History of the City

The first mention of this city was in 823 by the son of Charlemagne, Emperor Louis le Pieux. Through the centuries, the town continued to grow in architecture, art, and politics. During the 15th and 16th centuries, winemaking became a source of immense wealth and more austere buildings were constructed. One of the most famous residents of the city was Voltaire, who stayed there between 1753 and 1754. He described it as “a city half-German and half-French, and wholly Iroquoian”.

There is an urban legend involving the Colmar Nachtkalb, literally translated as “a night calf”, that comes out in the streets around the Town Hall and Saint-Martin to play evil tricks on the residents. No one has really been able to describe this creature as it seems that he takes many forms. Stories have circulated that he runs up behind unsuspecting drunks and residents causing them to try to escape the Nachtkalb’s attack. It is said that once home, they pass out from exhaustion from running away and when they wake, they remember nothing of the night’s events but have violent headaches. Just something to keep in mind if you choose to stay in this area; Maybe go easy on the alcohol.

Getting Around

The city is very walkable. If you arrive by train at the main station, all the most popular sights are within a mile’s walk. You can also find several car parks near the center to leave your vehicle at while you explore.


The best time, weather-wise, to visit this wonderful town is from May to September because of the number of sunny days and warmer temperatures. However, this is also considered a high tourist season so I would recommend you visit March-May or October to have lower prices and fewer crowds.

Winters are usually quite cold and gray with a few blue skies sprinkled in here and there. Snow can be expected but not in large amounts. The coldest month is January when temperatures fall below 36 degrees.

Spring is fair with warmer temperatures and some rain.

Summer is warm with the hottest month being July at around 80 degrees. May is the wettest month that sees over three inches of rain. Outdoor activities are very popular during this time.

Fall brings cooler temperatures at night and while October is still tolerable during the day, November can bring colder temperatures in the 40s during the day.

Restaurant Recommendations  in Colmar

Restaurant Recommendations

Le Petit Bidon

Address: 14 rue Etroite, 68000, Colmar France

Hours: Open Monday evening, from Tuesday to Friday for lunch and dinner. (start of services at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.)


Address: 24 rue des Marchands, 68000, Colmar France

Au Croissant Doré (the Golden Croissant)

Address: 28 Rue des Marchands, 68000 Colmar, France

Adorable pink cafe perfect for satisfying your sugar addiction. Try the chocolat viennois,  hot chocolate covered in a huge tower of whipped cream. This café is worth visiting!

Fun Facts in Colmar

Fun Facts

  • There are rumors of a phantom milkwoman. She was caught adding water to her milk and as a punishment, she had to return to the Augustinian well every night to throw out the offending liquid.
  • One last urban legend is of the horse with no body… Yeah… you read that right. There are reports of fleeting glimpses of a horse head, hearing the sound of hooves on stairways, and whinnying echoing through certain nights of the year around midnight.
  • In 1863, a large number of precious objects were discovered in the town that had been hidden by some Jewish families during the Black Death.
  • Colmar has one of the driest climates in France.
  • It is considered to be the capital of the Alsatian wine region.
  • The French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty, was born here. There is a museum bearing his name in the heart of the old town showcasing some of his works. The Statue of Liberty was originally named Liberty Enlightening the World but was shortened.
Free downloadable guide to Colmar France

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Kristal Ham

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