5h30 from paris by car
Why visit Alsace ?
Alsace is known for its hilly landscapes, medieval towns, Christmas markets,especially the one in Strasbourg, its wines and small villages. The most beautiful village of France is located in Alsace and called Riquewhir. Alsace has a special situation in France, because of its geographical location, on the borders of the territory, and its very Germanic culture, perceptible in the Alsatian dialect, due to successive conquests. Riquewihr, Hunawihr, Eguisheim, are villages that represent the culture of Alsace, with Alsatian half-timbered houses, craft shops, restaurants of local gastronomy and last but not least, tasting of wine and cheese.
What to visit in Strasbourg ?
The „petite France“, medieval city center
Capital of the region, Strasbourg has the particularity of overflowing slightly on Germany: the German city of Kehl indeed belongs to the urban area Strasbourg. The city is also known for its splendid Gothic cathedral and its astronomical clock, made of an impressive mechanism of automatons moving with the hours and days.
The colourful half-timbered houses are reflected in the water of the „Ill“, a small river running through the historic center. Place Gutenberg and the statue of the personage of the same name pay tribute to the inventor of the printing works. The traveler will enjoy stopping at one of the many restaurants in the center to enjoy traditional sauerkraut (Choucroute).
5h30 from Paris
1h48 from Paris (via TGV)
Visitando Colmar por un par de días
Navigate the waters of Little Venice
The second city of Alsace also takes all the local traditions. The colorful medieval houses are the essence of the historic center, and are reflected in the water of the aptly named „Little Venice„, central district with indescribable charm. The tanners‘ district and the fish market district take up the historical divisions by trade and today house bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a glass of local wine.
In addition, Colmar is also the capital of Alsace wines. The Alsace Wine House offers a glimpse of the Alsatian vineyards, presented by the winemakers. You can also drive at about 15 minutes from Colmar and go toward the well-known towns of Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé, etc. and you will find open cellars on your way. You’ll be received by a Winegrower and will have the opportunity to taste and discover their wines.
5h35 from Paris
2h16 from Paris (via TGV)
Tips to visit the Alsace region like a local
Because of the multiplicity of its must-see villages and its cellars, it is recommended to have a car to visit Alsace. Strasbourg, for its part, has an efficient tram/train network connected to numerous car-parkings. Those parkings are free of charge if you buy a tram ticket (#ecology) .
Train booking website • Car rentals agency : Hertz, Entreprise, Sixt, Europe Car, …
The Alsace region is full of nice and charming villages that you might have seen in pictures. You might arrive in Strasbourg or Colmar but you have to go and visit those villages that are in the heart of the vineyards. Near Strasbourg, you can go towards Obernai, where you’ll be able to drive on the road of the Alsace wines. It’s a road that lasts about 1 hour. Maybe more if you stop at the open cellars of winegrowers where you’ll be able to taste wine and visit cellars!
To discover the region like a local, nothing better than to take a room in a bed and breakfast in a winery. These are very numerous, especially near Strasbourg and Colmar or in the villages that are on the road of the Alsace’s wines. (Our favorites are Obernai in the North and Riquewihr or Mittelwihr near Colmar !)
Like in any places, restaurants can be good and perfect and sometimes a bit deceiving. To avoid you the last option our team gathered some of their best spots. You’ll often see the word Winstub in the name of restaurant. It’s just a typical German word to designate popular restaurant, with a rustic atmosphere but where you’ll be well received and you will eat well!
In the villages near Colmar you have several choices but our favorites are Caveau Gambrinus, L’ami Fritz, ..