Three hours by train from Paris, Colmar is a true French gem. We stopped there for my birthday on our way from Paris to Munich at the recommendation of a good friend who used to live in Heidelberg, Germany. We found Colmar to be a relaxing escape after the excitement and energy of Paris.
Situated along the Alsatian Wine Route, it is considered the capital of the wine region. For a day of tasting, hire a personal driver to take your group to the charming villages and vineyards nearby (Riquewihr, Ribeauville and Kayserberg to name a few). Our driver was the sweetest old man who grew up in the region and filled us in on Colmar’s rich history on our drive. Each village we visited offered beautiful medieval architecture, wonderful wine, good food and tons of photo opps.
While in Colmar, it is easiest to get around by walking. The cityscape reflects eight centuries of German and French influence, which are captured in the style of architecture and pastel building colors (ie: pink, blue, yellow). The Unterlinden Museum, which is the largest museum in France outside of Paris, displays a large collection of paintings, sculptures and artifacts. We spent about two hours there one morning after breakfast. “Little Venice” designates the area along the canal and is a perfect place to eat or have a glass of wine.
For lodging, we stayed at Maison Martin JUND, a small family owned bed and breakfast. The family also owns a vineyard and offered us delicious white wine at reasonable prices. Within walking distance is the most incredible bakery, Poulaillon. Order the banana and chocolate croissant – it’s heavenly. Poulaillon was my favorite coffee and pastry shop from our trip (and we stopped at many so that is saying a lot)!
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