Looking as if it has been plucked directly from some book of children’s tales, Colmar France is a fantasy playground where wandering the almost totally traffic free streets of the old city center transports you back to age of tanners and fishmongers.
This town is so enchanting that it is hard to believe that it hasn’t always been squeeky clean, flower bedecked, and inviting as it currently is. The history of Colmar France, like most places from the middle ages, is considerably less pleasant.
This is one of those places that taking a small day tour that includes parts of Strasbourg, Colmar, and several small villages, is well worth the small cost involved. Without it, we wouldn’t have heard the stories about Rue de Poissonerie and Rue de Tanneurs, Street of Fisherman and Street of Tanners. Learning where the term “piss poor” originated, and other little tidbits, adds so much to the experience.
As you amble, and I mean slowly, keep your eyes open for interesting little adornments found on many of the buildings. Also, make sure that you take in Maison des Têtes. It’s hard to miss.
Food is a major sightseeing, smelling, and tasting opportunity. Do not forget to sample lots of food, wine and beer.
Colmar France: Places to Stay
We chose to stay in Colmar rather than in one of the smaller villages, because we wanted to be a more central location. We also wanted the variety that a bigger town offers.
There are any number of places to stay in this great town, as you would expect. Hotels and B and B’s are available to suit everyone.
Bed and Breakfast Chez Leslie
Chez Leslie is a remarkable b and b, run by the very capable and hospitable hostess, Leslie Collins/Pivard, an expat American that has lived here now about 20 years. We had a lovely and spacious room with a beautiful balcony over looking one of the squares in a quiet residential neighborhood.
You will love the fresh croissants and pastries in the morning. There was always a fresh baguette too, jams, fruit, yogurt, cereals, coffee, tea, milk, juice. A double room goes for 82€’s – 89€’s/night at the time of this update. (1/1/15)
About the only complaint that we can come up with, a very minor one indeed, is that Chez Leslie is not in the center of things as we like. This can make for a fair amount of extra foot pounding getting back and forth to the old town. But, as I say this is pretty minor.
Hotel Saint Martin
As much as we liked Chez Leslie, the being out of the way part just doesn’t suit us well. We spent some time checking out other options in the center, and think that Hotel Saint Martin is a good, though the rooms are more expensive and breakfast is not included, choice, right in the heart of things. As their map shows it doesn’t get much more central than this.
The decor is a sort of traditional German style so not elegantly modern. Though two of the rooms have been recently renovated in a more modern style.