My Parents First Time in Colmar - An April Guide

Last month my family and I visited Colmar for the first time! We had impeccable timing and ended up staying there for the Easter weekend, meaning we got to experience the lovely Easter market that's held there once a year. In this post, I'll share some photos of what we did and what recommendations we have if you're planning to go to Colmar in spring!

Walk Around The Old Town

Picture yourself wandering through narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful half-timbered houses; the very architecture that inspired the Disney film 'Beauty and the Beast'. The old town of Colmar, located in the Alsace region of France, is often referred to as a fairytale town (perhaps for this reason)! 

If you've just arrived and are looking for a fun and relaxing tour, I recommend one of the little trains that travel through the city! There is a white train and a green train, both with similar pricing, that do a full circle around the city with a guided tour available in many different languages. The green train departs near the Office of Tourism.

As you explore the streets, you'll come across beautiful buildings adorned with vibrant flower boxes, little shops with knick knacks to sell, and the sounds of both French and German in the air.  Colmar's old town is a mix of French and German influences, reflecting the region's rich history of alternating between French and German rule. While I was there with my family, there were quite a few German tourists!

And if you thought the afternoon views were pretty, I got this lovely shot of the streets at night!

The Alsace area has a perpetual 'Christmas' vibe to it, with many shops selling Christmas ornaments and decorations throughout the year. You can find fruit cakes, gingerbread and other festive treats scattered about. The trademark white and red colors of Christmas are all over the town.

This region is known for its delicious food and wine. You'll find a lot of German influence on the local cuisine with dishes like choucroute (sauerkraut with sausages) and flammekueche (a thin pizza-like dish). If you like hearty meals with meat and potatoes, this is your destination!

Take a Boat Tour on Little Venice

One of the most iconic areas in the old town is the Petite Venise, or "Little Venice." Here, you'll find canals lined with charming houses and restaurants. There are boat tours available all day in both English, French and German that detail the history of the city. 

Tip: Be sure to reserve your tickets in advance so you can book a time-slot that works for you. If not, you'll be stuck waiting while they assign you a ticket, which is usually 1 to 2 hours later! 

Put a Lock on the Lock Bridge

The Colmar Lock Bridge, also known as "Pont de la Petite Venise" (Bridge of Little Venice), spans across the Lauch River, and you can see the boat tours passing by as you walk across it. This pedestrian bridge is a symbol of love and unity, much like other famous lock bridges around the world. 

As you enter souvenir boutiques around the city, you'll likely encounter the little heart shaped locks for sale for around 5 euros. When I saw them, I knew I had to get one!

If you do decide to pick up a lock, you have two options for how to write in them, as a pen is not included or sold in any souvenir stores. The first option is to buy a permanent marker from the Monoprix located a few steps away from the Tourism Office. The second option is a bit less conventional and the one I chose -- carve your dates into the locket using a key or some type of pick.

Guillaume and I placed our locks on the bridge and pocketed the key. Then my parents placed their lock right next to ours and sealed it with a kiss! It was a very cute and sweet moment. 

Enjoy the Easter Market

You're likely to encounter some grey skies and a bit of rain in April, but don't let that deter you from exploring the Easter market! There are tons of local crafts to buy, like this adorable handmade Pikachu plush I picked up for my sister. Other vendors sold things such as soy candles, jewelry, soaps, clothing and nougat! For the little ones, there are animal exhibits scattered around the market as well so definitely check that out!

Walk Around and Enjoy

My parents and I did a lot of walking in Colmar so we got to explore the city very throughly during our 3 days there. Though the weather was a bit off and on, we made some wonderful memories here and would love to come back one day (if not only to check on the little heart locks we left behind!).

This post marks the end of my 'Parents in France' series, but have no fear! Guillaume and I will be in New York for Christmas this year and are planning to make a Christmas themed NYC post documenting our time there. For now, thanks for reading and see you soon.