Old colorful half-timbered houses in the quatrer Petite Venise (Little Venice) in Colmar, France.; Shutterstock ID 748217683; your: Sloane Tucker; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI

Shutterstock / Svetlana Pechenkina

Petite Venise


If you see just one thing in Colmar, make it the Little Venice quarter. Canal connection aside, it doesn’t resemble Venice in the slightest, but it's truly lovely in its own right, whether explored on foot or by rowboat. The backstreets are punctuated by impeccably restored half-timbered houses in sugared-almond shades, many ablaze with geraniums in summer. Take a mosey around rue des Tanneurs, with its rooftop verandahs for drying hides, and quai de la Poissonnerie, the former fishers’ quarter.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Colmar attractions

1. Pont Rue de Turenne

0.04 MILES

For photogenic views of Colmar's canal-woven Petite Venise district, head to this bridge at the top of rue de Turenne.

2. Ancienne Douane

0.12 MILES

At the southern tip of rue des Marchands is this late-medieval customs house, with loggia and variegated tile roof, which now hosts temporary exhibitions…

3. Musée Bartholdi

0.18 MILES

In the house where Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was born in 1834, this museum pays homage to the sculptor who captured the spirit of a nation with his…

4. Maison Pfister

0.18 MILES

This Renaissance pile was built in 1537 for Ludwig Scherer, a wealthy hatter from Besançon. With its delicately painted panels, elaborate oriel window and…

5. Maison zum Kragen

0.19 MILES

This 15th-century house is identifiable by its much-photographed sculpture of a marchand (merchant).

6. Collégiale St-Martin

0.22 MILES

Delicate stonework guides the eye to the polychrome mosaic roof and Mongol-style copper spire of this Gothic church. Its jewel-like stained-glass windows…

7. Église St-Matthieu

0.24 MILES

Quintessentially Protestant in its austerity, this Franciscan church has something of a split personality. From 1715 to 1987, a wall divided the soaring…

8. Église des Dominicains


Lit by late-medieval stained glass, this desanctified Gothic church shelters the celebrated triptych La Vierge au Buisson de Roses (The Virgin in the Rose…