Colmar, France; The Prettiest City in Europe?

colmar, france

Is Colmar the prettiest city in Europe?  Well it sure is the prettiest city I've been to so far in Europe.  And I think you can see why.  Every street in this town is straight out of a fairy tale.  I had a goal in my mind for what I call the Germany/France Border Trifecta.  Basically, I wanted to see Strasbourg, Metz, and Colmar, France, because they are beautiful French towns on the German border and after my trip to Colmar, I have completed this goal.  Metz is completely different looking but worth a visit.  And Strasbourg and Colmar are similar, but Colmar is by far my favorite.  I just can't get over how gorgeous this place is.  

I'd planned a two day trip here with my mother and aunt and this was the perfect amount of time.  We booked a flat through Airbnb and I had yet another great experience.  Colmar is again, part of the Alsace region, known for their wine and it has a complicated past with Germany.  But the German influences here are undeniable.  In Colmar, not many people speak English, though you can get by.  It's best to use French or German here.

You can find parking for free and make sure to hit up the Office de Tourisme first.  Colmar is a lovely town that is walkable within about 2-3 hours.  But it's best to spend the entire day there strolling through the streets, stopping at cafes, and doing some light shopping.  I felt like I was in heaven here.  Take in some sweets at one of the many bakeries where you can see the famous Alsace bunt cakes being made.  Go ahead and take home some of the Alsacian pottery to make your own bunt cake.

There are many little spots in this town to tour but I was most excited about seeing "Little Venice."  Though it looks nothing like Venice, there are little canal ways for you to explore by boat.  We found one of the restaurants where you can buy tickets to ride the boat down "Little Venice".  The tickets are only 6 euro and you can have a seat at the restaurant and enjoy some of the famous Alsacian wine while you are waiting.  The Gewürztraminer was my favorite and no surprise, of the Germany variety.  It's a sweet white wine you will love.  Hungry? Try some of the Flammkuchen or Tarte Flambé as it's called in France. Either way, you are eating France/Germany's version of a thin crust pizza. Oh, and I have to mention that you should also try the creme brûlée!

Once on the boat, you'll stroll down the river which I admit, isn't as scenic as you'd think because most of the route is covered by trees.  But it's a great chance to hear some history about the town from the driver of the boat.  Our driver told us that the houses are so colorful because they used to indicate what type of profession one had.  Green indicated farming, white or tan indicated a tanner, and blue was for fishermen.  Even further back in history, he said that the houses were only white or red to indicate one of two religions.  Could you imagine?  

As we floated down the river I noticed a lot of hearts either painted on the houses or hollowed out on the shutters.  He said this meant that a woman was either available to be married or she was about to be married.  I guess that's one way to let the boys know you are single.

Besides the shopping and endless amount of cafes, there are some expensive antique shops nestled into the streets.  This is a big tourist area, but not as big as say, Paris or Provence, so the atmosphere was way more relaxed and I thoroughly appreciated it.

One more thing I'd like to mention is that the Statue of Liberty in New York was designed by a French sculptor named Frederic Aguste Bartholdi.  Bartholdi was born and raised in Colmar.  The town is very proud of this and you can see a mini Statue of Liberty and a Bartholdi museum in Colmar.
house of head in colmar

colmar, france
colmar
bunt cakes in colmar
macarons in colmar
restaurants in colmar
colmar, france
little venice
timber houses in colmar
alsace wine
hearts in colmar
little venice in colmar
little venice in colmar, france
canal in colmar
little venice
painters in colmar
colmar, france
Bartholdi museum
Bartholdi Museum
antiques in colmar
colmar, france
st. martin's church in colmar
colmar, france
This was a picture heavy post and there were so many more I could have included of Colmar but I had to cut myself off.  This is definitely the prettiest town I've been to so far in Europe and I'd recommend it to anyone!

What Do You Think is the Prettiest City in Europe?
Linking up at:

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The Dedicated House (Make it Pretty Monday)
Plucky's Second Thought
Travel Tuesday

48 comments :

  1. OH MY GOODNESS! CUTEST TOWN EVER! I know where we're going soon :) Thanks for sharing your lovely pics!

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  2. could this BE any cuter!! the canals, they make it. when we were in france in spring, we went to a small city called lyons la foret (or something like that), and it had these same half timbered houses and was almost like a disney version of france. like, it was so unreal it was almost like they were part of an attraction, does that make sense? i can totally see that here, especially with the colors on the houses. super adorbs.
    b

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    1. It definitely makes sense and I'm sure there are so many other beautiful little towns and city in France that I don't know about!

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  3. What a beautiful town!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  4. Straight out of a fairytale is a great way to describe it, looks like such a charming town!

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  5. HOW fun! I'm so jealous, yet again! :)

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

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  6. Brittany, fantastic description and photos about the town were I born! place I intend visit soon! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Glad I could represent your town well!

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  7. Liebe Brittany,
    was für wunderschöne Fotos - Colmar ist immer wieder ein Besuch wert - und es gibt so viele, wundervolle Flohmärkte im Elsass :-)
    Ich freue mich schon auf weitere Reiseberichte von dir auf deinem tollen Blog
    und sende herzliche Grüße aus der Windmühle
    Iris

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    1. Thanks Iris, and thanks for following. What are your favorite fleas in Alsace?

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  8. This village is beautiful! The half-timbered buildings painted the bright colors are different from what I've seen in other European cities. Thanks for sharing your visit!

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    1. I absolutely love all towns with timbered housing.

