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How to get to Colmar, Alsace
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You’ve seen the beautiful pictures of this medieval town, added it to your bucket list and now you’re wondering what’s the best way to get to Colmar. Yep, that was me too!
This isn’t a town with it’s own airport or extensive transport system, so getting there can see a little complicated, but with some research and planning it doesn’t have to be at all.
Firstly it depends where you’re coming from.
From Basel Airport
This is the option I chose as there are very cheap flights from the UK to Basel, mine cost £61 return from Gatwick on a weekend in February. You can read my post about the best time to visit Colmar for more info.
Basel airport, or Europort, actually serves France and Switzerland and is split down the middle. When you arrive, head towards the Swiss exit (all clearly labelled). Take the bus no. 50 from the airport to Basel station - Bahnhof SBB. These run very regularly and you can find the timetable here. You can buy tickets from the ticket machine at the bus stand or at the counter in the airport.
Once at Basel Bahnhof SBB head to the SNCF side of the station and buy your ticket to Colmar, you can get a return too if needed. The trains run regularly through the day, take about 45 minutes and cost approximately 15 euros one way. You can find tickets and times here.
If you’re touring the Alsace region or you’re in Strasbourg and want to go to Colmar for a short trip, there is very regular trains from Strasbourg to Colmar. Some of these routes you will need to change at Basel Mulhouse, others are direct. Check the SNCF website for more details but bear in mind trains are only bookable 3 months in advance. The train journey from Strasbourg is approximately 30 minutes.
Strasbourg has lots of connecting flights from all over Europe so this could be an option for you.
From Paris you can take the TGV train line. The TGV is a high-speed train line and tickets can be relatively cheap if bought in advance. You will change once at Strasbourg and the total journey time is 2.5-3 hours. You can check train times and ticket prices here. Trains depart from Paris East.
Of course, if you’re driving in the region the getting to Colmar is very simple and straight forward and there are plenty of parking options around the outskirts of the town.
If you’re staying in the area of Colmar for a few days the consider renting a bike. The area is very bike friendly (I cycled between Eguisheim and Colmar) and renting one is cheap and a great way to see the beautiful Alsace countryside.
You can read my full guide on the best time to visit Colmar and where to get the best photos.
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Flights: I use Expedia to find great flights and the best deals all over the world, they have regular sales and offers so I always check their website. I also check CheapOair to find cheap deals on round trip flights.
Car Rental: I love the customer service I've always gotten and the variety of options with Rental Cars. But for short notice rentals, I've been using Expedia for the last year, they always seem to have great one-day rates or last-minute rates from the main rental companies.
Accommodation: I prefer the flexibility of booking accommodation with Booking.com so I can cancel or change my reservation without a fee or only pay on arrival for most properties. For longer or more unique stays I prefer AirBnB because you can get the long stay discount, you can also find more unique properties and book experiences with talented locals and businesses. For my budget trips, I always stay in hostels and book through Hostelworld because they have great guarantees if anything does go wrong. If you arrive and your booking is not at the property, they refund the full deposit AND give you $50 extra credit.
Tours and organised trips Although I don’t use tours that often, I do like to book local experiences or day trips once I reach my destination. For that I use GetYourGuide because it has the biggest selection and variety of tour and experience options.
Travel Insurance: I currently use SafetyWing Nomad Insurance. Which allows me to pay a rolling monthly fee to cover my long term travels.
My camera gear and equipment: I use a Canon 77D with an 18-135mm lens or a 50mm lens. And a DJI Mavic Mini Drone. For all my gear including laptops, tripods and more camera accessories read my travel photography gear guide.