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Best things to do in Colmar

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Where in the world: Europe  /  France  /  Grand Est  /  Haut-Rhin  /  Colmar

Top 15 things to do in Colmar

3. Musée d'Unterlinden

Housed in a 13th-century Dominican sisters' convent, Musée d'Unterlinden features a large collection of local and international artworks and artifacts from prehistoric to contemporary times. Best known for its major collection of medieval and early Renaissance art from the Upper Rhine region, the collection's other highlights include the altarpieces, original drawings, engravings, and woodcuts by Colmar native Martin Schongauer; the Isenheim Altarpiece, sculpted by Niclaus of Haguenau and painted by Matthias Grünewald; engravings by Albrecht Dürer; and works by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein the Elder. In the basement, you'll find collections consisting of local archaeological artifacts. Religious and non-religious sculpture, mosaics, and stained glass from the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods are at the heart of the collection. Core representations include a Rückers harpsichord made in 1624, as well as decorative arts, weapons, furniture, musical instruments, toys, and ornate wine barrels from the 16th to the 19th centuries, the golden age of Alsatian woodworking.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Statue of Liberty

A 12 m (39 ft) replica of New York's Statue of Liberty stands at the north entrance of the city of Colmar, the hometown of the statue's sculptor, Auguste Bartholdi. The replica was dedicated on July 4, 2004, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the artist's death. For more on the famous statue, the local Bartholdi Museum contains numerous models of various sizes made by Bartholdi during the process of designing the statue for New York.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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5. Eglise St-Martin

Dating back to the 14th century, Eglise St-Martin contains many notable Gothic artworks, such as a relief of the Last Judgment. This outstanding Gothic construction is built from red and gold stone in the shape of a cross, and the green and golden-brown tiled roof is classically Alsatian. Look on the exterior for medieval gargoyles, and go inside to view 13th-century statues and altars. The interior is best known for its Baroque organ from 1755, and for 13th-century stained glass depicting the Ascension of Elijah, the Last Supper, and Abraham and Isaac.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, Orschwiller

Fancy a wander through a thirteenth century castle overlooking the Alsatian plain? Beautiful Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is located in Orschwiller, Alsace amidst the sprawling Vosges Mountains just west of Sélestat. Due to the castle’s strategic locale, the castle was well used by successive powers from the Middle Ages on. Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg was passed down from the Hohenstaufen family to the Dukes of Lorraine, who in turn entrusted it to the Ratsamhausen family (knights from Middle Alsace), who then held the castle until the fifteenth century. It’s believed that in the midst of the Thirty Years War, the castle was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908, it underwent an intense restoration phase under the watchful eye of Emperor Wilhelm II. Today, the castle is a highlight in the region, and if you’ve signed yourself up for an Alsace wine tour, Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is a popular stop.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Musee National de l’Automobile – Collection Schlumpf, Mulhouse

Calling all car enthusiasts! Musee National de l’Automobile – Collection Schlumpf is the largest museum of automobiles in the world with 500 vehicles, including 464 cars from 98 different makers. This one-of-a-kind museum also boasts the famous Fritz Schlumf collection, which dates from 1878 to the present day, as well as the largest collection of Bugattis in the world. The museum itself is located in an old 1880s mill. Founded by two Swiss-born brothers, Fritz and Hans Schlumpf, the collection gained its first acquisition back in the early 1940s during the second World War. The brothers continued to build their collection over the years, and it wasn’t until 1977 that the public became aware of the collection. Not only is it the largest collection of automobiles, but it has been described as the most prestigious collection.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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10. Koifhus (Old Custom House)

Constructed during the 15th century, Koifhus (Old Custom House) is a historical building with typical medieval Colmar charm that now houses little shops, a restaurant, and cultural events. The courtyard has benches and plenty of opportunities to snap photos of the interesting architecture and tiled rooftop. The custom house was built when the area was still under German rule.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. La Montagne des Singes, Kintzheim

Take a side trip to the Atlas Mountains without leaving the region. Escape into the world of the Barbary Macaque. Wander through 60 acres of pristine forest to observe free roaming macaques frolic and play with their young and interact with their troupes in a natural setting. The Barbary Macaque is the only free-living primate in Europe, and La Montagne des Singes or "Monkey Mountain" is dedicated to the protection and conservation of these feisty primates. Make sure to purchase bags of popcorn at the front gate or, if you’re too shy, enjoy watching any number of feedings throughout the day. Listen in as guides and conservationists discuss the importance of preserving the species.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Marche Couvert

Built from stone, brick, and cast iron, Neo-Baroque Marche Couvert was built in 1865, and still serves as the city's indoor covered market. Diverse merchants include butchers, bakers, and cheesemongers. You'll find organic farm products, flowers, spices, and specialty products, such as ready-to-eat prepared foods, snacks, and international foods.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Cité du Train - Musée français du chemin de fer, Mulhouse

Train enthusiasts can hardly resist a stop at Cité du Train - Musée français du chemin de fer also called "Cité du Train", the largest railway museum in the world. Located in Mulhouse, the museum features an exhibition display by the famed French architect, François Seigneur, called "Le siècle d'or du chemin de fer" (The golden century of the railway). Step through time as Seigneur traces historical rail events from 1860 to 1940. Wander from one exhibit to the next in semi-darkness, and experience the evolution of rail technology and the effect it had on those whose lives revolved around rail travel and the industry as a career.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Parc Zoologique & Botanique de Mulhouse, Mulhouse

Parc Zoologique & Botanique de Mulhouse is a 25 hectare (62 acre) public zoo and botanical garden created in 1868, and restored in 1950 after sustaining heavy damage during World War II. You can view more than 1,200 animals representing 190 species, including many species of tropical birds and monkeys, and 94 rare or endangered species. Walk through the children's zoo enclosure to interact with Moroccan dwarf goats, Indian runner ducks, Brahma chickens, and potamochoerus, a relative of the pig. Next to the children's play area, you'll see rabbits, Poitou donkeys, and llamas. The botanical gardens feature 400 kinds of iris in the spring, and 100 varieties of dahlias in summer. Shrubs and trees are grown into fantastic shapes, and there's a collection of rare and endangered plants, including Catharanthus from Madagascar, the Canary Islands, and Madeira. The park also features a sensory garden for the blind, with signs in Braille, and plants chosen for their smell and feel.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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