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  9. I'm from and I live in this town, and thanks to your pics I realized that I live in a very beautiful city! :-)

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    1. Absolutely! I'd love to live in such a gorgeous relaxed place. I guess we don't realize the beauty of our own environments. I pretty much hated Pennsylvania until I left. Now I'm like, well it wasn't so bad lol

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  10. Definitely the prettiest - it doesn't look so French in some of those pics, then in others it looks very French. It is so gorgeous. I would defo want to go there.

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    1. Yea it definitely looks like an old German town with French influences and it's exactly that.

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  11. It is amazingly picturesque and we love staying at Airbnb places as well. I heard today that they are stopping it in Barcelona now as well as in NYC. Such a pity, we stayed in a lovely Airbnb apartment in Barcelona :(

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    1. Wow really? I know that they've been upset with Airbnb for a while in NY but I haven't been keeping up with the changes. I just stayed in a wonderful Airbnb in Barcelona too last month. Pity if they stop it.

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  12. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures and comments. Colmar is my hometown but you never look at your own place the way a tourist does. Thank you for making me realise how beautiful my town is.

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  13. I am absolutely chuffed to have found such a wonderful travel blog! My own design blog incorporates a section of my travel photography and it's often hard to find other blogs similarly focused on the beauty of travel (as opposed to dry and practical travel websites). I'm new to the whole blogging thing, so I'm sure there's plenty to unearth out there. What a lovely lovely city Colmar appears to be! Wonderful photos too... :-) Please stop by and click on my Travelfolio. There's only a few posts up so far, but plenty more of Italy and France coming. Following you immediately!!

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  14. These are some of my favorite pictures I've seen of this little gem! I can't believe I'm only two hours away and haven't made it there. I though Strasbourg was a consolation prize but clearly it is not!

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    1. Thanks! Yes I remember passing Karlsruhe when we were leaving Colmar. So great that you live near both Colmar and Strasbourg. I too though Strasbourg was amazing until I saw how pretty Colmar was!

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  15. I can see the appeal of Colmar and your photos are colourful & superb. I'll be keeping this place in the back of my mind on my next trip to France.

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  16. Nice town - have heard a bit about it. I would have spent some time in that cluttered antique shop as well. :)

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  17. This place is beautiful!! My husband and I spent the last year in Germany and hopefully we will be back in August for the year! And if so this place will be a must for us! Thank for sharing such a beautiful place.

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  18. I love your pictures, it really is a beautiful city. Came across your blog through treat yo self link up and I'm so glad I did. Consider me your newest follower.

    -Rosy
    A Joyful Kind of Life

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  19. It looks not frensh because Colmar was German! Colmar belongs to Elsaß-Lothringen. And Elsaß-Lothringen was German!

    Greetings,
    Michael S.

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  20. If you like Colmar you should visit in Germany Quedlinburg:
    http://www.quermania.de/sachsen-anhalt/quedlinburg/quedlinburg3.shtml
    and Görlitz:
    http://www.quermania.de/sachsen/goerlitz/goerlitz.shtml

    Maybe they are more pretty as Colmar. It depends in the eyes of the visitor!

    In Görlitz are made many Hollywood movies. Hollywood love Görlitz!

    Greetings,
    Michael S.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I'll keep them in mind if we ever pass those cities!

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  21. Here are some Informations about Colmar:
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colmar

    Greetings,
    Michael S.

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  22. You're right, storybook looking indeed. I love all the gorgeous colors. Thanks for sharing this at History & Home this week, take care: Dawn @ We Call It Junkin.com

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  23. My ancestors on my mother's side are from the Alsace-Lorraine region. In the U.S. census records sometimes they indicate they are from France, other times, Germany, so, obviously, even they often didn't know which country had invaded and assumed control. It must be in my genes because I love Riesling and the other white wines from that area. It was so interesting to see your lovely photos. Thanks!

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    1. I absolutely love the Alsacian wine in this area. Riesling is also a favorite of mine.

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  24. Haha, you and I have been visiting the same cities this summer. I also went to Metz, Strasboug, Colmar and Zurich. Colmar was so charming, but Strasbourg was my favorite. I wish I had bought more souvenirs!
    Karee

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    1. Nice, I'd love to read your take on those towns if you link to them in my comments.

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  25. How beautiful. I love old, European cities and villages because the buildings look like they just grew there over time. So charming. Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!

    Alison
    Nancherrow

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  26. I've definitely heard of Colmar before but I'm not sure if I ever saw pictures because if I had, I would have visited it by now! It's so pretty!! And turquoise houses?? I really want to live in one of those!

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  27. I'd never heard of Colmar before, but after these pictures - wow. It's definitely up there on my list. I know France has got some gorgeous cities - I love Paris, but honestly, some of the other areas in the country may impress me more!

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    1. I agree, the smaller cities and town in France are way prettier than Paris!

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  28. Wow i had never heard of Colmar and now I wished I had gone on my last trip to France! It's gorgeous! It is so true to say that it looks like every street is just out of a fairytale! I mean I could see Beauty and the Beast starting in that village :)

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  29. There is a Little Venice in London that looks nothing like Venice as well. I think the prettiest I have seen so far in Europe.. is... ummm.. Bruges.. I think!

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    1. I want to go to Bruges! But I've already been all over Belgium. I still want to go!

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  30. So beautiful! This looks like it's Belles town from Beauty and The Beast!

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  31. Colmar looks amazing! Officially added to my list :) thanks for sharing such gorgeous photos!

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  32. Colmar has been on my must visit list and your pictures just confirm it again!

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I love to hear from readers! Questions and comments welcome. I try to respond to everyone (I respond back to your comments on the comments page so check back for a response). Thanks for reading!

-Brittany Ruth