The second day of our roadtrip was spent exploring the fairytale town of Colmar in France’s Alsace region – right along the border of France and Germany, so you can see the German influence in the architecture. It was a long drive from our previous stop in Vianden, but we made it just after luchtime and spent a few hours wandering the streets and stopping for some lunch.
The architecture is like something straight out of Beauty and the Beast and it’s been so high on my bucket list for years so I was excited to finally make it here! I actually debated visiting Colmar instead of Annecy a few years ago, though Annecy obviously won! It was actually the only stop in France of the entire trip too!
We parked up near the old town and headed straight for La Petite Venise – the famous area where all the typical photos of Colmar are taken. We must have stood on the bridge for a good 15 minutes just taking it all in (and waiting for the perfect photo spot). It was SO busy for a Sunday, considering most of the shops were closed, but there were still plenty of tourist activities and shops open and many of the restaurants were still open too.
You can take a boat trip along the river through the old town for around €6pp which reminded us of Cambridge so much with all the punt like boats in the river. I actually regret not taking a boat trip now, as it would have been nice to see it from another angle! They last about 30 minutes, and there’s plenty of sellers around if you stand on the bridge for too long taking pictures haha!
After we got our photos from the famous bridge area, we headed off to explore the rest of the town. I couldn’t get over the colours of the buildings and their painted timber designs. It’s like a more colourful version of the famous Tudor houses we have over here (why can’t ours be all colourful).
The Alsace region of France has been between French and German ruling over the years, with it originally being conquered by the French in 1673, until Germany claimed it in 1871, where it stayed until after WW1, until it was conquered again by the Germans for 4 years in WW2, and was eventually given back to the French after the war had ended.
You can definitely see the German infulence on the architecture throughout the old town. It’s also well known for the half stone half timber design build, which is thought to be because the area used to flood really badly, and also because of fires back in the times of the plague.
We stopped for some lunch – I was craving a salad so badly in the extreme heat that we had while we were there, and Shane opted for the local Munster Cheese salad instead, which was so nice, before heading off to explore more of the town. We only spent a couple hours there, as honestly, there isn’t really too much to see and do there.
There’s a few museums and things to see, but that’s not really our thing, so we left Colmar and headed to the nearby town of Eguisheim to explore on the demands of my mum. They’d visited a few months before we had on a trip to Germany and loved it so much that my mum messaged me multiple times throughout the day asking if we were heading there haha! I took so many photos there too that I’ve had to split it out into another blog post which will be up later in the week!
Have you been to Colmar before? Is it somewhere on your bucket list?