The self-proclaimed capital of the Alsace wine region, Colmar is an undeniable highlight of the famous Alsace Wine Route and renowned for its beautifully preserved medieval center. Colmar is postcard-worthy from all angles, with its half-timbered buildings painted in a rainbow of colors, fishing boats bobbing along the flower-lined canal ways and maze of cobblestone lanes dotted with small cafés and artisan shops.
Colmar’s compact center makes it feel more like a village than a town, and the main sights can be easily explored on foot, including architectural gems like the dramatic Maison des Tetes (House of the Heads), the 16th-century wooden Maison Pfister (Pfister House) and the pink sandstone St Martin Church. Additional highlights of Colmar include Mathias Grünewald’s 16th-century Issenheim Altarpiece, on show at the Unterlinden Museum; the Bartholdi museum, dedicated to the Colmar-born architect (best known for designing the Statue of Liberty); and the aptly-named La Petite Venise (Little Venice), where visitors can enjoy a boat tour around the scenic canal ways.
The most atmospheric times to visit Colmar are during the Foire aux Vins wine festival held each summer or during the annual Christmas market when the entire town comes alive with festivities.