, a former fishmongers' district lined with half-timbered townhouses painted in shades of yellow and pink. Other Colmar places to visit include a cluster of museums, chief of which is the Musée d'Unterlinden, a Colmar must-see in a former convent, packed with inspired works by great artists from Holbein to Monet. Wander the medieval cloisters until you come to the showstopper – Matthias Grünewald's dramatic 16th-century Isenheim Altarpiece, a religious masterpiece depicting the death of Christ and beautifully displayed in a vaulted Gothic chapel. It was previously housed in Colmar's Dominican Church, five minutes' stroll away and today the repository for the sublime, gilded "Virgin in the Rose Bush*"*by15th-century Alsace artist and printmaker Martin Schongauer. It's also worth taking a peek into the Musée Bartholdi, former home of sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who was born in Colmar in 1834 and is most famous for designing the Statue of Liberty in New York. Among the displays of family memorabilia, you'll spot dozens of his drawings and sculptures. If you're travelling en famille, book a Colmar family hotel and be sure to visit the Toy Museum: Colmar's number-one spot for kids offers an endearing assortment of Barbie dolls, Teddy bears and model trains.
Where to Eat in Colmar
Things to do in Colmar are often combined with time spent in Strasbourg – another lovely city blessed with a historic heart – but if you'd rather stay local, there are some splendid hilltop castles to explore just north of the town. We recommend a castle visit to Colmar's photogenically ruined Château de Saint-Ulrich for the panoramas over forested hills. Close by, red-stone Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourgboasts displays of armour and weaponry as well as lavishly decorated apartments to tour. Colmar is also a wonderful base for discovering the tastes of the Alsace wine region, famous for its white Rieslings and Gewürztraminers as well as the regional sparkling Crémant d'Alsace. Encompassing Colmar along the way, the Alsace Wine Route runs 170 kilometres south from Marlenheim to Thann, taking in spectacularly pretty villages and gorgeous hilly landscapes in addition to prestigious vineyards open for tours and tastings. Book Accor's luxury hotels in Colmar as a convenient stop en route.
As befits a city straddling French and German cultures, the best restaurants in Colmar feature dishes from both cuisines. Whether you decide to eat in traditional Alsace weinstubenor Colmar's Michelin-starred restaurants, you'll find classically French foie gras – created in Strasbourg in 1780 – sharing menu space with spätzle noodles, cabbage sauerkraut or hearty baeckeoffe,ameat and potato casserole cooked in white wine. One of the most famous regional dishes is matelote du Rhin, a creamy stew of freshwater fish, while thin, crisp tarte flambée is the Alsace version of a pizza. Wind off a gourmet dinner with pain d'épices gingerbread slices, flaky apple strudels or sweetkugelhopf cake filled with raisins and almonds, and often served with a chilled apéritif like kirsch cherry liqueur. All this bountiful feasting can be accompanied by liberal servings of fruity Alsace white wines, freshly pressed fruit juices from the region's hillside orchards, or the strong pilsner lagers brewed in the German tradition throughout the region.
How to get to Colmar
The portfolio of Accor hotels in Colmar, France, features an elegant 5-star boutique hotel with a swimming pool, spa and gourmet restaurant – one of the best luxury hotels in Colmar. Other options include a Colmar family hotel with roomy suites for longer stays and an ideal sightseeing location near the Musée d'Unterlinden, as well as affordable Colmar hotels with coworking space and budget bed-and-breakfast Colmar hotels with 24-hour snacks on offer.
When to Visit Colmar
Tucked away in north-east France, Colmar is easy to get to. A high-speed TGV rail service runs from Paris Gare de l'Est in about 2.5 hours. A regular Eurostar service connects Strasbourg with Paris and London, and the SNCF-run train journey from Strasbourg to Colmar takes 30 minutes. The closest airport to Colmar is actually in Switzerland: EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg is a 40-minute drive away and services flights from the UK, across Europe and north Africa. Strasbourg Airport is 50 minutes by car, and offers domestic and European connections.
Whenever you're thinking about visiting, you should book Accor hotels in Colmar, France, well in advance. In summer the weather is sunny and warm, but as the days hot up, so does Colmar tourism. The best times to stay in Colmar are in spring or autumn, when the weather is still dry and the alleys around Quai de la Poissonnerie less packed with visitors. Alsace Wine Fair brings in the crowds in July, and December in Colmar is quite an event, celebrated at festive markets in cobbled streets twinkling with fairy lights – just remember to pack a coat as Christmas in Colmar is cold and can be snowy.