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The capital of the Alsace wine region, Colmar looks for all the world as though it has been plucked from the pages of a medieval folk tale. At times the Route des Vins d’Alsace fools you into thinking it’s 1454, and here, in the alley-woven heart of the old town, the illusion is complete. Half-timbered houses in chalk-box colours crowd dark cobblestone lanes and bridge-laced canals, which have most day-trippers wandering around in a daze of neck-craning, photo-snapping, gasp-eliciting wonder.

Quaintness aside, Colmar’s illustrious past is clearly etched in its magnificent churches and museums, which celebrate local legends from Bartholdi (of Statue of Liberty fame) to the revered Issenheim Altarpiece.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Colmar.